Today instead of sharing my regular Favorite Things post, I decided to share something that in many ways, has become a favorite thing for me. It looks very different than a list of favorite candies, comforts or websites. It's something with more of a purpose and something that I am proud to be a part of.
My involvement with CFCA, Christian Foundation For Children and Aging, began six years ago when I had the opportunity to participate in a sponsorship event at our local church. I was extremely moved by the stories of families that have been helped by CFCA. This organization works hard to provide support that benefits the family as a whole by focusing on education and creating a better future. They are currently serving more than 300,000 children, youth and aging persons in more than 22 countries around the world.
Once the presentation was over, I sat for a minute and thought about my options. I hesitated, naturally wondering things like whether or not all of the money really goes to these families and would I really be helping the specific child who's folder I chose. I could walk away or I could help. Something told me to help, so I did. I decided to sponsor a child from Guatemala. She was 12 years old at the time. At that moment, I felt like I had done my good deed for the day. Little did I know, I was not just changing the life of this child, but my own life as well. It wasn't long before I was receiving letters and photos of my newly sponsored child. It was wonderful to watch her progress and I was overwhelmed with the gratitude that she expressed in each letter that was sent. I knew I was making a difference.
The following year, my daughter Elizabeth decided to participate in a Semester at Sea program while she was in college. She would be traveling to several third world countries during her trip. We were busy planning and getting her ready to go and one day it hit us, she would be going to Guatemala! We decided to contact CFCA to find out if it would be possible for Elizabeth to visit our sponsored child. We figured it was a real long shot but why not look into it. What happened next was truly life changing. After many back and forth emails and phone calls, the CFCA team arranged for Elizabeth to meet our friend and her mother. It wasn't easy. By the time it was all arranged Elizabeth was well on her way, in the middle of the ocean, but after a continued effort on all of our parts, we connected Elizabeth to our friend and they had a chance to meet. They exchanged small gifts and had a chance to speak through a translator. It was an overwhelming and humbling experience for Elizabeth and a moment of extreme gratitude for our new friends. One of the most profound moments for me was to hear what Elizabeth had to say when she returned from that trip. She told me that as she traveled from country to country, she noticed that the people who had the least were the happiest and most grateful. They appreciate the little things.
I am extremely impressed by the work that CFCA does and I am thrilled to be a part of such a wonderful organization. In an effort to collaborate with the CFCA community, I will be dedicating a page on my blog specifically to this foundation. I plan to bring you inspiring stories and information about the many people involved. I will be sharing special recipes from the countries where our sponsored friends live. It's fascinating to see how bread is baked without a traditional oven! I hope you'll stop back to check out the CFCA page, which will be up soon. Feel free to leave comments, get involved or just stick around to be inspired. It's amazing how one small act of kindness can change so many lives. Whatever you chose to do, make it count!
Happy Friday! Have a wonderful weekend!
*Names and exact locations were not used in order to protect the privacy of our sponsored friend. All opinions are my own. This is not a sponsored post.
*Please note ~ CFCA is now UNBOUND