Today in My History2001: Crackerjack
2002: Mental Pictures
2003: See? See?
2004: Not Quite Like Riding a Bicycle
2006: PRospect 5-****
2007: Go Bears
2008: Faith of our Fathers
2009: Good Morning
2010: The Failure of Technology
The Wizard of Oz
reasons to be pretty
Books Read in 2011
"April Fool's Day"
for Cousins Day Drinks
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(happy birthday, David)
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STARVING KIDS IN BANGLADESH
5 February 2011
I gave my 35th blood donation at Blood Source today. I figured I wouldn't have any hemoglobin problems this time because I was a few weeks late with the donation--and I didn't.
I had decided that after the blood draw, I would go to the Arboretum at UCD and take a walk. I've been meaning to do this for a few months, ever since I bought a new camera to take to China with us. I felt I could kill two birds with one stone -- get out there and get some EXERCISE and learn about the new camera. But the camera had come during bad weather. Now spring is coming and I have no more excuses.
While I was driving around trying to find an appealing starting point for my walk, where I could park the car without fear of getting a ticket, I was listening to KGO radio and the host was talking with his guest about the Super Bowl. A ticket to the Super Bowl really costs about $500, but right now it's Scalper Time, so tickets are now selling for an average of $4,000-$5000 per ticket.
Some entrepreneur has even sold tickets for $200 each for people to come to the parking lot, pay to park, and then watch the game on a huge TV screen (I'm not sure if this still goes is the temps are still 16 degrees)
Earlier I had watched a program which had a segment on cooking all those goodies people at home will be eating during the Super Bowl.
I don't know which country had the starving kids when you were growing up. I think I grew up in the era when children would die in China if I didn't finish my broccoli (amazing how I never questioned that as a child). I think my kids grew up with starving children in Bangladesh, though I don't think I ever used that threat. By then I had realized that no child would die if they left some green beans on their plate.
In these days, I am reading more and more about poverty around the world, since it has become such a part of my life as a result of the children I sponsor through Compassion Int'l. My $32 a month will give one of my sponsored children a nutritious meal once a day for a month. For the cost of one SuperBowl ticket, more than 150 kids could have a nutritious meal for a month.
This morning I read a very powerful blog entry by a woman named Anna Voskamp, who is a Compassion sponsor. She paints the scene of herself standing in the towel section of WalMart, while her daughters are off looking for some leotards they wanted to buy. A month before she had traveled to Guatemala with other Compassion sponsors and she had met a little girl she sponsors. She talks about the yellow dish towels she had brought to the girl's mother as a gift, the same towels that now stood in stacks with other colorful towels in WalMart and in touching photos and prose she talks about the effect visiting this little girl "starving in a dump" (as she describes it) has had on her life.
I'm not going to condemn someone for having a big bowl of guacamole on Sunday...or, for that matter, paying $5,000 for a Super Bowl ticket, but I think in the middle of all of our extravagances, it would do us well to stop now and then and think about the starving children of Bangladesh or China or Uganda or Haiti or a host of other countries around the world. And if you're pleased that you can afford guacamole or a $5,000 SuperBowl ticket, maybe you might also send a little something to an organization (there are so many of them!) which can make life just a little easier for a child, even if only briefly.
Ironically, I wrote the other day about Erick Wainaina Kimani, the 14 year old boy in Kenya who had been waiting to find a sponsor. At the time I was sponsoring three children with Compassion and writing to three more. I had decided that four was my max for sponsoring and I was kind of half saving that fourth slot in case Fred's sponsor decided s/he could no longer sponsor. But here in front of me was a child who would have a difficult time finding a sponsor because of his age and gender and because sponsorship for children in AIDS-affected areas is a bit higher.
I couldn't say no, so I agreed to become his sponsor, figuring that the possibility of Fred losing his sponsor was slight.
Today, five days after receiving Erick's information, I heard that Shallon, my second favorite correspondence child, was losing her sponsor. I have the option of taking over the sponsorship, or losing her as a corrsepondence child.
What to do...? What to do...? I'm not a religious person, but if there is one thing that being a part of Compassion has shown me, it is the power of prayer. I actually said a prayer asking God to show me the way.
Literally five minutes later, Walt brought the mail--a letter from one of my sponsored kids and a pay check from the Enterprise.
OK, God. I get it. Subtlty is definitely not your strong suit! I made the call and agreed to become Shallon's real sponsor. The sponsorship money comes out of my Social Security check, which has never been factored into the household expenses, fortunately. It goes for my frivolous purchases. My guacamole and SuperBowl tickets. The Verizon iPhone I was thinking of buying and now won't. I don't need a lot of stuff that I throw money away on and these kids need sponsors.
But this is IT, God--ok? Just keep Fred's sponsor paying for him and we'll see how things go.
PHOTO OF THE DAY