Jan 14 2013

Community in Colombia plants trees to help in drought

A Chinese proverb says it’s better to light one candle than curse the darkness.

We can find a modern-day parallel in a community in Cali, Colombia, where families in the CFCA program found it’s better to take action and plant a tree to help the environment!

Water walk in Colombia

Yeraldin, CFCA staffer in Colombia and CFCA scholar, plants seeds for a future tree in an environmental campaign to help fight against drought. Yeraldin was sponsored through CFCA as a child.

For several years now, Colombia has suffered from a drought that has caused the nation’s government to urge citizens to conserve water (see this article for more information).

This particular CFCA community in Cali has had limited water supply as a result, and CFCA mothers groups met to discuss the problem. Read more

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Jan 11 2013

IRA charitable rollover provision extended

CFCA sponsor Donna and her sponsored youth America participate in a CFCA awareness trip to Merida, Mexico, in 2012.

CFCA sponsor Donna and her sponsored youth America participate in a CFCA awareness trip to Merida, Mexico, in 2012.

Good news! If you’re a taxpayer wanting to make tax-free donations to charities from traditional and Roth IRAs, you can still do so for 2012.

Congress recently extended the IRA charitable rollover provision retroactively for all of 2012 and through Jan. 31, 2013. The provision allows people 70 Ω and older to donate up to $100,000 a year tax free to qualifying charities.

To claim a gift as a 2012 IRA rollover donation, however, it must be received before Feb. 1, 2013. We encourage donors to act quickly, as most financial institutions take 7-10 business days to process IRA charitable rollover donations.

Additionally, if you took a required minimum distribution from your IRA in December 2012, you may contribute all or part of it to charity and claim the gift as a 2012 rollover donation, if itís received prior to Feb. 1.

Over the years, the IRA rollover provision has been popular with CFCA donors. They’ve used the tax-free distributions to pre-pay sponsorship, fund higher education costs for their sponsored child, or simply as contributions to the CFCA general fund.

For more information, contact Michael Calabria by email at giftplanning@cfcausa.org or call (800) 875-6564, ext. 7146.

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Jan 11 2013

Guatemala trip showcases ‘joyful miracle’ of CFCA’s growth

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“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies awareness trip participants. You can see Bob’s full update on his Facebook page. Photo credits go to Ricardo Ajpuac, CFCA staff member in Guatemala.

Here’s wishing you every blessing in this special season to give thanks and begin anew.

Counting on God’s blessings, we look forward to a tranquil and relaxing journey. The coffee is red ripe on the trees. School is out, and children fill the mountain air with their giggles. Read more

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Jan 10 2013

What the Santals can teach us: Sreekanth, CFCA communications liaison for India

Sreekanth, CFCA communications liaison for India

Sreekanth, out on location, wearing a traditional hat of the Santal tribe.

By Sreekanth Gundoji, CFCA communications liaison for India

Each CFCA sponsored friend and family has a story to tell.

For the families of the Santal tribes living in remote areas of India between Nepal and Bangladesh, the story is especially compelling.

As CFCA’s communications liaison in India, I have the honor to tell their story.

The Santals depend on nature for their survival. Agriculture is their way of life.

As their villages are spread across four Indian states and are miles away from towns, they create their own communities with whatever resources are available. They build houses with mud and clay supported by bamboo sticks and cover the roof with grass, straw and tiles made of mud.

The Santals are wrongly considered “behind the times” by many in India, and their way of life may seem rugged to you and me.

But the Santal people can teach all of us important lessons. They take nothing for granted, and they have a lot to share about using scarce resources in the most sustainable ways.

Their culture and religious observances are colorful, dynamic and unique. To the Santals, dancing is essential to life. Read more

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Jan 9 2013

How to make empanadas from Colombia (recipe)

empanadas from Colombia

Celina’s empanadas from Colombia … mmm!

Celina is a mother to two sponsored children in Colombia, and for her, empanadas are her livelihood. She took out a loan through her mothers group to start a business selling empanadas and coffee. (CFCA serves more than 22,000 sponsored children and elderly in Colombia.)

Celina used the income from her business to purchase her first home.

Celina shares her recipe with us, and we invite you to try her delicious empanadas. Enjoy! Get the recipe

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Jan 8 2013

CFCA 2012 blog numbers in review

Thanks to WordPress for preparing a 2012 annual report for our blog, Around the World with CFCA.


Here’s an excerpt from WordPress:

15,000 cans of diet soda were consumed at New York Fashion Week. This blog had about 140,000 views in 2012. If these were cans of diet soda, theyíd power 9 Fashion Weeks.

In 2012, there were 286 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 950 posts. There were 844 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 109 MB. That’s about 2 pictures per day.

Click here to see the complete report.

Thanks so much to our readers! Please help us increase our activity in the coming year by checking back regularly.

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Jan 7 2013

How children can benefit from doing random acts of kindness

CFCA awareness trip to Merida

Children in Mexico prepare to welcome sponsors during a CFCA awareness trip to Merida in 2012.

A National Public Radio story about how random acts of kindness can make kids more accepting and more popular caught our attention recently.

Schoolchildren in Vancouver, Canada, took part in an experiment designed to see how performing acts of kindness could influence empathy and altruism.

One of the more surprising results from the survey? The children who performed the acts of kindness not only were more likely to accept their classmates, they also experienced significantly bigger increases in peer acceptance.

Apparently, it’s always cool to be kind!

We’ve often heard from parents who tell us how CFCA sponsorship has helped their children reach out in kindness to others.

They can participate in writing letters to sponsored friends, learning about their friends’ countries, and traveling with their parents on CFCA awareness trips. Some have even started fundraising efforts for families in the sponsorship program.

One example is Liberty, who raised $1,500 for a CFCA chocolate-making mothers group in Guatemala. She was 7 years old at the time. (Her family sponsors several friends there and traveled on CFCA trips.)

“I feel good because I did something nice,” she said to us later.

Her compassion earned her deep gratitude from the mothers, who used the money to buy a chocolate grinding machine to help their business. They were able to significantly increase their chocolate sales as a result of Liberty’s contribution.

Another example is Matthew, who generously donated money from his past five birthdays to his family’s sponsored child, Magdalena. He came in person to the CFCA headquarters office in Kansas City in 2010 to make sure his donation arrived safely!

Did the results from this survey surprise you, based on your own experience with children? Why or why not?

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