Monday, March 14, 2011

$25 Worth of Perspective

Mondays are usually good for Happy Dance inducing mail from Compassion International and today did not disappoint.

Today, it was a letter from our smiley Alice in Kenya.


Alice joined our family just a few weeks before her 11th birthday last November.  Even though we knew it would arrive 2-3 months late, we sent out a $25 birthday gift to her right away. Each of  our Compassion International children receive $25 from us for their birthdays and I am always humbled and amazed at what they’ve been able to purchase. (See photos at the bottom of the page for some of the photos we’ve received.)

“Receive many greetings from me, Alice. I thank you so much for being my sponsor.  I am so happy to have a friend outside of Kenya. With the gift you sent, I received books, pencils, a petticoat, socks and a mattress.”

A lump quickly formed in my throat and tears came to my eyes when I read that last line.

Often, as I tuck my own girls into their soft beds in the evenings, my mind goes to the children all over the world who sleep on dirt or thin mats night after night.


Truth is, most dogs in America have cozier sleeping arrangements than the many, many children living in poverty around the world.

So, I am thankful and humbled that our small gift could go provide Alice (and probably her siblings) with a soft place to lay their heads at night. 

Like I have said before, having these beautiful children in our lives provides a perspective that we might not have had otherwise.  We can look at the nice beds we tuck our girls into at night and we can see them for the luxury that they really are. Through Compassion International, we have the opportunity to share a little of our “extra” to provide comfort for nine treasured children around the world.

We are so blessed.



Jill Foley said...

I remember the first gift I sent to my first child (17 years ago!). She was from Kenya (same as your Alice) and when we got her letter she told us with the gift ($10 maybe), she bought a blanket so she could sleep better at night. She talked about the mosquitos and cold that would keep her awake prior to having the blanket. It was heartbreaking and it made me want to do so much more. I was a college student and couldn't afford to sponsor more kids, so it was my first step into becoming an advocate.

It's truly amazing what we take for granted.

Chenning said...

Thank you, Michelle, for such a wonderful reminder of how much we have, and to have a thankful heart. How awesome that Alice was able to use the birthday money for so many things.

I continue to be blessed and inspired by your blog. And I will definitely be praying for Nico :-).

Lana said...

You are right when you said most dogs have better conditions in American than children do in other places. That's sad, but true. I'm so happy Alice was able to buy a mattress!

Corina said...

That's awesome - love that so little can help so much! How do you send money to your correspondent kids?? I've wanted to send money before, but don't even see the option on the website. Thanks!!

Michelle ~ Blogging from the Boonies said...

These children teach us so much, don't they?

Corina, you have to call Compassion if you want to send a gift to your correspondent children. :)

Amy D said...

Yeah, I just bought a BASIC mattress for Piper and it was $99. That is perspective. :-)

I love reading your updates. You get way more letters than we do!

ivy said...

I let my 11 year old daughter pick our sponsored child, she chose a little girl from Haiti & we've written but haven't heard back yet, we were worried because her birthday is next month & we only have $25 extra dollars in this months budget to give & now I see that isn't too shabby. I've read back in your blog & feel truly inspired by your dedication. Thank you, Ivy

~Debra said...

While we are dealing with so much here in Japan, it still isn't as bad for us as it is for our Compassion kids. But living here & seeing all of the devastation & loss definitely changes my mindset.

Michelle ~ Blogging from the Boonies said...

Debra, I am so glad you're all safe! I thought about you and was glad to read your blog updates!

Ivy, $25 is just perfect for a birthday gift! As far as letters from your child, it may take several months to hear from her. As I said in my Letter Writing 101 post, keep writing faithfully, even when you don't hear back. Eventually you will discover the rhythm to your child's writing and will know when and how often to expect letters!
I'm so glad you stopped by!

bear said...

Michelle, Thanks for sharing this story with us. In talking with friends and family, I was surprised at how many of them did not realize how much a small donation of $10-$25 could do for a person living in poverty.

I recently did a blog post ( that I hope would move fans of TV shows like "Secret Millionaire" into action as child sponsors.

I believe many more people would sponsor children if they realized what "little" they could contribute would go so very far with a family that earns $1 a day (or less). That says nothing about the value children place on letters from sponsors, which are just as valuable to a child. ~Jim

Junie said...

Michelle, Boy, talk about putting things into perspective ! You are such an inspiration to me and it is wonderful to see how the Lord works through your life to help your Compassion kids lives be happier. That is such good news that Alice was able to get all those items with the birthday money PLUS a mattress !!! I am trying to think when in a store "do i really need this item?" I'm still struggling with that but with the Lord's help, i hope to do better, especially with snack type food that i don't need. :) God bless you Michelle. I love, love, love your blog ! junie

Michelle ~ Blogging from the Boonies said...

Jim, thanks for stopping by and I will certainly be checking out your blog!

Junie, thank you for your kind words. You have put a big smile on my face!

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