By Beth Meszaros, ChildFund Volunteer
Getting people to make donations to your charity of choice is never an easy task. You will send unanswered emails and hear polite noes in reply when you reach out to family, friends, colleagues. But don’t despair.
The best advice I can give you is to not only be a volunteer for ChildFund but, more importantly, become an advocate for ChildFund.
According to Merriam-Webster, an advocate is defined as “someone who publicly supports a cause or policy.” We should all be advocates or champions for children in need. I’ve made being an advocate for children and ChildFund part of who I am. I talk about my sponsored children and share my experiences every chance I get. I won’t say it’s easy, but through advocacy you can raise awareness about children in need and the incredible job ChildFund is doing to help them, and you can ultimately reach people who are willing to help. When I’m frustrated and feel like no one is listening, I just recall some of the words from my children’s letters. Things like “I love you” and “you’re part of our family.” These simple words remind me that they truly need and appreciate my help, and I go on to tell others about sponsorship.
Through advocacy, I have been able to find sponsors for several children in need, as well as one-time donations to ChildFund. I will keep on advocating for ChildFund and children all over the world because I have seen what ChildFund can do for children, and I have experienced what it feels like to help children and become a positive part of their lives.
By Jennifer Hughes, Volunteer Program Senior Specialist
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” — Aesop, “The Lion and the Mouse”
We’re in the midst of National Volunteer Week (April 6-12), a time to honor people who graciously give of their time, skills and energy. We at ChildFund feel lucky to have volunteers who appreciate the joy that comes from contributing their time to children in need.
Volunteering with ChildFund is not a new concept, but today we have more opportunities than ever before to volunteer. One way is through our LIVE! Artists series, which offers people the chance to talk to concert attendees about sponsoring children, often drawing on their own experiences. The 2013 Donny & Marie Osmond Christmas Tour drew in more than 1,000 volunteers across the United States, who shared stories about sponsorship and even found sponsors for children in countries where ChildFund serves.
“It meant a lot to me to be able to volunteer for ChildFund at an event! I actually helped to get children sponsored,” said Tiffany of Greensboro, N.C.
Another avenue for volunteering is to “Paint Your Town ChildFund Green.” Have you tried it? It doesn’t take any real painting: just the willingness to put up posters in your town, creating awareness of how ChildFund helps children. Volunteers have posted more than 300 signs all over the U.S. If you’d like to participate, email me.
If you walk into our International Office in Richmond, Va., you might run into one of our volunteers. You will easily recognize them, because they are always smiling and lending a helpful hand. Having volunteers working in the office (who write thank-you notes and call new donors, among other duties) has been fun; they get to see the entire organization from the ground up, and we get to know them as well.
“As a volunteer with ChildFund International, I am intrinsically rewarded beyond my expectations,” said Patricia, a retired educator and volunteer in our International Office. “I feel fulfilled when I leave, having contributed in a unique way to the children that ChildFund serves. It has enhanced the rewarding feeling that I have as a sponsor. Providing for children is a global challenge, and I am amazed at all of the initiatives of ChildFund and pleased to be a part of this major altruistic endeavor.”
If you would like information about volunteering with ChildFund, please contact me at Jhughes@childfund.org, or if you are in the Richmond area, please give us a call at (804) 756-2772.
By Kate Andrews, ChildFund Staff Writer
As we look forward to the next 75 years of assisting children who live in extreme poverty, we’re pleased to announce a new way for you to increase your involvement with ChildFund: through a nationwide volunteer network.
The ChildFund Action Network (CAN) offers an exciting opportunity to be part of a group of sponsors and supporters (ChildFund Humanitarians) who are passionate about helping children. Friends telling friends is one of the best ways to give voice to the ChildFund mission of helping children break free from the generational cycle of poverty and lead healthy, productive lives.
ChildFund reaches 17.8 million people in 30 countries, yet there are thousands of children enrolled in our programs who are awaiting sponsors — those special people who write and send love across the miles.
Our ChildFund Humanitarians will reach out to their network of friends, family and co-workers to help find new sponsors for children who are waiting for someone to say, “Yes!”
You’ll be able to personally share what it means to be a sponsor. When prospective sponsors see pictures and letters from your sponsored child or hear the reasons you support ChildFund, they’ll be reassured by this firsthand evidence of the change that sponsorship makes in children’s lives.
As a member of the network, you’ll seek out opportunities to share ChildFund’s mission in your community at local concerts, fairs, club meetings, events at your house of worship, conferences and more. When you join the ChildFund Action Network, you’ll receive a tool kit with additional background on ChildFund and tips on how to be an effective ChildFund representative. We’ll support you every step of the way, providing child packets that will allow the people you interact with to immediately sign up as sponsors.
To learn more about the ChildFund Action Network, contact our Sponsor Care center at 1-800-776-6767, or by email.
We look forward to working with you to grow our national ChildFund Action Network. We CAN do it!