Remember the thrill of school supplies?

When I think back on grade school, my mind is flooded with fond memories of  new beginnings. A new school year with a new teacher brought about the idea of being surrounded my new classmates, new friends, and most notably, a slew of new school supplies.

Sure meet-the-teacher was an exciting experience, but I most anxiously awaited the list that would be handed to me before exiting the building: my school supply list.

New binders, notebooks, folders, crayons, markers, pencils, colored pencils, and the occasional backpack were almost too much to handle.

This trend carried on for years until the excitement began to fade and waking up to go back to school felt more like a chore than a gift. It wasn’t until the later years in life that my heart began to change. And it took a trip to Africa for that to happen.

The value of education

In Ghana, I had the privilege of visiting a number of village schools, or the lack thereof. Some children attended classes. Other children did not attend class.

In this setting, school supplies were distributed by teachers to students whose parents were able to pay the fee for their children to enroll—a fee that likely cost me less than the shirt on my back.

The students that filled the classroom were outnumbered by the children who played alone outside—who dreamt of one day joining their friends in class. My heart was heavy.

In that moment, I realized how second nature “newness” was to me, and the unknown sense of entitlement that festered inside of my heart—regardless if I was aware of its existence.

It was then that I realized the true worth of education in its entirety. And just how fortunate I had been all those years not to worry about attending, or my parent’s ability to provide the materials that filled my desk year after year.

Helping children get into school

But not every student, on American soil or abroad, is as fortunate—as you or I.

I can only imagine how daunting that short list of supplies is to parents who are unable to meet their child needs, knowing that their inability to provide the nominal fee determines their child’s ability to attend school, which ultimately ensures a different outcome for their own future children . . . A thought all too frustrating for this future mother to ignore.

This school year, why not consider child sponsorship for one of the thousands of children living abroad who long to attend school? For less than the cost of purchasing your own child’s school supplies, your choice to sponsor a child will ensure their seat in class—with a full belly, clothes on their back, and readily-available healthcare, for years to come.

It’s not too late to change the life of just one child this school year, join us in sponsoring a child in need today.

About Kristin Read

Kristin Read is a guest blogger from Texas with a heart to use her gift of writing to promote child sponsorship. She joins Food for the Hungry in our passion to help people overcome poverty worldwide. You can read more of her writing at

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