Thursday, April 29, 2010

I Wish

I just saw an ad for World Vision that said:

"I can bail out:

a: A National Bank
b: Auto Companies
c: A Child Slave"

And all I could think was, if the government hadn't taken my money to bail out national banks and auto companies, I could afford to sponsor a child. Except I wouldn't do it through World Vision because a good percentage of your money goes into their advertising campaigns. I want to put it in with the charity who will use the largest amount of my money possible for the child I sponsor.


Dana Cheryl said...

I've sponsored two children through world vision. First was Rosa from Guatemala who has since been placed with a family and currently I sponsor Nimanthi from Sri Lanka.

It's true that part of the funds go to advertizing, however, please give them a chance. They sponsor far more children than any other agency due to that advertizing. They also have a ground breaking program rescuing girls from the sex trade industry. Girls as young as 7 are regularly sold into prostitution and many don't live past the age of 15. (Sadly, there is a specialized "market" for younger girls all the way down to infants.) There are many programs lobbying, prosecuting, infiltrating, and breaking up child prostitution rings. Yet, there are very few that can meet that intensive needs of the girls rescued. World Vision's program is the best funded and they meet all the needs of these girls: healthcare, education, counseling, job placement, relocation... They're also responsible for providing more fresh water wells than any other agency. They do great work!

We live in what should be a free market economy and while I FULLY support that I also realize that companies with the best advertizing also have the best profit margin. In this case the revenue coming in far exceeds what is used in advertizing and allows the agency to serve exponentially more children. It's one of the necessities of a capitialist economy.

Sponsorship truly does save lives. Children are placed on the sponsorship list for only three months. If they don't find a sponsor they often die before cycling back on the list. Dozens (literally) of children die for every one that finds a sponsor.

I started paying with everything with cash which is a big pain in the butt!! However, it harder for me to spend cash than it is to swipe a card so I end up sticking to my budget. After purchases I put the left over change in an empty can. I have one in my house and one in my car. Every single month my change has been enough to pay my sponsorship. Often I have a surplus. I will admit to some slight lifestyle changes because I'm poor. No more quick stops for Dollar Menu items. Netflix instead of renting or going to the movies (except for rare occasions)and stuff like that. I make a sandwich everyday and that's kind of a hassle but it helps me be healthy so I really, really try to focus on the benefits. lol!!! Right now I'm learning the inner working of coupons... I mean I've used them for years but I've met ladies that save $400+ per month. I have to learn their ninja ways so maybe I can do a little more...

Not everyone can sponsor a child but I think most of us can. My friends allowed their kids to pick out a child to sponsor and they each put in part of allowance, etc... It's led to their children becoming very generous. They even choose to forego a trip to McDonalds on occasion and for Christmas their 11 gave up her Christmas present so that she could send chickens & a goat to their child's village. It's really sweet watching their kids come up with ways to sponsor their child. They had a lemonade stand and it was soooooo cute. Their son mowed lawns and scraped driveways. I've seen a real change in their kids. They're looking for ways to help others. For instance in the process of shoveling driveways to raise sponsorship money their son noticed that their elderly neighbor's driveway needed work so he started shoveling it for free and he's continued by keeping her yard raked and visiting with her. Oh and the kids absolutely LOVE writing back to their child and making cards for him and decorating their return letters. It's a beautiful thing!

Anyway, I could just go on and on sharing experiences... Sponsorship has brought so many blessings into my life.

Mary said...

There is another company (can't think of the name at this exact moment) that puts a greater percentage of sponsorship money toward their children. It's the one I'm inclined to go with, but I am having a mental block at the moment. When we get a little more breathing room financially, that is the plan. Also I'm not saying that World Vision is bad, I know that they do a lot of good. I just would like for a greater percentage of my money to go toward helping my child is all.

Mary said...

Compassion International! They're the ones I'd go with.

Eyepoke said...

good commercial.

Dana Cheryl said...

Compassion is a great group. They do a lot of good.

At age fourteen I read James 1:27 and that verse became one of my cornerstone verses.

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Widows are easy to find. Every American town has a nursing home full of widows needing company, cookies, etc... Widows... I've got that covered. Orphans were a bit more of a challenge. In our country it's hard to do hands on service with orphans in a volunteer capacity. Sponsorship has helped to fill in that missing piece. I love it so much!!!

