About volunteering with Compassion International
– Our story volunteering for missions, and a great opportunity to get your church involved
We are always looking for opportunities to volunteer for missions. And one way to do that is to volunteer for Compassion International during a concert, at the Compassion experience, or at a missions conference. They’ll even come to your church. Our experience volunteering follows, but first a bit about Compassion:
Compassion is an organization that helps people in the West sponsor a child born into a cycle of poverty, with the aim of breaking this cycle, providing an alternate future through healthcare, education, proper nutrition and love. They are also consistently ranked one of the top charities in the nation (In the very top 1% of ALL CHARITIES) by Charity Navigator.
We love that they are a “love thy neighbor” ministry. They are advocates for children in poverty and see them as whole beings with bodies, minds, souls and spirits. We see them as unique and precious in God’s sight. And they give them an opportunity to learn about Jesus. You can get to know them better at http://www.compassion.com/about/about-us.htm
Our experience volunteering with Compassion
We have friends who have volunteered and sponsored children with Compassion International for a long time. As relative “newbies” sponsoring, we got connected through a “Rock n Worship” Roadshow in Phoenix in March 2015.
The thing that struck me most at the concert was the story of a young boy, born into extreme poverty in a slum in Africa. His mother had died and his father worked when he could find day labor to feed his son. They often went without food, and he couldn’t attend school because of fees, uniforms, and books,…One day there was a knock on his shack, and a man told him amazing, unbelievable things – promises really – that from now on, he would have three meals a day to eat, that when he was sick they would pay for him to see a doctor and receive medicine, that he would have clothes to wear and would have his school and books paid for so that he could make something of his life, and even provide for himself and his family in the future. That day, everything in his life changed. I believe this is also a picture of what happened to me – Of what Jesus did for me – So I am that boy. And maybe God has “knocked on your shack” too.
We decided to make that same story repeat itself, this time for another little child, by becoming sponsors that night. And less than two months later, chose to meet another need by responding to an email to volunteer with Compassion at a different concert event, “For King and Country” (this time in Tuscon).
Compassion relies on volunteer sponsors and volunteers from churches to stretch their dollars and reduce costs. This also provides plenty of opportunity for people to get involved and learn what Compassion is all about.
As mentioned, we received the opportunity to volunteer through an email. They clearly explained the need and all the particulars. After telling them we could help, they stayed in communication with email reminders and even links to videos that clearly and professionally explained what was expected of us, how to help, and what to do once we arrived. In our case, since everything was already set up, we reported in and found everyone helpful and ready to work!
We were given a blue “apron” that holds child sponsor packets, pens, and (in our case, at this event) CDs as gifts for those who signed up to sponsor that night and paid for the first month. The blue apron is so that those attending can clearly recognize you as a Compassion volunteer, and help hold supplies.
The speaker introduced Compassion, talked about the need and at some point asked people to consider sponsoring a child. Then we went down the aisles and passed out child sponsorship packets to those raising their hand considering sponsorship. These packets tell the child’s story, tell where they are from, have a photo and a sign up form. People filled out the form and returned it to us. The rest of the packet they took home with them.
Usually this is done just before the intermission. During intermission, volunteers were at the back, by the compassion table/display, and up front, able to help answer questions, collect the filled out forms from those choosing to sponsor a child, or taking back any packets from those who decided not to sponsor at that time.
At our event in Tuscon, 150 children were sponsored that night. 150 children whose whole life and future were changed for the better.
At our event in Tuscon, 150 children were sponsored that night. That is 150 children whose whole life and future were changed. Because people clearly understood that they could help make a difference.
At the end of the event and/or as a table sponsor volunteer, you are in the back near the booth/table/display which has room for people to fill out sponsorship forms, as well as child packets that are a mix of girls and boys from various continents, countries and ages awaiting sponsorship. People can come up and select a particular country or region, or even “trade-in” a boy packet they may have received for a girl’s packet or vice versa.
We didn’t know when we were first given a packet at our first concert, that we could “select” a child. We decided to “keep” the child’s packet we were initially handed, believing that this child was the one selected for us. But we also discussed that our next Compassion child would be chosen from either Indonesia or Ghana – places that we have connections to, through church, work, past trips, etc.
At the table we helped people, carefully and securely collected and turned in the filled out forms, passed out the free CDs as “thank you” gifts, and then cleaned up. It was a busy night and a packed house, and we could have used even a few more volunteers, even though I think we had around 10 or 12 (Some were helping at another part of the building, so I might have missed some). Because we were volunteering, we didn’t have to pay to get into the concert, but that shouldn’t be the reason you volunteer, since you will be working and probably miss parts of any concert you volunteer for, although we did get to hear, and experience, a good chunk of it.
All in all, it was a long drive, but a great volunteer experience and one we are eager to repeat. I took my (almost) 16-year old to help. Some opportunities exist for younger volunteers at events (13 and up for handout volunteers, or at the Compassion Experience) See http://www.compassion.com/volunteer/volunteer-roles.htm. There are many other ways to volunteer or help support Compassion online, and in person: https://www.compassion.com/act/volunteer.htm.
Emails also give clear specifics about each event, and what they are looking for/requirements.
Learn more about children and poverty at https://www.compassion.com/
The Compassion Experience is something we haven’t yet had a chance to experience, but we can’t wait to attend and volunteer at one. They will come to your next missions conference or mission emphasis week.
As parents and leaders, we are always looking for ministry opportunities for our children and our church members to get involved/engaged in what God is doing around the world. Volunteering with Compassion offers a great chance to connect others with real needs without paying the $1400 plane ticket/price tag.
See more about Compassion on their YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBj69_6V2UQBIdD72SpAT4g
or online at Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/compassionintl?fref=ts
You can make an eternal difference in the life of a child who is waiting for a sponsor. Sponsor a child in poverty today! Or volunteer today!