GCL states Compassion International’s Change the Story: The Compassion Experience Is Coming to

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Bentonville, Ark., January 23, 2014 – Compassion International, a leading authority on child sponsorship which releases children from poverty globally, will be bringing its “Change the Story: The Compassion Experience” tour to the Bentonville area Feb. 14-17. The event will educate visitors about the realities of life in poverty as well as provide an international experience to visitors who may not ever have the opportunity to travel abroad to a developing country.

The four-day event will be set up in the parking lot of First Baptist Church Bentonville at 220 South Main Street in Bentonville, Ark. from Feb. 14-17. There, visitors will be invited on a 20-minute, self-guided journey where they will be immersed in the lives and stories of one of three children living in India, Uganda or Bolivia. Each child’s story starts in hardship but ends in hope.

The experience includes 3,100 square feet of exhibit space, featuring replicas of the homes and environments of these three Compassion beneficiaries. The event is free and family-friendly.

“We built ‘The Compassion Experience’ in order to really bring the developing world to America,” said Mark Hanlon, Compassion International’s senior vice president of global marketing and engagement.

The event in Bentonville has special significance for Julian Alum, a former sponsored child whose story of life in Uganda is currently featured on the tour. A family based in the Bentonville area sponsored Alum through the Compassion International child sponsorship program, and she will get to meet them for the first time in person during the event.

“I always found that writing letters to my sponsor was a safe place for me to pour out my heart about any struggles that I had at home and school. My sponsor went above and beyond. They supported me and loved me as their own child,” said Alum when asked about the value of that relationship.

The tour is highly interactive, using individual iPods and headsets to offer visitors a sense of what life is like in extremely poverty-stricken areas around the world where more than 1.4 billion people are living on less than $ 1.25 per day (USD). In the areas Compassion serves, one in five children die before the age of five, mostly from preventable causes, and 101 million children worldwide do not attend school. Tour goers will have the opportunity to “change the story” of children living in poverty by learning more about the issue, as well as Compassion’s child sponsorship program, which tackles global poverty one child at a time. Compassion currently serves more than 1.4 million children in 26 of the world’s most impoverished countries.

For more information about “Change the Story: The Compassion Experience,” visit, @ChangeTour on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Compassion International is the world’s leading authority in child sponsorship. Compassion revolutionized the fight against global poverty by equipping the Church to develop children out of poverty to become responsible and fulfilled Christian adults. It is the only child sponsorship program to be validated through independent, empirical research. Today, Compassion partners with more than 6,000 Christian churches in 26 countries to release more than 1.4 million babies, children and students from poverty in Jesus’ name. Compassion has been awarded the highest rating for financial stewardship and transparency for 12 consecutive years by Charity Navigator, America’s largest charity evaluator. For more information on the ministry, visit or follow them on Twitter at @compassion.

CONTACT: Chris Hoffman, Compassion International 719-494-3073 CHoffman(at)compassion(dot)com

Press Contact:
Chris Hoffman
Compassion International
Bentonville, Ark.
+1 719-494-3073

Compassion International exists as a Christian child advocacy ministry that releases children from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enables them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults.

Founded by the Rev. Everett Swanson in 1952, Compassion began providing Korean War orphans with food, shelter, education and health care, as well as Christian training.

Today, Compassion helps more than 1.2 million children in 26 countries.

A passion for children

Interested in our guiding principles and why we are so passionate about caring for children? Check

In this dialogue CCARE’s founder and director, Dr. James Doty, will ask Eckhart Tolle about his life’s work and what role compassion may have played.

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