Tuesday, February 7, 2012

You are the one who shines for me...

Below is a sponsorship testimonial from Godparent, Alison Burke. 

Being a godparent has changed my life in more ways than I ever thought possible. My passion to support Friends of the Orphans came about after the death of my friend, housemate, and classmate, Molly Hightower. I was devastated to learn of her death. I wish I could have gotten to know her more because she was an amazing young woman who had so much to offer. I was also heartbroken to see how much pain and suffering the earthquake caused in Haiti. I was inspired by Molly’s work at NPFS and wanted to do my part to help the children. Over the next year after the earthquake, I learned more about Haiti and Friends and how I could help. I made the decision to become a godparent after determining that it was the best way I could contribute to Friends. I became a godparent in early 2011.

When I first thought about sponsoring a godchild, I wanted to choose a young child that I could watch grow up. I changed my mind as soon as I saw Steeven’s picture. His smile warmed my heart so much that I knew he was the godson for me. Steeven is 12 years old. He lost both of his parents in the earthquake, so he went to live with his aunt. She could not take care of him, so she asked an NPFS social worker to take custody of him. I am so grateful to have Steeven in my life. His letters are so sweet, and they inevitably arrive at a time when I am in dire need of a reminder of life’s blessings. Steeven’s letters make me feel so appreciated and loved and remind me that there are more important things in life than school and work.

Below are pictures Steeven has drawn and my favorite lines from letters he sent with them.

“It was a great pleasure to know you today, and I thank you for having picked me as your godson…I send you a little drawing of thanks. I wish that you love it.”

I knew I was meant to be Steeven’s godmother when I saw this picture. I drew that flower all the time while growing up.

“I hope everything is alright for you in the name of God. By my side, everything is alright in Jesus name…Thank you because you accept to be my god father. I hope God will protect your steps so that you could have a happy new year…Your godchild who loves you so much!”

“I give you thanks for your nice letter and I wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy new year 2012. I hug you tightly.”

“Do you know why I don’t need a candle on Christmas? Because you are the one who shines for me.”

I always carry a picture of Steeven with me, and I had a bracelet made with his name on it that I wear almost every day. These are both constant reminders of how blessed I am to be Steeven’s godmother. I plan to visit Steeven when I am finished with graduate school. Until then, I will communicate with him via mail, continue to learn Creole in preparation for my trip, and help support Friends in any way possible.

Choosing to be a godparent was the best decision I have ever made. I was hesitant at first, which is why it took me a year to finally commit to being a godmother. I was concerned about the monthly monetary commitment because, at the time, I was a full-time student with no job. Laura (NW Regional Manager and Child Sponsorship Coordinator) was very understanding of my situation and assured me that giving the minimum amount of money per month would still do a lot to help the children. After learning about all that Friends does and how my money would directly benefit the children of NPFS, I knew I was ready to make the commitment. I am so glad I made the decision to sponsor Steeven. Upon becoming a godparent, I was welcomed into an organization that I consider to be my family. I am so blessed and grateful to be part of Friends. I encourage you to consider becoming a godparent, as it truly will be the best decision of your life.

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