Friday, November 16, 2012

Giving to Others

On November 11th, 2011, I was drawn to a little girl by the name of Anabel from Bolivia on Compassion International’s* website.  I cannot explain the draw I had to this (then) 3 year old’s profile, but I immediately texted Todd and asked if he would mind that we sponsor this child in Bolivia.  He agreed that we are blessed and should start passing our blessings along to others.

I signed up with Compassion International and wrote Anabel immediately using their online message forum where I could choose adorable stationary and attach 3 photos.  I attached a picture of Todd & me, a picture of Lana (our pup) and the cats.  I wrote her a brief letter and committed myself to write her often and keep her up to date with all that was going on in our life and on the homestead as well as to learn about her life.

I wrote consistently and attached many pictures for approximately 3 months before I got my first letter back.  It wasn’t much of a letter, but many hand-drawn pictures from sweet little Anabel who had turned 4 a month after we started to sponsor her.  And then the letters started arriving consistently.  It seems the more I write, the more Anabel writes.  Not all of the letters we get are from Anabel, but her mother and her tutor write to us as well to keep me updated on what is happening in her life.

"I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver."  ~Maya Angelou

Getting to know this precious 4 year old (soon to be 5!) has been a huge blessing to me over the past year.  My heart is attached to this little girl and I look forward to the day when Todd and I can make the trip to see her in the future.

Compassion's Gift Catalog

Even though we are consciously trying to give throughout the year to others, it is this time of year that I feel like my heart will explode with gratitude and contentment for everything we have been privelaged to have in this life: Our faith, freedom, health, one another, family and friends.

Giving does not have to be monetary.  I have noticed just by smiling at people on the street or while going through a drive-thru, it makes a difference!  I’ve had several people comment on how happy it makes them to see me smile.  And guess what?  They brighten my day too!  Most people will smile back or say hello.  I have had a few that look at me as if I had 3 heads but I didn’t let that ruin my day.  I said a little prayer for them and went along with my day.

There are so many things that can be done to serve others that require very little other than time and/or a few resources.  For instance, giving blood or donating plasma could save a life.

Another way I am giving (non-monetarily) is by growing my hair to give to Locks of Love.  I started to let it grow out this past summer so that by the spring I can get it lopped off and send it to Locks of Love to make a wig for a child in need of some hair.  The donation has to be at least 10 inches long and I will tell you that I have never had my hair this long before.  Those days when I am frustrated that it doesn’t ever seem to dry and I cannot style it to my liking, I think of the little girl out there who dreams of having any hair at all!   It is humbling to think that something most women complain about is something that others don’t have and want.

Lastly, please keep in mind the food pantries and City Mission are looking for canned goods and donations to help feed and clothe families in need right in our own back yard.

These are the little things we are doing to help give to others.  I pray that there will be many people blesssed this year by the giving of strangers they may never meet.

DISCLOSURE: I was in no way compensated for saying these things about Compassion International.  I love them as an organization and believe in what they are doing.  If you are interested in another great organization, I highly recommend Amazima as well.



  1. John David has traveled to Ethiopia with Compassion and they are doing amazing things for children. Our sponsored girl is in Ethiopia and when our church went back this summer, we were able to send her a gift! I'm hoping to go to Ethiopia in the next year or so to meet her!

    And, I love the new blog look!

    1. I think it's awesome that John David was able to go to Ethiopia and I am looking forward to the day that we can go to Bolivia! I wish I could send some gifts to Anabel, but that will have to wait until we go ourselves. What an amazing way to show your boys to give...even to those you may not even know. I am sure they will enjoy growing up and getting to know your sponsored child. What a huge blessing!!

      (And thank you about the layout. :-) )