In May, we launched a new quarterly sponsorship feature where we share a TRS sponsor and how sponsorship has impacted them. We couldn’t do what we do without our sponsors. Not only do they support The Raining Season and our children financially, but they also love, encourage, and celebrate our children through letters, Skype, and even travel. Whether you have been sponsoring for years or days, the sacrifices our sponsors make each month do not go unnoticed.
Meet Robbie Hampton. Robbie lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a professor at Lipscomb University and the Lead Faculty member for Special Education Programs. She has spent her career in education working as a teacher, assistant principal, and then principal at two schools for students with disabilities. Family is very important to Robbie. She has two sisters and many nieces and nephews that she enjoys spending time with. Robbie enjoys traveling in her free time and has traveled to many places, including Sierra Leone.
Robbie was introduced to The Raining Season by a friend who was considering traveling to our center in 2016. Auntie Geraldine, TRS’s head caregiver of the Hope Room, was in the U.S. and visiting the school where Robbie worked. She spent time talking with Auntie Geraldine and learning about the children in the Hope apartment. The Hope apartment is home to children with special needs at our center. After that visit, Robbie knew she wanted to travel to our center and took her first trip in 2017.
While Robbie planned on her 2017 trip being a one-time visit, she has returned three more times since and plans to return on our November team this fall. The impact of each trip on her life has encouraged her to return. Robbie’s background in special education, as well as her heart for those with special needs, have had an impact on our children during her trips. She shared some of the activities she has done on her trips to love and serve all of the children, specifically the children in the Hope apartment, “On our first trip, we helped the aunties create sensory boards for the children to engage with as well as introduced the use of communication symbols. We have helped provide a number of supplies and arranged for some shelves to be built on our last trip. In 2019, we made a trip to St. Joseph’s School for the Hearing Impaired. That allowed us and the center to establish some relationships that have continued to be used to support some of the children with hearing impairments. During our trips, we often arrange a day (or two) of educational games and activities for all of the children. We make sure to find ways to include children from the Hope apartment. It might not look the same as the other children, but they are getting to participate in some way. My favorite part of traveling is spending time with the children. Their energy and heart keep me coming back.”
In May 2019, Robbie was part of the Education team that coordinated the first sports day for ALL the children at TRS. The team worked diligently to plan the activities, and they were thrilled when it turned out to be a successful event for everyone involved. Robbie recalled the days leading up to the event. As they were walking up to the center one morning, the kids were all out practicing on the drive. Robbie was so excited to see several children from the Hope apartment practicing right alongside the other children. On the day of the event, Robbie had the opportunity to help several children from the Hope apartment participate and run after Joseph after the race when he didn’t realize he was supposed to stop!
While travel has been a big part of Robbie’s story with The Raining Season, sponsorship has also had a significant impact. Robbie decided to sponsor children from the Hope apartment. Robbie shared, “The biggest impact for me is knowing that I continue to have some small part in caring for the children throughout the year. There are so many things I wish I could do to support them that are not feasible long distance. When I travel, having that established connection has truly made a difference. Since I sponsor children from the Hope apartment, I have not done Skype calls, but I look forward to getting email updates throughout the year. Just seeing the pictures of the children will brighten my day and remind me of the ‘why.’”
Robbie, thank you for your heart for the children at The Raining Season, specifically those in the Hope apartment. Your expertise, kindness, and compassion have been a tremendous blessing to both our children and staff. Thank you for saying “yes” to sponsorship and supporting TRS by sharing it with others and traveling.
Are you interested in learning more about sponsorship? Email email@example.com to learn more.
The Raining Season