Jen and Eric Wolford are members of World Vision's National Leadership Council. This is their story.
When Eric was growing up in Northern California, his family sponsored a refugee family from Laos, with whom the Wolfords shared meals, holidays, and back-to-school shopping. In Louisiana, his future bride was being raised by educators who worked to make sure all the schools in their town were strong, not just those in their neighborhood.
These early experiences were deeply formative for both Eric and Jen.
In adulthood, as a schoolteacher herself, Jen’s heart was broken when she learned that girls around the globe are chronically absent from school because they are working to find water for their families. As a result, Eric and Jen have gotten involved in World Vision’s WASH program that works to provide every child with clean Water, Sanitation and Hygiene.
Jen explains, “Because we came from families who gave and served as a lifestyle, we knew firsthand the joy this brings.”
Right after they married, at twenty-two, Eric was driving home from work when he heard a radio advertisement for World Vision child sponsorship. The call he made from his newly installed car phone began the legacy of service which is transforming another generation of Wolfords today.
When the Wolfords were on a vacation hiking in the Andes recently, atop a 14,500-foot high mountain pass, they encountered women from the local community who were selling beautiful woven scarves, hats, and other crafts made from yarn from the fleece of local alpaca herds. As the Wolford family descended the mountain with their new purchases, their guide happened to mention that an NGO called World Vision had equipped these women to support their families by organizing and selling profitably.
Jen and Eric experienced so much satisfaction from their involvement with World Vision that ten years ago they began introducing their friends and family to the work. Convinced that folks having fun while working together to glorify God was a win, Eric called these invitational gatherings “parties with a purpose.” Jen raves, “Any work is more fun with friends!”
She adds, “We feel as though we are fed by the energy of seeing results in the field after working with other dedicated World Vision supporters to achieve them.” Today the Wolfords are partnering with a collection of families who raise funds together to support projects in Ghana.
If you want to learn more about how your family can experience the joy of giving and serving, send an email to the NLC helpdesk.