Recent Posts By Matthew Brennan

Ambassadors of hope for the Congo

Ambassadors of hope for the Congo | World Vision Blog

Martine, recently treated for malnutrition, with her nurse Chiquette in the Ledia community, DRC, December 2012. (Photo: Alice Bafiala Mutombo/World Vision)

World Vision's Child Ambassadors are a network of volunteers and sponsors who go out into their communities as advocates for child sponsorship. This year, they're aiming to maximize their impact by focusing their efforts on a new sponsorship community in the Democratic Republic of the Congo called Ledia. Read why!

Top 13 blog posts of 2013

Top 13 blog posts of 2013 | World Vision Blog

A girl in Sri Lanka at a World Vision program's closing ceremony, featured in our photoblog "A beginning and an end" in May. (Photo: Matthew Paul Turner)

2013 was a very busy year! The social media team ran and supported a wide variety of programs and work, sharing joy, answering the question Why World Vision?, promoting books and films, and responding to disasters. Out of the hundreds of blog posts published this year, here’s a list of my – and your! –  favorites.

Vote for your favorite! Whichever post gets the most comments below, I’ll look into doing a follow-up post later in 2014!

Year-end giving: How to choose a charity

Year-end giving: How to choose a charity | World Vision Blog

A dead tree adorned with food colors sealed in plastic becomes a symbol of the holiday season in the Philippines. (Photo: 2013 World Vision)

Within these last few days of the year, many people take this opportunity to squeeze in one more charitable donation as an extra write-off for their taxes. Your tax forms don’t care where that money goes, as long as it’s a charity, but you probably do. You’ll want to make sure that your money is going to a good organization.

But what does that mean? And how can you know?

Top five ways in 2013 to give

Top 5 ways to give of 2013 | World Vision Blog

Ou Sypha, 16, reads the birthday card he received from his sponsor to his friends. (Photo: ©2013 Sopheak Kong/World Vision)

2013 has been an amazing year (but maybe I’m biased; it was my first year with World Vision!) From responding to natural disasters and refugee crises to bringing clean water to a new person every 30 seconds, we’ve been doing great work around the world this year, and we look forward to continuing this work in 2014.

You can help! Are you considering making one more tax-deductible donation before 2013 is over? Here are five categories that have been important in 2013 — to us, to our donors, and to the children we’re serving. Make your choice today!

Day 24: Share your blessings

Day 24: Share your blessings | World Vision Blog

You are our blessing! Thanks to all of our supporters who make our work possible. We’ve encouraged you this month to Share #Joy … here’s a compilation of how our friends have shared and received joy this season.

Day 20: Share comfort

Day 20: Share comfort | World Vision Blog

“When one has nothing, God will open a door for them, is what they say. And He has opened it.” —Aishwarya, India. Today’s video tells her story; see what is giving her #joy!

Day 14: Share a memory

Day 14: Share a memory | World Vision Blog

Would rabbits make a good Christmas gift? In today’s video, three kids from the United States consider what it might be like to give someone rabbits for Christmas. They would certainly be a memorable gift!

Day 13: Share food

Day 13: Share food | World Vision Blog

Today’s video tells the story of Salissou, an 11-year-old boy from Niger whose family is hard-hit by malnutrition. See what Salissou’s hopes are for his family, and how World Vision is helping.

Day 10: Share a smile

Day 10: Share a smile

Latha in India smiles broadly when she talks about her education and how proud she is to be in the 12th grade. She used to be a child laborer, but has a new future now because of education. Today’s video tells her story!

We're cheap, and that's good

We're cheap, and that's good | World Vision Blog

Families affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines receive Food Kits from World Vision. Each kit provides food for a family for seven days. (Photo: 2013 Jon Warren/World Vision)

One of World Vision’s primary responses to disasters like Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines is the distribution of Family Food Kits and Hygiene Kits to survivors. On our Facebook page this week, we posted photos of the contents of these kits – but purchased here in the USA – and asked our followers to guess how much the items would cost. That price versus the price of each World Vision Kit might surprise you!

[Video] Rose's Planet Earth

[Video] Rose's Planet Earth

The Batican family stands among the rubble that was their home until coconut trees fell on it during Typhoon Haiyan in Ormoc, Philippines. Son Johpett Batican, 14, (blue shirt and glasses) is a World Vision sponsored child. (Photo: 2013 Jon Warren/World Vision)

Less than two weeks ago, for the people of the central islands of the Philippines, this beautiful planet turned harsh and scary. Now, the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan look ahead toward recovery with hope.

[Photoblog] Smiles of relief

[Photoblog] Smiles of relief | World Vision Blog

The promise of food for the next 15 days makes for happy children at a World Vision food distribution to Typhoon Haiyan victims in the Philippines. (Photo: 2013 Jon Warren/World Vision)

On Thursday morning, World Vision completed a well-organized and calm distribution of food and hygiene kits in northern Cebu, benefiting 780 families, nearly 4,000 people.

This series of photos comes directly from our team on the ground in the Philippines, showing the smiles that this first distribution of relief supplies brought to the waiting survivors of Typhoon Haiyan.

[Q&A] Water for the World Act

In today's Q&A, Lisa Bos -- World Vision's policy adviser for health, education, and WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) in Washington, D.C. -- describes the Water for the World Act and explains why this new legislation is vital for providing clean water where it's most needed. Lisa is an expert when it comes to this bill -- she helped write it!

[Video] Children making sounds of hope

Last month, I led a bloggers trip to Guatemala to witness child sponsorship at work and experience a snapshot of the impact that World Vision is having on communities there.

One of the programs we visited was World Vision's music school and the Sounds of Hope youth orchestra, a program that is truly bringing new life to these rural communities and helping to make children's dreams come true.

[Videos] 5 sponsored children share their dreams

Join us today, October 24, as children and sponsors across the globe come together to celebrate children’s dreams and share their own.

Watch these five sponsored children share their stories and dreams with us, then share the videos with friends and family and tag your tweets and Facebook posts with the hashtag: #dreamshare.