We have partners that pop up from all around the world–connecting hearts to form a wide-reaching web of care–but sometimes…sometimes we find them just down the hall. Jeff Suarez is an everyday business man and father who happens to work across from the GNUSA offices in downtown LA, close enough to toss a paper airplane, or share a coffee break with us. He may work in a completely different industry, but there is a thread of compassion that has linked our offices, and our hearts, in this common goal. Grab your latte and sit with us in a coffee break convo with our friend Jeff…
GNUSA: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Jeff: My name is Jeff Suarez. I was born and raised in LA and currently live in Valencia with my wife and two children, Mateo & Simon. I studied International Relations at USC, and lived in New York City between 2005-2010. I’ve been working at Farfetch.com since 2011 as an Account Manager.
I got involved with GNUSA through an open house you guys had a few years ago. On the way out, I was given a package about its programs which also contained a profile of Luis, who is now my sponsored child. This was also a special season for me because it was around the same time my first son Mateo was born. I’ve been a child sponsor ever since.
GNUSA: What’s your passion behind sponsoring a child?
Jeff: I have loved interacting with kids ever since high school. Working with kids has just always been a highlight for me. And since GNUSA works a lot with kids, it was an easy decision to sponsor Luis, and then interact with him through my sponsorship.
GNUSA: Have you ever been to other countries?
Jeff: I travelled to Europe, and my family is from the Philippines – so we go there every so often. I think for me, somehow I really related to kids in difficult circumstances around the world, and I don’t just see them, I feel what they’re going through. I know that GNUSA uses its resources to build programs and provide opportunities for these children, and I love that I’m a part of that. Anything I can do, I try.
GNUSA: What interests you more about the child sponsorship than other programs?
Jeff: I have always wanted to be part of a sponsorship program. Your office is across from mine so it just made sense for me to sponsor a child with you guys. It’s wonderful to walk into work every day and know I’m a part of what GNUSA does.
GNUSA: Since you have kids, how do you plan to introduce them to your sponsored child?
Jeff: (haha) At some point we will. My oldest is three, so we’ll probably have to wait until he gets a little older before we tell him about his brother Luis!
I think this sponsorship experience will help me instill in my children a continuing awareness of the needs of other children and families around the world. Being from the Philippines- a third world country- my wife and I are keenly aware of issues that communities have, and that children face just to be able to survive.
GNUSA: What has sponsoring Luis for 3 years meant to you?
Jeff: Giving $35.00 a month hasn’t felt like a burden for us at all because we understand why we are giving, and exactly how it is really helping Luis.
GNUSA: Besides helping him financially, how else do you feel Luis is impacted through your sponsorship?
Jeff: I believe I’m reassuring him that there is someone out there looking out for him. One day I hope to write him and share with him about my sons and family. I know I sure love seeing the photos and letters I get from him.
GNUSA: Have you ever thought about a lifetime commitment with your child?
Jeff: Yea, I had never thought about it, but building a longer relationship with the sponsored child is unique. I think that would be great! Like I said before, I have two boys and it’s exciting for me as a father to see them grow. It’s no different with my sponsor child Luis – it’s such a joy to see his growth, and how he is enabled to continue moving forward.
GNUSA: What has been your favorite part of sponsoring?
Jeff: Receiving the letters and drawings from Luis. I love posting them on the fridge!
Thank you Jeff, for sharing your story with us! To learn more about sponsoring a child, click here.