Recently, while working on a video project in Malawi, I had the chance to see a group of young children eagerly waiting as World Vision staff members delivered their sponsors’ greeting cards to them. If you’re a child sponsor, you’ve most likely seen these cards in the mail. World Vision sends them to you throughout the year for special occasions -- Christmas, Easter, your sponsored child’s birthday, etc. -- so that you can sign them and mail them back to us. As they come in, we package them and send them to the appropriate World Vision sponsorship programs around the globe, where they are distributed to the children. At times, I’ve wondered whether it’s really a big deal for me to remember to send a card back. Would my sponsored child really care whether she got one or not? Then I saw how the cards are handed out. Because World Vision distributes over 1 million of these to sponsored children every year, our staff often give them to the children when they are at school or in other group settings. It's an efficient way to pass out the cards. And this is what I saw at a school in Malawi: Expectant, even anxious little faces with eyes fixed on the mail bag as a large group of sponsored children waited and hoped their names would be called to receive a card or letter. Joy lighting up faces and shouts of delight as names were called and the luckiest children began examining the cards and playing with the stickers and other activities inside.
These children in Southeast Asia are thrilled to receive greeting cards from their sponsors.
At this particular school, a bright-eyed little girl named Naomi shyly asked the translator if I would deliver a message: “Will you ask my sponsor to send me a card? The other children get them, but I never have.” One of the first things I did when I returned to the United States was to fulfill my promise to Naomi to write a letter to her sponsor with just that message. But, then it occurred to me -- why stop there? So, I’m asking you today: Please watch for the next World Vision greeting card in the mail, sign it, and send it back to us. Every sponsored child wants to hear from his or her sponsor. Greeting cards are treasured. I’ve seen them carefully stored in small boxes and proudly posted on walls in homes. Poverty has a way of sending children the message that they don’t matter. With the simple act of signing and mailing back a card, you offer your child the tremendously encouraging reminder that someone far away thinks they are important and cares very much about their hopes and dreams.
When you return your greeting card, you can include a $5 donation to help pay the cost of international shipping and handling if you wish, but this is optional. What's most important is the encouragement you’re giving to your sponsored child. If you are a sponsor who has not received World Vision greeting cards, but would like to do so, please call us at 1-888-511-6534. Not yet a sponsor? Find a child today who is waiting for the love and support that will build stability for the present and hope for the future. Other lives will be changed -- and so will yours!