Actress Heather Graham has supported 12-year-old Elenie from Manila, Philippines, for many years. Ms. Graham is a very active sponsor who communicates with Elenie often.
When Children International recently asked Ms. Graham if she would tell us why she sponsors a child, she graciously offered the following reasons.
1. What inspired you to sponsor a child initially?
I wanted to have a positive impact in a kid’s life. I think a lot about what women and children in developing countries have to deal with, and I think the major way to help them is education.
2. You have supported Elenie for such a long time. What has it been like to see photos of her?
I love seeing photos of Elenie--she is such a wonderful person! It makes me smile to see her pictures and drawings. Also it's fun to watch her grow up.
3. Knowing that girls in developing countries are often overlooked by society, how do you think you are making a difference in Elenie’s life?
One of my major goals is to find ways to empower women in developing countries. I'm very inspired by my friend who started the Cambodian Children's Fund. I visited his schools, and it's very inspiring. Women in less developed countries too often don’t have the same opportunities to get an education, and I think getting an education makes all the difference. Also, it's great for kids and especially girls to have good self-esteem and learn to value themselves, which is something that is important to Children International.
4. As a longtime sponsor, how has the experience of sponsoring a child changed you?
Sponsoring a child brings me a lot of joy. One child makes me want to sponsor more kids! That's why I sponsor Elenie. I love it!
5. How would you explain sponsorship and the importance of it to a friend?
I would encourage everyone to sponsor a kid. Money spent toward sponsoring a kid rewards you in so many more ways than you would ever guess. Most of all it makes you feel really happy!
6. Looking at your career and other charities for which you advocate, what is it about Children International that appeals to you?
The thing I like about Children International is that you are helping a child have a better life. It's great for that child to know that someone who lives in another country cares about them. I think by helping people, we make the world a better place
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