Ronnelle Santos, age nine, is excited about the new basketball he's received for Christmas! Compassion-assisted children in the Philippines feel special at Christmastime - it's the only time they receive new toys, thanks to Compassion's Christmas Gift Fund.
A few months before Christmas, Teodora promised to buy her only son Ronnelle a new pair of shoes. The hard-playing nine-year-old had worn out his old pair a long time ago.
Ronnelle, however, had other ideas.
"If you don't mind me wearing my old shoes for a few more months," the enterprising little boy bargained, "can I have a basketball instead?"
A Mother's Concern
Teodora agreed, promising to buy her son a basketball for Christmas. She was glad the promised gift made her only child happy. Yet she wondered to herself, "Where will I get the money to buy it?" Her husband, Rodello, had been out of work since August.
But thanks to generous sponsors and donors, Teodora was able to keep her promise to her only child. Ronnelle and other children attending the Calvary Foursquare Church Student Center in eastern Manila were blessed by the Christmas Gift Fund. Project workers use the money from the fund to purchase Christmas gifts for the children in the name of their Compassion sponsors.
Christmas: A Time to Feel Valued
Christmastime is special for children in the Philippines, Teodora says. It's a rare time children, including her son, feel important, thanks to the Compassion-sponsored Christmas parties, complete with presents for them.
For most children in Compassion's Philippines programs, it is the only time they receive new toys. The rest of the year, gifts typically are hand-me-downs from relatives, friends, neighbors or charities.
Teodora adds that Christmas is also a time when she revels in the knowledge that somehow, someone miles away is helping to make her son happy and fulfilled.
"When I saw my son so happy and proud playing with his friends, using his own basketball, I became very, very happy as well," she exclaims.
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