Sponsorship Highlight: Frequent Flyers

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Mitch's family in Peru in 2012.
Mitch (grey T-shirt), Amber (blue), Campton (striped), Ryder (orange) and Maxwell (maple leaf) pose with the family’s sponsored child Elmer (sideways hat) in Peru in 2012.

The Hancock family from Calgary—sponsors of five and globetrotters, too

When it comes to nurturing the relationship with their sponsored children, the Hancock family are literally going the distance. Mitch, Amber and their three kids have visited Peru and Armenia, and are on their way to Ethiopia in June—all in the pursuit of meeting face to face the children they sponsor. “We are ecstatic about the upcoming trip,” says Mitch.

The Calgary family—which includes Ryder, 9, Campton, 11, and Maxwell, 13—sponsors five children. “We started sponsoring when we had our own chil- dren,” says Mitch. “We wanted our kids to have a sense of other children who didn’t live the way we do. We wanted them to know the world outside the bubble that we live in.”

Letters and visits
Over the years, Mitch and Amber have encouraged Ryder, Campton and Max- well to write letters and send photos to their sponsored children, which has strengthened the connection and given the Hancock kids a better understanding of what it’s like to be a child growing up in a Third World country. But the relationship really came to life when they visited these children.

In Peru, the Hancocks met Elmer’s family, got to see his friends come home from school and played soccer together. “My eldest son, Maxwell, saw that Elmer’s group of friends were just like any other kids in the world,” says Mitch.

The family’s visit to Armenia last May was also meaningful. Since he was four years old, Ryder has been sending pho- tos and letters to Hovsep, the Hancocks’ sponsored child in that country. “When we met the family, we could see that it was important to them that their son had a relationship with a family living in the First World,” recalls Mitch. “They encouraged us to keep on sending letters and their son to write back.”

A visit to Hovsep’s local wrestling club provided another bonding experience. “We watched him and he was the man of the hour,” says Mitch of his sponsored child. “It was nice to share that moment of pride with the family. There was a collective sense of pride in all our children and that, regardless of where we live, we are all the same as parents.”

Mitch encourages others to try to visit their sponsored child. “It shows you how far your sponsorship money goes, and how it helps other families.”

Learn about visiting your sponsored child >>

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2014 issue of Childview.




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