Monday, October 19, 2009

My Uganda girls info

I'm excited to hear from my girls. After seeing 3 of them I couldn't choose 2 so I took all 3. To the right is Kate and Joan. Kate is the young lady who helps children find sponsors. She was in Uganda last summer. Here are the photos she sent me and a little about the girls.

In this first picture there is Nadudu Emmima in the front row in the torn blue dress. She has just recently joined the school and was a former street child who has had a little school, which has been off and on. Despite this, she is a very bright girl and is in P.1. Her ambition is to become a doctor and her favorite hobbies include running and singing.

Nabiryo Sharon is on the left. She is in P.2 and is 9 years old. Her ambition is to become a doctor when she's older. She loves to play with dolls and make people laugh.

Nakafero Joan is full of smiles. She is listed as 6 and in P.1, where she enjoys learning. Her ambition is to become an engineer. Her favorite activity is to play hide and seek.

As for Sharon and Joan, I met both girls while I was in Uganda this past June. They are incredibly sweet and loving despite the harships they face. Both girls are very poor, and I remember learning that Joan gets sick often. She has a younger sister at the school, who she is so patient with. When it is time to wash and eat, Joan is always at her sister's side washing and feeding her. Sharon is a doll, who has an infectious laugh! She really craved attention and I would just have her sit on my lap during church and hold her hands. Despite living with her parents(father is off and on) they neglect her, which is very obvious. She has been forced to grow up far too fast, and it is a blessing that you have decided to sponsor her! I know that when she starts receiving letters from you, she will be thrilled. "
So now I wait patiently to hear from them.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

CUS and Kate

This amazing young lady, Kate, is dedicated to finding these children a sponsor. She spent some time there recently and hopes to go back next summer for 2 months. She is only 18 years old! She writes a blog all about the school and the projects going on. She does fundraisers to earn money for her next trip. How I would love to join her in Uganda someday.

The CUS school is on a much smaller scale than Children International. There are approximately 300 children in this school in the mountains. Our dollar goes a long way if all of them are sponsored. Many of the CI google group that I belong to are sponsoring some of these children. After putting them on a website they were sponsored fast. That is why I'm waiting for the new list and pictures of the groups of un-sponsored children. They will have a short bio for each child.

Children in Uganda

I have decided to sponsor 2 girls in Uganda through a different organization, Christian Upliftment School or CUS. There are 300 children of families who left their homes due to conflict in their country. They are refugees. Many of them have only one parent or are orphans. Many are treated badly at home and sometimes the only food they get is at school. Look at the picture above, aren't they all adorable? These children have sponsors but a new list is coming. Their smiles are abundant and their stories sadden me. Check out the website.

"The school is located in an area which many people from Northern Uganda have settled. They have fled their homes due to the civil war that has been going on for more than 20 years. Although there has been progress towards peace in Northern Uganda, many have nothing to return to.Once farmers, most of the families of children that attend CU school now work in the stone quarry. They break rocks into tinier pieces all day long, earning a little less than $1. This causes many parents to not send their children to school (they can't afford to pay the school fee or buy their child a uniform). This is why child sponsorship is our most important program today. Without it, many children would be denied an education simply because their parents are too poor to afford it."

For only $35 a year (approximately 10 cents a day) they get to go to school with a uniform, school supplies and they get to eat at least 2 meals a day while they are there.
When I pick out my girls I will post it here. I'm so excited because they speak and write English and you get as many letters back as you write to them and 3 photos a year. I've read letters that other sponsors have gotten from their children and they are amazing. It warms your heart to read them. They are so grateful for our help.
Anyway....that's my thoughts for the day.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Here he is!

I finally got the right information on Jose Joel. I called CI asked to sponsor him and he was signed up. I'm wondering if they told him who his sponsor was, since we did meet and spend a day together already. I'm wondering because I sense it in his smile. His father, Joel, was a CI sponsored child also. He is a mechanic and his wife Wendy stays at home with their 3 year old son, Elias, Waidy, 9 and Joelito, 11. They were only 16 & 18 when they had Joelito.

