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Seeing Hong Kong Through Kinda's Eyes

Kinda in 1975.
Kinda in 1975.
Jack and his son, Daniel, at dinner with Kinda and her family in 2011.
Jack and his son, Daniel, at dinner with Kinda and her family in 2011.
July 19, 2013

Even though Jack and Katheryn's sponsorship of Kinda had ended many years ago, they have always kept in touch. Find out why Jack decided to sponsor a child with Plan and see what it was like for him to meet Kinda after 43 years of correspondence! This is his story...

In 1968, I was stationed on a U.S. Coast Guard high endurance cutter in Boston, Massachusetts and my late wife, Katheryn, was working as a bank teller.

While we had always been active in the youth programs at our local church, we were looking for a way to help other youth who were living outside of the United States. It was during this time that we decided to sponsor our very first child through Plan International USA–an 11-year-old girl named Kinda who was living in Hong Kong.

We sponsored Kinda until she was 18 years old, but we have never lost touch. In fact, several of our family members have met up with her over the years and new friendships have been made!

A number of years ago, my mother-in-law and her best friend met up with Kinda when they were passing through Hong Kong. Five years ago, our son Daniel met Kinda and her extended family while he was completing his airline training in Hong Kong.

Two years ago, I was able to accompany my son on a flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong. This trip was significant to me, because I would finally have the opportunity to meet Kinda and her family for the first time!

Upon our arrival, my son gave me a tour of his Hong Kong. In the evening, we had arranged to meet Kinda and her family for dinner. During our introductions, I noticed that Kinda had taught her mother how to say, “Hello” and ask me how I was doing.

During the next two days, I was able to see and explore Hong Kong through the eyes of Kinda and her husband, Bruce. I really enjoyed visiting the local neighborhoods and shops that were just off of the beaten path. It was a wonderful cultural experience!

Just recently, I have returned from a second visit to Hong Kong. On this trip, Kinda and Bruce accompanied me as we toured the New Territories–the northern part of Hong Kong. From their bedroom window, I was able to see mainland China. During this trip, Daniel took us all out sailing on Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong and I was able to see all of the ship and barge traffic. Having been associated with the maritime industry for nearly fifty-eight years, it was a fantastic experience!

One other thing that I’d like to add is that when my late wife, Katheryn, had passed away in 2010, Plan gave me a very thoughtful certificate honoring her role as a foster parent for more than 42 years. This certificate means a lot to me, as it honors the memory of my late wife and recognizes her life-long dedication to helping children.

Currently, I am the proud sponsor of a 7-year-old girl from Cameroon and I look forward to learning about her progress, too!

Comments


 Judy Robbins July 25, 2013 6:17 PM
I sponsored a girl in Kenya for a few years after going there on safari. I enjoyed her letters, but her dad moved the family out of Plan USA's area and I never heard from her again. I now have a boy in Guatamala and hope to meet him and his family some day. I feel so lucky to be able to help some unfortunate child in another country. I love hearing from him and how he is doing.
Judy Robbins
 Judith Amtzis July 26, 2013 12:53 AM
Wonderful story. Thanks for sharing!
 Plan International USA July 26, 2013 9:40 AM
We're so glad that you've enjoyed Jack's story! It's amazing to read about the connections that our sponsors have with their sponsored children. We hope to continue to bring you new stories with each and every eNewsletter!