By Kate Nare, ChildFund Marketing Specialist
This week is National Volunteer Week and we would like to thank ALL of ChildFund’s amazing volunteers! Whether it’s participating at our LIVE! concert events, sharing our organization’s mission through social media, speaking at a local Rotary club or attending fundraising luncheons, ChildFund volunteers are getting the word out about children who live in poverty and are in desperate need of a sponsor.
Every day ChildFund supporters make a difference in the lives of the children they sponsor. Through monthly sponsorship donations and staying in touch through cards, photos and letters, ChildFund sponsors provide support, encouragement and empowerment to a child. Some sponsors go one step further by also giving their time to find other sponsors for children who are struggling to survive.
Christine Lin and Marilyn Warner are good friends and ChildFund sponsors who go above and beyond to help children. Recently, the duo volunteered at an event in Newport Beach, Calif. This luncheon and fan mixer, billed as “The Sounds of David,” honored recording artist and American Idol Season 7 runner-up David Archuleta by raising funds for his favorite charities.
Archuleta sponsors a child and kicked off ChildFund’s LIVE! concert series in December 2011, garnering child sponsorships during his “My Kind of Christmas Tour.” He was unable to attend the event since he is currently on a mission trip in South America. However, 85 of his biggest fans were there to participate in silent and live auctions to raise money for ChildFund and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
Marilyn and Christine greeted guests who stopped by the ChildFund table, providing information about sponsorship and ChildFund’s mission. They brought letters and photos from their own sponsored children, bringing their sponsorship experience to life and sharing how much it has meant to them. The display featured child packets, photos of Archuleta during his visit to ChildFund’s programs in the Philippines, as well as an iPad with rotating images of children.
“Christine did an awesome job handling all the paperwork and creating receipts for the sponsorships and donations,” Marilyn noted.
Christine added, “Marilyn did an excellent job making people feel welcome to our table, encouraging others about sponsorship and explaining to them what ChildFund is all about and showing her folders of her kids, so people can see the blessings from it.”
The two friends made a great team, raising several hundred dollars for ChildFund and signing up two new sponsors.
But Marilyn and Christine didn’t stop there. They divided the remaining child packets from the event and are now asking their friends and co-workers to sponsor these children.
Thank you Christine and Marilyn for giving your time to ensure a successful event! Because of your efforts, and the work of other volunteers like you, children living in poverty will have new opportunities to reach their full potential.
If you would like to volunteer with ChildFund at a LIVE! event, or in another way, please email volunteers@ChildFund.org or call our toll-free number at 800-458-0555, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET.
by Martin Nanawa, ChildFund Philippines
Children in ChildFund Philippines’ programs and a few of their school peers received a special treat last Sunday when David Archuleta made a surprise appearance at a ChildFund gathering held at a local school.
Children from the Teatro Bu-bot [arm-in-arm] Children’s Advocacy Theater had prepared all week to mount their much-touted “Many Faces of Poverty” performance for ChildFund Philippines National Director Katherine Manik, and her unspecified guest.
Little did they know that the special guest would turn out to be none other than recording artist David Archuleta, who is in the Philippines filming a television miniseries.
Archuleta, now 21, who finished runner up in the seventh season of American Idol in 2008, teamed with ChildFund for his 2011 My Kind of Christmas tour. He is also sponsoring a child from Honduras, his mother’s native country.
Archuleta has developed a large fan base in the Philippines since his American Idol debut and through his three previous visits to Manila. Filipinos are highly anticipating the upcoming miniseries Nandito Ako, starring Archuleta and local talents.
His unannounced appearance on Sunday caught the children by surprise. Thrilled and starstruck, the children quickly recovered to deliver the program they’d prepared.
Archuleta fell silent during the troupe’s simple performance, which the children themselves conceptualized, articulating the different faces that poverty and disadvantage assumes in their community. The 10-minute skit is wordless, preferring to describe exploitation, vice and neglect through music, movement and expressive dance.
Masks partially obscure each of their faces as they depict society’s fevers, which are shed finally through the expression of children’s growing cognizance and assertion of their rights and responsibilities. The skit illustrates how children, their community and ChildFund help foster an environment conducive to the totality of each child’s life and identity.
Moved by the performance that he described as “amazing” and “powerful,” Archuleta took the floor in turn, regaling the children with an a capella rendition of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge over Troubled Water,” followed by an encore of Robbie Williams’ “Angels.”
Archuleta then spent time meeting the children in small groups. Though he currently sponsors a child in Honduras, Sunday’s gathering was the first time Archuleta had the opportunity to interact with children in ChildFund’s programs.
The theater troupe, sponsored children and even the school’s marching band had time to ask Archuleta questions and share stories of what sponsorship means to them.
With translation assistance by ChildFund Philippines Program Director Mark Dasco, sponsored children told Archuleta: “Please help us share the privilege of sponsorship with others, by inviting more people to sponsor [children].”
As the event came to an end, many children said they would long remember this exciting day. As he departed, Archuleta expressed his happiness at meeting the children: “Gosh, I feel so good today! Thank you so much for this experience!”
By Virginia Sowers, ChildFund Community Manager
With the arrival of the holiday season, ChildFund is launching a new program to shine the spotlight on children who live in extreme poverty worldwide.
Working with various performing artists, our LIVE! concert series seeks to introduce new audiences to ChildFund’s work in 31 countries and the life-changing impact of child sponsorship.
At each venue, the platinum-selling singer will be telling fans about ChildFund’s mission. Current ChildFund sponsors will be on hand to share their own sponsorship experiences and assist with signing up new sponsors at the concert.
Partnering with ChildFund this holiday season is an exciting new opportunity, notes David. “I believe that every child has incredible potential. Through its sponsorship program, ChildFund ensures that children have access to education, clean water and health care. Working together, we can change childhoods. And that’s the first step toward creating a better world.”
Volunteers are still needed from New York to California. You’ll get to attend the concert for free, and rev up your holiday spirit by helping others learn more about becoming a child sponsor through ChildFund.
Learn more by downloading the LIVE! Volunteer FAQs. To volunteer, call 800-458-0555 or send email to Questions@ChildFund.org. Hurry! Concerts are starting soon.