Jaime Bouldin is president of Collegiate Child Sponsorship, which pools money to sponsor children around the world.
Jaime Bouldin looks back on a part of his childhood that simultaneously inspired and let him down.
“I remember growing up and seeing these commercials,” he said, “and you see this old guy holding up a child, and the child’s like, ‘I’m hungry,’ and then you hear, ‘A dollar a day could save this child.’”
Bouldin, a senior criminal justice major, is president of the Collegiate Child Sponsorship, a pilot college branch of Save the Children, an organization with similar commercials that many have seen throughout the years. Bouldin said CCS chose to work with Save the Children as opposed to others because of its transparency with the money it receives.
“We get saturated with these images, and then we hear these terrible stories of organizations that abuse this privilege that so many people are giving them with their money,” he said. “And it just so happened at the same time [Save the Children was] thinking about college outreach because they’ve never done this before.”
CCS began in Fall 2009 and was started by its visionary, Temple alumnus Rasheed Kahn, when he got the OK from Save the Children to begin a partnership. Kahn and Bouldin had big ideas for CCS from the start.
“We built our organization upon this idea of sponsoring children,” Bouldin said, “and, by getting massive amounts of people to sponsor one child, such as the entire Temple University community, we could be sponsoring and saving a lot of lives overseas and in the United States.”
Because the organization just started, it consists of only six members who together sponsor one child. They hope to begin sponsoring more once the membership increases.
“What will happen is you specify a gender and preference of where you want the child to come from and some other options,” Bouldin said. “We told them it didn’t matter what gender it was, we just wanted the one that had the greatest need. So we ended up with a child from the Philippines.”
Bouldin said CCS’s goal is very important, especially right now, because organizations like Save the Children have been having difficulty finding child sponsors in recent years.
“What they kind of insinuated to us was that there’s a generation gap of people who sponsor,” he said. “People who do sponsor currently, they’re dying out. They’re getting old. And there really hasn’t been a follow-up. I guess there’s a sense of urgency to find the next generation of people that are going to sponsor.”
Bouldin used his previous community service experiences, such as one with a homeless outreach program called Chosen 300, as a guide for what he would like to see accomplished with CCS.
“Part of community service is to care about what’s going on in your immediate community,” he said. “When forming CCS, we knew it was important not just to focus all our efforts outwardly, globally.”
Sponsored by a number of local churches, Chosen 300 helps feed the homeless on weeknights and Sundays. Bouldin found the program through his church but continued by taking the residents of his floor at Elmira Jeffries when he was a resident assistant.
“I found it quite surprising because they were genuinely interested, and they wanted to go back,” Bouldin said. “And to this day, I see some of them with their organizations, and they’ll take their people out to Chosen 300.”
Bouldin said helping out at Chosen 300 is in many ways a learning experience because it has helped him open his mind about the world and develop empathy, which is what has driven him to dedicate so much time to CCS.
“Doing things like that, being in the actual mix of all the craziness that’s going on and being with homeless people, it’s a different experience,” he said, “and hopefully, if you come with eyes open and ears open, you’ll kind of let that seed plant in you.”
Carlene Majorino can be reached at email@example.com.