Editor’s Note: Jen and Brian Dickson met Sodelaine, a 6 year old orphan living in Ferrier Village, Haiti – an anti-trafficking initiative of Help One Now. The Dicksons learned about sponsoring Sodelaine when Help One Now visited their church in Raleigh, North Carolina.
It has long been my policy that if someone makes it easy for me to give, I give. That can mean adding an extra dollar at the grocery store, showing up to a charity event, or making a quick donation to a good cause.
I had thought about child sponsorship before, but never followed through with the effort of researching the right program until Help One Now visited my church and made it easy. The cost of sponsorship amounted to skipping Indian takeout a couple of times a month for me and my husband Brian; it was a no-brainer. We sponsored a little girl named Sodelaine.
Help One Now sent us a photo of a smiling little six-year-old with light brown hair and a missing front tooth, and that was enough to melt our hearts. When the opportunity arose to visit Haiti and see what we were supporting first-hand, we jumped at it.
When we met Sodelaine, she was a bit more shy than some of the other kids, but immediately wrapped her little arms around us. Her hair was darker than in the picture we had at home; we learned that lighter hair was a sign of malnutrition. You see, in the picture we received, she had only recently been rescued. The little girl we met, held, and played with is already strong and unmistakably bright. She has an insanely wide grin and a mischievous glint in her eye. She plays hard on every surface. And while we were there, she colored a work of crayon art that she signed for us in neat cursive letters. It’s hard to think of her being undernourished and neglected, or worse, before she was brought to Ferrier Village. Like all children, she deserves to be loved and provided for.
We were blown away by the Haitian leaders we spoke with in Ferrier Village. They have devoted their lives to caring for rescued child slaves and other vulnerable kids like Sodelaine. They are so thoughtful about how they meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the children in their care.
Now my takeout sacrifice seems especially small.
My hope is that my experience makes my church’s connection to these precious kids in Haiti feel a little more personal, a little more real. Sodelaine is not just a face on a 6×4 card on our refrigerator. She’s a beautiful, unique, vibrant little girl. After meeting her, I want helping others where I can to be a priority instead of an afterthought. I am filled with gratitude for the hard work of those who make it possible to give in such a simple way.