Many of you have gone on the mission trip to Harmons, Jamaica with Won by One before. At the very least, you’ve probably heard of or know someone who has. It’s a wonderful place, full of great people and many memories for those that have gone. It seems like every year when students get back, the sentiment is the same – “How can I continue helping after the trip?”
For those that aren’t familiar, Harmons is a remote village located in the interior bush of the Jamaican island. Conditions in the small village have certainly improved over the years because of the work by Won by One but still pail in comparison to the typical American lifestyle. Water and electricity are scarce. Many people live in extreme poverty. One of the biggest challenges for most families is being able to afford sending their children to school. Attending school itself is free, but transportation to and from, books, uniforms, and other things that are necessary aren’t. Many families simply can’t afford these costs and therefore their children don’t go to school.A couple years ago Won by One started a program that allows others to sponsor children to go to school. There are many other organizations that do this as well. I’m sure you’ve heard of them. For people though that especially have a heart for a place they’ve been to and love, being able to sponsor a kid can be a really rewarding experience. Noelle have done so the last two years and it’s been great. We were even able to meet little Orville the last time we were there. If you’re interested, check out the website HERE to get more info and a list of students you can sponsor.
Here are a few suggestions to consider before you give:
1. Are you actually able to make this commitment? A good rule of thumb is to consider committing to at least a year of giving, if not longer. These students depend on your support and if you stop giving or give sporadically it doesn’t help.
2. If you do plan to give, set up an automatic withdrawal. Again this helps ensure your donation gets to your student on time each month.
3. Try to give by yourself and not with a group of friends. Giving as a group inevitably gets messy and one person usually takes on the responsibility anyways.
4. Be engaged with the student you sponsor. It’s easy to just send a donation each month, but it’s far more rewarding when you’re able to interact through letters and other means with your student and their family.
We see in the Bible that God commands us to give. It’s not optional. Our giving is a means of worship and obedience to Him. If you’re looking for a great way to give in college, consider sponsoring a student in Jamaica. There are also many other great organizations to sponsor children through. Just make sure you do your research before you commit to giving.