Compassion International sponsors’ potluck is today

Kathy Northcutt of Kapa‘a, who is sponsoring nine children in places like Ethiopia, Nicaragua, East India, Uganda, Kenya and Haiti, remains one of Compassion International’s most vocal supporters on the island.

She has invited the 200 other known Kaua‘i sponsors of impoverished children around the world to a potluck gathering at the old Kilauea Theatre building today beginning at 12:30 p.m.

The sponsors’ party is a time for sponsors and members of their families to come together, share photos of their sponsored children, share stories of watching them grow, and more, she said.

Those attending will be able to write letters to their sponsored children and stand for pictures to be sent to them, and the children in attendance will be able to draw pictures for sending to their parents’ sponsored children, Northcutt said.

Parents who sponsor children will be encouraged to have their children become pen pals with the sponsored children abroad, she said.

The nonprofit organization finds the most impoverished children around the world, and finds sponsors who, for $32 a month per child, help provide food, education and medical attention if needed for the children, and training for the parents, she explained.

Sponsored children attend project events, and stay with their parents unless they’re orphans, said Northcutt, who is sponsoring some orphans.

The idea is to raise up leaders within those countries, educate them, empower them, and encourage them to rise up, she said.

The experience is also empowering for the sponsors, said Northcutt.

“It’s just been a real joy for us.” Receiving photos of the sponsored children as they grow makes the commitment even more real, she added.

“You can see the changes in the children. They blossom,” learn to read, and grow, said Northcutt, who has sponsored children since 1993, including a Chinese girl who is now in college.

Children as young as 3 can be adopted, and can continue to be sponsored through the age of 20.

The Kilauea occasion is also celebrating National Compassion Sunday, and similar events are planned around the country and world, she added.

For more information, call Northcutt, 823-6371, e-mail her at knorthc@aol.com, or see the Web site, www.compassion.com.

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