Michael and Sandra Ruddick are a family that I have had the pleasure of spending time with over the last 20 years, although their support of our organization far exceeds the time that I have been with Children Incorporated. I recently took some time to ask them some questions about how they became dedicated donors and what drives them to continue to be involved in our work so many years later.
“It impressed me that a sponsored child in the program received most of the donation and only a small portion was used for the organization’s administrative overhead.”
– Sandra Ruddick
RC: You started with Children Incorporated in November 1980. Do you recall how you initially found us?
Sandra: I saw a newspaper clipping about Children Incorporated when I was 20 years old. Jeanne Clarke Wood was the founder and director at the time. The small not for profit organization appealed to me since the children in the program were not orphans but had families whose parents needed a little financial assistance to help with some basic necessities and also with educating their children.
RC: And what led you to contact us and begin sponsoring with us?
Sandra: It was a long time ago, but I just remember wanting to help a child in a small way that could make a difference. It impressed me that a sponsored child in the program received most of the donation and only a small portion was used for the organization’s administrative overhead.
RC: You currently sponsor a dozen children with us. What do you find most rewarding about child sponsorship?
Sandra: Michael and I, along with our own children and our aunt (who lived in Rungue, Chile where she ministered the elderly and partook in parish work) were warmly welcomed when we visited one of our sponsored children in Talca. Our own children took up a collection of beanie babies in their high school. We brought the beanie babies as well as school supplies with us on our visit. The children in the home each took their turn choosing a beanie baby and their excitement was touching. Although we cannot visit each of our sponsored children, we can imagine each child and their family’s appreciation of our sponsorship.
RC: You’ve sponsored many children with us over the decades. Are there any specific children you’ve aided who stand out in your memory?
Sandra: A girl named Monica was the first child I sponsored in Chile. I was able to visit Monica at her home. I was traveling with a girlfriend, and we were visiting two additional friends who lived in the Santiago area where they were doing missionary work. Monica’s family was gracious enough to have us all come to their humble home for lunch. My friends and I weren’t sure what to expect but were deeply moved and honored as we were treated as very special guests where the food was plentiful. I’ll never forget the experience. Monica aged out of the program, obtained a good job and moved into her own apartment. Stories like Monica’s are part of why Michael and I now continue to support many children.
RC: You’ve also supported a number of our special projects. How have you decided which projects to support, and what has the experience been like for you?
Sandra: We have supported projects Children Incorporated has identified as those of greatest need with strong local partners to help ensure the funds are well invested — things such as helping build a school in Honduras, funding a building project at the Visayan Center in the Philippines, and contributing to feeding and warm clothing funds. It’s gratifying to know our donations have made a difference in the lives of many.
RC: If you were asked to describe Children Incorporated in just a couple of sentences, what would you say?
Sandra: Though Children Incorporated Incorporated is a small organization, their dedicated staff does much to improve the lives and futures of countless children around the world.
RC: Thank you so much for your time and all that you do for children, families and communities we support!
HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD WITH CHILDREN INCORPORATED?
You can sponsor a child in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at email@example.com; or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child that is available for sponsorship.