Home > Stories
Deb smiling in an office space

Meet Deb: A Longtime Donor and Loving Grandmother

“I keep everything that they send me, and it’s all on my desk. I display it so my coworkers can come by and see how beautiful each of the children are,” Deb Riley told us, smiling and glancing at half-dozen photocopied pictures.  

These are children Deb sponsors through Feed the Children, and you can see the pride written all over her face. They’re like Deb’s own children and grandchildren. 

“One of these days I want to hear about one of them doing great things because many of them want to be doctors or nurses. They don’t let their circumstances keep them from dreaming about those things. So, I’m just praying one of these days those dreams will become reality for them.” 

Along with her prayers, Deb has a heartfelt interest in marking life’s major milestones for her sponsored children. 

“I sponsored a child for a few years, and one day I got a letter that he was graduating. Oh, my gosh. It was so exciting!“ 

Deb’s passion for helping others is clear when you meet her. But her drive to serve started when she was young. Someone helped her in a time of need, and it’s been a chain reaction of doing good ever since. 

In fact, she’s spent almost the last 10 years sponsoring children AND working at Feed the Children. Deb worked in the Child Sponsorship division, so she knows the work firsthand. She’s even traveled to some towns where Feed the Children has made a difference. 

“Before we were leaving Guatemala, one of the little girls ran out to the car, and we thought we had forgotten something. But what she did, she made a point of hugging each one of us and telling us, thank you. And I’m telling you: every time I tell that, I just want to tear up because it touches my heart so much.” 

Deb Riley holding a drawing in her hands

The trip made a profound impact on Deb, and it’s solidified her commitment to helping others and sponsoring children. 

“We are fortunate here in America. Some of the houses there had dirt floors. If it rained, it turned to mud. They had ceilings where you could look up to the sky. That gave me more reason to give. So, my purpose for sponsoring? I just felt good about sponsoring.” 

These days Deb works as a Donor Relations Manager, making sure Feed the Children donors feel good about their own charitable giving.  

“I send them thank you notes by either card, email or phone call,” she said. “They need to know about the integrity of Feed the Children and the people who work here. We want to know who they are and to give them thanks and appreciate them for what they do. There are times when I just tear up thanking people because it amazes me that ordinary people choose to give. They give not because they have to. They give because they choose to, which helps someone’s life.” 

Deb’s words perfectly describe how we feel about her and all our donors – we are thrilled that you choose to help. Not only are we honored to have Deb on our team, but we’re grateful that you’re on it too. Your commitment, just like Deb’s, makes it possible to change children’s lives. Thank you! 

More Inspiring Stories