Through generations and abroad - Forada man sponsors children from other countries and inspires his own familyNine children, 30 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren might be more than enough for some people to keep up with – but this 80-year-old is also dedicated to helping others.
By: Stacie Kimball, Alexandria Echo Press
“I’m not that great as a communicator,” Harold Grundman said. But what he claims he lacks in communication skills, he makes up for in other ways.
After 30 years of farming in Villard, Grundman now lives with his wife Agnes just outside Forada.
Nine children, 30 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren might be more than enough for some people to keep up with – but the 80-year-old is also dedicated to helping others.
Grundman first learned of the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA) in the early 1990s through an article in the St. Cloud Visitor and after listening to a presentation at St. Bartholomew Catholic Church in Villard.
With the help of sponsors, CFCA works with families living in poverty in 22 countries. They help create a path out of poverty by providing education opportunities for children and meetings that teach the parents trades and skills.
The sponsored children receive healthcare, uniforms and monthly food boxes for their entire family.
Grundman sponsors four children in Guatemala and two in Bolivia through CFCA. He is fond of CFCA’s unique style of sponsorship, as it offers more than financial assistance to families.
He is also particularly satisfied knowing that more than 94 percent of CFCA’s expenses go toward program support. The highest reasonable amounts of available resources are assigned to the direct benefits of sponsored members.
Those may be the facts of sponsorship, but Grundman’s compassion goes far beyond the financials.
He sat at his dining room table with six well-kept folders of the children he sponsors in front of him.
“I want to see them through. My goal is to get them educated,” he said modestly. “To help them help themselves.”
His wife Agnes added, “You’ve done a good job, dear. You’ve really got this thing together.”
Since 2005, Grundman has gone on mission trips to meet the children he sponsors.
In response to why he has gone on these trips, Grundman said, “To see what you are doing for them – and the appreciation they show is immense.”
The generosity that Grundman possesses might be hereditary, but more likely led by example, as five granddaughters and one daughter have also gone on mission trips.
He has shown his family the importance of volunteer and charity work and the satisfaction it can create within a person’s heart.
In a written response to her grandfather’s unrelenting compassion, Grundman’s oldest granddaughter, Nicole Grundman Hamel, had this to say:
“What a great gift he has given us grandchildren by giving us the opportunity to support others like he has always supported us.”
The man who says he is not a great communicator has relayed far more than the words he claims to lack.
He has shared the gift of education with children who didn’t dream it was possible. He has shared hope with families who had none. And he has taught his family to share the gifts they have been given.