As we seek ways to brighten the lives of others this Christmas season, may I suggest that one way to really use your money to truly change someone’s life is by joining the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA), a Catholic organization that has been in operation for over thirty years, and works in 21 different countries.
The CFCA exists to help support children, young people, families, and the elderly who live in poverty and lack the basic essentials: food, education, housing, healthcare, and so on. Almost 94% of your contribution goes directly to supporting CFCA’s programs.
If you visit the CFCA website, you can enroll as a sponsor, and you can either request that a person in need be selected for your sponsorship, or you can look through the database of photographs and biographies yourself to select someone to sponsor.
We learned about CFCA through Relevant Radio about eight years ago, and we signed up to sponsor Julian, an 11-year-old boy in Guatemala. We now sponsor two children in the CFCA program, and one child in another good Catholic organization that does its primary work in Africa (that I plan to also write about on this blog).
Over the years, we received letters from Julian, with his hand-drawn color artwork in the margins, telling us how he was doing in school, his favorite games and activities, and — most humbling of all — expressing his appreciation for our monthly ($30) contribution which materially improved his life. When you think about all the ways to spend $30 in the monthly budget, being able to actually help someone on this amount of money is nothing short of miraculous.
In 2012, my wife (the pro-life family physician) went on a medical mission to Lake Atitlán in Guatemala. The good people at CFCA were able to connect my wife with Julian, and she met him and his whole family. Julian’s father and mother took an entire day off work to travel for hours — by bus, by auto, and by boat — to reach the location of the mission, just to thank her, and they brought gifts for everyone in our family!
Julian now has his own family, and the other day, we received his “Farewell Letter” letting us know that he has left the CFCA program. He writes:
I am aware [that I am] leaving this program of hope for a family. I invite you to continue with your great charity work helping other children who need to get ahead. My family and I will always be praying for you. I say good-bye to you. With big hugs…