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Happy Valentine’s Day! Here’s one valentine for you and one you can give to a friend. Share this valentine with someone who would be a good sponsor. Pass the love along!
By Veronica Batton, Unbound writer/editor
Valentine’s Day in Guatemala is known as “the day of love and friendship.” It’s not just about remembering the one you love, but also remembering friends, family and co-workers who are important to you.
This Valentine’s Day, I wanted to give you some different ways in which you can remember and celebrate the friendship you created with your sponsored friend a world away.
In the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, some Unbound staffers organize giving activities to make the occasion extra special!
“On Feb. 1 we make little pieces of paper with our names on them,” said Irma Leticia Raquec Ros, an Unbound social worker. “Everyone gets to pick one. The person whose name appears on the little piece of paper will be your secret friend for the next couple of weeks.”
Every day after that, Irma said, staffers will bring small items such as cookies, chips and candy into the office and put them into the “secret friend” gift box (the bright red box pictured next to Irma).
“We have fun playing this game,” said Rocio Esmeralda Suguach, another Unbound social worker. “At break time we all come rushing to see what we got!”
On the big day, Feb. 14, the Unbound staffers will bring a larger gift such as a teddy bear, roses, clothing or special chocolates. Then the gift-givers reveal themselves to their no-longer-secret friends!
“Every day is a special day, but Valentine’s Day gives us the opportunity to say ‘I love you,’ ‘You are special’ and ‘Thank you’ to our friends, family and everyone that touches our lives,” Irma said.
For me, tiny and cute go hand in hand.
I always think things are more adorable when they are shrunk to teacup size.
Think about it: puppies, babies, kittens and baby elephants are just a mere fraction of all the tiny, cute things in the world.
Check out this cute Valentine’s Day card I made for my sponsored friend! Complete with tiny messages!
(Difficulty level: easy)
- Specialty paper
- White paper
- Glue stick
- Thick cardstock
- Colored pencils or markers
- Heart stickers (optional)
ìI truly hope, with all my heart that you are well because you deserve all blessings from this world.î
So begins the final letter from Karol to her sponsor of 10 years, Joseph Presper. Karol has finished her studies and is now working as a nurseís assistant at a hospital near her home. Because she has finished her university studies, it was time for Karol to be retired from the CFCA program. CFCA does not retire a person at a certain age. Instead, we walk with them until they have reached their educational goals.
Finishing her studies and graduating from the program was a bittersweet time for Karol. She writes, ìAt this moment there is also this great sadness in my heart Ö not only for your help but because I love you so very much and I am going to miss your letters, your news, knowing about your life and your family.î
Mr. Presper, a retired accountant,†says he used his letters to encourage Karol in her studies. He began to sponsor because he came to a point in his life when he realized he did not need more material possessions. There are so many others in the world who need so much, he said.
While he did not get the chance to visit Karol they both feel they grew close through their letters. Karol continues, ìI remember every single detail, all your letters, everything that youíve gone through, everything youíve shared with me, your support. Just imagine! I have your picture taped in my bedroom and anybody that comes in always asks me, whoís he? And I proudly answer, ëMy Godfather!íî
Karol had one last request of her Godfather: please sponsor another child. ìI would feel very happy to know that your beautiful light will light up the life of another child Ö there are many children of this world that need support, love and help to continue on, to bloom and change their own future.î
In this Valentine season where we can get lost in a sea of cards, chocolate, flowers and sentiment, we want to recognize the deep love that exists between a CFCA sponsor and sponsored friend. Karol closes her letter by saying, ìYou can be sure that there is someone that will always carry you in heart and mind. I will pray to God, everyday, to fill you with blessings, to keep you healthy. My life has been marked since I met you. Please, pray to God for me too, this is how we will continue to be united for eternity.î
Mr. Presper honored Karolís request and chose to sponsor another child.