By World Vision
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves close to 100 million people in nearly 100 countries, including the United States. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. Core Values: We are Christian, we are committed to the poor, we value people, we are stewards, we are partners, we are responsive.
Child Ambassadors are volunteers who offer their personal networks a tangible way to respond to the needs of the poor and share the hope of Christ by sponsoring a child through World Vision.
Sarah Kennedy is a new Child Ambassador from Tennessee. Hear about her heart for the world, how she inspired her husband to join, and the innovative way she’s partnered with local businesses!
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From the moment I was introduced to Sarah, I was so impressed with her heart for World Vision’s Child Ambassador ministry and with her heart for the people right in front of her. It blew my mind to see the way she dove right in — making this ministry totally her own! She asked so many thoughtful questions and focused on learning as much as she could about World Vision from the very start.
I hope Sarah’s story of how she found her way to become a Child Ambassador will encourage you to find your calling.
Sarah, you had a really unique start as a Child Ambassador — making this ministry your own and partnering with local small businesses. What inspired you to connect with your business owner friends?
It all started when I partnered with my younger sister, Rachel, and her cupcake business, Sprinkle of Kindness Bakery, in my home state of Maryland. Both of us have a strong passion for loving people well and giving hope and light to the people around us — especially those whom most people would consider the least of these.
Looking back on it, I really feel that God ordained the year (2017) when I would become an ambassador for World Vision and my sister would start her cupcake business so we could work together in a special way. It goes far beyond giving people cupcakes: It’s allowing people to be part of something much bigger than themselves.
You partnered with a few different businesses. How did you approach them?
My first approach was with my sister Rachel and her business Sprinkle of Kindness Bakery. God had already been working in her spirit about using her small business for more than pretty cakes and cupcakes. So when we actually spoke about partnering together, we both were really excited to see how God would use us even though we are living in two different states. For our first promotion, people who sponsored a child in the D.C. metro area got half a dozen cupcakes for free as our ‘thank you’ for giving hope to a child in need. My sister even ended up sponsoring a boy from the Philippines! I’m hoping she will become a Child Ambassador herself one day.
The second small business that I partnered with — Artean Creations — actually approached me and asked about the possibility of collaborating. She makes beautiful, luxurious handmade soaps and lotions. Anyone who sponsored would get samples of her handmade lotions and soap. Looking back, it was totally a God thing!
At the time, I ordered folders for only babies in Armenia for the simple fact that the Middle East has always had a special place in my heart. I’m not sure why, but God has put a love and compassion in my heart for the people in the Middle East that I can’t explain. After talking to my friend who owns Artean Creations, she told me that she is Armenian and would love to give back in this way. How cool is that! Her connection to the country made everything much more special.
My most recent collaboration was with Little Miss Sassy Children’s Boutique. The owner and I are friends, so I asked her one day if she would be interested in partnering with me in order to get kids sponsored? I told her not that only will it get her business out there to more people, but it also changes the life of a child in need. She hopped right on board and made beautiful handmade angel earrings for those who choose to sponsor. I thought it was a very fitting gift.
Those are some really incredible partnerships you created! How did they help fill a void in your ministry and your friends’ businesses?
For my ministry, I want everyone to know that they are appreciated. Even though it’s a small gift, I want people who sponsor a child to know how thankful I am that they would step up and be there for a child in need. The gifts offered by these businesses were a token of that appreciation. As for how it helped my friends’ businesses, I certainly hope and trust that it was a blessing to each business and that God uses what they did and are doing to grow their businesses and to make them flourish!
Throughout your journey as a Child Ambassador, you’ve recruited at least two new ambassadors, including your husband, Andrew. How did your ministry impact Andrew’s heart? What made him choose to become an ambassador?
Andrew said my care and love for the kids impacted his heart. We went to the Child Ambassador conference together in October, and what he saw and learned opened up his eyes to what we as the body of Christ need to be doing. He was truly inspired by the conference.
How does being Child Ambassadors together with your husband impact your marriage?
I really hoped Andrew would jump on board and become a Child Ambassador with me. I was stoked when he did! We started our relationship and marriage off very passionate about doing whatever God calls us to do. We hope to go overseas one day to do missions work. Being able to do this ministry here in the U.S. while he finishes serving in our military and as a civilian firefighter is great! It’s given us more of a vision and purpose in our marriage. He also is everything I’m not. He’s brave and funny and can light up any room he walks into. I’m thankful to be able to have him by my side.
How has becoming a Child Ambassador impacted you? What advice do you have for others wanting to make an impact?
I’m so thankful to be part of a group of like-minded people. You all inspire me daily! I can’t wait to continue to grow with all of you. I would encourage everyone to ask friends and family members who have small businesses if they would be interested in partnering with you in changing the world. Not only are you helping them grow their businesses, but you are also allowing them to be a part of something bigger than themselves. I believe every soul longs to make a difference and leave a lasting mark on this world and this would be a perfect way to do that together!
Also read: FROM GEREWOLS TO SCHOOLS