The ripple effect of a family gift

If you were to meet a villager in the community of Kathesh, Tanzania, chances are he or she would be a farmer.

Compassion beneficiaries like Esther, Godfrey and Stefano come from families who farmAnd through special gifts their sponsors have provided, benefits like improved housing and income-generating opportunities are rippling into the lives of their families—and the entire community.

When Esther was enrolled in Compassion’s program, the family didn’t realize just how much her sponsorship would impact all their lives. The family lived in a dilapidated thatched-roof house. During the rainy season the roof leaked, soaking school books, clothing and their meager possessions.

But God did more than direct Esther’s sponsors to give towards her basic needs.

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He led this couple—the Millers—to send family gifts to Esther in addition to their monthly sponsorship. Esther’s family and the child development centre staff determined the family’s greatest need: a new house was of upmost importance. Esther’s family initiated a home building project but weren’t sure more support would arrive. But the Millers continued to send monetary gifts, and the family completed a sturdy brick home with an iron roof.

Miraculously, as soon as the home was completed, the sponsors stopped sending family gifts! It was as if these gifts were manna from God, providing just what the family needed. “We are so grateful for Mr. and Mrs. Miller for listening to what God was telling them about Esther,” shares Esther’s family. “May God’s blessings and favor be upon them.”

If, like the Millers, you give a gift to your sponsor child and their family, one hundred percent of the funds go directly to benefit the recipients. Compassion will not take a portion for administrative purposes. And what may seem like a small amount of money to you will make a huge difference to your sponsored child’s family.

Our goal is to stop the cycle of poverty that stalks families from one generation to the next by equipping children with the skills they need to be successful in their own right. Gifts are individual expressions of love and encouragement and complement the core lessons taught by our church partners. But you may have noticed Compassion limits the amount of a family gift to $1000 a year. We do this for a number of reasons.

We want to break the cycle of poverty without creating dependence. We also want to avoid fostering feelings of jealousy that could arise in communities and may put a sponsored child and his or her family at risk. Each time a family gift is given, it is stewarded by the local church partner and child development centre. This ensures the gift will be of utmost benefit to the family.

This partnership is evident in the case of Godfrey’s family.

Godfrey is another child benefitting from Compassion’s program in Tanzania. His sponsor, Angela, sent large gifts to his family—sums the family had never seen before. They sat together with the church leadership to plan how to use the funds in a sustainable way.

Godfrey’s family partnered with neighbours who owned a team of oxen and purchased a plough. By pooling their resources, they increased their collective crop production. Thanks to the farm plough, both Godfrey’s family and their neighbours were able to cultivate their fields on time this year as the early rains started. And the crops were so successful that Godfrey’s family can now afford their own oxen!

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A family gift allowed Stefano’s parents to expand their income.

Stefano’s parents purchased an ox cart with gifts sent from Stefano’s sponsor, Elise.  Now the family has their own cart for collecting crops and hauling the manure they use for fertilizer. Neighbours rent the cart from Stefano’s family, providing extra income that’s taken care of medical needs and improvements to their home.

Stefano’s mother says, “I am so thankful to Compassion and how they have touched our lives. The cart helped us build a house roofed with an iron sheet. We used the cart to collect bricks, stones, sand, cement and the iron sheet. It would have been very costly if we had to hire a vehicle to carry these building materials. We could not have achieved our goal in such a short period.

We can boldly say our lives have improved through Compassion sponsorship and the support we have received from the church.”

By Katy Causey and Charles Ngowi

The impact of a family gift ripples out far beyond the individual child, empowering the family to find creative, sustainable solutions. The effects ripple outward into the community, too—and the results last a lifetime.

Make an impact in your sponsor child’s family. Send a Family Gift.