Do you remember those Christian Children's Fund commercials that were on tv while we were growing up? With the adorable yet heartbreaking children, and the "For only 'x' amount per day, you can give 'insert name here' hope"? I do, vividly. I grew up wanting to take part, and can proudly say that we do. For over a year now we've been sponsoring a girl in Uganda, named Christine. I've also had the feeling for a while that we should add another. It's easy to think that we don't have the money, but the simple fact is, we do. The cost of sponsoring one more child would only add the same amount it takes for our family of 6 to eat one meal at McDonald's. When faced with that logic, it becomes clear what the right thing to do is. So last night, we added a little boy from Ethiopia.
It was so heartbreaking to choose just one child. There are *so* many. I wanted to sponsor them all. I had to just choose one that spoke to me, and say a silent apology in my head to all the others. Then my dad linked me to a few blog posts about what is going on in Afghanistan.
We hear some of what's going on there with the military. Every once in a while there will be a snippet on the news about their government or what have you. However, there isn't quite as much press about the other things going on. Did you know that Afghanistan has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world? It is due to lack of medical care for pregnant women. Most give birth at home, alone, never seeing a doctor or having any kind of help, and the baby dies. And often, the mother dies too. Their maternal death rate is also one of the highest in the world. There are people doing something about it. There is a fund set up, and $65 pays for prenatal and post natal care for one woman.
That kind of rocked me a little bit. $65, and a mother and baby have medical care and will live. We will definitely be coming up with that money. Yet once again, I wish we could do more. I wish we had a million dollars to give, because I think about how many mothers and babies that could help.
It's just the tip of the iceberg. So many people out there needing help, and we only have so much to give. It's easy to feel overwhelmed by all of it.
So, here is where I am going to turn to you, internets. I can't do more. But you out there, maybe you can. Maybe you've always thought of sponsoring a child, but have never gotten around to actually doing it. There is no time like the present. For Christmas, some child out there could get the gift of hope, from you. (yes, I am fully aware of the cheesiness I am sliding into. I don't care though.) Maybe you already sponsor a child. Look deep and see if you could add another.
Maybe you can't commit to a monthly thing, but you could do a one time thing. There's a lot of ways to do it. There's organizations like heifer.org, and there's Kiva, which is linked in my sidebar. (One thing I like about Kiva is that it's a loan. Once the amount is repaid, you can recycle it and loan it to someone else, ad infinitum.) Maybe you feel more led to help closer to home. Local food banks are always in need of donations. There is always something out there that needs your help.
There. There is my challenge to you as the holidays are speeding towards us. My challenge is to give. Then drop me a line and tell me how you've done it, and I'll set up a little honor roll or something for those that have met the challenge.
And. . . .go!