World Help is privileged to partner with inspiring sponsors and supporters from near and far, young and old, with different backgrounds and experiences—but all with the desire to make an eternal impact here on earth. We love hearing the reasons behind why our supporters choose to partner with World Help. We also enjoy sharing them because we believe in a community united by the power of stories.
This summer we met Alayna Wilson—and her story inspired us. We first connected when she was blogging about her Live Below the Line journey—an anti-poverty campaign that challenges participants to eat only as much as an impoverished family could afford over the span of five days. Not only were we inspired by her advocacy, but she also took the time to encourage her readers to make a difference through several of her favorite charitable organizations—and we were excited to make the list!
Alayna was introduced to World Help 13 years ago and has remained a faithful supporter ever since. Her account was especially touching to us, as she represents many of our dedicated child sponsors who have committed to seeing their sponsored children succeed—heavily investing in their journeys from start to finish.
She began sponsoring when she was still young herself. Although worlds apart, she and her sponsored children share a story. Here is a little bit of her journey in her own words . . .
“I first learned about World Help in 2001, when they brought their children’s choir to my church. I was 11 years old and my family decided to open our home to allow three boys to stay with us. They were about 8-10 years old from Nepal and the Philippines. I remember that they loved petting our chickens and were intrigued with attempting to roller-skate on our shag carpet.
The children’s choir had the mission of introducing people to World Help’s Child Sponsorship Program. Before they left, I decided I wanted to sponsor a 12-year-old Filipino girl—Reyna Salinas.
Because I was in the local 4-H program, I had obtained 25 chickens each year since 4th grade. So I roughly had 30+ egg laying machines. (In the 4-H program, you get the chickens free each year but are required to show six, and then they are auctioned off to gain money for the chicken program.)
I sold eggs to people I went to church with and those who stopped by the house. I then paid $24 each month out of my checking account to World Help’s Child Sponsorship Program in order for them to provide food, education, healthcare, spiritual guidance, and any other needs Reyna had in order to make a better life for herself and even be able to provide for her family.
I would get yearly updates about Reyna when I would learn about what she enjoyed doing, her favorite subject in school, and how her family was doing.
The best part was seeing Reyna’s yearly picture and seeing her collarbones filling out, her differing hair lengths, and her growing as I grew.
Since Reyna graduated from the Child Sponsorship Program at the age of 18, I have been able to sponsor two other Filipino girls—Julian, and now Christine. I love that this program is giving children a chance to dream about being doctors, teachers, and learning valuable skills that can further their education or give them a way to provide for their families. Plus, they are learning about Jesus—how He loved them so much He died on a cross to pay for any wrongs people do and that He was resurrected so that we can know that what He has said is true. Those who believe in Him, that He is the only way to heaven and to God the Father, will be with Him in paradise after we die.”
Dedication, sacrifice, and love . . . these are the virtues that are writing healing and hope into the lives of disadvantaged children around the world. Because of Alayna’s compassion, Reyna, Julian, and Christine’s stories will never be the same. We are incredibly grateful for individuals, like Alayna, who hold the pens and write enthusiastically from hearts overflowing with Christ’s love for the world.
Do you or your family have a sponsorship story? What made you decide to sponsor? We’d love to hear how you came to make a child in need a part of your family’s story. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.