Yesterday, I promised a shopping haul from my San Antonio trip. Well today you won’t be seeing it because I was sick all day yesterday and didn’t have time to take any good pictures of the cute things I bought much less take pictures of me with/in them. I have some sort of sinus infection that’s stopping me from forming a coherent thought and putting on make up. Story of my life.
Today, I wanted to share with you a cherished tradition that many people are forgetting about- the ‘thank you’ note. Who would have thought that something so simple and important would become a thing of the past? Seriously, the only time I’ve ever received a thank you is after a wedding. Notes like these shouldn’t be reserved for events like that. It should be an ordinary thing. If someone does something nice for you, then you send a note! It’s not rocket-science.
Years ago, I went to a little friend’s birthday party. She was turning 8, I think. Her party was dinosaur themed and I got her a dinosaur gift of some kind. A few weeks went by and still no thank you note. I was brought up believing that you should send these within a week of the party. Regardless, I gave her some slack (I was a very polite kid, you see). 15 years later, I’m still waiting on that thank you note. I should have known not to expect one given that the birthday girl gathered up all of her gifts after she opened them and retreated to her room to play with them… by herself.
Remembering how important it is to send thank you notes, I have quite the stash of them in my desk! I absolutely adore them and stock up whenever I see a sale. Sending these notes says so much about your class, gratitude, and overall etiquette understanding. You aren’t required to send them by any means, but those that do automatically seem more appreciative than those who don’t. Consider that next time someone gives you a gift or does something nice for you!
Last April (2013) I saw an ad on my newsfeed for child sponsorship. I remember my parents did it for a little girl in Kenya until she was a legal adult. Her name was Ketray. Through the $35 a month my parents sent to her she got to go to school, buy clothes, help fund her family farm, and gave her school supplies. We got pictures and letters from her and sometimes her family telling us about their lives and thanking us for our help.
3 Kids’ Lives Changed by the Kindness of Complete Strangers
I had been wanting to find someone to sponsor on my own but didn’t know where to look or begin. I wanted to be led to it by God anyway. And I finally was. I found a little girl who was 6 years old in Costa Rica who desperately needed help. Her parents couldn’t afford school for her. I agreed to sponsor her on the spot.
A Year later, I’m still her sponsor despite difficult financial times for myself. This little girl is the cutest thing! I’m really blessed to sponsor her. I’ve gotten letters from her mom and drawings from Elizabeth (my sponsor child) as well.
One of the most interesting things to learn about her was her love for painting! Its her favorite thing to do at school. I find it interesting to think that I’m investing in a future artist for only $35 a month. I’m also investing in the future of Costa Rica. The more educated a group of people are, the better off the society is as a whole.
After a few months of sponsoring I decided to become a child ambassador for World Vision International, the charity I sponsor my child through. I have to get 10 children a year sponsored. My parents volunteered to sponsor a boy in India named Deepak. He’s 3 and has the cutest little pouty face we’ve ever seen. His family and even neighbors have written to my parents thanking them for helping the family and Deepak.
My parents’ good friends also decided to sponsor a child. They went to my sponsor page and chose a child in a very unique way. The lady had just lost her dad and he had absolutely loved to visit South America and volunteer his time helping the poor. She entered in his birth date and selected a country her dad loved to visit. The first child that came up was a little boy named Joseph. Her dad’s name was also Joseph. They committed to sponsoring him immediately.
In case you’re wondering, World Vision has a very good track record of transparency in their funding and where it goes. They have a 5% overhead and spend 12% on fundraising. The other 83% goes to children around the world. You can find this information on their website.
World Vision also organizes trips for sponsors to meet their sponsor children abroad. While it does cost the sponsors money, World Vision takes care of the entire trip. All you do is go and meet your child. You can also send packages or small letters to them. Some countries have different restrictions on what can be sent and how much but for the most part small packages are accepted.
A wonderful aspect of this organization is the easy way you can communicate with your child. Once you sponsor a child, they give you log in information for your own site to check on your child, their community, and their progress. You can also email them through the site and they will write back via snail mail. For every holiday, World Vision will send you a letter for you to sign that usually has some sort of activity for the sponsor child to do such as coloring a picture. You send it back to World Vision and they get it to the child. This process takes several months but excites the younger kids.
A note about the organization- it is one of the top 10 largest charities in the USA. They are Christian based, HOWEVER, they will not discriminate against or drop children who are not Christians. In some countries they work in, it is illegal to be Christian so there can be no direct religious messages to the kids. In these places, the charity tries to use their servant attitudes and kindness to bare witness of their faith to those people.
There are still thousands of kids that need someone to volunteer for them. Would you or someone you know be willing to do it? Visit my sponsorship page if you’d like to have a look at the children who are waiting for someone to sponsor their future. Take the plunge because I’m glad I did!