We recently received this submission from MaryAnne Cullen, who sponsors many children and elderly people through CFCA’s Hope for a Family program. It was such a different, beautiful perspective on sponsorship that we wanted to share it with you!
A few years ago, I received a startling telephone call from a representative from the National Bone Marrow Donor Program.
The caller unexpectedly revealed that I was a “potential” match for a 55-year-old woman with non-Hodgkinís lymphoma.
Further testing confirmed that I was the perfect match out of 6 million people in the registry ñ something akin to finding a needle in a haystack.
Shortly thereafter, my stem cells were on their way to a foreign country to be injected into an anonymous recipient.
I see similarities between being a stem cell donor and being a sponsor for a child or elderly person. In both cases, there is an overwhelming need for donors.
However, for the one person who received a bone marrow or stem cell donation, or for the one child or elderly person who has a sponsor, the donation can literally mean the difference between life and death.
I saw the children I sponsor in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Colombia and Guatemala and observed the poverty and desperation.
I can empathize with each child’s mother because I see that each one wants to provide more for her child, but is unable to because of circumstances beyond her control.
I witnessed the tangible benefits that a monthly sponsorship can bring to a child’s life ó food, education, clothing and gifts on birthdays and Christmas.
But each child receives not just material goods, but a sense of hope and the feeling someone truly loves them.
When you help even just one child through sponsorship, it can have a multiplying effect. That child may pursue a career as a teacher or nurse where he or she helps countless others.
Just as I will never meet the woman to whom I gave the stem cells, I may never meet some of the children or elderly whom I sponsor.
However, I know that through the letters exchanged and the monthly donations, each sponsorship forever changes a life.