POSTED May 24, 2021
A donor shares an unforgettable bond built through pen and paper
Meet Helen Gulley, as she explains the joy of writing to her sponsored child
By Amanda Goveas, donor engagement officer, Canada
Helen’s journey with Children Believe began in early 2006, when she felt a call within her heart to do something more for vulnerable children around the world. After working with her church group, St. Andrew’s Women’s Missionary Society, who sponsor three children through Children Believe, Helen felt inspired and motivated to become a child sponsor herself. Today, she sponsors Rakshitha, an 11-year-old girl from India. Below, Helen shares memorable moments from her sponsorship journey and her hope for the future.
What do you enjoy most about being a child sponsor?
I enjoy writing letters to Rakshitha and receiving letters back from her and her family.
Through letters, I have learned a lot about Rakshitha. She really likes school and is currently in Grade 5. One day she hopes to become a lawyer. She has a sister and a younger brother who she loves to play with. Her favourite subjects are math and science, and she enjoys drawing. She has a puppy, which she adores. She also likes to play in mud and water, and she loves playing with her toys. She plays hide-and-seek with her friends, and she loves cards and stickers.
We noticed you write to Rakshitha often, why is that important to you?
I really appreciate continuing to connect with Rakshitha, especially now during the pandemic. I believe it is important she knows people care for her and love her. I also believe it is important she learns about other places in the world.
I am always so happy when I get a letter from her — it helps me get to know her and have her as part of my life.
Her mom and aunt always tell me they (including Rakshitha) are very thankful for the support they get monthly along with the extra monetary gifts I send each year. It is so great to receive a letter from a child who is thankful for the gifts you send them every month. It can change their life with the money and love we give them. Rakshitha and her family have told me they are putting the gift money away for her future.
What do you share and ask in your letters to Rakshitha?
I tell her about our church and our Sunday School; I also tell her about the city we live in and what it is like to live in Canada. I share stories of my daughters and my four grandchildren and the things they like to do at school and the sports and music they like. I also tell her about Christmas and Easter and how we celebrate.
Why is sponsorship through Children Believe so important to you?
Supporting a child indicates someone cares for them. Children Believe is very organized, very thoughtful, most helpful and very supportive. I definitely trust they have a program that is essential to help many children in the world, and I am glad to be a part of it.
What are your hopes and dreams for Rakshitha and other vulnerable children and families around the world?
My hope is these children grow up to be healthy and able to get an education. And that they continue to have loving, caring families.
I wish everyone knew how important it is to support children around the world who do not have all the advantages we have in Canada. I would like to tell people that if they sponsor a child through Children Believe, it can be game-changing for them. It opens up a whole new world and helps us realize how fortunate and blessed we are to have the choice to help children.
ABOUT CHILDREN BELIEVE:
Children Believe works globally to empower children to dream fearlessly, stand up for what they believe in — and be heard. For 60+ years, we’ve brought together brave young dreamers, caring supporters and partners, and unabashed idealists. Together, we’re driven by a common belief: creating access to education — inside and outside of classrooms — is the most powerful tool children can use to change their world.
About ChildFund Alliance:
A member of ChildFund Alliance, Children Believe is part of a global network of child-focused development organizations working to create opportunities for children and youth, their families and communities. ChildFund helps nearly 23-million children and their families in 70 countries overcome poverty and underlying conditions that prevent children from achieving their full potential. We work to end violence against children; provide expertise in emergencies and disasters to ease the harmful impact on children and their communities; and engage children and youth to create lasting change and elevate their voices in decisions that affect their lives.