Tuesday, May 26, 2015
My World Vision Story
I write this post with a sad heart. I decided to go ahead and tell you my story so that if you were considering donating to World Vision or any other charity my story may help you make an educated decision.
I came across World Vision a while ago and wanted to go ahead and sponsor a couple of children. The idea of helping these children and their families was of the utmost importance to me. I went ahead and did research on World Vision and after countless hours decided to go ahead and sponsor two children - Cinthia who you see in the above photo and Victor.
Within a few weeks I received my packets from both of them including their info, pics etc... I was ecstatic that I was going to be able to help these two in some small way to live a better life. It cost me $35.00 per child, per month to sponsor both of them. That actually is quite a bit of money for me but I thought, well, I could give up a dinner out per month in order to help them. I setup and automatic giving account so that World Vision could take the money from my debit card each month which saved me from writing a check - WRONG DECISION!!!
After a few months I began corresponding with Cinthia's family and got to know them a bit better. I sent little cards, stickers etc... to Cinthia as gifts. I knew she liked dolls and I had a couple of small crocheted flat dolls that my Grandma handed down to my Mom and my Mom in turn to me. I sent one of these dolls to Cinthia and as you can see in the photo above she did receive it. I was thrilled to give her a family a homemade doll that she could enjoy. My other sponsored child I barely ever heard from despite the fact that I would send him cards and little gifts. In the past two years of sponsorship I received maybe one letter from him.
During these two years I did receive a couple of photos which were not Cinthia, though came with her name and ID# asking for donations. I contacted World Vision about this and they told me there was a mix up so I just went ahead and sent the donations.
About a month ago I received a letter and packet from World Vision informing me that Cinthia was no longer a part of the community and that they chose another child for me to sponsor. I was heartbroken because there was no way for me to contact Cinthia or her family, as World Vision does not allow it once a child is no longer in the program. Then I became angry that they would just automatically choose another child for me to sponsor. It is not their choice, when I am paying for it.
About a week after that, I received a packet from World Vision with a birthday card to be signed with a donation form to send to Cinthia for her birthday. That was a red light for me. They told me she was no longer in the program and now they are asking for more money to send her a birthday card? I immediately wrote to them asking what was going on and the told me that bday card packets are sent to donors in advance and that it usually takes two months to arrive. I know that is not true because the packets, cards and info is sent by the US office in 'Washington DC and it does not take two months to arrive.
I decided to take a look at my account at that point so I checked online and found that not only was Cinthia still on my account as a sponsored child but so was this new child they chose for me as well as Victor. They were about to charge me for all three of them for the month and beyond. I contacted them again and told them to close my account. They would not. So, I went back to my account online and deleted all the payment information so they could not charge me. Right after I did that I have been getting endless emails and phone calls telling me to update my account with payment information. We are talking three to five emails and calls per day. I contacted them again just yesterday and very angrily told them to close my account. They still have not done so.
I am sad that it has come to this and especially because there is no way I can continue to correspond with Cinthia and her family. I know she is not part of their program any longer but I would think that they would be more concerned about a child rather than money. Obviously for them, the bottom line is the almighty dollar. That was proven in March of 2014, during the gay and lesbian debacle that nearly cost them over 10,000 donors leaving until they caved only to keep the money rolling in.
The positive here is that I was able to provide some help over the past two years and give little Cinthia her doll which I know she loves. I may not be able to correspond with her any longer but she is a huge part of my heart.
So, in closing, please if any of you are thinking of donating to any charity be careful and research the charity thoroughly. NEVER setup an automatic giving account for any charity. I know it's easier to do that but in the long run it will save you money.