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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Children - First In A Series Of Three

This is Ricsie age 9

This blog is about our lifestyle and how we live fairly remotely in a small cabin with our four dogs and heat our home with a wood stove. This aspect of our lives is interesting for our readers which has now grown to approximately 600 per week. The next three topics will be a series of another aspect of our lives and something I hope you will find equally interesting.While our lifestyle is spartan compared to the two children pictured it would be glamorous to them.

First and foremost I am not a travel agent and it is not my intention to send you on a guilt trip. I hope I can raise the readers awareness of something that means a great deal to Carol and myself. You may find it interesting enough to do the same. It is a personal decision and perhaps something you have never considered before. If you choose not to help a child you should not feel guilty in any way. I'm sure you are helping in other areas that are just as important or more worthy. One can only do so much but we should all do what we can.

This is Elvis age 11
These are our two sponsored children in Honduras. They live in a single room cement block home that has a tin roof. Both are lucky enough to have indoor water facilities but most in their community don't have this luxury. These are children numbers 4 & 5 which we have sponsored over the years. Their monthly income for the family is between $170. and $200. dollars. That is $47.50 to $50. per week. Our sponsorship provides them with health care, dental care, shoes, backpack, personal hygiene items and some clothes along with school supplies. We send gifts each year for Christmas and one child told us the tooth brush was their very first ever. For every child that Children International helps there are dozens they are unable to help.

Some of the families in their community have no electricity, indoor water, toilet and we have seen some (up to 5) who share a single bed. Toilet facilities in most cases is a slit trench. Imagine yourself having to share a slit trench with other members of your community in commonality. If you have any self esteem it would quickly go away living like that. Shoes are very important as the bacteria is great and some children have to walk to school in bare feet. Disease is very common. They live in communities where jobs are scarce and poverty is prevalent.

Their single fact of life is most everyone is in the same condition and it is not hard to see that their self worth would be low. To sponsor a child for a few dollars a month and provide them the bare essentials is not just the right thing to do but responsible human conduct. For the cost of a sit down meal at a restaurant you can improve a child's life instead. It is more than that however: You write back and forth with the child and you get to know who they are and they get to know you. You let them know that someone cares for them and they tell you constantly how they are so grateful for what you do for them and how much they love you. You give them a better chance for a good education as they have supplies to use. Often they share the school supplies with others who don't have any.

Speaking of education, they do not have the pre-school through 12th grade like in the USA. They have an abbreviated version instead. College? They are fortunate they have the education they have and college is not even on their radar. Our children tell us they like math and science subjects mostly. Will the education provide them a better future? We can only hope so but in all likelihood they will end up doing menial labor or garment factory work like their parents. Long hard hours in the factory for wages that we here in our country would squander on non-essential things. What we spend in a day or week to eat out or feed our pet far exceeds their monthly income.

We sponsor children through Children International. For less than $1.00 per day you can improve one child's life and they will carry that with them the rest of their life - that someone they didn't even know cared enough about them to help them when they couldn't help themselves. They don't expect it like those in our country do, but they are truly thankful that a total stranger would do anything for them. There are other organizations that do the same thing but when we checked this one out we found most of our contribution went to the children and not salaries. When we send packages to our children at Christmas we see photos (they send you photos) of beaming children. Little things which some children would quickly would throw aside they consider a treasure trove. In truth it costs more to mail the package than the cost of the contents. But the happiness those contents bring to children is clear to see. Gifts from America and people who care for them.

In our land of plenty it just seems right to us that we help a child we won't ever meet and only correspond with; it is the appropriate thing to do. From that child's viewpoint they see a total stranger who cares for them. Whether it is our own country or a host of countries that this organization works in, to bring a little self esteem and self worth to a child who lives in poverty is something I am very proud of. Most Americans spend more on dog food in a week or eating out than it would take to bring a little happiness to a child trapped (yes they are trapped) in poverty. Click on those photos and look at those faces and you may see why we do what we do. We also contribute to the shoe box project each year.

If everyone took just one child to sponsor what a far better world it would be one child at a time. We know we can't solve poverty or hardship but what we can do is bring a little improvement to one child's life (or in our case - 2 children) for a while that is good. When they get old enough to write letters you will find they are sincere and their thanks is heart felt. If you have never considered doing this I would encourage it. What a $25.00 contribution a month will accomplish can be major to a child. As I watched a TV show the other night and saw them cutting up seconds in shoes so they could be discarded it occurred to me that those shoes would be a literal bonanza to needy children in poverty areas. We throw away things that are better than they will ever have.

The next installation will be about the community we live in and the final segment will be a comparison between that community and sponsorship of a needy child. I hope all readers will stick with me as I take a little departure from mountain cabin living. I also hope that it will inspire some thought as to helping others.

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