We just have to tell you about Danilo.
Danilo is 9. He lives with his family in the Philippines and he’s in the fifth grade at school. Two years ago, Danilo heard about Holt’s child sponsorship program from a kid who lived next door to him. His neighbor told him that he has a sponsor in the U.S. who helps him go to school by providing school supplies, lunch money and uniforms.
Danilo couldn’t believe it!
His parents also had trouble covering the cost of his supplies, books, uniforms and school lunches. Some days, he even went without lunch.
Right away, Danilo found out what he needed to be matched with a sponsor of his own. And after asking his parents for his school progress report and his birth certificate, he marched right over to our local partner and asked to apply for Holt’s child sponsorship program.
Can you imagine a 7-year-old boy showing up in your office, by himself, holding his birth certificate — asking for a sponsor to help him stay in school?
Well, of course, our partner immediately enrolled Danilo in Holt’s child sponsorship program.
Today, two years later, Danilo is as smart and resourceful as ever. And because he had the wisdom and determination, at 7 years old, to take advantage of an opportunity to better his own future, he is still in school — and still working to achieve his goals.
Danilo is an extraordinary young man. But no child should have to ask for a sponsor if they need one. That’s why we continually need generous people like you, who care deeply about kids, to step up and make the commitment to sponsor.
When more sponsors step up, it makes it possible to help more and more children in the communities where we work around the world. So we can help not just the plucky 7-year-old who shows up asking for a sponsor, but also his shy classmate who is too embarrassed to say she’s not getting enough to eat at home — or that she’s outgrown the one pair of shoes her parents can afford. Because when you sponsor, your monthly donations also help provide the social workers who ally with teachers and other community members to identify kids in greatest need. You help make sure that not one child gets overlooked. That not one child goes without the help they need.
As for Danilo, we picture big things for him. Recently, Danilo became an entrepreneur when he decided to start his own business on weekends and after school — selling tofu and chicken in the market where his dad also works as a street vendor. With his earnings, he was planning to save up for a tablet to make it easier to do schoolwork from home during the pandemic.
But when Holt donors generously provided tablets for all the kids in the sponsorship program, Danilo decided to put his savings toward internet fees — easing the financial burden on his family and ensuring he would have enough bandwidth to attend online classes.
As our team in the Philippines writes, “Such foresight and understanding of what needs to be done added to a firm determination to study, and a concern to help his family, makes Danilo an extraordinary kid … One cannot help but admire him.”
We can’t help it, either.