What is Child Advocacy and how do I do it?
“Child Advocacy”… such an official sounding term, isn’t it? Miriam Webster defines advocacy as “the act or process of supporting a cause or proposal”, and when broken down that way, it’s a pretty simple concept.
Many of us are child advocates in our daily lives and perhaps not even aware of it. If you’re a parent who is involved in supporting or promoting your child’s education or extra-curricular activities, that is advocacy. If you teach Sunday school or help in your church’s nursery, that is advocacy. If you contribute financially to any organization that is dedicated to improving the condition of a child in some way, that is advocacy.
At Forward Edge, child sponsorship is the fundamental way that we invite people to become child advocates. On the most basic level, it offers a sponsor the opportunity to invest financially in the holistic care of their child. However, because we so value and encourage relationship development between sponsor and child, it also provides them the means to contribute emotionally and spiritually through communication and visitation.
…And with a little extra time and creativity, we can do even more.
Here are a few additional ideas on how to boost your advocacy and impact:
- In lieu of a birthday, Christmas, or retirement gift, ask friends or family members to sponsor a child or donate to your favorite children’s charity.
- Ask your church or small group if you could set up a sponsorship table or do a small sponsorship promotion on a given day.
- Harness the power of social media. Share your sponsorship experience with your online community and invite them to join in. (We have resources for Forward Edge child sponsors! Just request them by emailing email@example.com.)
- Host a mini-event in your home. Invite your friends and family members over to enjoy dinner or dessert, hear about your experience as a sponsor, and learn how they can become involved with you.
- Use your imagination to come up with a unique method of your very own (and share it with us; we’d love to hear your story)!
In thinking about what other ways we might be able to maximize our advocacy, you can look to Zechariah 4:10 as an encouragement; “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” A little initiative can go a long way; you never know who might just be waiting for an invitation from you to join in impacting the life of a child.
P.S. If you’re enthusiastic about becoming more engaged as a Child Advocate, but need some help putting ideas together or working through the details, please contact us; we would love to help. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-574-3343.
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