By Martin Kraus, CFCA director of finance
CFCA has never had a goal of being big. We want to be good. Our sponsors recognize the good that’s being accomplished with their donations, and they have helped us to grow to a new level this year!
In 2013, CFCA sent over $100 million directly to our projects in the 21 countries where we work. This is the first year in our 32 year history that CFCA has reached this level of direct support to the field.
This funding makes it possible for a sponsored child to stay in school instead of quitting and going to work to support the family. It provides needed medicine, fitness and social activities for an elderly person who otherwise wouldn’t have any help.
These and many other benefits are provided each year by CFCA through the generous donations of our sponsors. In return, our sponsors have the opportunity to develop a personal relationship with the person they are sponsoring.
Sponsors also have the knowledge that CFCA is exercising good stewardship practices by using over 93 percent of our total expenses for program purposes, with only 3 to 4 percent used for fundraising and 3 to 4 percent for administrative needs.
CFCA was founded in 1981 in Kansas City. Since then, CFCA has sent over $1 billion to our projects around the world to help break the bonds of poverty.
Whew. The holiday weekend is over. We’ve given thanks, eaten at least one feast, hunted deals and shopped online.
Now we get to take a deep breath. We get to turn our attention to others as we embrace the generosity that marks this season, one of giving thanks and giving gifts. Today, we give back.
Today is Giving Tuesday, a world-wide movement encouraging us all to donate and volunteer, working together to make our world a better place.
We have a day for giving thanks, a day for getting deals and a day for buying online. Now, a day for giving back! Join the #GivingTuesday movement with CFCA on Tuesday, December 3.
“Child sponsorship is just a money machine for big organizations.”
“Sometimes the child being sponsored doesn’t even get the money you send.”
“You never know whether your contributions are making a difference.”
“They’ll just sell your information to some marketing company.”
Do any of these sound familiar? Child sponsorship can get a bad rap sometimes, but we’re happy to answer any questions you may have before partnering with us.
When you make a donation to CFCA in honor of a loved one, you are also giving families living in poverty the gift of hope.
Your contribution will support and strengthen our programs with children, youth and the aging around the world.
You can even print off a card to let the person you are honoring know about your gift.†Click here to make your donation.
Lenten reflection: Week 5
By Rev. Kelly Demo, CFCA preacher
ìAnd I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.î ñJohn 12:32
Our God, who is relational by nature, chose to become a member of the human family as an expression of intimate love. We, Godís children, are also relational and the yearning of our hearts for closeness to God and to one another is a reflection of our nature and Godís deepest desire.
Because of this, relationships are the very essence of life. Godís two greatest commandments are not about what work we do, or what we eat, or even how we are to worship God. Our two greatest commandments are to love God and each other.
We believe this is the greatest gift that CFCA has to offer to the world. The reason the founders chose the sponsorship model was because it is relational. One does not simply write a check and forget about it. Sponsors are called into personal relationships with someone they didnít even know existed before sponsorship. They are given the opportunity to love God by loving another of Godís children. Sponsor and sponsored friend carry one another in their hearts and allow the other to change them for the better.
CFCAís structure in our projects follows this model as well and feeds the need for relationships among those we serve. For example, mothers in Merida, Mexico, tell us that the CFCA mothers groups are the most important part of the program to them. Most of their families moved from villages to the city, and that move isolated them from the social fabric that had sustained their ancestors for generations. The mothers groups are recreating that sense of community that is so essential to a full life.
Lent gives us a chance to stop and examine our relationships. It is often easier to give up chocolate for Lent than to rebuild and heal relationships.
Author Stephen Levine writes, ìIf you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?î
1. How would you define your relationship with God? Is God your teacher? Friend? Distant relative you only see on holidays? Guide? Do you like that relationship or do you want it to change? What needs to happen to bring about that change?
2. Is there a friendship that you have lost and mourn that loss? What might God be calling you to do about that?
John and I began sponsoring a child in 1998. We were pregnant with our first child and felt so blessed. We heard about CFCA through our parish. During Mass while a CFCA representative was talking about the sponsorship opportunities, my husband left our pew. I thought he was going to the restroom.
|Angelica is our sponsored child from Guatemala. She was 4 when we began sponsoring her.|
When he came back to our pew, he had our little Angelica Antonia’s profile. He just knew that I wanted to sponsor a child and he did as well.
He said, “Angelica called out to me.”
Her mother and father took turns sending us letters about Angelica, their life and how thankful they were for our support until Angelica was old enough to write. So, through letters and photos we’ve received, we’ve seen Angelica grow up through her parents’ and now her words.
Angelica is in seventh grade. She draws us beautiful flower borders with every note. She’s quite an artist! Angelica is growing up a confident, educated young woman. She walks an hour to/from school every day – amazing! She is so grateful for the opportunity to go to school (which is a great reminder for our kids) and in every letter reminds us how very thankful she is that our support covers her basic needs.
By sponsoring Angelica, we get so much more out of the relationship than we ever dreamed was possible! She is a constant reminder of how blessed we are, that the basic things we take for granted (shelter, food, clothing) are truly gifts from God. Angelica doesn’t know this, but her words and prayers are far more valuable to our family than the monthly donations.
CFCA’s sponsorship program helps our family see that poverty is a worldwide problem that affects each of us in some way and even more so, how each individual can help end it.