Again, Compassion is a great, great organization. I have a friend that currently works for them. World Vision and Compassion have a very symbiotic relationship in many areas of the world. Kinda like Catholic Charities & LDS Charities work together globally.

I do want to clarify. All international relief agencies separate from the auspices of governmental umbrella groups & large church charities do have upfront costs such as advertizing.

World Vision is active in 97 countries. (The next diversified agency is Compassion that works in 25.) There are several countries closed to every agency except World Vision and it's in those countries that we find people in the absolute greatest immediate need. (All countries need help but there are areas deemed immediate needs countries where large scale imminent devastation is likely.) For instance, Uganda is currently closed to outsiders. It's a real mess that most folks here don't know about but WV got to stay.

World Vision is working on a budget of 2.6 billion dollars per year. Only a tiny percent goes to advertising. A fraction compared with the amount of care provided. Also they address the needs of entire village/community whereas other agencies wholly dedicate their funds to children. Also it may be important to note that while on paper it looks like World Vision doesn't offer as many scholarships that isn't the case because they provide education to all sponsored children. It's part of their whole community support model. Clean wells, seeds for crops, farming/fishing supplies, livestock, medical care, schools. To lift people out of poverty we have to address the village as a whole is their vision.

I don't want to persuade anyone to choose one service agency over another. Never, ever, ever. I just want to get all the facts out there. We all have our own mission on this earth.

As for me... I'm am wholly and completely dedicated to the issue of rescuing girls from sexual slavery. It starts with addressing community needs and ends with caring for girls taken out of the brothels. No other agency comes close to doing what World Vision is doing there. When it comes down to it that is part & parcel of my fierce dedication to this agency. No one does what they do. As many girls as possible have to be saved and I have to do everything I can to help. It keeps me up at night...

Anyway, I'm so excited for ya'll as you embark on the journey of sponsorship!! It's one of the best decisions I ever made!!!!!

Mary said...

Of course all of these companies have operating expenses. I don't begrudge them using incoming capital for this, all I'm saying is that I want my money to go where I think it would be spent the most wisely. I didn't mean to make you think that I was bashing World Vision. Some of my feelings about the group are colored by my upbringing, my parents were much more comfortable with Compassion, and there was always something about WV that feels a little "off" to me. However, I also know that WV can help a whole lot more people than I can, and that they do a lot of good.

Dana Cheryl said...

I'm sure that I feel protective of them because of my own former job (really more of an internship) which was directly linked to World Vision.

It's unfortunate but there are a lot of organizations that devote part of their marketing to running smear campaigns against agencies not tied to some governmental entity. World Vision's operating budget is nearly 3 billion dollars... Well, that's a lot of money that some (powerful) people would like directed elsewhere. World Vision has gotten bad press because it's the largest orginazation of it's kind. There's no other private agency that comes close to even a 1 billion dollar operating budget.

I would never try to dissuade someone from giving to ANY relief agency. I just try to encourage people to dig past the smear campaigns and see what's really going on.

I have my past ties to WV and I have a close friend working w/ Compassion. From what I've seen they both do an extraordinary job and they do just about the same thing. Compassion focuses on immediate needs on the whole while World Vision concentrates on long term solutions that will make those needs a thing of the past. Truly they do have a very mutually beneficial, symbiotic relationship in many areas.

When asked my opinion in the past I've always said that either one would be worthy of a person's hard-earned money, time, & prayers.

It's really special to pray, pick a country, learn it's culture, love one of its children...

My friends that I mentioned before have done such a great job intergrating their sponsored child into everyday life. They learn about the country together and pray for their child every day. Their son (13) with some help from his dad prepared an entire meal from "their country" and served it to the adults in the dining room while the kids has dinner in the kitchen. After dinner he prepared and gave a lesson about the country and told about their child. It was SO neat!!

Sponsorship is amazing!!!

Mary said...

I want to sponsor two children that share birthdays with mine. That's one of the first things I want to do when I get a job.

Dana Cheryl said...

That's a great goal!!! Sponsorship has blessed me so much!