Sponsoring a child
When I was a young man ready to embark on a career after graduating college I made a promise to myself that I would never forget what my parents helped me to accomplish and I would also be very grateful for what they provided to me and I would be there for them throughout the years since they were always there for me. Sadly I lost my mom shortly after passing my CPA exam. My parents never expected anything in return for helping me throughout my young adult life. They just wanted to see me find myself and to experience success, happiness and personal fulfillment.
I also was very sensitive to the needs of the less fortunate and having watched a television commercial on sponsoring a child through Children International I made the choice that I would try my best to help a needy child in the world so they would have some sense of hope and I would feel that I was doing something positive even if it was just a small part. When it comes to young children who live in poverty you as a human being feel you should do something to help. If I had more to give I certainly would and sometimes I feel I don't give enough but I wish to do whatever I can to make a difference in a young child's life.
I know what it is like to raise a child as I am a father and my son means everything to me. I will do anything I can to ensure my son a better life and I feel the same way about needy children. Although I do not play a part in their lives personally I still feel it is important to sponsor a child and donate a monthly amount in addition to special amounts during holidays. Most of these children are raised in families where the family income is meager and does not allow them much in the way of extras. They need the additional financial assistance so they can have a guaranteed meal and some essential articles of clothing. My heart goes out to children that have very little. You wish you could do more for them and feel that the little that you do provide hopefully will make a difference in some way that will help them and give them a sense of hope and a feeling that someone else does care.
I remember as a young child how I loved the game of baseball and there was one ball player that was my idol and a role model who I wanted to be like. To me baseball was everything growing up as a kid but I learned a lot more about life as a fan of Roberto Clemente. He was a tremendous baseball player who played his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, a team I only got to see when they played the New York Mets, who was the team I followed. Whenever I saw Roberto Clemente play I was amazed at his passion for the game and his natural ability. I remember the game when he hit his 3000th career hit against Jon Matlack, of the Mets. This was a tremendous achievement and I looked forward to seeing him face the Mets again the next season. The sad reality is that there was no next season for Roberto Clemente. I'll never forget the day when I heard the news. It was New Year's eve, 1972 and I heard that Roberto Clemente headed a mission to help the victims of a massive earthquake that struck a week before in Nicaragua. He was flying in food, clothes and medical supplies but as the plane took off for its destination of goodwill it went down in the ocean off the coast of Isla Verde, Puerto Rico where he died and his body was never recovered. He left behind a wife and 4 young sons and he was only 38 years old. I remember crying as he was my hero and I wanted to be just like him. It was his acts of kindness and charity work that inspired me to want to help the needy in some way and I remember saying to my parents that I wanted to do good things for others like Roberto Clemente did. That was when I made the promise of sponsoring a child when I was able to and it was because of my childhood hero, Roberto Clemente.
I started sponsoring a child back in 1985 with Children International after starting my first job upon graduating college and I made sure I took it very seriously because once you start contributing on behalf of a sponsored child they rely on that support and it is used for their basic necessities and a few special gifts. I receive updates and a photo of the child and I feel that I truly am helping even though it is only $22 a month. I also do go beyond the monthly amount for the holidays. I have been sponsoring a young girl throughout the years and find it amazing to see them progressing and I enjoy receiving letters and a picture every year. I usually receive one letter and a picture a year as the agency responsible for seeing that the funds are used for the child's needs and are appropriated properly try to cut back on the administrative costs so that most of the contributions are used for the child's needs. As the years go by there are changes in the sponsorship when the child ages out or moves. I have been reassigned a new child which seems to average every 8 to 9 years when the child reaches young adulthood. I am now sponsoring a 4 year old girl from Honduras who is very cute and deserves hope for a brighter future and I will fulfill my sponsorship role and hopefully help her and her family so she can wear a pretty dress and eat her favorite type of food. If I could go and visit her and her family one day and give more to help I would love to. Now I can make the monthly payment and will send a little extra whenever I can because when I see these young children with very little I just feel so sad and I want to help them so much. It really affects me and I try to involve my son so he learns that we should always reach out to help someone. That is what life is all about.
Life is about caring, sharing and doing your part in helping others and whenever you can come to the aid of someone who truly needs it you should always step up and do the right thing which is to bring a needy child or someone who needs assistance hope and a feeling that they are special and deserve to be given a chance and provided the help they so deserve. When I receive a picture of my sponsored child wearing a new dress and smiling it makes me feel that I am doing a good thing and I hope that it is everlasting. God Bless all the needy children in the world and help them to have a better life, each and every one of them. God Bless Children International for helping to bring sponsors to the aid of these needy children and for helping to bring a smile to both the child's face and the sponsor's as well!
Edward D. Iannielli III