ACQUAINTANCE OF DECEASED PENTAGON WORKER CONTINUES CHILD SPONSORSHIP IN MEMORY OF BEST FRIEND
Stacey Baugh, friend of deceased Pentagon worker Angie Houtz and sponsor of Johana Garcia. Contact Stephan Archer @ 719-272-4904.
When American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the western side of the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, Stacey Baugh, close friend of Pentagon employee Angie Houtz, shifted between moments of panic and hope. It wasn’t until the next morning Baugh learned that her friend had, just a week before, been relocated to the newly refurbished part of the Pentagon on the west side and had perished in the attack.
One month prior to the attacks, Houtz had passionately spoken with Baugh about a little girl in El Salvador she sponsored through Compassion International, the world’s largest Christian child development and sponsorship organization. Soon after hearing about her friend’s death, Baugh picked up the phone to sponsor Johana Garcia, the child that Houtz had so fondly spoken about.
“Johana wasn’t just a sponsored child, It was her child,” said Baugh. “I’ve never met a more selfless person than Angie. Sponsoring Johana was almost a way to keep my friend’s spirit going.”
Baugh, now a professor of psychology at Trinity Washington University in Washington, D.C., and Houtz instantly became best friends during their freshman year of college. The middle name of Baugh’s oldest daughter, Sydney, is “Angela,” in memory of her friend.
Soon after Angie was killed, Baugh and her husband, Stefan, along with Angie’s two sisters, founded the Angie Houtz Memorial Fund which provides three to four scholarships to students in the Maryland area every year. Although it’s been 10 years since the attacks, Baugh said this anniversary feels different.
“I still get angry that she’s not around,” said Baugh. “Ten years is a whole lot of lifetime. Sometimes, it’s hard to not feel guilty about moving on.”
“She never had a chance to meet my children,” reflected Baugh. “She would’ve been a great mom.”
Johana has since graduated from the sponsorship program. However, for Baugh, sponsorship has become a meaningful way in which she can change the world one child at a time. She has since sponsored another girl through Compassion, Katherine Gonzalez from El Salvador.
Compassion International is the world’s largest Christian child development organization that permanently releases children from poverty. Founded in 1952, Compassion successfully tackles global poverty one child at a time, serving more than 1.2 million children in 26 of the world’s poorest countries. Recognizing that poverty is more than a lack of money, Compassion works through local churches to holistically address the individual physical, economic, educational and spiritual needs of children - enabling them to thrive, not just survive. Compassion has been awarded ten consecutive, four-star ratings by Charity Navigator, America’s largest charity evaluator.