In 2009, CARITAS For Children’s founder, Christopher Hoar, sat down to a meeting with a man named Maury whom he had met through a mutual friend. At the front of his mind was a young girl by the name of Wiola. She was about to age out of an orphanage in Chotomow, Poland which had been her home since she was thirteen years old. Without a family to support her and teach her how to make it on her own in the world, Wiola was on the brink of a life changing moment that most of us are prepared for by our parents from the moment we are born. But Wiola didn’t have the luxury of gradually easing into adulthood as many of us do. So it was during that meeting that Chris planted a seed with Maury about sponsoring Wiola and lending some hope to her dreams of New York City.
Maury told his wife, Julie, about Wiola, and together they knew they would support this girl. Their own daughters were just a little older than her.
Julie first met Wiola over Skype in September 2009, when they initiated the sponsorship. The following summer, they invited Wiola to visit them for five weeks. They took their new Polish daughter to New York City to fulfill her dreams.
Wiola has visited her sponsors three times, including one trip in the summer of 2011 to be a part of her new sister’s wedding. Close in age, they quickly became good friends—Wiola spent much of her time in the states with her new American sisters.
Julie talks with her Polish daughter via Skype at least once a month, and they exchange e-mails to keep in touch. Julie hopes that when they are able to see each other again, she might be able to visit Wiola in Poland.
“What has been the best part of sponsoring Wiola?” I asked.
“It was a pleasure to work with someone so appreciative,” she says. Julie is a soft spoken woman and her voice clearly communicates her love for her sponsored daughter. “She took advantage of every opportunity we gave her. It was a very rewarding experience to watch her grow up.”
CARITAS For Children’s Catholic child sponsorship programs connect individuals and families who have a desire to make a difference with children who are in need. It is an individual choice as to how much a sponsor chooses to involve themself in a child’s life, but sometimes a very special bond is forged. Julie and Wiola are one example of some of the very beautiful relationships that have formed between sponsor and child and CARITAS For Children has been privileged to be able to see this love grow over the years.
By sponsoring a child, individuals and families are giving hope; whether they’re extending a hand to a child in an orphanage in Poland, or sponsoring a child orphaned by AIDS in Africa.
An interview with Wiola preceded this blog post. Read it here.