Is an Olympic athlete like a sponsored child?
As the Winter Olympics are half way completed in Sochi, Russia – with athletes from all over the world vying for gold, silver, and bronze medals.
These athletes represent not just themselves in the international arena – but also their home country, friends and family.
I feel a swell of pride when I see an American athlete poised on the podium to receive a gold medal with the U.S. national anthem playing and the American flag rising. I feel a part of this athlete’s great achievement.
The feeling of pride in another’s accomplishment is something Food for the Hungry (FH) sponsors sometimes feel about their sponsored children.
Recently, my team received a letter from a sponsored child with a first place medal enclosed. After reading the letter, I discovered that the sponsored child, Marcos, had won first place in a swim competition.
He wrote: “… I won first place and I received a medal. I want you to keep this and to be proud of me. Keep it in a special place.”
I was amazed that after receiving his medal, he mailed it to his sponsor instead of keeping it in a special place of his own to remember his achievement. Instead, he wanted to inspire his sponsor.
He wanted his sponsor to know that when he won, he was representing that sponsor, too. He wanted his sponsor to be proud of him – the way we are proud when our country’s athletes win medals in the Olympics.
They win for themselves, but they also win them for us.
At FH, we analyze the effects of child sponsorship, collecting data to quantify what we believe is the key to fostering sustainable development.
I’m not sure we can measure developmental success in medals won, but I think Marcos would invite us to be proud of him and to celebrate his success with him.
This is exactly what child sponsorship is about – it’s being the person who cheers on a child to go beyond what he or she thought possible. Become a child sponsor today and discover a child’s potential and their dreams.