Before and after: How sponsorship transformed one childís life

By Shanxi Omoniyi, CFCA web editor and writer

Milton and Lila Krainbill

Milton and Lila Krainbill

Many of us at the CFCA office in Kansas City know Milton and Lila Krainbill, and those who donít will learn pretty quickly.

Theyíre longtime sponsors and volunteers in Holton, Kan., who serve a delicious lunch to all the Kansas City staff once a year. With the employee head count at just over 130, thatís no easy feat.

But even more amazing are the Krainbillsí pictures showing the progress of their sponsored child, Heidy, in Costa Rica.

Milton and Lila took a vacation to Costa Rica in 2003, and they asked to tour the San Jose project there.

From the moment they met Heidy and her family, the Krainbills knew they couldnít lose contact with this little girl. She was one of eight children in a family struggling to overcome poverty.

The familyís galvanized tin house had gaping holes in the siding that let in rainwater. The children slept on pallets instead of beds.

ìWhen we saw the situation, we just couldnít walk away without taking on another sponsorship,î Lila said.

Seven years later, Milton and Lila returned to find a transformed family.

Three of the children were sponsored through CFCA. The familyís new, government-built house was a solid, sturdy edifice adorned with windows and a coat of pink paint.

More than that, the neighborhood where Heidiís family now lived was prospering. Across the street, green houses sprang up like sentinels.

ìYou could really see the difference,î Lila said. ìPeople [in the U.S.] go out to eat and spend $30 and donít even think about it, so it puts a whole new perspective on how much difference you can make for a little amount.î

ìAnd youíre changing their entire life,î Milton added. ìThe books, the education that theyíre receiving.î

Milton and Lila Krainbill serve lunch to CFCA staff.

Milton and Lila Krainbill whip up a delicious sloppy joe lunch and a dessert of frosted cupcakes to the grateful CFCA Kansas City staff!

But the Krainbills didnít stop there. They wanted to give back ó this time to the CFCA headquarters, which they hadnít realized was in Kansas City.

ìThey gave us a tour of the facilities,î Milton said, of the Kansas City staff. ìThatís when we went home and said, ëYou know, we really ought to take them a meal.íî

Perhaps the thing that impressed them most was what the Kansas City office didnít have.

Lila said the CEOís office furniture was ìjust a kitchen table and chairs.î Milton said the table in the conference room was ìtwo 12-foot oak doors that somebody refurnished.î

ìSo we knew from that point,î said Lila, ìthat the administration didnít take any more of the share of the donorsí money than they had to, and the money gets to where it needs to go.î

In the meantime, the Krainbills have sponsored another child, Santhoshkumar, in India. Theyíre hoping to visit him someday.

ìWe could give a personal testimonial ñ itís not just what you read in the paper, or what you think is going on,î Lila said. ìWeíve actually seen it.î

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