Patricia and John Howard spent their careers in education, and since retirement they’ve volunteered on teaching assignments in the Philippines, Indonesia and Laos. They’ve also had 18 placements on outback properties in Australia.
Their generosity towards children around the world is also reflected in their longstanding charitable giving. “We’ve been supporting World Vision Australia since 1971, realising the great need to help children’s education,” they say. Over the years they’ve sponsored around 20 children from the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, China and Thailand.
John and their daughter Pam (profiled below) also visited World Vision projects in Nairobi, Kenya, seeing firsthand how their support helps communities to access education and livelihood opportunities. “Great care was taken with our donations,” John says.
In 2013, Patricia and John arranged for World Vision to benefit from gifts in their Wills. “Our children are happy that our bequests will be shared,” they say, having instilled a tradition of giving in their family.
John and Patricia Howard
Pam Howard with her parents
Pam’s parents, Patricia and John Howard (profiled above), taught her to share and help others. She fondly remembers exchanging postcards with her family’s sponsored child while in Japan as an exchange student.
Pam has sponsored six children. Like her parents, she’s also left a gift to World Vision in her Will.
Pam has seen World Vision’s work in action multiple times. She and a friend visited her friend’s sponsored child in India. “We were impressed how the money from World Vision was pooled so it could multiply the effect on the whole community,” she says.
She also volunteered for a few weeks at a World Vision orphanage in Harare, Zimbabwe – which even included driving the school bus.
“I know that World Vision causes a positive change in the world,” Pam says. “I pray one day that poverty will be a memory and all children get a good education.”
Sheila Woodcock was a valued World Vision supporter for nearly 40 years and sponsored five children in Africa. Through her deep sense of kindness towards others, she helped shape the lives of vulnerable children and communities across the world.
Sheila passed away in 2018. She left most of her estate to a range of organisations, reflecting her love for the community and the many causes she supported during her life.
Her incredible gift of approximately $340,000 to World Vision will seed an innovative new endowment fund.
“As a family, and I’m sure Sheila would agree, we are excited that her gift will … provide a sustainable revenue stream, which grows over time and supports essential projects and initiatives well into the future,” says her enduring guardian Kent Woodcock.
Gordon Lambert has been sponsoring children through World Vision Australia since he returned from working in developing countries like the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. While he enjoyed his work in the field, the grinding poverty in these developing countries disturbed him.
“It amazes me that in these times, there are still millions of people living in poverty. It really bothered me to see the kids suffering in particular,” says the retiree.
Gordon chose to make a difference by sponsoring children through World Vision Australia because he liked the idea of helping children through education. He also appreciates the transparency and regular updates on the progress made and impact created in the community by supporters like him.
“I want World Vision to do even more great work through a bequest in my Will,” says Gordon.
Roennfeldt has always been interested in helping vulnerable children and since
her three boys had grown up, she decided to sponsor children in developing
countries through World Vision.
I like about World Vision is that you are helping a child up a ladder through
education … but it goes deeper – you also help the village where they live,”
says Dianne. She loves to hear about children who become teachers and doctors:
“It’s a testament that World Vision’s programs work.”
has sponsored children from Zambia, Guatemala and Kenya, and has decided to
continue making a difference in the lives of tomorrow’s children by leaving a gift in her Will to World Vision Australia.
a gift in her Will means Dianne can help World Vision to “continue their good
work helping children and communities long after we are gone”, she says.
Stephenson started his journey with World Vision Australia in 2009 when he
chose to start sponsoring a child in Ethiopia. Supporting World Vision has been
an opportunity for Andrew to do something meaningful from a comfortable
position for people who are less well-off.
seen his sponsored child’s life transform through letters and photos – and
witnessed him develop from a young vulnerable child to an aspiring doctor with
opportunities to thrive.
Andrew feels a deep concern for the vulnerability of
children in the communities where World Vision works; particularly for the
women and girls who walk long distances to collect dirty water to survive.
Knowing that World
Vision addresses these circumstances is what motivated him to give a generous
gift in his Will.
