My family and I decided to take a big step on Sunday. Actually – the first part of the step began on Friday evening. I’ve been watching and photographing some birds in a little bog/pond area beside our church in Rockford. I drove over on Friday evening to see what might be in the pond, and was pleasantly surprised to see our priest walking around the grounds with another gentleman.
That man was also a priest, visiting from Texas. Father James O’Toole explained he had been invited to be a guest speaker for the weekend. The visiting priest told me (with a smile on his face) – that he’d like to “trade” one of his own photographs for one of mine. He’d said we could exchange our photos on Sunday during Mass.
On Sunday – sure enough – Fr. O’Toole shared with the whole congregation he there to literally beg all of us for help. He was a representative of the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging. I don’t care what your religious beliefs are – but bottom line – there are thousands of poor people out there who need someone to help them no matter what faith you are part of.
And so – we decided helping another person in need would be an excellent exercise in learning about counting one’s blessings, and understanding how good we have our lives in this country. We found a little child the same age as our son Alex to help. And so in exchange for one of my lighthouse greeting cards – this is the photo we received:
This is Hilston. He lives in Kenya in a slum village known as Kangemi. He is eight years old – the same age as our oldest son. He has an sister who is about 14, and a brother who is 10. Their mother is so sick with HIV/AIDS, she is unable work. Their approximately monthly income in US $ is $10 a MONTH. Yes – $10 for an entire month.
Hilston sleeps on the dirt floor with no mattress, no water, no electricity and the walls of his home are just metal sheets. He is reported to be a good student, and fortunately in good health himself. His favorite school subject is drawing, and he likes football (soccer). But his family is so poor, they cannot afford medications or basic items he needs for school.
Hilston is our new “family member” and we will be helping him each month. Shortly, we’ll receive mailing labels so we can write to each other (a translator takes care of the correspondence between us, as he speaks Swahili “Kiswahili” ).
Just like many Americans, we feel the sting of the rising grocery prices and gas tank fill ups. We don’t even exactly know how this monthly contribution is going fit into our budget. But – considering how bad his needs are, we are living like royalty. We decided we don’t need our newspaper right now (we’re having problems getting it delivered on time anyway). We can save the money we turn in from pop cans. We can easily stop having a few lunches out.
So just know – if you buy a photo print from me – you might be helping a very young man reach his potential someday…
And if you feel the need to help another human being – please consider a sponsorship yourself! CFCA is a highly reputable organization. You will have a chance for a one-on-one sponsorship of a child or aging person – and you’ll be able correspond in writing with your new friend via a translator. Can you imagine what you can do to change another person’s life?
Purchase my prints online:
And at select Michigan retailers:
- Robinette’s Orchard & Gift Barn
- Frenz Coffee – Rockford
- the Specialty Shop at Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion
Items are offered for safe and secure online purchase via PayPal, with any credit card or transfer. You may order via a check as well, but please contact me directly.