With creativity and smart business sense, one 8-year-old girl in Indiana goes above and beyond for her family’s sponsored child.
Out of her home in Indiana, 8-year-old Madison Sproles operates a thriving business. She weaves colorful checkered potholders. She bakes muffins made of pumpkin and chocolate and blueberries and oats. She designs bookmarks covered in stars and hearts. And she’s learning how to knit. Accompanied by her mom, she sells her handicrafts at the local farmer’s market and through an online shop called “Maddy’s Heart.”
Entrepreneurial is definitely a good word to describe Madison Sproles. So is creative. But perhaps the best word to describe her is generous.
“I don’t save anything for myself,” Madison says, her voice earnest and excited as she shares how all her profits go toward birthday and Christmas gifts, and extra school supplies, for a girl named Hui who lives in China.
“She has the exact same birthday as me, except for the year,” Madison says of the 10-year-old girl her family began sponsoring in March 2015 after her dad, Mark, attended a Winter Jam concert in Fort Wayne. At intermission, as the focus on stage turned to Holt child sponsorship, he immediately thought of Madison.
“I knew Madison has this heart for caring for people,” Mark recalls, “and when I saw Hui, I knew this would be a perfect way for her to help a child constantly.”
Adopted at 5 years old, Madison’s heart for children grew from her own early life experiences. “I have a passion to sponsor children because I needed help and so I got adopted,” says Madison, who lived with eight foster families before joining her family. “That was my help and that brought me closer to my passion for children.”
Asked how her life is different now that she has a permanent family, she doesn’t take a breath. “I get loved. I get nurtured. I have a loving family. I get fed well. And I don’t get abused,” she says. “So that’s why I have a humongous passion for children.”
Now that all of her needs are met, Madison is determined to help other children growing up in vulnerable situations. “She lives with her family, but they only have one room,” Madison says, explaining why Hui needs a sponsor. “Her dad has some kind of sickness.”
Madison says their monthly sponsorship helps Hui stay with her family and go to school. But as a kid herself, Madison knows that every kid also deserves a day to feel special, and to receive something special. That’s why every spring, when Holt provides an opportunity for Madison and her family to sign a birthday card and contribute toward a gift for their sponsored child, she draws from her savings to send money for Hui.
And since they share the same birthday — July 21 — Madison and Hui both celebrate together! But they also share more than just a birthday. They share the same caring heart for people in need. In 2014, a staff member in China wrote of Hui that “she is a kind-hearted girl and always giving what she has” to those less fortunate.
“My favorite thing about sponsoring Hui is that I can give my money to someone in need. Because,” Madison says, “it makes me happy.”
Right now, Madison is Hui’s sponsor. But one day, it seems, they could be friends.
Robin Munro • Managing Editor
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