Why did you choose to sponsor a child?
Maybe you traveled to an impoverished part of the world and were inspired to share what you have with those who have less. Maybe you saw a child’s face on our website and couldn’t stand the thought of him or her going without food and essentials. Maybe you decided to become a sponsor so you could teach your own children about helping others.
Whatever reason you chose to start sponsoring, you became an advocate for a child in need. And when you share that story with others, you can encourage them to become sponsors, as well. Once they experience the power of sponsorship and the incredible bond built through letter writing and prayer, they’ll want to share it, too.
Sharing your story can have a ripple effect, multiplying your impact and helping more kids than you ever thought possible!
Sheryl Martin Hash loves sharing the story of her sponsorship journey. She chose to become a sponsor for a very specific reason — to make sure one girl didn’t end up trapped in the sex industry.
Sheryl has been to many different countries and seen people in need all over the world. Through her travels and experiences, she’s gained compassion for hurting people … especially women.
That’s why the Banchara community breaks her heart.
In the past couple of years, Sheryl learned about this community in India where girls are destined for the sex industry from a young age. Some girls there begin selling their bodies as young as 12 years old.
Nari Mata, the cultural tradition the Banchara community follows, dictates that the oldest girl of each family must become a sex worker in order to pay for her brothers’ marriage dowries. And it’s not uncommon for girls to remain in the sex industry until they are too old or sick to continue.
With no education, these girls feel they have no other options. And when they have daughters of their own, they know they are destined for the same future.
Sheryl is realistic — she knows this centuries-old tradition is a complicated issue that could take years to abolish. But she believes that, as a child sponsor, she can play a role in the solution. “You can’t save the world, but you can save one child,” she said. That was her goal when she decided to sponsor Tanshi.
Tanshi is a sweet 7-year-old living in India. She loves to sing and play basketball with her friends.
Sheryl was already considering sponsorship when the girls in the Banchara community came to mind. “Something about the Banchara girls really struck my heart,” she said. “These girls — it was their lot in life; it was just expected. To these little girls, sexual slavery is their future; there is no other choice.”
Sheryl wanted to give a little girl from India a better future than the sex industry. So she sponsored Tanshi.
She remembers thinking, “If in some small way God could use me to prevent her from having to go into [the sex industry], then I will have accomplished something in my lifetime.”
For Tanshi, that decision was life changing. Because Tanshi is sponsored, she gets academic tutoring, she receives medical care when she needs it, and she gets nutritious food so she can stay strong and healthy.
Sheryl’s biggest hope for Tanshi is that she’ll be able to have her own dreams for her future. Sheryl remembers hearing Noel Yeatts, president of World Help, say that the girls in the Banchara community didn’t know they could dream. She wants better for Tanshi.
Through sponsorship, Sheryl is giving Tanshi the opportunity to make her own choices about what her future holds.
And Tanshi’s already started planning! Right now, she thinks she wants to become a teacher and help other children learn new things.
Sheryl hopes that by sharing her sponsorship story, other little girls will be sponsored and have that same opportunity to dream.
“If other people could say, ‘I want to take one little girl out of that lifestyle and keep her from having that future,’ we could sponsor all the little girls in this community,” she said. “I think it would be awesome if we could give each one an opportunity to realize her potential.”
You chose to become a sponsor for a reason. You knew it was one of the best ways to give a child access to everything he or she needed to escape poverty. And you’ve seen the proof of that when you get updates and letters telling you how your sponsored child is happy and growing.
Your impact doesn’t have to stop there. Like Sheryl, when you share your story, you can inspire others to begin their own sponsorship journey. And each new sponsorship will change the life of a child — and his or her sponsor — forever.
Thank you for your generosity and compassion for your sponsored child. Together, you, Sheryl, and sponsors everywhere are building a hopeful future for children all over the world.