Several children received Easter gifts from their sponsors. One boy, about 12 years old was washing his sandals at the water tank when I walked by. He looked very happy so I asked him if he had something from his sponsor.
“Yes” he beamed.
-Will you buy clothes? I asked
-No, I will visit my grandmother. He said. His full smile stretched even wider.
-Where does she live? I asked. Of course I didn’t know the place he described. Will you use the money to pay for a matatu (mini-bus/taxi)? I continued.
– Yes, and I will bring her sugar. I don’t know how to describe his smile. If it had been bigger it would have hurt.
-My grandmother is a cripple, he added picturing her with love and anticipation.
Often kids buy shoes or clothes when they receive a gift from their sponsor. That’s the only way they have to acquire new things. Otherwise they wear donated clothes, that are also very nice, or they borrow from a friend. A small gift goes a long way. If they receive $25, they can buy jeans and a T-shirt and maybe even a pair of shoes. But the money only represents part of the value of the gift. The simple fact they are receiving a gift is priceless. They love to know that someone cares, that someone is looking out for them. A gift from their sponsor brings them so much joy. Their sponsor is their only source of outside support and they are extremely grateful and cherish that connection with all their little heart.
One girl’s sponsor asked the co-director to buy her a cake on her birthday. I offered to pick it up when I went to town. I bought a pink heart-shaped cake with Happy Birthday written in white for about $1. The co-director invited the girl to her room when there were no other kids around and gave her the cake from her sponsor. The little girl was so happy. She unwrapped the cake and took a bite that filled her cheeks. She kept munching away for a few minutes and then started to slow down. She interrupted the feast for a swig of water at my suggestion and then continued to dig in. When she slowed down again, the co-director asked if she would like to keep the rest till later. The girl conceded and her cake was wrapped up and stored in a safe place with other valuable items. The girl came back several times during the next three days to finish the cake, savoring every bite because every bite was a gift from someone who cared, someone who knew her birthday, her very own, very special sponsor.