POSTED January 11, 2021
Building a better tomorrow through decades of sponsorship
June Tink, a long-time donor, shares why she loves being a child sponsor
By Amanda Goveas, donor-engagement specialist, Canada
Each day, a child’s life improves thanks to generous donors like June. It was more than 20 years ago when June and her late husband, Rev. Dr. Peter Tink, decided to sponsor a child with Children Believe (then Christian Children’s Fund of Canada). Throughout the years, they have sponsored 10 children, two of which June sponsors today — Kiara in Paraguay and Abdul-Hak in Ghana (see below). We spoke with June recently, and she shared with us, how it has been an honour and privilege to support others in need. She added that getting her grandchildren involved has made it that much more meaningful.
Why did you and your husband originally decide to give?
We were aware of how fortunate our kids are, living the good life in Canada. We knew there was poverty in Canada, and did our best to help through local charities, but that did not blind us to the crying need for the support of children in developing countries. We felt confident money we sent through Children Believe would get to its destination.
Can you tell me about your sponsored children?
Kiara is now 10, and her favourite subjects in school are communications and natural science. One day she aspires to be a hairdresser. Abdul-Hak is 13 and hopes to become a teacher. His favourite subjects are English and mathematics.
Do you correspond with your sponsored children? What have you learned about them through letters?
I love writing to them and receiving their letters and photos. I sometimes send little gifts through the mail. In my last letter to Kiara, I enclosed stickers I thought she would enjoy. Kiara recently sent me a photo of herself and her mother holding my latest letter to her. That was a real joy to receive.
I enjoy hearing about the children’s families and their lives. Some of them have used support money to buy livestock and food. In the past, Abdul-Hak and his family used the Christmas gifts I sent to buy a goat for rearing and to buy maize to feed the family. Others wrote to me about clothing they bought, and I am always amazed at the amount they can buy with the few dollars I send. I was touched when Azul, my former sponsored child in Paraguay, wrote a farewell letter thanking me for the support over the years and asking that I pass it on to another child — so sweet and thoughtful.
When writing to the children, I try to discover their interests so my letters can be more relevant. Some of them send love-filled replies that warm my heart.
I understand you share news of your sponsored children with your grandchildren. How do they get involved?
My grandchildren, Summer, 13, and Liam, 11, take an interest in the children and put together little kits of their Lego, which I was able to send. Kiara said she loved the kit and would treasure it and take good care of it. I pray for the children daily and have their photos on display. I talk about them to Summer and Liam and share their letters with them. I hope they will grow up to be sponsors, too.
What is your hope for the children you help?
My wish for each child is that they make the most of opportunities that come their way and grow up to be loving, caring, well-nourished adults and achieve their goals.
I encourage anyone who would like to support an underprivileged child to do so through Children Believe. In the many years I have been connected with this organization, I have never doubted its honesty or efficiency or that my donations reach the children I support.
Learn more about child sponsorship today. Visit childrenbelieve.ca/sponsor-a-child.
ABOUT CHILDREN BELIEVE (formerly Christian Children's Fund of Canada):
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 12 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 more than 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.