If Jen and I can help this family together maybe it will break the cycle of poverty. They seem to be a very close bonded family. Joel speaks a little English. I can't wait to visit them again. By choosing the same country for all my sponsored children it makes it more possible to visit all of them. Even though its hard to pass up those sweet faces in other countries, I know I wouldn't be able to go to some of the others. So there are plenty of children in need in the Dominican Republic. So come one, come all.....sponsor a child in the DR and we can visit them together.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Wrong child

I've anxiously been waiting for my info packet on my new child, Jose Joel, the sibling to my daughter's Waidy. I was so excited when I saw the CI envelope yesterday that I couldn't wait to get home from the Post Office to open it. Much to my surprise the letter was to thank me for sponsoring Jose Joel, but the photo and family record was that of my already sponsored child, Jose Manuel, in the same country but different area. I was so bummed as I already started a letter and welcoming package for him. I called CI and they worked out the mistake so I should get my info in 7-10 days. Another long wait but I guess I'll make it. In the meantime I have 2 letters to answer so that is good.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Jose Manuel's book package

Yesterday I was feeling a little down and I had errands to run. At the end of the day around 5:00 I was heading home and didn't want to detour to the post office for the mail. I just wanted to go home. Well, I just had a feeling. I thought I might get an envelope with the CI insgnia on it for something. I've been waiting to get the info on my new child, Joelito and Yami's birthday photos. So I took the post office route. I'm so glad I did. All these pictures put a smile on my face. And the letters to go with them. They are sunshine in my life.
So now I still look forward to Joelito and Yami's birthday photos. Yami's package was sent before this small one for Jose (in the same household). Hmmmm and her birthday was Aug. 15th. I'll try to be patient.

Here are the clothes

These are the clothes they received. When I sent the money for the bathroom I suggested they use the remainder for whatever they might need as a family. So it seems as though everyone got something. I'm glad for that.

Bathroom Materials Have Arrived!

I'm so excited that the family received the materials for their new bathroom, What a difference it will make. Something so simple yet so needed! I can't wait to see the finished project. Yamileisy's letter says;
My Dear Darleny;
Hello, I am very happy because you are thinking about me and my family. Thanks for the donation. We received; clothes, shoes, 1 Poloshirt (for dad) 2 blouses (for mom) 2 pair pants (Yami) 1 toy, construction materials; concrete blocks, pipes, cement, sink, toilet, etc. With love, Yamileisy
I really wish they didn't have to take up so much precious room listing everything. The photos are enough proof. I'd rather hear all about them, as many have mentioned before.
Just the other day I was telling an aquaintance about my CI kids and getting them a bathroom. He is a foster parent so I thought he'd be interested in my story. I told him about my upcoming fundraiser for the family's Income Generating Project. He then gave me $10 to put towards it. I was so grateful. I came home and put it into my FirstGiving page (even though it isn't up to my number yet). I love my CI kids and talking about them to whoever will listen. I try to carry my trip photos and SNG photos with me so that they know how real it is!

Monday, August 17, 2009

A New Job

Last week I got a call from a friend asking if I wanted to go back to work. Its a small "Mom n Pop" type place and I could choose my days and hours! What a blessing. I am now working 3 days a week, with the weekends off. So I am really pleased that I will have extra money to help the 4 kids that I sponsor.

This is a very small community and I know so many people. Now that I'm out in the public again I have more people to share my pictures and stories about my CI trip to the Dominican. One friend said she always thought of sponsoring but she didn't think it was legit. Well, she believes it now. The photos of me and my kids really tells the story better. It makes it real! I carry photos in my purse or car all the time for proof of how much I am helping a child in need. After 14 years of sponsorship I'm so glad I was able to visit. It became a bigger reality to me. It made me more involved than ever.

So this job is a blessing at the right time. Hopefully I can get some sponsors for other children of poverty!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ralph Waldo Emerson

"To know that even one life has breathed easier because you lived. This is to have succeeded."

