A Day in the Life of a Child at IT Tender
October 5, 2020

Dear friends and family,

Today, more than ever, our child sponsorship program is crucial in helping children succeed in the face of poverty. The pandemic continues to put a strain on the economy, and as usual, the poor are the most severely affected. Sponsoring a child in Manila costs just $1/day ($30/month), so at the fraction of the cost of a coffee per day, you can provide a child with an education, medical coverage, and even food during the pandemic. Check out our brand new website at www.ittender.org with more details, or email our director John Coffey at john.coffey@iteams.ca to see profiles of children at the top of our waiting list in need of a sponsor to go to school.

Prior to the pandemic, our friend JM (also a scholar of our college assistance program) filmed this beautiful story of a sponsor child at IT Tender. Check out this video that takes you deep inside the slums of Manila to take a walk in Jojo's shoes for a day...

September has been an exciting month for the IT Tender team. "Youth Program Leader" Gabby and "Program Manager" / "Social Worker" Jizza announced that they are expecting a baby girl! They have been praying for years to start a family, and we ask for continued prayer for them as they prepare for the arrival their first child in early 2021.

Also, on September 24th, John & Jam Coffey introduced their second child Jenny Lauren to the world. Ali is delighted to be an "ate" (prounced "ah-teh", the Tagalog for "big sister"), and we are all grateful for our growing IT Tender family.

In spite of the pandemic, education continues and some of our sponsor children have graduated from high school and moved on to college! Here are some of the words of the sponsor children (not really "children" anymore - but young men and women) as they share their gratitude with IT Tender and their sponsors for helping them achieve such milestones...

Zaira, 19-year-old high school graduate, shares this message:

"First of all, I am very happy to be part of IT Tender because the organization helped me with my studies. IT Tender taught me about God’s Word, singing lively songs, and doing fun activities. My favorite was the feedings where I had the chance to taste delicious breads. Breads that I never tasted before.

Thank you for the opportunity to attend Family Day outings and Family Camps as a sponsor child of IT Tender. Those memories are very special to me. Thank you also for giving me gifts and thoughtful, practical things like school supplies. As part of IT Tender, I had the chance to explore, to have fun, to go to church, to go on field trips and to be happy.

The monthly support of my donor not only helped me in my daily needs in school, but eased a burden for my family who's struggled to pay bills. You have helped us in countless hopeless situations. There were many times when I wanted to give up because of my family’s endless debts and family problems, but you have been there to give me hope. Thank you for helping us in times of crisis. I'm praying for more new children to be part of this wonderful sponsorship program. God bless and stay safe!”

LouieJay, 20-year-old high school graduate, now in first-year university in criminology:

"I would like to thank everyone who is behind my success. To IT Tender and my sponsor who keeps on supporting and believing in me. To my Mama and Papa, for their guidance, unconditional love and care and for all the sacrifices that they've made for me. To my friends, for the joy and laughter that we've shared and all the best memories. And most especially to our Almighty God for His unending love that strengthens me every day of my life. For the trials that He has given to me, to mold me as a stronger and better version of me.

'Be bold and be courageous and be your best'.

'With God all things are possible'. (Matthew 19:26)"

Mother of Jenald, 19-year-old high school graduate, now in first-year university pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology:

"Congrats my son. You always make me proud.

You're taking another step towards a new stage in your life. You completed high school, and there's much more for you to experience in life. We are not a perfect family, but we are still a family. And no matter what happens, we will stick together until the end. There are things that we face in life that we do not understand and cannot control. But those things will open our minds and broaden our horizons. Let your heart be open and understanding to the people around you, even if there are times when you feel that nobody understands or cares what you are going through. There will be times when you need to be alone, and challenges that you need to face in life. Always pray. Don't forget the Lord, and remember that victory also comes from trusting in Him always. I won't always be there to watch over you and protect you, son. Take care and be safe. And hopefully you find the right partner at the right time. And don't play too many computer games, hahaha."

We are so proud of each of our graduates and are excited to continue supporting them in their college studies and other future endeavors. They are overcoming the odds in communities with incredibly high drop-out rates. Thank you to all of our supporters and sponsors who invest in their education and their future!

We also want to congratulate one particularly hardworking sponsor child and volunteer Warren on winning a unique award this year. Congrats Warren on being selected as a hero by the Courage To Be Kind Foundation! We are so proud of you as a dedicated volunteer and inspiring leader, serving and helping others throughout the pandemic. You are truly deserving of winning this award which includes a new bicycle. Enjoy your awesome new ride, hero!

In other news, we are excited to launch our new and improved "Educational Media Center". If you haven't already heard about it in John & Jam's personal blog, we have upgraded our learning center with faster internet, new laptops, and headsets. Added protections for the "new normal" include plastic partitions, thermal scanning upon entry, hands-free electronic sanitizer dispensers, footbath mats, and policies requiring masks, face shields, and contact-tracing entry logs.

To learn more about how you can help equip our center and our students with technology for education, click here to contact us. Thanks to Extreme Response and the individual donors who have already contributed towards our Educational Media Center.

Finally, we want to thank our partners at Ontario Gleaners for inviting us to share at their annual gala. This time, the event was virtual, and in this video below you can hear an update from John Coffey on how the healthy soup mix from Ontario Gleaners has been a lifesaver for our community in Manila...

Thank you for all your compassionate support and prayers.

Take care!

John Coffey
Director of IT Tender