I bet you've heard of our summer campaign, #OrangeSummer. Maybe you're stuck and unsure of how to go about painting the town orange. Well, you've come to the right place! Child Ambassadors are some of the most creative and inventive people I've ever met. So, fresh from the field I bring you some #OrangeSummer ideas! Share yours in the comments, and try out some of our teammates'!
"I'm still working on my #OrangeSummer plans, but so far I ordered more child folders and I plan on using my social media for sharing them. I'm excited to earn my orange shirt and to use it as a conversation starter. Also, I own/run a Little Free Library on the front porch of a coffee shop in my town. The coffee shop is actually a non-profit Christian-run coffee shop that donates all profits to local charities. They have let me put up folders in the past, but I also plan on putting some World Vision information in my little library to help spark interest. I get nervous with bringing up conversation to strangers, so I have vowed to be more bold this summer-- and I'm getting excited about it! Lastly, I am going on a mission trip to Haiti in July. I'm planning on sharing sponsorship with my team a lot in hopes they will possibly sponsor a child in Haiti after experiencing the beautiful country and people." - Jamie Healy
"My small plans are to wear my shirt when I can while I’m out and about and hopefully strike up good conversations with people. I got to do this already when I went out to lunch with my two best friends. They already sponsor but my wedding photographer ended up sitting next to us and I got to share with her what I was up to. It was great! My big plan is to host a booth at the Shoreline Farmers Market at least once a month like I did last summer. I just got my approval status so I’m ready to rock and roll!" - Mel Miller
"My goal is to not just talk to people one-on-one as I always do, but to actually book some more speaking engagements. I feel like that is a really strong point for me, and I know I have not tapped into that as much as I could. So I made a connection when I got back from Rwanda and I actually spoke at chapel at my daughter's school: Cornerstone Christian Academy. They asked me to speak about my time in Rwanda. It was very tough to limit it to 15 minutes, so I focused on clean water. It went extremely well and the kids were very responsive. The young man who leads worship actually went online and made a donation as I was giving my presentation!" - Chaundra Tangi
"I have already made contact with several people during my planning for the Global 6K. I’ve been in contact with and have started building relationships with the manager of a Lifeway Christian Bookstore, one of the local TV stations, an owner of a store focused on running, who is also tied into the non-profit Knoxville runners’ group, and the general manager where I work. My plan for the summer is to build on these relationships, establish new ones, and to introduce World Vision child sponsorship to people as opportunities present themselves. I also want to learn more about the major ways I can introduce churches and service organizations to the work of WV (like Laura Walls just did in Minnesota).
One thing I’ve learned is that people generally haven’t heard of World Vision and don’t know much, if anything, about the work of World Vision. For that reason, my overall purpose this summer is to increase awareness of WV and child sponsorship in Knoxville and the surrounding areas on a larger scale. When WV comes up in a conversation, as it did yesterday while I was at a large Knoxville outdoor event, I always ask early if the person is familiar with WV. I almost always get a blank stare or a “Uh, no.” My goal is to change that, and to get children sponsored in the process. I think that should hold me for a while!" -Rob Lebby
"I actually like the color orange! For the month of June, I will commit to incorporating orange in my outfits every day of the month! I am on the lookout for ways to rock my WV logo items (shirt, bags, hats and mugs) as well as other pops of orange and see who notices the trend and gets that conversation started! I also have a goal of the #SummerSix! Six sponsorships-- hopefully beyond church events --of sponsorships from friends or family members I talk to or share on Facebook!" - Courtney Crowder
all images courtesy of our Child Ambassador facebook page and our amazing, wonderful CA orange army
Sponsorship Changed their Lives: the story of Martin, Vestine, and their sponsored daughter, Justine
Contributed by Laura Walls in Stories from the Field
On the recent Vision Trip to Rwanda, Martin moved our team of child ambassadors deeply as he shared the impact sponsorship has had on his family. Read along to learn of their transformation!
We arrived at the home of Martin and Vestine and their six children as the sun was easing closer to the horizon. The sound of our vehicles brought neighborhood children running to greet us from every direction. They practiced their English with big smiles. “Howareyoo?” They grinned.
We trekked down the steep, rocky hillside to the homes below us where Martin and Vestine graciously welcomed us. Vestine carried two beautiful twin babies in her arms and smiled a gentle, warm welcome. We entered into their bright, cheerful home and sat along two benches that spanned the length of the walls.
Martin, the father of the family, addressed us proudly, explaining that they have received much “tangible and intangible help” from World Vision.
He started from the beginning - when their daughter, Justine, was sponsored.
“The day they told us we had a sponsor for our child, I couldn’t imagine it. I couldn’t imagine that someone could look at a picture and fall in love with my child. That really touched my heart. I’ve always had a dream to meet this person who would love my child.” Martin unabashedly smiled.
“And then the next day, I heard they sent money as a gift and I couldn’t believe the love they had for my child!” He shook his head, smiled, and continued. “We never had any animals. I used to wake up at 6 am and go farming. With the gift from our sponsor, we bought a pig and a goat.” Martin’s eyes twinkled and he laughed. “Now, I had to wake up at 5 am to take care of them! That has made me busy and my life has changed!”
Their transformation continues
After receiving the animals, Martin wanted to further his education so he received training from World Vision on animal husbandry and farming techniques. He learned that the manure from the animals would help his land to produce more vegetables. Now he not only had enough produce for his family but to also had a surplus to sell!
After six months, the pig had 8 piglets. Martin laughed again. “Now I started dreaming! I started seeing myself as a business person. I started thinking of a cow for milk.”
With the additional sales from the surplus vegetables and the piglets, it was time to make that dream a reality. Martin purchased a cow. The sales from the milk of that cow now cover the cost of health insurance for his whole family.
Five months later, the cow had a calf. This calf was a crossbreed and produced more milk than it’s mother. Now there were two liters of milk for their family and two liters left over to sell!
Martin continued, “But when a miracle comes in the house, the door is always open!”
Justine’s sponsor sent a second gift notification. “I started thinking about more training. I could see they really cared about our well-being!”
Martin bought a second plot of land with his combined savings and the gift notification. Martin smiled,
“From then, dreams really came to happen!”
The sponsor sent a third gift notification and with it, they were able to purchase cement and a sturdy tin roof for their home. A fourth gift notification bought another plot of land but this one, was even more special. “Because Justine has been a source of blessing to our family, we entitled this plot of land in her name.”
When she is old enough, this land will belong to Justine.
Justine responded sweetly, “I really thank you so much for the sponsorship. My sponsor bought me clothing and books and takes care of me every day.”
Martin continued where Justine left off. “There’s no way I can describe all of the blessings of sponsorship. Having you (the child ambassador team) here reminds me of where I was and where I am now.”
World Vision sponsors can send gifts of money (gift notifications) to their sponsored child in many (though not all) countries through the World Vision Help Desk: 888-511-6548. World Vision staff will then work with the family to determine how the gift will best suit their needs. The sponsor will then be sent a thank you letter listing what was purchased, as well as a photo of their sponsored child with the items.
Greater Together is a collaborative blog written by volunteer child ambassadors for World Vision.