by Stephanie Phillips, ChildFund special assistant
It’s always inspiring to hear from ChildFund’s long-term supporters. At ChildFund’s Power to Play toy exhibit at the Denver Press Club, we were reminded once again of the rewards of child sponsorship.
Long-time donor Jean O’Toole from Fort Collins, Colo., has sponsored 19 children through ChildFund for more than 40 years. She summed up what she thought being a supporter was all about: “I am everybody who sponsors a child. I am a small brick in the bottom row of the foundation of ChildFund International. Without the bottom row you couldn’t have the top of the pyramid,” O’Toole said.
She also shared photo albums and scrapbooks from her years of sponsoring children around the world. O’Toole has kept every letter and picture she has received from her sponsored children—including the original ad that sparked her interest in the organization 40 years ago.
Eric Seversen, another long-time sponsor from Boulder, performed his song, “Power to Play,” which he wrote to complement ChildFund’s Power to Play video featuring children constructing toys for the exhibit.
Seversen’s song is written as if though the eyes of the children who made the toys: All I have known is poverty and fear, but I could be a pilot, or a teacher or engineer! The power to play…
As Seversen’s song ended, all eyes glanced over at the toys on the exhibit tables. Everyone knew that the children who had made the toys face the hardship of poverty every day. Children used their resilience and creativity to make toys to entertain themselves, develop their skills and persevere through life.
The Power of Play exhibit acknowledges children’s struggle and celebrates their achievements.