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Not all gifts are for now: Guest blog by Cindy Sowder

"When my daugh­ter struggled with a slight learning disability, I saw firsthand how hard a child must work to overcome these challenges. From that point on, I knew I wanted to help children with learn­ing difficulties,” said Cindy Sowder, founding funder of the Sowder Trans­formational Aca­demic Rewards and Support (STARS) program, which has been instituted to provide remedia­tion for students in every Christel House country. The results for the more than 1,300 students served have been extraordinary.

STARS children get individual or small group support to close learning gaps. The kids have shown considerable improvement. Out of 25 kids from grades 1-4 who received help, 20 passed their recent Math tests,” said Jaya George, Head of Schools, Christel House India.

"What drew me to Christel House was the fact was that everything goes directly to help the children. It doesn’t go to administrative costs,” says Cindy. “I knew I wanted to become involved because Christel House educates the entire human being, builds character and addresses health and family issues.”

After founding STARS in 2008, Cindy wanted to ensure that the program would continue making a difference in the lives of the children. She decided to make a planned gift. “I wanted my friends and family to see how much this program means to me. I hope I can inspire others to create their own Christel House legacy.”

“It is easy to live in a box and forget how many in society struggle greatly,” she continues. “Children living in extreme poverty de­serve a chance. I have a lot of confidence in Christel House and have no doubt that funding STARS for years after I‘m gone will be the best possible use of my resources.”

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