“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.”
— 1 Timothy 4:12, NIV
At age 11, Cole is already making an impact in the world, far beyond the borders of his home state of California. And he just happens to be following in his grandparents’ footsteps.
For many years, Cotton and Betsy have been generous supporters of World Help, committed to helping people living in poverty. It was a passion they passed down to their daughter, Sarah, and one she has passed on to her three children, including Cole.
Inspired by the world changers around him and moved by the needs he heard about, Cole decided he needed to get involved.
He’s only a kid, but his compassion is impacting many lives. And if he can do it, so can you.
“For a long time, this was my mom and dad’s project,” Sarah said. “Like anything, I feel when you grow up in the faith, at some point that faith has to become your own and you choose. I know for me when that moment was, and I feel like it’s the same thing with our experience with World Help. At one point, it became our own priority. And that’s what I hope for my kids.”
Sarah and her husband began to get involved with World Help on their own. On a trip to Guatemala, Sarah was able to see the needs for herself. Interested in child sponsorship, she prayed before the trip that God would show her the child she and her family were supposed to help. During the trip, she met a little girl who needed a sponsor … and the little girl’s name was Sarah.
Today, the family sponsors two children — one in Guatemala and one in Thailand. Cole and his siblings are actively involved in the sponsorship and are thrilled every time they receive a letter from Sarah or Man, the little boy from Thailand. But sponsorship wasn’t Cole’s only exposure to the needs of the world.
Every time his parents would host a fundraiser or attend a World Help event, they made sure the kids came along or at least heard about the impact. They wanted their children to be surrounded by other world changers, trusting that their influence would inspire the kids.
“For us to be able to raise them in an environment of people who are generous and are responding to the calling that God has set on our lives to be rescuers is invaluable,” Sarah said. “To share that with our kids and let our kids know that there is a great big world out there and there are a ton of needs and they are called as Christ-followers to respond to that need is a huge part of what my husband and I are trying to do in their lives as well.”
Although Cole had attended several World Help events over the years, this year was the first time he sat with the adults. Listening to the stories about need all around the world, he decided he needed to do something.
“I knew that people need help in countries like India and Uganda, and I knew people were getting persecuted in North Korea and China and places like that, but I never really knew it was this many people,” Cole said. “It makes me feel blessed.”
That night, Cole told his mother how much he wanted to give. And after hearing more stories the following day, he decided he wanted to increase that amount.
“When I was listening and heard that $8 can impact a person’s life, that’s so [little] for us but so much for them — so why not give some money to help?” Cole said. “As a kid, it’s hard to understand, but a little bit of money really helps.”
The needs of the world may seem overwhelming, but every penny matters when people’s lives are at stake. This was the lesson that Cole’s parents and grandparents were hoping he would learn. It was a lesson they learned themselves.
“We cannot solve a lot of the problems out there,” Sarah said, “but one life at a time is what matters. [One gift] changes the trajectory of that life and for generations to come, and in a sense, I’m trying to do that in my own home. I’m trying to make sure that my kids grow up knowing that they can be a part of changing people’s lives.”
Sarah is proud of her son’s generosity. Like most kids, he has a wish list of items he has been saving up to buy. However, by giving to help meet the emergency needs of people around the world, he depleted his savings and will need to wait a bit longer. But to Cole, the sacrifice was worth it if it meant he could make one child’s life better.
“I feel passionate about the kids,” he said. “Me as a kid and watching my friends and people around here, it seems like they’re just normal, but when you look at the kids in Uganda who have nothing, it just kind of makes me feel sad.”
Now, Cole no longer needs to be sad, and neither do the children who have been rescued because of his generosity.
Cole may be young, but he’s already impacting lives for the better and rescuing people from the chains of poverty.
Whether you’re sharing about the needs with others or giving what you can, you have the power to save lives, too.
For $8, you will help provide help and hope where it’s needed most, like sending God’s Word to persecuted believers, providing new mothers with diapers and formula, and giving clean water to impoverished families. Click the link below to learn more about the impact you and your gift can have around the world.