By Patricia Toquica, Americas Region Communications Manager
Country music duo Thompson Square visited Honduras last week to meet Emerson, a 4-year-old boy they recently sponsored through ChildFund International. Keifer and Shawna Thompson, who also are husband and wife, say that they are “totally changed” by the visit, which allowed them to see how children and their families survive on few resources and yet have much love and joy to give.
The pair, who promote ChildFund’s child development work through ChildFund’s LIVE! artist program, traveled to Honduras to meet Emerson and his family and also took the opportunity to shoot a video for their recent hit single, “Glass.”
After almost two hours of bumpy back-road travel through the beautiful green mountains, Keifer and Shawna reached Emerson’s house near the town of Lepaterique in the central Honduran province of Francisco Morazán.
Shawna and Keifer, joined by a film crew and ChildFund staff members, received a warm greeting from Emerson’s family. Soon, they were playing soccer with Emerson and his brother, Christian; learning how to make corn tortillas with the mother, Ana; and singing songs for the family. The children proudly showed their visitors a little playhouse they had built in their backyard with sticks and stones.
“You honor us with your visit to our humble home,” said the great-grandfather of the family, 93-year-old Maximino. “We are poor, and your coming here means a lot to us. May God bless you in your way.”
“There’s no feeling in the world like this,” Shawna said after meeting Emerson and his family. The experience, she added, “definitely makes you realize what is important in life, and it’s pretty obvious that it’s family.”
“This has been one of the most amazing days we have ever had,” Keifer added.
In addition to visiting Emerson, Keifer and Shawna had the opportunity to see ChildFund programs in action while visiting the local school. There they observed children, ages 8 to 10, tutoring their peers and sharing stories and drawings. The duo’s acoustic performance of “Glass” delighted the students.
After visiting other families in the community and handing out toys and candy to children along the way, Shawna and Keifer received a Honduran farewell on the edge of a beautiful lake. Following a meal of traditional food, it was the couple’s turn to be entertained with music and dance performed by children and youth participating in ChildFund programs that focus on strengthening self-esteem, leadership skills and cultural identity.
The reigning CMA Vocal Duo of the Year is now back on tour, with a schedule that includes concerts in more than 100 U.S. cities. They will continue sharing with their fans the life-changing experience of sponsoring a child through ChildFund, inviting them to say “yes” to a child like Emerson.
by Kate Nare, ChildFund Marketing Specialist
This week is National Volunteer Week, so we’re taking a moment to send a big THANK YOU to all of our volunteers at ChildFund’s LIVE! concert series.
Since February, ChildFund has been on a whirlwind, nationwide tour with Thompson Square. During each concert, the husband and wife duo of Keifer and Shawna Thompson, who sponsor a young girl from Indonesia, take a moment to describe the difference each fan can make in a child’s life through child sponsorship.
ChildFund relies on the help of current sponsors to volunteer at the events and share their experiences of sponsoring a child with concert-goers. Volunteers are stationed at the ChildFund booth, ready to have conversations with fans about how sponsorship can change the life of a child. The table is lined with packets of children ready to be sponsored that evening.
One of our recent outstanding volunteers is Alan Mireles (second from right), who volunteered at a Thompson Square concert in San Diego March 24. Talking with concert-goers before the show and during intermission, Alan shared photos and letters from his sponsored child, Carla Beatriz, a little girl from Brazil whom he has sponsored since 2009.
“My experience at the concert was amazing,” Alan says. “It was very self-rewarding to volunteer for such a great cause. With meeting new people, listening to great music – and let’s not forget saving lives as well — it was an overall awesome experience that I was proud to be a part of!”
Thank you, Alan, and all of our stellar concert volunteers. You’re helping ChildFund spread the word about how sponsorship changes the life of a child living in poverty.
If you would like to volunteer with ChildFund, visit our website to review volunteer guidelines and a list of upcoming concerts in your area, or simply call 800-458-0555 for more information and to sign up.