World Vision's Hillary Holman shares her journey of sponsoring a child in need -- and taking it a step further by providing a special gift to benefit the girl's family.
* * *
I was working at World Vision when I came across Relebohile’s picture. Her little face just grabbed my heart!
She was from South Africa and still in need of a sponsor. After I left work, I couldn’t stop thinking about her bright eyes. I had always wanted to sponsor a child, but couldn't as a student.
Sponsorship was something I had always wanted to do because I believe we are stewards of the resources God gives us, and he has called us to care for the poor. Now that I was working for World Vision, I had a full-time job and steady income.
I knew I had to sponsor Relebohile. The next day, I came to work and asked a coworker to set up her sponsorship for me!
It’s been three years since I started sponsoring Relebohile, and I’m so glad that I did. After becoming a sponsor, I found out about another way that I could support Relebohile and her family. I was able to send a special gift that would be used to purchase something extra that she and her family really needed.
I knew my gift would help, but I didn't realize how far my money would go in her county, South Africa. With my donation, her family was able to purchase things they needed for their home, and Relebohile also got some new clothes and shoes for school.
I studied in South Africa when I was in college, and I worked with students in one of the townships outside Cape Town, so I know that schools require students to wear uniforms. Because Relebohile was able to purchase clothes and shoes, she is also able to continue her education without her family being burdened by the cost of uniforms.
As a graduate student myself, I really value education and feel grateful that I am able to help Relebohile have the opportunity to study so she can have better job opportunities in the future. I was so happy to know that my gift had made such a big difference in Relebohile’s life, and I was grateful that God had allowed me to be part of his work in blessing her family.
Relebohile’s family’s needs were for new clothes and home repairs -- but your sponsored child's gift might be different. When you give a special gift to your sponsored child, World Vision staff members in the area meet with his or her family to find out what they need most. This could be house repairs, farm animals, clothing, school supplies, or other things.
Once the needs of your sponsored child’s family are determined, the money will be used to buy the items for the family. You can look forward to getting a letter and photo from your sponsored child to let you know how your gift has helped his or her family.
If you've already sent a special gift, please share with us how you were able to provide extra help your sponsored child and his or her family.
Not yet a sponsor? Consider sponsoring a boy or girl in need today. Your love and commitment means more than just improved health, hope, and stability for the child and his or her family and community. It means a special relationship that can impact you just as profoundly as it does your sponsored child!