Not to scare any prospective parents or moms/dads to singles, but for a house with 3 children, we spend approximately the following amounts (I am ashamed to say):
Daycare - $460 a month for Addison; over vacations or summer when the boys are also enrolled, that increases to $1180 a month. Thank goodness the summer is only 3 months!
Grocery - around $480 a month for our family of 5 to eat. Not counting the toilet paper or toothpaste.
Eating Out - last count at least $150 a month
Home expenses - (house + electricity, phone, water, etc.) @ $1500
Medical - around $50 per month
Clothing - average $100 a month
Fun (football, gymnastics) - around $70 a month
So at minimum, to house, clothe, feed, and keep my 3 entertained takes at least a whopping $2810. That is mind-boggling.
Here are the $2810 a month priceless, beautiful children:
(that's them telling me 'thank you' in Amharic, the language of Ethiopia. For $2810 a month, I think they need to learn it in about 4 more languages for me to be getting my money's worth!)
Now to put that in a different perspective. In my budget is also $96 a month. A little more than what I spend on "fun". That $96 provides to 3 different children:
Medical - shots and basic or emergency care; routine check-ups.
Education - school supplies, fees, and / or uniforms and tutoring. Life skills training for future.
Food - clean water and supplemental nutrition for those in countries needing it, nutritious meals at the center
Fun - a chance to play and just be a kid in a safe surrounding; occasional field trips; interaction with others without the worries of the outside world
Salvation - not only from the hopelessness of growing up with no opportunities or chance at escaping poverty - but the exposure to the salvation only given by our true savior, Jesus Christ.
Love - love from the center workers. Love from our family through letters, drawings, and pictures. The knowledge that for some reason, they have a family very far away that believes in them and thinks that they do not HAVE to grow up in poverty just like their parents. But that they can do more and be more. Successful, Christian adults who give back to their communities.
Sounds like a deal doesn't it?? This New Year's, instead of resolutions to loose weight (that you know you probably wont); to waste less money (that you also probably wont); to spend more time with your family .....
Why don't you also include - to think outside the box, outside of your own family, and see what it feels like to know that you can be life-altering for someone else? Something you can't do at a $32 a meal Chili's, something you can't do at Old Navy when you spend $32 on clothes you probably didn't need anyway; something you can't do for $32 for a movie and popcorn; or here, or here, or there. Thirty-two dollars. It's just a little a month, but a huge impact on a little life.
For the two of you that read this blog, I realize I am preaching to the choir. I know you, I know you already have a passion for Compassion International and for the work it does. But could you forward this web address to everyone else you know and see if in this New Year, there might be someone else who would be willing to bless the life of a child by giving them a different perspective?
Matthew 18:10 "See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven."