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Behind the Scenes

Managing the GIFTS Program is no small undertaking. In fact, it can often be overwhelming at time since there is always something that needs done. Since returning home from Guatemala, there has been very few days which haven't included something from the sponsorship program. Things I can check off my list are the release of the promotional video, renaming all the photos with the children's names, updated the website, found time to get to the bank when it was open (twice) to wire money, been in contact with Marvin about a number of items, wrote a newsletter, and have been updating sponsors about their children. There is still so much to do.

Me updating photos and information.

Each task requires a number of steps. For example, ordering the vitamins involved multiple emails between the distributor, the warehouse manager and myself. A packing list needed to be prepared by me. Fairly simple task, but required communication with Guatemala to confirm addresses, phone numbers etc. In turn, it all needed to be forwarded to appropriate people. This all had to happen quickly as they were trying to include the vitamins on the next shipment. It all takes time.

Even getting to the bank can be challenging. I leave for work before it opens and come home after it closes. Wiring money requires two signatures so it is a coordinated effort and can take a few days to make it happen.

Then there are the lists. I have list of current children in the program, the list of children with sponsors, the list of new sponsors, the list of children who still need a new picture, a list of families who received projects and so on. You get the idea.

A newsletter is on the way along with a hard copy picture for sponsors. Many of the children sent home small gifts for their sponsors. These, too, need mailed but the mailing needs to be synchronized with the newsletter and pictures to save on postage.

As you can see, many things happen behind the scene. Barb, our financial person, is perhaps one of the busiest people I know. She heads up many projects at our local church and undertakes them full steam.

I work two full time jobs, one of which can be very mentally draining and can at times require long hours.

Should things happen quicker for the program. Probably. But I can assure you, we are doing the best we can with the time we have. We will continue to work to provide a better life for the children in Santa Maria we love so much.

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