Ralpf Waldo emerson

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Letter about Yamileisy's birthday

Well, I got a letter from CI yesterday and with my birthday donation Yamileisy got a new pair of black shoes and socks. Of course she still has her package coming. I sent 2 blouses along with other frivilous things. Did I mention that I made a puzzle out of a photo of her and I together. I think she will really like that. I think I will make a puzzle for each of my kids. I also went to an online toymaker site to make paper things to send in regular letters (I always send my letters in a manila envelope along with stickers and paper products.) I printed some cute cutout boxes with a design on them with heavy paper. I cut it out, made the box and it fit the puzzle perfectly!! On the front I put a little sticker of the photo of the puzzle. Its a simple 30 piece puzzle but something different for them. They have lots of things to print, paper dolls, etc.

I've ordered shirts and pants for Jose Manuel's birthday in November. One came in yesterday. A really nice blue one for $5. Blue is his favorite color (mine too!) Being that it is hot there all the time I can get summer clearance items here for a good price. For less than $30 I got him 3 shirts, 1 pr. short pants, 1 pr. long pants. He loves Sponge Bob and the Power Rangers. I got a new Power Ranger watch for $5 and a Power Ranger baseball cap for $6 on ebay and some Sponge Bob items. And books! I try to send Spanish story books each time. I want to encourage reading. The Spanish version of "Dr. Suess" books are great. I love those books.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Dr. Seuss, from The Lorax

These kids have become so special to me. I hope we have a lasting bond for many years to come.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Yamileisy's birthday

Yamileisy's birthday is on August 15th. I so hope that her package is there for her by then. I sent it about the middle of June. I can't wait for pictures. The process is so long sometimes. But having 4 children now I will be getting more letters and pictures more often. I love getting them. They always put a smile on my face. You become such an important person in their lives. They know someone cares for them. I always encourage school and my $22 a month gets them there! I will share my photos when they come in. Until another day......

Jose Joel or Joelito

I'm anxiously waiting to get my packet for Joelito. Its been awhile and I've already started a letter to him and printed some picture pages. I decided on printing photo album pages, then I will send him a binder type photo album for full sheets. I'll put them in page protectors (acid free, of course). Its really easy to write to him since I have already met him so I somewhat know his personality. I let him use my camera and he took pictures of everybody.

Their house is made of wood (you can see light through the walls) but it is very well kept. They do have electricity and running water in the home. The area between the homes, not really a street to drive on, is concrete so it has a much cleaner look. I think the whole neighborhood swept before our visit. His house is at the end of the walkway. They all want to see the people that came thousands of miles to see a child. Its a big deal to all. Of course we were so glad to have gifts for all the children around us. It was a great feeling!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Jose's letter

I received a letter yesterday from Jose. Yamileisy wrote it as he is too young yet. She answered every question. When I decided to sponsor Jose, I immediately put together a small welcome package. I made a page size poster all boyish, with his picture in the middle and a special message to him and printed it on photo paper. I printed pictures of my trip there and he was in them (that way he would recognize ME, the one who visited, as his sponsor!) I made library labels for books that I would be sending him, stickers, etc. So when he got my first letter he already knew me. It was great to surprise them. I recently sent him some more books, BLUE t-shirt (my guess for color was right on!) and some small Power Ranger figures. He hasn't gotten them yet. I found the figures on Ebay and they are actually collectibles and from 1995 still in the package for $4.99! (Any collector would die to know that I threw away the new condition box and just sent the figures only to save space). To a little boy in the Dominican it doesn't matter that its a collectible or not! And to me it was worth it. He'll be happy with them. Here is his letter:

Hello Darlene,

It was a surprise to know that you are sponsoring my brother. Thanks! He is in the first grade. He likes to go to school. He likes the books that you brought him. We loved your visit. We would like you to visit us again. My mother wants to meet you. Jose plays baseball with Victor. His favorite color is blue. With lots of affection,

Yamileisy and Jose Manuel, your sponsored children.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A few special moments

I brought a special silver locket with our pictures in it. I hope she keeps it forever. She loved getting it and wears it in all her photos now. She wants me to know how much it means to her. I thought it was a great idea to bring a girl! Oh how I could spoil her!

