Child Sponsorship changes lives

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Baltazar, age 11, participates in The Salvation Army’s Feeding Program in Moncolva, Mexico. He lives in a home made of aluminum and cardboard. Despite family problems, Baltazar attends school and studies as much as he can. He is usually happy and enjoys playing with friends.

The Salvation Army Overseas Children’s Sponsorship Program (OCSP) exists to change the world, one child at a time. A sponsor helps a child to be healthy and happy, and to learn and grow. The program operates separately from The Salvation Army’s World Services/Self Denial effort.

Two types of sponsorship are available: Individual, where the pledge contributes to the needs of a specific child; and Discretionary, where the pledge goes to a particular Salvation Army home or center, rather than to an individual child. Sponsors include individuals, and Salvation Army groups such as Home League, corps cadets, Sunday school classes, youth groups, Bible study groups, women’s auxilaries, and Adult Rehabilitation Centers. Many individuals and groups outside The Salvation Army participate in this program.

In the Western Territory, the OCSP has existed for nine years, initiated by (then) Commissioner Kay F. Rader. Today, Major Ivy Hood is the program director. The children in the program are all associated with Salvation Army facilities ­ orphanages and children’s homes and/or schools, including schools for the blind and those otherwise challenged. While similar to highly publicized programs like World Vision, the OCSP offers a notable advantage: every penny given for the child is received for that child’s benefit. Administrative costs are funded separately.

Natia, age 12, is from Russia. She and her mother live in one room, where they have no private bath, and no water, electricity, or gas. Natia needs help with food and clothing.

The Salvation Army’s children’s homes, schools, and childcare centers are located in over 30 countries on the continents of South America, Central America, Africa, and Asia. For $20.00 a month the sponsored child receives housing, food, clothing, education, and medical care, as well as spiritual and moral guidance. Besides the opportunity to learn and grow, the child receives the knowledge that someone, through God’s empowering love, really does care.

Currently over 200 active sponsors care for over 300 children, and each year many people give discretionary gifts. Yet the need is still great. Another 300 sponsors are needed now. Maybe you could help one of the children listed below (and throughout the article):

Patricio, age 10, lives in a boys’ home in Chile. He is in 4th grade and likes to play football. His mother and father have separated, but his mother works and visits Patricio often. Alexander, age 8, is at The Salvation Army’s Children’s Center in Bandung, Indonesia. His parents are unable to provide for him and his 5 siblings ­ he needs support to meet basic and educational needs.


Last year the OCSP received a letter from a couple who works for The Salvation Army in Zambia. They had recently visited one of the boarding schools supported by the program. The school is in the wilds of Africa, in the middle of nowhere, where it is difficult to obtain basic necessities. The couple writes: “The reward comes amply when the sponsored child is brought to us and the smiles, or the tears come, or the unexpected hugs, the still-evident pride in their school as they show us their sleeping quarters, their dining hall, their chapel…when we can smooth the way for them to study unthreatened by ‘being chased’ as many are for lack of money to complete their education.” The tremendous desire of these families to better the lives of their children is inspiring. The rewards for the sponsor are very personal ­ it is exciting and moving to see both the physical help and the spiritual hope that the program provides.

Patricia, age 12, lives at The Salvation Army’s Hanbury Children’s Home in Jamaica. Abandoned by her parents, her other relatives could not care for her. She is often sad, but she is in good health and enjoys playing games.

Won’t you welcome a child, in Jesus’ name, by participating in the Overseas Children’s Sponsorship Program?

If you would like to sponsor a child, please contact:

Major Ivy Hood, Director
Overseas Children’s Sponsorship
The Salvation Army
180 East Ocean Blvd.
11th Floor ­ OCS
Long Beach, CA 90801-5646
Tel. (562) 491-8301
Fax (562) 491-8501

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