My wife, Tina, and I finally decided on a sponsorship program after many hours of researching. We chose Compassion International. We thought that choosing an organization would be the hard part, but it wasn’t even close! Choosing a child was absolutely one of the most difficult things we have ever done. Why you may wonder? Because looking at all of those children staring back at us through the computer screen, all of them needing support and love, made us shed some tears. It is like, how do you choose one over another? We just wanted to help every child, but of course that is not realistic. So, we made some guidelines in the process and went from there.
First we decided on a girl who would be in the age range of 7-10. We chose all of the options such as those children waiting the longest for sponsorship, those in an AIDS infected area, and those who live in an area with higher risk of exploitation and abuse. We read many, many profiles and over the course of a couple of days we still hadn’t made a decision! So, we talked about it and wanted to find a girl who perhaps lived with only one parent. Within minutes we found a girl and we just knew she was the one we were going to sponsor! We still felt extremely bad for the other girls, but we had to relax and realize we can only do so much and can’t do it all.
Her name is Keyri, she is 7 years old, and lives in Tapalhuaca, El Salvador. Typically, the housing there is made of tin with dirt floors. She lives with her mother and Keyri runs errands, cleans and makes beds. Her mother is sometimes employed as a laborer. Keyri enjoys playing with dolls, running and playing soccer. She is in kindergarten and attends bible classes and church activities through the Compassion run Tapalhuaca Student Center.
An email will be sent to us soon to let us know that Keyri and her mother have been told about the sponsorship. We are expecting a welcome package within the next ten days with more information about Keyri and her situation. There will be details on how to send her our first letter with pictures. We will also be receiving a letter from her as well. Most letters take 2 months or so to travel due to the amount of letters through the organization and the fact they need to be translated and reviewed for proper content. After the initial letters, we can either create our own and send them to the Compassion office in the USA, or write a letter on the website (can add stationery and pictures) and they will print it and get it moving. We can write as often as we like and can expect 2-4 letters per year from Keyri as well as updates from Compassion about her. We are also free to visit anytime during our sponsorship (which we plan on sponsoring her until she fully turns 18 and beyond depending upon if she decides to further her education).
Truly, we are both so excited to begin this new journey in our lives. It feels so fulfilling and loving to help a child and family who need support. This fills our heart with joy and peace. We can’t wait to learn, know and follow Keyri through her life’s journey.
Updates will come throughout the year and beyond as we share this new chapter in our lives with everyone at YZL!
Craig MacLachlan is the Young Adult author of Summer’s Shadow, book one in the Sierra Winters and the Void trilogy. He is also a screenwriter and is starting his own film/production company, Rowan Rose Films. He is an animal lover, outdoor enthusiast, environmentalist, a trying to be pure vegetarian/vegan, not a fan of snow but lives in it, and is married to his first and only girlfriend, Christina, who he started dating 1989.