Glenn with an admirer in Santiago. She wanted her picture taken too!

Jen and I with the children in Santo Domingo .

Me, Jose Manuel and Yamileisy at the mall.

This is the inside of their house. Notice the little gas stove top on the table? (Her doll I brought her is on top of it in a basket) That is their cooking source and they do have a small fridge, no sinks! The house is about 8-10 feet wide. There were 11 of us in there to visit. There are no open windows, only corrugated tin in the openings and it WAS hot!

The title photo

Just a note about the photo with the header title above. That's me in the foreground of Yamileisy and Jose Manuel's tiny block home in Santo Domingo. Notice the buckets on the side of the house? That's what they use to collect and carry their water from the community water source. Notice the hanging laundry? Think how difficult it would be to wash clothes, sheets, etc. in a bucket with the water that you had to carry all the way home. Do you realize how heavy a bucket of water is? I can't wait for them to get the running water and toilet they so desperately need. Their mother, Yocasta, works all day in a factory and their father, Victor, is a truck driver. I can only imagine how it will change their lives for the better. One child at a time...........I CAN make a difference.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Joelito and his family

This is the sweetest family ever! We had a wonderful day with them. The whole neighborhood greeted us. I think they all

cleaned the streets in front of their homes. They all loaned chairs so that we could all sit and watch the kids play. See Joelito in front of me? He told the driver that he wanted to walk with me and asked if it was alright. He really took to me and I to him. How could I NOT sponsor such a sweet child? That's mama, Wendy, in the middle,a very charming lady and a great daddy there too in Joel! Jen got the little guy, Elias, a toddler size Mr. Potato Head! He carried it everywhere and showed all his friends. He even took his mitt to pizza with us. A day I'll never forget. Those children touch my heart and give me a great feeling to know them. I hope it is a forever relationship.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My daughter, Jen

I know this blog is about my sponsored children but let me tell you about my daughter, Jen. When she was a little girl of 11 in 1995 she saw the Children International commercial on TV. It touched her heart and she wanted to sponsor a child. I know there are many organizations out there so I did some research and have never regretted our decision to sponsor through them. She was given Garis who was 3 years old at the time. She used her allowance and babysitting money to pay what started out as $11 a month. During those years I helped her with the birthday, Easter, Christmas and Special Hug gifts as she couldn't do it all. She kept every letter and photo all these years. At age 14 Garis no longer needed her help so CI gave her Waidy also from the DR. What a great choice that was!
Jen always dreamed of going to the DR to visit. Well, Jen graduated from college and her gift from us was a trip to the DR to visit Waidy. CI also set it up to visit with Garis too! (after being gone from the program for several years) So off we went, Jen and her boyfriend Sal, Glenn and I, on a 2 week cruise through the Panama Canal with 5 1/2 extra suitcases with gifts for our sponsored families and the children of the villages. (When you cruise you can take as much luggage as you want!LOLOLOLOL) This particular cruise was repositioning to the port in Santo Domingo, DR. That's why I chose it. My child lives there and Jen's in Santiago. After a great cruise and visiting several different countries we stayed on in the DR for 4 days.
What I thought I was doing was giving our daughter her dream come true. BUT in reality I gave myself the most amazing experience that I will never forget! The feeling in your heart when you see your child for the first time is undescribable. And when I left I wanted to take her with me. I plan on going again someday soon. This time I have to fly so I won't be able to take as many gifts but I will do my best as there are so many children that appreciate what little thing you give them. Its a great feeling. I'll just pack less clothing. You don't need much in the DR in January as its very hot!

My little shadow...Joelito

As we walked along the city streets taking the family for pizza Joelito put his arm around me and never left my side. I'm sure it must be difficult to watch your brother get all the letters and gifts from Jen. When I look at this photo it makes me think of him so much and the great family he has. After much consideration I took it upon myself to call CI to see if he is sponsored yet and he's not. Or should I say "wasn't" until now. I decided that with Jen and I sponsoring in the same family we could do so much more. I chose Joeltio over the younger adorable little brother because he is 11 years old and I felt he needed the help more at his age. The little one will still benefit as we will always include him in our gifts. I can't wait to get my first letter from him since he already knows me by my recent visit. I think it will make it easier for him to write me.

