A Uniquely Tailored Christmas: Mariam’s Story

This year Mariam Athumani graduated from tailoring school, an achievement made possible thanks to the sewing machine gifted to her by her sponsors, Joyce and Marvin Hall, last year.

Mariam lost her parents when she was very young. She was cared for by an ailing grandmother until her death in 2015. In 2012, Mariam joined the Grace & Healing Ministries program and was connected with the Halls through Lahash. Now she lives with her aunt and is hoping to start her own small business as a tailor.

“Through the years, giving Mariam gifts, which were suggested especially for her, has been gratifying,” said Joyce Hall. “When the idea of a sewing machine was suggested to us, I immediately liked the idea. When we received a photo of Mariam standing by the sewing machine with a beaming face, it brought warmth to my heart… It’s very gratifying to see that she is on her way to making a living for herself!”

Mariam’s graduation means that she has come to the end of the Sponsorship Program, but Joyce hopes to stay in touch with her through email. “The experience has blessed us all. Mariam has always expressed her gratitude and sincerity in letters to us.  I’ve often felt that I would like to be able to give her a big hug.”

This year, Lahash is again inviting sponsors to bless their sponsored children with Christmas gifts. Each sponsor receives a mailing that includes a Christmas card, photo, or other small gift from their sponsored child, plus gift suggestions identified specifically by East Africa program staff. Sponsors can choose which of the gifts to purchase, and donate by mail or online. The gifts are purchased in East Africa, and distributed to the children at a large gathering that is greatly anticipated all year. For most of them, the gift(s) from their sponsors are the only ones they will receive, and receiving new items that are just for them brings incredible joy.

For Joyce, the Sponsorship Program has been meaningful in a way that is different from other charitable gifts to global nonprofits. “To actually be involved in an individual’s life—with a face and a name for us to identify and communicate with—has been a powerful experience.”

There are many children still waiting for the gift of a sponsor. If you would like to connect with one of them this Christmas, please visit the Sponsorship Page.