One of the things our family does (that I absolutely LOVE doing) is we sponsor children in Africa and Haiti through the World Vision Child Sponsor program.
Our first 'adoption' was part of a church program in 2004 (almost 10 years ago!) At that time, we adopted Grenala and she was the same age as Eric. Since then we've added Dieugot, Emily, Louvensky, Angela, Isaack and just last month we 'adopted' Shakira. I would love to add a new child every year and plan to do whatever I can to keep the budget in effect so we can do this. Well, at least until we have 10 world vision kids. At that point we'd be budgeting $350.00 a month to child sponsorship and unless Bob or I come into a big raise or job promotion, we may have to cap it to that level, but who knows. We have a few more years before we reached the 10 child level so we'll deal with it then.
So why am I telling you this? Well, because my card today is a card that I will send to each of my world vision children. Yes, I have to get busy - I have 6 more to make, but luckily, in Africa, it is not especially important that my Christmas card arrive before Dec 25th.
This card uses Karen Giron's Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge layout. I love her sketches and really have fun playing along and linking up to her blog. Check out her blog by clicking the link.
Karen Giron's Blog
Below is her sketch.
I struggle to know what to make for my world vision kids Christmas cards because especially in Africa, the traditional stamping images for Christmas probably wouldn't make a lot of sense. They don't do Christmas trees or wreaths. They don't know about Santa and the elves and they don't get toys and gifts for Christmas. My understanding (from my limited google research) is that Christmas in Africa would include church, singing, dancing and a family dinner. So I try to keep to the christian themes of Christmas for them by using manger scenes with Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, the star of Bethlehem and animals. I generally write a standard letter to all of them sharing news from our family and America and I try to include fruit leather, a bandana or stickers in the envelope. World Vision doesn't allow gifts, just small things that fit in a 6X9 envelope.
World Vision is such a great organization, I can't recommend them enough. They have so many ways to get involved in global poverty and we've participated in several of their programs. First, one of their largest programs is child sponsorship in many different countries. Our children are from Malawi (one of the poorist countries in the world - in central Africa) and Haiti. They have programs in eastern Europe, all over the carribean, Africa and many other places. It costs $35.00 per month to sponsor a child. For those who can't make a monthly commitment (or who prefer to contribute in a different way) they have the world vision gift catalog. Here in the gift catalog, you can select an item (a farm animal, school supplies, soccer ball etc) and just do a one-time donation for that item to go to a family or individual. Some items are really big (like a water buffalo or a deep well) and some are small (like a mosquito net or blanket.) It looks like they have also started doing the micro loans too. So many ways to help.
We have been involved in world vision for over 10 years and they have proved trustworthy with our donations all along. I believe they are very highly rated as a charitable organization - Bill Gates listed him as one of the charities to support in his Giving Tuesday tweets a few weeks ago. If you are looking for a way to address the issues of global poverty and/or give back to others, I highly recommend you check out the organization by clicking the link below.
Below is a photo of my 'fridge photo collage.' Each of our sponsored children are on there and I see their beautiful faces every time I open the fridge (which is OFTEN!)
Thanks so much for visiting my blog today. I hope you have a great day.