Long-time child sponsor Laura Jones shares why she decided to sponsor one more child during the COVID pandemic — even though she too was financially affected by this global crisis.
When sponsor Laura Jones received an email during the COVID pandemic asking her to sponsor Pisey, she immediately felt called to help.
“She is one of six children and being raised only by her mom, in extreme poverty,” Laura says of Pisey. “Even though I was currently on furlough myself from my job, I knew God was leading me to sponsor her.”
This was not the first time Laura felt led to sponsor a child. Through the years, she has sponsored many children through different organizations. When she first heard about the need among children Holt serves — at a 2015 Winter Jam concert — she was already helping one child. But she was so moved by what she heard, she decided to sponsor another.
Since that time, she has helped meet the needs of four children in Holt programs around the world. Two have since left the sponsorship program, and she continues to support two children — including Pisey.
“I know from the time I was on furlough that you can sometimes feel alone,” she says. “My situation was different in that I had lots of family and friends that were there to help me. Pisey’s family situation is much different.”
Wanting Pisey to know she’s not alone, Laura began writing her letters — first the traditional pen-and-paper way. Then in April 2021, when Holt launched a new digital service center for sponsors, she decided to try out a new feature that allowed her to submit a letter online. Like a traditional sponsor letter, this one would come to Holt for translation and then be delivered to Pisey by Holt’s local staff in Cambodia. Except with this new feature in the service center, Laura could simply type up her letter and send it online, just like an email!
“Hello Pisey,” she wrote. “I am your sponsor and I cannot wait to get to know you better. I live in the United States. My children are grown and have families of their own. I love spending time with my grandchildren. I have a dog and a cat. Both are very spoiled, but I love spending time with them too. I enjoy spending time at the beach and watching and listening to the ocean. I want to encourage you to study hard in school and learn everything you can. Read books, learn math, and learn! I am very proud of you and the help you give to your mother and your family. Keep up the good work. I look forward to the next update I receive to see how you are doing. Love your sponsor, Laura.”
With tremendous heart and compassion for the children she sponsors, Laura takes advantage of every opportunity to encourage and support Pisey and remind her she’s not alone. Recently, Laura received a package in the mail inviting her to sign a birthday card for Pisey — a card she will receive this month at the party sponsors help throw every year for their sponsored children in honor of International Children’s Day!
Asked what message she most wants Pisey to receive from her letters and cards, Laura says, “I want her to know most of all that God cares and He sees her and her family and He loves them very much. I also want her to know that I care and want her to thrive and be the best she can be as she grows up.”
Through her many years of sponsoring children, Laura has also received something significant in return. “I love sponsoring these children,” she says. “One thing I have learned is the blessing of giving.”
Have you visited Holt’s new digital service center for sponsors yet? With our new service center, you have even more opportunities to connect with your sponsored child. You can read updates, view letters and drawings, and even send them a message! Visit holtinternational.org/my-holt-account to log in now!
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