Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Financial Gifts Above and Beyond Sponsorship

Have you ever wondered if you should send your child a financial gift above and beyond your monthly sponsorship support? Perhaps $10 for their birthday, $20 for Christmas or even a larger family gift?

Sometimes I get frustrated that I can't send my child actual gifts. I would love to send dolls and clothes and soccer balls and back packs and books and well, just about anything. But more often than not, when I send a financial gift and later receive a report of how the money was spent, I am blown away by how different I view gifts. And I am thankful that the child and family are receiving things they actually need, rather than what I think they should have.

Here are some examples of how the money I've sent for gifts has been used:

  • school bag, shoes and socks
  • material for new clothes
  • dresser for clothes
  • household needs, printed books and clothes
  • chocolates, bed sheets, standing fan
  • 2 chairs
  • desk
  • mosquito net
  • chickens
  • blanket
  • grain (to eat) and seeds (to plant)
  • housing materials (to build a better house)
Emanuel in Peru with his new desk

These are just a sampling of the reports I've gotten over the past 19 years. I think my favorite item is the chocolates - I noticed all my kids in India reported getting chocolates each time I've sent a gift! 

When I read through that list, I am humbled by our wealth as first world citizens. If I gave my children a mosquito net or bed sheets for their birthday I would not win "best mom in the world" status. I am reminded again about the difference between wants and needs. Most of us really do have our needs met, and our list of wants are truly just that...wants. 

So maybe it's time to think about saving up some $ to send your child a gift. The local Compassion staff will work with your family's child to determine the best use of the $ you spend. Without a doubt you will receive a thank you letter telling you exactly how the money was used, and in some cases you might also receive a photo of the child standing next to everything that was bought.

Have a lot of kids? Not sure where to start? At the very least, send $10-$20 for your child's birthday. When you can handle that, add $20 per child for Christmas. then save for a larger, family gift. 

Personally I choose about 5-6 kids a year who will receive a family gift. I simply start with who I've sponsored the longest and work my way through the list. I keep track and try to get through all the kids before I send another family gift to the same child. 

I would LOVE to hear how your birthday, Christmas and family gifts have been spent. Please leave a comment and tell us what gift has surprised you the most. (If you can't find the comments, try clicking on the title of this post). 

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