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I had an amazing trip to India, someplace I never thought I’d travel too. The guidance and hospitality of Dr. Geetha and Tom made arranging this trip easy and a reality. I am very glad I accepted their invitation. What I found most beautiful about my experience was seeing the missions and meeting the children being served. They were all so joyful and grateful for the help given through the generosity of the sponsors. I came back feeling confident that my gift makes a difference and I was encouraged to want to invite others to support the work of FCN as well. It is one thing to write that check each year, another to experience what that support means to the children being served! I am also humbled by the work of Dr. Geetha and Tom. It was so clear to see how the Holy Spirit has been working through them. I am delighted to know and be a part of FCN.
Fr. Carl Morello, Chicago
My visit to the FCN projects in India was extremely inspiring. Tom and Dr. Geetha were exceptional hosts. From the accommodations to the food to the site visits, we had a fantastic experience. I was very impressed with their charitable work, helping children and others to have better lives. Our tour of the schools was fun. We were given such warm and heartfelt greetings, treated with such great hospitality and helped to experience the life of the schools. I was so impressed with the joy in the faces of the children, the good behavior they displayed and the way in which they made us feel special. I could really tell that the children are not only being educated well but are also being treated with respect, love and sensitivity. I know that I ran into a young man later in the trip who told me about how much the Catholic Church is respected for its schools and he knew because he had attended one. I feel privileged to help the young lady that I do. She is attending college and visited me twice during my visit. The first time she was alone and brought me the most delightful wooden music box. I will always treasure it as it plays music and reminds me of my encounter with her. The second time she brought her mother and brother and we had such a wonderful visit. The work that FCN does with orphans, the elderly and young women learning to sew is also a great investment in the future of India and God’s children who are need of love, support and encouragement.
Father David Ruby, Green Bay, WI
My visit to India was truly an experience of a lifetime, more so than I ever expected. My two weeks in India was an equally powerful experience as the ten weeks I spent in the Holy Land. Words cannot adequately describe the warm welcome we received, the joy we experienced through the children, and the presence of God that I discovered in rural villages that we visited - it is something that you have to experience firsthand. My heart was touched more deeply than I expected, so much so that I decided to sponsor a second child during my visit there, and Tom and Dr. Geetha are so wonderful that they arranged for me to meet this boy and his family. And as wonderful as that was, the highlight of the entire trip for me was being able to meet the girl that I had been sponsoring for several years. When I met her I told her, "I came all the way from America to meet you." The opportunity to see her living a happy life in her school with her friends - that meant more to me than even the amazing experiences of celebrating Mass at St. Thomas' tomb and visiting the Taj Mahal. In addition, I thought I knew how hard Tom and Dr. Geetha work, and how much they care about children and the poor, but I realized that I had no idea about those things until I saw their work firsthand. I encourage every FCN sponsor to visit India and meet your sponsor child. It is well worth it.
Fr. Robert Schultz, Chicago
A trip to India was not exactly on my ‘bucket list’ nor was it anywhere even close to being on my radar. My experience in India and at the various FCN facilities proved to be one of the most humbling and memorable experiences of my life. Visiting the FCN facilities and being able to see and meet the children and people that FCN assists was only topped by my becoming a sponsor and being able to meet my child. The impression that the children made on me was effortless on their part. It was their genuine happiness, joy and gratefulness that ended up changing me. I came to admire the dedication and love demonstrated by the family members, employees, and all those involved with FCN because it was truly seeing the gospel being preached without words. That is the hard part to convey someone when I speak of my experience. The eyes and smiles of the children have not only been imprinted on my mind but even more so in my heart. I am proud to be a FCN sponsor.
Deacon Ron Pilarski, Chicago
I have been home almost a month and I know my world looks different as a result of my time with FCN. I pray daily for all who make FCN the success it is. They provide a safe and happy place for so many children. I shall never forget the diligent attention in the school settings and the warm and engaged smiles on their faces. The memory of these children will remain in my prayers and in my heart forever, especially my own sweet girl, who I met. Thank FCN for listening to the gospel message.
It is important to show solidarity to our children, in our own country as well as abroad. Life is not always fancy but there is a lot of love too. Being a sponsor for many years to my dear child Bala was and is the least I can do to show my solidarity and love. With love comes hope and both make the world go round. FCN gave me the opportunity, thank you FCN. Meeting Bala and meeting the people who are taking care of him and of all those marvelous children was a life time experience to me. I am inviting every body to join us in supporting the needy. It is our duty as we got the means.
I left India a better and a happier man. God bless FCN.
Michiel Decrop, Belgium
After returning from India visiting FCN sites not only did I return with making some new friends but with new knowledge of the wonderful work Tom and Dr. Geetha do. I consider their work to be pure saintly.
I didn't become a sponsor until the week before we left Chicago for our journey. Being a little skeptical I was hesitant to become one until I checked it out with my own eyes. God sure showed me. From the first school we visited where we were all "Heartedly Welcomed" by students and staff alike I did see just that. What I spend on frivolous things back in the states can make a real difference in a child's life there. During our welcome celebration I was surprised that morning with meeting my sponsor child and was touched deeply knowing that a connection was born. We are thousands of miles away in physicality but a stone's throw in spiritual reality. I travel to see the world and it's many beauties. I wanted to see India. Each time in a distant land I am constantly reminded of how we are all intertwined. In our group we have talked about how we have been changed from this experience. I have been changed forever for good. Every school we visited we were welcomed by the children with smiles, songs and dance. We were shown many times over how two people with a vision of wanting to make life better for others in a few short years have made all the difference. Thank you Tom and Geetha for showing me your amazing country. Thank you for making me want to do and be better. Thank you for giving me the knowledge to want to be s sponsor and help continue the love and good works that Foundation for Children In Need performs every day.
Larry Wardzala, Chicago