Many sponsors will know Lee who is the longest serving member of staff at ChildFund New Zealand. Even after all this time, Lee still feels strongly about the children and the work that ChildFund does.

By Lee McDonnell, Sponsor Services Administrator

When I first came to ChildFund some nine years ago (CCF back then) one of the first things that struck me was the generosity of people. It was my first time working for a charity and to see donations coming in daily from sponsors all around New Zealand was mind boggling.

I had already travelled in a few poverty-stricken countries before starting work here and had a basic understanding of what these families and communities were going through. It is very overwhelming to say the least when we think how we ourselves struggle to pay our bills and feed our own children. These communities have literally nothing and I mean nothing to live on and yet they smile at you and would share what they have with you as that is their nature.

I wished I could solve the problems of the world right now but I know I can’t. What I do know is I can make a difference in doing what I do best as an administrator in the Sponsor Services Team of ChildFund New Zealand. I am very proud to be working with a great bunch of dedicated people.

One day when I was in one of our meetings our Marketing team told us a story of a boy named Moses who needed a sponsor. Moses was so malnourished and he was to be on one of our ads (one of our goals in Sponsor Services is to get a New Zealand sponsor for the children we use in our ads if we can). My heart went out to this boy. Moses was from Emali in Kenya. I had been to Emali and knew the poverty they lived in. I was already sponsoring a child and wasn’t really sure if I could do this for two children but this boy needed help right now so I put my hand up. It has been an amazing journey for him and his grandmother who looks after him.

Moses in May 2009


Moses less than six months later

When one of my colleagues was going to Kenya a while ago I asked if they would please drop off a small gift for Moses and his grandmother. Some T-shirts for him and a small paua shell bracelet for her I could afford. His grandmother had never been given a gift before so when she was given this small gift she didn’t know what to do with it. When she opened it and saw the little bracelet she said, “You make me feel beautiful.”

People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said – but – they will always remember how you made them feel!

I am proud to make someone feel beautiful….

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