One Sponsored Child’s Transformation, From Age 9 to 18

A message to sponsors from Phil Littleton, Holt president & CEO

As a sponsor myself, I know how it feels to watch your sponsored child grow and change. In some ways, it’s like watching one of your own children grow up. You feel proud of the progress they make and excited to see the person they will turn out to be. Recently, I came across a story on the Holt blog about a girl named You Jun and the Holt sponsors who supported her from the time she was 9 years old all the way through her 18th birthday.

You just have to see these photos of You Jun, from her first progress report photo as a shy 9-year-old to nine years later as a confident, smiling 18-year-old:

I’m always amazed to see how much sponsored children change from one progress report to the next. You can really see the difference their sponsors make in their lives. Not only are they physically changing, but with their needs met, their whole demeanor changes as well. When you sponsor a child, you don’t just provide food and clothing. You care for a child’s entire mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.

As they mature, sponsored kids also develop a greater self-awareness and a deeper understanding of the role sponsors play in their lives. And you can bet, within a couple years, sponsored children come to know very well who will receive their picture.

For over nine years, You Jun’s sponsors, Linda and Jim Vail, covered the cost of books, supplies and fees for You Jun to attend a boarding school near her home in China. They made sure she always had enough to eat and a fresh new uniform to wear to school. Most of all, they made sure You Jun could visit her grandma on school breaks — helping her maintain a strong relationship with the only relative still in her life.

What I love most about this story is that in the last few photos, You Jun is holding something very special. With a big sweet smile on her face, she holds a birthday card from Linda and Jim, open to a picture of the two of them.

Soon, if you haven’t already, you will receive a special packet in the mail with the opportunity to send a birthday card to your sponsored child by June 1, the International Day of the Child. On this day every year, we celebrate every sponsored child’s birthday. I hope you take advantage of this special opportunity to send a photo of yourself to your sponsored child! I promise you, they will love seeing a picture of the caring person who makes so many things possible in their lives.

Thank you for everything you make possible for your sponsored child.

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