Jen and Waidy

Waidy was Jen's replacement child when Garis left the program. He's such a sweet boy with a wonderful family. His papa speaks a little bit of English. Waidy writes the sweetest letters. He starts to write smaller towards the end so that he can write more. He was thrilled with his baseball and glove. She also brought one for his brothers and papa.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Paola's new photo

Look at that beautiful smile now! I can't wait to get photos of her and get a fundraiser started for her family. She will be a child well loved by this group. I hope to visit her someday.

Jen's first sponsored child

This is Garis. Jen started sponsoring him when she saw a CI commercial in 1995 when she was 11 years old. She used her allowance and babysitting money and never gave up sponsoring him for 11 years! Of course as her mom I'd help out with the extra gifts, etc. Garis no longer needed sponsorship by the time he was 14 in 2006. However, CI arranged for us to meet him on our recent trip to the Dominican to visit our other sponsored children. He spent the whole day with us. Jen took him to the mall and bought him some new jeans and shirts. Then we all went for pizza. I'm so happy CI made it possible to meet with him.

Jose Manuel 2007-2009

Jose Manuel brother to Yamileisy. He is 6 years old and a very sweet boy.

Yamileisy over the years 2005-2009

Yamilesiy has grown so much in the last 4 years. I can't wait to see her as a teenager!

In the last picture she has on her locket with our photos in it.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Paola from Mexico

I've had the privilege of joining a group sponsorship for a little girl from Mexico named Paola. We couldn't resist her sad face and terrible living conditions. Paola is 4. She also has a baby sister and a six year old sister. Paola's father is "ausente" meaning "absent". The mother is raising 3 young girls on her own and works as a laborer for $95 a month! How she works & does it on her own is any one's guess! We decided that she needed help desperately and now! There are 9 of us so she will be very well taken care of. This is something new that we are trying, but anything to help a small child is worth a try. So stay tuned to hear more about Paola.

Friday, June 19, 2009


This is info on Leydi. She desperately needs a sponsor and I'm trying to help find one for her. If you can change one child's life, please make it hers! $22 a month is such a small amount to make a BIG difference in her life however long it may be.

"Leydi just turned 8 on the first of June. She lives in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic with her grandmother, one older sister, and cousins. She was just recently diagnosed with HIV (in 2008, I believe). She went in to get her belly looked at because she has an umbilical hernia, and that is when they discovered her HIV+ status. Her mother has already passed away from AIDS, and as of October 2008 her father works as a daily worker. Her grandmother can not afford all of the things that the children in the household require. Leydi needs a fundraiser ASAP in order to raise money for food and clothes. She could, also, use a bed. She is just learning to write, but she writes her own letters. She is always happy and appreciative. Leydi will be having surgery eventually (when they decide that it is a good time for it) to correct the umbilical hernia. She receives medicine from the country's health system for HIV. CI provides vitamins and check ups."

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Dulce is a child in need of a sponsor. One woman has taken her on in hopes of finding her a new sponsor. For that reason Dulce will get the medical and schooling help that she desperately needs. The woman already sponsors 8 children in 6 different countries. I would love to take her on but being that I'm not working I can't take a third at this time. If anyone would like to take Dulce as their sponsored child let me know and I can arrange it. Below is some information I have received and I have more photos available.
"Dulce is 9 1/2 years old. She lives in Santo Domingo, Domincan Republic with "relatives". It has never been explained to me with whom she lives. In the picture, it appears to be her father. Dulce is HIV+, and was diagnosed as such at birth. Her mother has already died from AIDS. Her father is a street vendor.
She writes her own letters, and always includes a detailed drawing. She is so sweet (hence her name, "dulce"). "

Friday, June 12, 2009

Package sent

Finally got my package sent off for Yamileisy's birthday on August 15th. I hope she gets it in time as there are decorations in it. I sent her lots of photos of our time together and my family in a special album with a matching box to keep her special things in. Its amazing what you can fit into a small box if you pack it just right. I also sent in my request to get her a birthday cake and ice cream. When we visited I asked her if she liked ice cream and our time ran out. I didn't get to get it for her and I felt so bad. So I hope this will make up for it. I just wish I could be there. Maybe someday. This is my test package. We'll see how long it takes to get to her.