Hooper might be a pensioner, but she still finds room in her budget to give
back to charity every month. She’s a three-time survivor of breast cancer and
wants to share her good fortune with other people. She says she’s lucky to be
has supported World Vision Australia for the last 30 years, sponsoring seven
children from Uganda, three from Kenya, two from Ethiopia and one from Egypt,
and made extra donations for other campaigns in need of assistance. To help
World Vision continue its work, she’s decided to leave a gift in her Will so
that she can assist long after she’s gone.
bequest can make an enormous difference, no matter how big or small. Charities
need as much help as they can get to carry on their work. Even people on a
budget like me can do it,” she says.
Williams hasn’t been so lucky, recovering from the loss of her 300-acre cattle
and organic garlic farm which was devastated by flood waters in 2015. Despite
this misfortune, she still believes that “there are always people who are going
to be worse off, like children living in poverty overseas”.
gratitude inspires her to continue helping the world’s most vulnerable
children. She’s been a sponsor through World Vision for more than 30 years and
currently supports three children from Cambodia, India and Zimbabwe.
a special connection with one of the children’s mothers who is also a farmer. “She’s
a widow like me and I can certainly relate to the challenges she undergoes as a
farmer,” Angie says.
After a lifetime of powerful generosity, Angie says she
wants to continue supporting World Vision’s work by leaving a gift in her Will.
“Why not leave a bequest to a cause I care about? It just makes sense to me,”
Ninety-three-year-old Joan Isaacs’ reason for her generosity is simple: “I was brought up to look out for the underdog, which is why I give to World Vision.”
Joan’s had a whirlwind of experiences over her lifetime, from hitchhiking from the Arctic Circle to the Sahara Desert in the 1950s, to moving to San Francisco and marrying her late husband. No matter what exciting things she’s done, though, she’s always given back. She started sponsoring children because “I just liked the idea of helping children who were poor and needed support”, she says.
Joan is leaving a gift in her Will to World Vision, which will go towards child sponsorship programs. She emphasises that you don’t have to be wealthy to leave a gift to a favourite cause.
Joyce Bruce’s support for World Vision Australia began in 1979. For almost 40 years, she contributed to six community projects and sponsored 12 children. When she passed away in 2017, she left a generous gift to World Vision in her Will that continues to provide children and communities with clean water, education, healthcare and protection.
Throughout her life, Joyce gave back to her family, her community through her work as a speech pathologist, and the wider world through her generosity. She gained many academic and professional accolades as the co-founder of Speech Pathology Australia and was the recipient of an Order of Australia medal in 2003, but Joyce’s patients remember her most for her compassion.
One of her former patients, Shane, spoke of her “lifelong tireless and loving service to speech-impaired children … [whose] labour of love has changed the course of our lives.”
A lasting impact on young people’s lives
A committed Christian, Warwick Connor devoted his life to helping others. He was orphaned at a young age and overcame many challenges early in life to become a successful carpenter who worked on the restoration of some of Australia’s oldest heritage buildings. Warwick knew the importance of support and opportunities for vulnerable children and young people to help them thrive.
The gift he left World Vision Australia after he passed away in 2018 will support a Youth Leadership and Livelihood Development Project in Cambodia, which helps young people become financially independent citizens leading positive change in their communities.
Warwick chose Cambodia because it has a youth population of 35 percent, but many young people are forced to give up their education and take low-paying jobs to support their families. His gift is providing young people with skills and mentoring to help them start their own businesses or succeed in the job market, just like Warwick.
The gift of education
Wendy Athorn, 79, decided years ago that she would leave part of her estate to World Vision Australia to go towards education programs. “I want to help children in developing countries go to school and make sure they have school uniforms and textbooks, so they don’t miss out,” she says. “Higher education offers opportunity and a way out of poverty.”
Wendy, a retired bookkeeper and Skillshare teacher, has discussed her decision with her children. “I came from a poor but loving family,” she says. “I worked hard and encouraged my children, whom I raised as a single mum, to do well in school.” Both her children support her commitment to giving educational opportunities to vulnerable children through a gift in her Will.
Wendy has been a child sponsor since 1987 and has travelled to see firsthand how some of the community projects were helping people in Thailand and India. “It hurts us all when people in developing countries are abused, enslaved and kept in poverty,” she says. “I like to think I can make a difference by sponsoring children in World Vision’s programs.”