Again for those of you located in the Pacific NW, please do stop by; Aria would love to meet her fellow elephant savers. I also encourage you to stop by and visit both Art ala Carte and Le Cookie Monkey. Support these amazing businesses and the even more amazing people behind them! :)
|Lesley designed the flier. Seriously, how cute is her artwork?!!|
|Portland, Oregon, USA and Zambia are a long way from each other, separated by land and the Atlantic Ocean.|
Aria had a lot of questions and I'm not sure she understood the answers completely, but sponsoring Choolwe is already changing the way she and our entire family look at the world. Sponsorship programs are clever non-profit marketing tools. People tend to respond better; to give more when a human face is attached to it. The money we send to the program is actually pooled and then directed through an non-governmental organization in Zambia that determines the best use of that money to benefit a much wider pool of individuals than little Choolwe. If the money we sent was spent exclusively on Choolwe, it would be a massively inefficient use of the money. And the reality is that Choolwe's live can only improve when her entire community improves. However, there is room to send direct packages to the children and some sponsors raise money for specific needs like a new roof for the family home, books for the local school, tutoring, and so on. One of the reasons I signed up to sponsor a child was because I felt it was a way to truly connect Aria to the issue of global wealth disparities in a way that makes sense to her and is meaningful. Every year we will receive 2 letters, a new picture, and an update on Choolwe's life. In return we will send her 2 letters as well and yearly pictures of Aria and our family. Aria already knows that she would like to send a photo of herself, draw a little picture, and include some stickers.
On Tuesday after school, Aria and I headed to Finnegan's, our local toystore. Lesley's daughter Stella is having a fairy garden birthday party this weekend and Aria wanted some little fairy wings. We thought it would be a good time to pick out some neat stickers to send to Choolwe. I thought Aria would insist on picking out her wings first but she surprised me by strolling into the store determined to find her new little friend the perfect stickers. She was being especially reflective that afternoon. She would hold up a toy and ask me if it was something that Choolwe could get in Zambia and I would explain that it was unlikely. Silently she would put the item back down and continue on her hunt for the perfect stickers. She finally settled on some fancy scratch art stickers from Melissa & Doug. She picked out two different packages, one with fantasy creatures and another set with bugs. At first, I thought she wanted to get one for herself but I underestimated the depths of my own child's heart. She simply wanted to send two packages to Choolwe.
|Aria picked these out especially for Choolwe.|