Continuing our 21st birthday month with staff posts, Hilda explains the ups and downs of her role at ChildFund.

Talking to a sponsor

By Hilda Edmunds, Sponsor Services Administrator

I work Tuesday to Friday, 10 hours a day. On Tuesday morning I’m champing at the bit to get in, usually arriving around 6.30am. My job is based around administration and it’s not exciting but it’s the stuff that has to be done or everything would grind to a halt. It’s perfect for me because I’m a creature of habit and I like a routine.

That said, it’s not an easy job, emotionally or mentally. Everything touches you here. You’d have to be a hard person not to be affected by the children whose stories you hear and read. The stories of some of the children do get on top of me sometimes.

The worse thing is receiving news that a sponsored child has died. This doesn’t happen often but with tens of thousands of vulnerable children sponsored by New Zealanders, it does happen.

I’m sure some people think I’m quite a tough person because in our monthly meetings I fold my arms and make flippant remarks but it’s just my way of coping.

I’m quite proud of ChildFund too. I read the other day that some charities are not doing very well and I thought, ‘No one told ChildFund’. We are doing well despite the recession, price rises and the Christchurch earthquake. Really it’s down to our loyal supporters.

We have so many sponsors who have been with us for years and years, and everyone I’ve dealt with has been very pleasant and considerate. If there’s been an administration snafu, I send them an email saying I was having a blonde moment or my advancing years are to blame and they reply saying how they completely understand.

There’s informality to our relationship with sponsors. It’s warm and friendly and it reflects why we are here: to make connections between children and families because we could all do with more friends and a helping hand.

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