Sunday, July 1, 2012

Feeling Voiceless

I have been a Sponsor for sixteen years.  Throughout that time I have gone through varying levels of excitedness and dedication, it's true. But one thing that has remained very constant is my wish for other people to Sponsor as well. If I could Sponsor every child on the waiting list, I would. Since I am not financially able to do that, however, I have always strove to bring others in to help.

When I was younger and still living at home, I cut out all of the Children International postings I found in magazines and saved them. Combining them with the fliers CI used to send to us in the mail, I would set up a table at family garage sales. I talked to people about Gisel and showed them her photos and letters. They would smile and say, "Oh, how nice!" ... and  then walk away. I never managed to convince even one person to take a flier, nevermind actually send it in and begin Sponsoring.

When LiftOne was first created, I made a page. I linked to the page from my MySpace account, and I mentioned Sponsorship and LiftOne frequently in my MySpace blogs. For my birthday and Christmas, I asked people to Sponsor instead of giving me gifts. All to no avail.

Now, I have an arsenal of tools with which to spread the word of Sponsorship. Facebook, Twitter, LiftOne, Postcrossing, and of course this blog. I carry my girls' photos at work and share them with my coworkers. And still I feel like no one is hearing my message nor being moved to help. Most of my readers here, I know, are already Sponsors themselves. Most of my Facebook posts go unheeded, not even acknowledged with a simple click of the "Like" button.

On an intellectual level, I suppose I understand. Everyone has their own causes for which they are passionate. A lot of my friends, for example, are very involved in the Susan B. Coleman foundation. Others work with animal rescue agencies, or volunteer for the Ronald McDonald House. So it's not a matter of everyone I know being heartless and unfeeling, but rather it's a question of where child sponsorship falls in their list of priority causes--for most of them, it's far, far down the list. I understand that.

On an emotional level, I'm just so frustrated by it. Understanding that they do have hearts makes it somehow WORSE--How can they care so much about animals and cancer and yet not care at all about poverty-stricken children?!--and I wind up feeling like I've failed, somehow, to communicate my cause effectively. I don't know what else I can do. I hate feeling this powerless about something for which I have such passion.

"Perseverance is a great element of success. 
If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, 
you are sure to wake up somebody.”
 -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

1 comment:

  1. You're not alone. I didn't start sponsoring children due to your influence but we do sponsor Ethiopian orphans (AHOPE for Children). It started as a Christmas present to our own children who had way too much stuff. It made an impression on them, and they continue to follow the reports we receive. Because the children are eligible for adoption, and "forever families" start sending letters well before the kids leave, we can't write to our children, so we miss out on that part of the experience. Thank you for sharing your letters!