Over the past few months I, like many others, have become fascinated by the Enneagram. I am always intrigued by personality frameworks anyway, but the Enneagram seems particularly spot on, and I've gleaned so much insight about myself and my loved ones.
Donnie, for example, is an Enneagram type 5, known as "The Investigator." Suddenly his penchant for research and absorbing information makes so much sense.
I have always admired his patience for learning new skills. Like everything technical about the blog that makes me want to pull my hair out? He's conveniently amazing at figuring out that stuff, making him not only my dream husband, but my dream business partner too. 5s are incredible. 🙂
I, on the other hand, am an Enneagram type 1, "The Reformer." Basically, I want to fix all the things. 😉
Messy room? Let's organize it! Ugly piece of furniture? Let's paint it and make it beautiful again!
Starvation and hunger and poverty and lack of resources? Oh my. Those are big problems. How do I fix those?
How can we help with the big things?
I have literally lost sleep and done my fair share of wallowing over the fact that I feel so powerless when it comes to fixing the world's big, huge problems. They just seem so overwhelming and I'm just one person!
But eventually, instead of fixating on what I couldn't do, I started trying to figure out what I could do to help with some of those big problems, even if it started with something small.
I am a firm believer that God has given us all different gifts and talents and resources and experiences so that we all are able to help others in some way.
I certainly don't have it all figured out yet. Not by a long shot. But one of the small ways our family has tried to help with big problems like poverty and hunger is through child sponsorship.
We've sponsored two little guys through World Vision for a few years now-- Pakiso from Lesotho and Enilton from Albania. And though our small monthly gift may not rock the entire world with impact, it certainly impacts Pakiso, Enilton, their families, and even their community.
And it's definitely not just us impacting them. They have significantly impacted our lives through their letters, pictures, and correspondence as well!
But how do I choose?
I remember sitting down at the computer with Donnie and the boys when we decided that we wanted to sponsor children through World Vision. We spent so much time looking through pictures and reading about different children on their site... because how could we possibly choose?
All of these sweet darlings were in need of sponsorship, and we wanted to be able to choose them all! Narrowing it down to just two kiddos seemed like an impossible task.
Eventually, we ended up picking children who had been waiting for sponsorship for quite a while. But my fixer's heart broke thinking of children waiting and waiting to be sponsored, knowing how much it could impact their life, but not having any way to get someone to choose them. They just had to wait.
Their Best Chance
I recently heard a story about an event that World Vision had put together to match children with sponsors. All of the mothers brought their children in the very best clothes they owned-- mostly hand-me-downs or items they had scrounged up or borrowed. The items may not have been perfectly matched or fit just right...
But they chose the best they had because they were expecting that their child's photo would be taken, and they wanted to give their child the best possible chance of catching the eye of a sponsor.
Heart broken. In a million pieces on the floor.
As mothers, don't we all want what's best for our children and do our best to give them that in any way we can? And for these mothers and children, having a sponsor isn't just some vanity metric or boost to their self esteem. It directly impacts their family's way of life and their child's ability to thrive.
A Different Way
But what the parents and children at that event didn't know was that World Vision was about to offer a type of sponsorship opportunity that was completely different than anything they've ever done before.
Today, World Vision is rolling out their #chosen initiative, which flips child sponsorship on its head-- instead of the sponsor choosing a child from their picture on a website, the children will instead be put in the driver's seat and have the opportunity to choose their sponsor.
I first saw this beautiful video illustrating the #chosen concept a few weeks ago, and it has brought tears to my eyes every time I've watched it. (It's less than 3 minutes long and well worth watching, I promise!)
It took me a second to wrap my mind around this completely different approach to child sponsorship, but the more I thought about it, the more I loved it.
World Vision's take is that poverty steals choices from kids, and it's time to give those choices back. We can help empower a child to take hold of their future-- starting with the chance to choose their sponsor.
How YOU Can Help
In a few days, I am leaving for a trip to Ecuador with World Vision where I'll have a chance to see the #chosen sponsorship process at work firsthand. We'll be getting to go to a celebration where the kiddos who have been waiting to be sponsored will actually be choosing their sponsors right then and there.
And here's where you come in. (Yes, you!)
If you've ever considered child sponsorship as a way that you can use your gifts and resources to help others, you could be one of the first to do so through this new #chosen initiative.
The other bloggers on the trip and I are able to collect new sponsors between now (Friday, September 20th) and this upcoming Wednesday, September 25th that will be #chosen by children at the event that we are attending in Ecuador. (We only get to bring on a limited number so we ensure that we have enough children to match with sponsors.)
We will actually get to see (and document with our cameras!) children choosing you as their sponsors right there at the celebration event!
I'd love to have you be an important part of this trip and of this child's life for months and years to come!
Here's how it works:
- Head here to learn even more about the #chosen initiative and sign up.
- Upload your photo during the sign up process.
- The World Vision staff in Ecuador will print your photo and get it ready in preparation for the celebration event next week.
- At the celebration event, a child in Ecuador (some of whom have been waiting years to be sponsored) will choose YOU to be their sponsor!
- You will receive your child's information and will get to contact and sponsor them for months and years to come!
A Small Thank You Gift from Us
And as a thank you gift from Donnie and me, if you sign up to be a sponsor for the Ecuador event between now (Friday, September 20th) and the deadline of September 25th, we would love to give you your choice of either our Declutter Your House in a Weekend guide or our How to Plan Your Life goal setting workshop absolutely free of charge.
Simply forward us your sponsorship confirmation email to [email protected], let us know which one you'd like, and we will send it your way.
(We make absolutely $0 from your choice to sponsor a child. We are just so passionate about it ourselves and wanted to show our gratitude in a small way!)
As a side note: World Vision will continue to offer their more traditional sponsorship model alongside the new #chosen model for those who prefer to select which specific child to sponsor for one reason or another. The #chosen initiative is only rolling out in a few countries to start but will be opening up in more countries in the future.
Whether you choose to make the leap to sponsor a child at this time or not, I would covet your thoughts and prayers next week as I travel to Ecuador! I am looking forward to meeting these sweet children and their families and learning a lot, but I am also nervous at the same time, as there will be a lot of unknowns and new experiences.
Thank you so much for letting me share my heart and love for World Vision's mission today. If you'd like to follow along with me on my trip, I will be sharing as much as I can in my Instagram stories @abbyorganizes. Let the adventure begin!!