Informal E-Interview With Vickie Wiedenmann of Children International
Aura’s House has been working with Children International since February of 2003. Vickie Wiedenmann has been with us this whole time and kindly agreed to answer a few questions and tell us more about herself.
“Hi! I’m Vickie Wiedenmann, and I’m honored that my good friends at Aura’s House asked me to tell you about myself and my work with Children International.
My husband, Bill, and I are the very proud parents of a 7-year-old boy named Benjamin. We live and work on a farm south of Kansas City where we raise cattle (Bill is the real rancher; I’m the helper!). When we’re not working or tending to cattle, Ben keeps us very busy with his school and sporting activities.
I’ve been with Children International for 34 years (wow, that’s a long time!) and am the Assistant Vice President of the organization. I work closely with Jim Cook, our President, as his assistant. In addition to my support role in the “business” end of Children International, I’m truly fortunate to be able to work on special projects such as new housing programs, school construction projects, special education programs, and, of course, Aura’s House!
I began working with Kristen Palana when she first dreamed of building a new house for her sponsored child, Aura — back in 2003. Kristen’s desire to raise funds on-line for her sponsored child was a first for CI, and despite a few challenges, our partnership was born — and it wasn’t long before Kristen and her dedicated supporters had raised enough to money to build that house!
Kristen asked me to tell you what I like best about my job. I get to see miracles happen – on a daily basis – working at Children International. Whether it’s building that new house in Guatemala, or paying tuition for a 10-year-old in Zambia who has never been to school in his life, or funding life-saving heart surgery for a child in the Philippines, or simply treating a little girl in Honduras to a brand new toy … I can’t think of a better way to spend my days!
Building houses for our sponsored families is one of the most gratifying things in which I’m involved. While CI doesn’t have the opportunity to build a huge number of homes (due to resources, obviously), there’s nothing quite like seeing the happy, smiling faces of children and their moms and dads as they move into a safe, comfortable home … a home once seen only in their dreams. Not only does “home ownership” provide a roof over their heads, it lifts the spirits of the parents and provides hope that things will indeed be better … it gives them the incentive to work harder and provide for their children. We’ve seen families change their entire outlook because they were given a new home of their very own.
Thanks to the incredible support of our sponsors, Children International is growing and providing benefits and services to even more children than ever before. Despite the economic challenges faced by so many people, we’re fortunate that we have not seen a downturn in support of our activities. Our sponsors are committed, caring individuals who consider their sponsored children a part of their lives, a part of their own families.
To all my friends on the Aura’s House team and your supporters, please know that all of us at Children International are delighted to work with you. You’ve done some pretty amazing things for children all over the world, and we’re very, very proud of the partnership that we enjoy with you. Thank you so much!”