The other week I asked this snarky question to my Confessions of a Funeral Director Facebook community:

Over the past two weeks I’ve been attempting to encourage people to join me in sponsoring a child in Guatemala through World Vision.

Within those two weeks over two million people have visited my Facebook page. Out of those two million, two people (that I’m aware of) sponsored a child through World Vision.

I’m both excited and disheartened that my efforts have produced two sponsorships (yeah) from two individuals out of two million (ugh). Honestly, I’m kind of dumbfounded.

So, here’s a question for you: If you donate to charity, what are your motivating factors for doing so?

And, why do you think it’s so difficult to motivate people to give money to something wonderful (like sponsoring an impoverished child in Guatemala) when we will easily give money to something less wonderful (a new shirt that we don’t need, etc., etc.)?

So here are the top seven answers that you posted.  And I will respond to each accordingly.

One.  It’s better to sponsor an elephant.  

I hope you’re not being sarcastic because if I could sponsor a baby elephant, I would too.  So you win.

Two.  I want to give locally … to ‘Merica.  

Okay?  You’re selfish?

See, I don’t think we will fix everything here in the US.  Like ever.  But having worked with vulnerable at-risk youth here in America for two years I can say that there is more opportunity in the US for “poor kids” than there is for “poor kids” in Guatemala, or any other third-world countries.

In the US there’s programs that provide food for the hungry (like food stamps).

There’s *FREE* public education that goes to the 12th grade.

And after high school there’s wonderful aid for low income students to attend college.

There isn’t (systemic) child labor.

There’s a reason why people (especially poor people) from other countries want to come to America.

It’s easy for our perspectives to be limited by our locality. To develop a sense of tribalism and nationalism is only natural. But to see past the limits of sight and find empathy for those outside our borders is – in a way – supernatural. To have a vision beyond self, beyond family and beyond country, to have a vision for the world starts with a recognition that we are citizens of a larger kingdom. And this recognition is why I support World Vision. Not only is World Vision able to empathize with “the other”, but they focus on holistically helping the weakest, the most helpless . . .the children. They are doing what I imagine Jesus would be doing if he was walking the world today which is why I’m so excited to join their efforts in Guatemala!

Three. World Vision is a Christian organization.

Please, don’t misunderstand me … I don’t want you to feel like “World Vision” has the corner on charity.  In fact, World Vision itself recognizes this and partners with outside organizations.  I also REALLY hope that you have a cause that you’re SUPER passionate about.  And, I do REALLY want you to just give, to learn to give and to make giving a part of your life.  And I do believe World Vision is a wonderful place to practice giving.

Secondly, World Vision isn’t evangelical in the sense that they evangelize.  They are a Christian group attempting to practice the words of Jesus.

This attempt involves more than words and food, it involves education, health care, economic development, spiritual care, agriculture and clean water. All recognition factors that World Vision does in Guatemala and abroad.

For example, here’s a photo of the Guatemalan World Vision violin school:

But, with that said, I support you donating to secular organizations and hope that you can see that Christians are interested in much more than preaching.

Four.  They’re coming to America anyways.  

I’m in Guatemala now and there’s a lot of kids here.  Sooooooo ….

Five.  I’ve got something serious I’m working through.  

I wish someone would sponsor your child too!  And I say that with tears in my eyes.  Give all that you have to your wonderful child.

Six.  World Vision is irresponsible with their money.  

Yes.  When giving ALWAYS give wisely!  It is YOUR money.  And I know that you are giving to other organizations because you seem like that type of person.  Although I do believe World Vision is responsible.

Here’s a response that doesn’t come from my computer keys …

World Vision gives about 80 cents per dollar to the work.  The other 20 cents involves advertising, workers and overhead.  And I’m okay with that.

Seven.  Because consumerism.  

So, yes … if you need that new T-Shirt or iPhone … it’s your money … and if you’d rather give your money to a toy … that’s okay.  But like the post above states, we’ve all been touched by consumerism and I’m really trying to shake it off.  And one way I’m losing that consumerism is by supporting a charity like World Vision.


 I’m sure there’s other reasons that people feel they shouldn’t support an international charity like World Vision, but I feel like the above seven are the general ones.  Bottom line: I believe World Vision is worth considering.  I’m here, on the ground, and it IS working.

Sponsor a Child in Guatemala

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