We sponsor a child through the Colombianitos Foundation.
She is provided with school tuition, school supplies, and lunch daily. She is also a part of theirs Goals for Life Program, which all sponsored kids participate in. The program aims at keeping children off the streets and providing them with life skills through soccer academies. They are found in the lowest income areas of Colombia where the children are at the highest risk. All for only $25 a month which is debited from my account automatically and tax deductible!
As part of being a sponsor, we get letters from our kid and we are allowed to send her gifts on Christmas and her birthday. I contacted the local program coordinator and asked if the Christmas gifts could be sent late, she said that would be fine. I also got information on the family, the home situation, and her size. I found out that she has 3 youger sisters. All in all it is 4 girls ages 12, 11, 8, and 6. They were recently moved into a home provided by the municipality as their home was destroyed in a mud slide.
My original plan was to send some housewares such as sheets, etc. However, it became to difficult to find out what they really needed. So, last night I hit up Wal-Mart. I got some great deals for the kids. I chose to buy for all 4 girls because even though I only sponsor one of them, I would hate to imagine one of the girls getting gifts and not the other 3. I tried toi buyt things they needed that might be difficult for their parents to buy. things that I remembered thinking were “so cool” at around 11. I also wanted something that all 4 girls would enjoy. I bought them school notebooks at 97 cents each. I bought them a pack of about 25 pens at about $1 and 25 pencils with the cool earaser topper and grippies and sharpener the pack cost $2. I also bought them the cool gel glitter pens that was about $2 too (not a bargain, but it has the “cool” factor). I got a 75 pack of colored pencils along with professional sketch books and the professional earasers for the older girls to practice drawing (total of about $10) and construction paper 100 pack of crayolas and kiddie sketch book for the little ones (total of about $7) I also bought them a calculator for $1. Then came the fun stuff: a pack of 10 puzzles (100 – 500 pieces) for $10, Uno Cards for $5 and Dominoes for $5. As I walked out of the store, I walked by the girls section and noticed the clearance section. I found shorts for each of them for $1 and t-shirts for $3! I also picked up really cute bookbags for $15, $10, $10, and $7 for each kid and two jumpropes that were $1 each. All in all I spent about $100. I will also spend about $40 to ship it. My original total budget for this was $100, but both my husband and I know that when it comes to gifts and charity, I always blow the budget.
I am excited to know that I will have provided these 4 girls with clothing, school supplies, and games for $100. TO me, that is a bargain, specially considering that it will be tax deductible. Shipping will be between $40 – $50, just because shipping to Colombia is expensive, but I’ll deduct it from the taxes and make peace with that.
If you think you cannot afford to give to charity, just add up your trips to the coffeeshop or the bar. Personally, I spend $100 monthly on Starbucks (and that’s after cutting back) and about $75 on liquor a month. So, if you can cut that in half, you would have more than enough to Sponsor a Child. Everytime you want that extra cup of coffee, you can just think that you are feeding and educating a child that would otherwise not have that opportunity.