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Faith

Compassion International

by Sarah Kate


When most people think of a hero they think of an individual, but my hero is a group of individuals that have come together to produce one great heroic mission. My hero is Compassion International, a Christian organization that encourages people to sponsor a child in poverty, to help that child’s spiritual, economic, social and physical needs. Sponsoring a needy child allows the giver to feel great!


Compassion International all started with one man, Everett Swanson, who was inspired by Matthew 15:32: “I have compassion for these people… I do not want to send them away hungry.” When Everett Swanson went to South Korea in 1952, he felt compelled to help 35 children orphaned by the Korean conflict. The God-given vision that he had has helped more than 1.2 million children. Everett Swanson has made Compassion have families from Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua, India, Thailand and many more.


The organization likes to get to focus on and get to know each child. To release children one by one from poverty in Jesus’ name is Compassion’s goal. For them to accomplish their goal, Compassion believes it is right to give every child a chance to become a fulfilled Christian adult.

For every child to have a better life, Compassion is involved in many different operations. For example, in 1960 Operation Long Underwear began, and it provided a complete winter outfit where more than 6,000 children were clothed. After Operation Long Underwear, Compassion International could not stop helping people. In 1961, the Everett Swanson Evangelistic Association helped 108 orphanages in South Korea. With all the giving Everett Swanson was doing, he got tired of seeing his name in the ministry and changed the ministry name to Compassion International.

With the ministry’s new name, they started something new. In 1964, Compassion started the first of four U.S. tours where Korean orphans traveled to more than 80 U.S. cities headed by Everett Swanson’s wife, Miriam Swanson. They loved when all the orphans came to Compassion and decided that Compassion would go to them. With the new idea, 113 sponsors and friends went on the first Compassion Orient Tour in Asia. Soon Miriam Swanson became vice president of Compassion International. Soon the foundation developed another operation called the Family Helper Plan, which took place in India, Indonesia, Haiti and Singapore.

Compassion International commits to:
- honor Jesus Christ
- work in partnership with the local church
- directly impact each child’s individual development
- develop minds, bodies and spirits
- educate and challenge our sponsors about poverty and development
- use money only for the purpose for which it was raised
- link each child to only one sponsor
- give every child in our program a chance to respond to the gospel
- the highest industry standards for the use of funds
- being financially accountable


So Compassion International can get to know the child’s needs, the local church will interview the child and their families. Then Compassion gathers family/guardian information, schooling, church, household duties, favorite sports, hobbies and medical data every two years.

For donors to get to know the child, they will receive personal letters and regular updates. If you would like to meet the person that you have sponsored, Compassion arranges site visits and translation if necessary. Sponsors can have oversea visits to see who they have sponsored. If you would like to sponsor a child, you only pay $38 a month. Compassion International also covers expenses for tuition, books, room and board. They allow kids to have the opportunity to attend college.

To fundraise for upcoming events, Compassion uses direct mail, telephone, special events, print advertisements, radio, grant proposals, internet appeals, planned giving, cause-related marketing and volunteer mobilization.

Compassion International had to overcome a great obstacle. Their founder, Everett Swanson, died in 1965. Everyone at Compassion International was inspired by him, and they decided to start a fund for him. The money that was made from the fund was used to construct a building for Compassion’s offices in Seoul, Korea. In May of 1967, the Everett Swanson building was dedicated.

Compassion International has done so much to give back by using their four programs: the Child Sponsorship Program, the Child Survival Program, the Leadership Development Program, and the Complementary Interventions. Their four programs have made a big difference in each child’s life.

The reason why I chose Compassion International as my hero is not just because of all the amazing things they have done, but by how committed they are to God and Jesus Christ. Compassion International has inspired me by the Child Sponsorship Program. Out of all the four programs, the Child Sponsorship Program is my favorite. It is so inspiring to me that they have brought so many children out of poverty. It is hard for people in the United States to think about what life is like for children in different countries, because we are so blessed. Compassion International has helped me realize how lucky I am and because of my good fortune I need to think of how to help and give back to those with less fortune. Compassion International is my hero.

Page created on 10/25/2011 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 10/25/2011 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

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