Mackie Family on Child Sponsorship
"The need is great. Sponsorship is a way to tangibly support the basic needs." - John Mackie
The Mackie family has been a part of PKF Child Sponsorship since its inception, years ago. John Mackie is a First Vice President professional for Hefren-Tillotson, Inc. and sits on our Board of Directors. He's understandably pretty busy! He made time to talk with us about his family's experience as sponsors. Take a look!
Hi John. First, thanks for being making this interview happen, and for being part of the sponsorship program. How long have you been sponsors?
We've been sponsors since the start of PKF Child Sponsorship. We sponsor Shayna and Jackson. My wife’s name is Shana and Shayna was a baby at Jean Claude and Monica’s, so we felt connected to her.
That's awesome. I love that little personal connection. What has been the most rewarding or exciting aspect of sponsorship?
Knowing that we are helping support the wonderful loving work at the orphanages in Haiti.
You traveled to Haiti with PKF awhile back and got to meet one of your sponsor kids - tell me a little about that.
I got to meet Jackson when I went to Haiti a few years ago. It was an incredible experience to not only meet him personally, but see all the work that is being done to love and serve our Haitian brothers and sisters.
What a great experience! You're family takes an active role in sponsoring Jackson and Shayna - how has that impacted your family as a whole?
Making sponsorship a family activity has allowed us to have great conversations as a family about loving people in a tangible way, about how people have various needs, hopefully helping my kids to have some perspective on the world (outside of their bubble). It creates an opportunity to discuss giving as a family. Many times, it’s hard to understand where a gift is going. A program like PKF Child Sponsorship allows everyone to see and understand where the gifts are going and how they are helping someone. It is very relatable for our kids to see and relate to other kids, even if they are half a world away. This provides a great dose of perspective and the ability to have meaningful conversations.
I love that. You guys have been part of the program since the start. Why do you think it’s important to sponsor a child?
The need is great. Sponsorship is a way to tangibly support the basic needs.
Has traveling to Haiti and sponsoring a child changed how you live here in the U.S.?
I think it is always good to expand your perspective. There is no better way to do that than firsthand experience. Haiti is an incredibly beautiful place. It shattered many of my preconceived notions. However, many things were as I had expected (i.e. lack of infrastructure). When you see and interact with the people, it definitely makes it personal and the compulsion to act moves from the abstract (we should help) to the concrete (we must act).
I think you hit the nail on the head. Haiti is a beautiful country full of incredible people, most of who simply lack the opportunities that we have in America. The PKF Child Sponsorship program is all about empowering students and making sure they have the opportunities to excel. John, thank you and thanks to your family for being part of this with us!