Jose Manuel's birthday is in November so I have until mid September to get it ready. He will be 7 and I've already collected things for him. The dollar store is great for kids things. I found some children's books in Spanish. Some are stories that were favorites of mine. I also made him some "From the library of Jose Manuel" stickers so that he can put them in his books. I know its expensive to send (the postage, not the contents) these packages but the smile on their face is PRICELESS.

Monday, June 8, 2009

A small gift

So many children but not enough gifts to go around. Even the simplest toy was appreciated. The next time I go to the DR I will take very few clothes and many more things for the children. It is sooooo hot there that you don't need much clothing. Just summer items which can be packed very compacted. I'm already buying things to take.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Talk with CI on the phone

Yesterday I called CI to find out a little more information about my family. They do own their tiny house. I was curious to know since the bathroom will be added. I will be getting progress reports on the project. I can't wait to see the pictures when they are done. The staff are very helpful.

I also am arranging for Yamileisy to have cake and ice cream for her birthday. I'm sending decorations ahead of time along with a birthday package. I hope she gets it before her birthday on Aug. 15th.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Lift One Project:

Lift One Project:

Letter from Yamileisy

Yesterday I recieved my 12th letter from Yamileisy. I love getting her letters. I recently sent an extra donation for the family to buy whatever they wanted, NOT needed. So they got this TV. She is thrilled. I hope they get plenty of enjoyment out of it! She's wearing her locket in the picture too! The little bear on the wall is what I brought her some gifts in. Its attached to a zippered heartshaped pouch. She says, " I tell everybody about you and my brother talks about you too."
In the beginning her mother wrote her letters when she was five. It was so nice when she started writing them herself. Then she started writing in cursive. I have been able to see the difference that her schooling is making. Not all children have the privilege of going to school. Only 58% of children make it past the 5th grade in the DR. I hope Yamileisy surpasses that statistic. I will always encourage her to study hard and never give up.
I should be getting my first letter from Jose Manuel soon. I sent him a letter with pictures and some stickers already. They are so grateful for anything they get. I think it will be easier for him because he already met me and has seen the face behind the letters. Their brother, Victor Manuel, is already sponsored. I wish I could collaborate with that sponsor. He is also 9 years old. I've never asked if he and Yamileisy were twins or not. That's on today's agenda!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Jose Manuel age 6

I started sponsoring Jose Manuel shortly after I returned from my visit. I decided that it could help the family so much more. Also I will be able to combine special needs packages for them throughout the year. He is a very sweet boy. Once you meet them it is hard NOT to sponsor them. He loves baseball and he carries water to help at home.

This is Yamileisy age 9

I started sponsoring Yamileisy in 2005 when she was 5 years old. Her father is a truck driver and her mother is a factory worker. She has 2 brothers. I planned for 2 years to visit her and this last January my dream came true. It was the most amazing thing I have ever done!
She lives in a very tiny 2 room concrete house with a tin roof. They have no running water or toilet. They do have electricity. We spent a wonderful day together and it was very difficult to leave her. She constantly hugged me and thanked me over and over. Of course, I wish I could speak Spanish, it would have been much easier. She is a real sweetheart and I hope to visit her again.

Learning how to do this

I'm not a real computer whiz and I'm slowly learning how to do these things. I'm new to blogging and posting pictures and such. So please bear with me and my mistakes. I do love talking about my sponsored kids!

Bathroom for my kids

This is their tiny home. I'm so excited that I'm able to provide a bathroom for my sponsored kids. Running water and a toilet! Wow, what a big change that will be for them. Hopefully someday I'll be able to see it.