Katiana Antoine is a senior at Florida International University. When she’s not in class, she works as a writing tutor and a reading coach, and also volunteers for a literacy program. Recently, Katiana threw a party for a 7-year-old girl who she sponsors through our Angels Of Hope program. This is her story of celebrating Miriam’s big day.
For many children, a birthday is when they experience the joy of receiving the attention and love of their immediate families. They anxiously tear through boxes of presents, blissfully blow out candles, and ecstatically express feelings of satisfaction (or sugar rushes). While this may reflect many of our own childhoods, or those of children we know, for some children, a birthday is just an ordinary day. And for a child without a family, this day may pass by with its significance unrecognized.
Food For The Poor’s Angels Of Hope program links compassionate individuals with orphans in 11 countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. The program creates opportunities for sponsors to build relationships with children who need and long for support. As birthdays come around, sponsors have the chance celebrate a birthday for those children without families.
For my 25th birthday this year, I was inspired to shift all the attention away from myself and toward a more special birthday occasion that was to come — Miriam’s birthday. She is the super adorable child I sponsor.
An event was hosted by myself and Cassandra, a friend who works in the Special Events department at Food For The Poor. Guests helped me celebrate by offering donations toward sponsoring Miriam for a year. Not only was most of the goal met, but everyone who attended created personalized birthday cards for Miriam. In those engaging moments, each person briefly experienced the joy of filling in a gap in the life of a child who deserves as much attention and care as any other. Some expressed that the initiative was “really cool” or “inspiring,” while others were already beginning to think of initiatives of their own.
When I decided to become an Angels Of Hope sponsor, I had no idea how much of an impact this decision could also have on me. Receiving pictures of Miriam looking through and enjoying her birthday cards made every aspect of my charitable 25th birthday worth it. Though the cards had been transported to her from a different part of the world, I felt really close to Miriam as I browsed through each photo. It was almost as if I was right in the room with her. What a joy it was to give up my birthday to honor her special day above mine.
Our Angels Of Hope program allows donors to support precious children like Miriam. There are more than 500 children just like her waiting for a sponsor. Will you become a sponsor today for as little as $34 a month?