September 26, 2012
While planning a business trip through Central America I realized I would be in the same country (Costa Rica) as our sponsored child, Georgina. I had no idea whether she lived near where I would be (she did), whether the agency would encourage a visit (THEY DO!!!) and whether the logistics would be manageable. One phone call to the headquarters in Kansas City was all it took to get the ball rolling. Not only do they encourage such a meeting, but they make it extremely easy to know what to do, how to act, etc... Because of my tight schedule, CI picked me up from my hotel and brought me to their offices where they also brought Georgia and her mother. CI even brought me to the airport after my visit. My time with Georgina was extremely pleasant and comfortable, due in no small part to the gregarious nature of Gill Kelvin who hosted the visit and translated our conversation. The visit made Georgina (and her plight) all the more real to me, and renewed my commitment to help her and others if possible. Her picture is always on our fridge, but now it is also in my office where I can be reminded daily of her beautiful smile and gracious personality. A side benefit of the visit was meeting the many other dedicated and friendly staff who do such tremendous work (despite their cramped quarters) to meet the needs of so many. If you will ever be even near where your sponsored child is living I strongly encourage you to reach out to the main offices in Kansas City (or if not in the US, whatever is the local office) and just explore options. You may very well end up with a visit scheduled!
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They were fantastic and extremely helpful. I would love to see them have better office facilities...but I'm sure they would rather see the money go to the children.
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Well run and efficient.
Donor & Met with child and her mother for about an hour.