I became a madrina to little Gessell Garcia last year. This bright, affectionate girl is in preschool and just beginning her educational journey. Although she’s nearly 2,000 miles away, I feel closer to her every month as we exchange news about our families and lives. I don’t speak Spanish, so a Padrino team member translates my letters to her and her responses.
I’m deeply touched by the growing bond between us. She sends me drawings not just of herself but of me and my dog (who she hopes to be friends with someday). It’s her way of communicating with me until she learns to read and write. I recently gave her art supplies for her birthday. Each month, her drawings get better.
She wants to be a teacher. It amazes and humbles me that just $50 a month can help her achieve that goal, to give back to her community and give others a way out of poverty.
I’m so grateful that I have the means to help her dreams come true, to support her schooling as she finds her unique way in the world. Guatemalan girls like her too often end up married and raising kids before they’ve had a chance to grow up themselves. They never have a chance to learn all they can be. I would like to give Gessell more choices in her life, more opportunities to discover all her gifts and her true calling.
I became a madrina because I was asked to help. I hoped my support would change a child’s life. What I didn’t foresee was how that child would change me.
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