Julie writes for her personal blog, The Family CEO, in which she talks about her experience managing her family’s finances.
Earlier this year, our family marked three years of being CFCA sponsors. The experience has been special for us.
Twice as special you might say.
After learning of the CFCA program through our church, Holy Trinity in Lenexa, Kan., our family stood looking over the pictures and bios of those needing sponsors.
My son was drawn to a boy named Orlando.
But my daughter, who has always felt more of a connection to older people, liked the idea that you could sponsor an aging person through CFCA.
That’s how we found ourselves sponsoring not only Orlando, but also a woman named Jovita, both from the Philippines.
Shortly after joining the program, our kids began corresponding with their sponsored friends.
Orlando starts his letters to our son, Grant, with “Dear Uncle Grant,” which we love. He also sends Grant his report cards.
But my son asked how I knew that Orlando and Jovita actually were receiving the money we were sending, which I realized was a good question to be asking.
Since we had become a part of CFCA through our church, we had a certain amount of confidence in the program, but I decided to see what I could learn on my own.
My search led me to Charity Navigator, a website that evaluates charitable causes based on their financial health, transparency and accountability.
Charity Navigator has given CFCA a 3-star (good) or 4-star (exceptional) rating in each of the last 11 years.
That information reassured me, and it did something else, too.
While still on the Charity Navigator website, I clicked through to the CFCA website.
It was then that I ran across some things that I was unaware of before.
Probably, the most important thing I discovered is that you can write to your sponsored friends and send a photo online.
I made immediate use of this by writing to my childrens’ friends, Jovita and Orlando.
Just because we had encouraged our children to write to their sponsored friends, there was no reason I couldn’t do it, too.
And the online option made it so much easier. I could even attach photos.
We signed up for the CFCA program on an impulse, probably like many people do.
And many months, it’s just an entry on our bank statement.
But at different points along the way, like when I researched the program through Charity Navigator, wrote a post for my blog, or now in writing a post for the CFCA blog, I find myself recommitting to this wonderful program.
In addition to her personal blog, Julie was a customer columnist at PerkStreet Financial blog. Julie and her daughter also wrote for the “U.S. News & World Report,” in which they blogged about college and finances.