Meet the people helping to create a brighter future for tomorrow's child

Meet the people helping to create a brighter future for tomorrow's child

Caring for children around the world  

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 with sponsored children letters

John and Patricia Howard

We know that World Vision practises good stewardship of donations. The need is so great, and we are confident that World Vision uses funds very wisely.

World Vision supporters John, Pam and Patricia Howard

Pam Howard with her parents

World Vision is approached by the community, they work out a plan together and work alongside the community. After a period of time, the community is left to continue on their own. It’s not just a handout.

Values continue in the next generation   

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.”  

A lasting gift after a lifetime of generosity  

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.  

Sheila Woodcock with guide dog puppy

Sheila Woodcock

"The fund will be a living testament to Shelia’s wonderful values and her compassion for the community. Her gift will … continue working hard to fulfil her wish to make the world a better place.” – Kent Woodcock, Sheila’s second cousin and enduring guardian

Gordon Lambert

I want World Vision to do even more great work through a bequest in my Will.

Giving to the right place


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.

Gift of a lifetime


Dianne 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.


“What 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.”


Dianne 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.


Leaving 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.


Dianne Roennfeldt

Leaving 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.

Andrew Stephenson

It feels really good to be a part of this and to know that I’m creating a legacy of goodwill for future generations of children.


A journey leading to a legacy


Andrew 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.


He’s 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.


Finding a way to give back


Tonya 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 alive.


Tonya 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.


“A 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. 


Tonya Hooper

A 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.

Angie Williams

Why not leave a bequest to a cause I care about? It just makes sense to me.

Helping the most vulnerable children

Angie 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”.

Her 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.

She shares 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,” she says.


"Anyone can leave a gift," says Joan

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.

“I think any amount of money that can go to a cause you want to support is worthwhile. It eventually adds up, and every bit can help a charity with their programs.”



Joan Esperance

World Vision has excellent programs that benefit the child and the community. One of my first children I sponsored was a girl from India and the money I sent helped her family to set up a chicken farm.

Wendy Athorn

Wendy Athorn

It’s essential to take a wider view of the world and think of those who need help. I like the idea of leaving a legacy broader than just your loved ones.

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.”


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.


Warwick Connor

Warwick’s gift to World Vision Australia was made in honour of his mother’s memory and will help Cambodian youth learn entrepreneurial skills like Warwick did, to break the cycle of poverty.