Back in October, my friend Erin and I finally got the chance to go through the Compassion Experience.
I’d been on the lookout for the traveling schedule ever since they announced this new attraction – but it had never ventured close enough for me to make the drive. (Anything over 3 hours is just too far to make it worth it – as it was, we drove roughly 2 hours to attend and volunteer at the event).But honestly, I’m so glad that we went. I can confidently say that other than visiting your child in their own country, this is the closest representation of their day-to-day lives that you will see.
It is clear that Compassion took their time in developing these experiences and didn’t overlook any detail. When you enter the exhibit, you have the choice of hearing and touring one of three stories (you can go back through at the end and listen to more if you wish. Erin and I went through all three before we left)
Once you’ve chosen the story you want to experience you’re given a corresponding headset and sent to a “holding” room and listen to the introduction of your child. From the holding room, you make your way through the child’s life, prompted by the headset, moving room to room.
If you go, look everwhere – I promise you will not be dissapointed. I’m totally the person that opens drawers, looks in desks, sifts through filing cabinets – Compassion was ready for me. Everything was set up as if it were really being used. There were clothes in the dressers and letters (so many letters – real, sponsor/child letters) in the cabinets.
There were also photos of the child’s sponsors throughout the experience. Can you imagine? How cool would it be to have your sponsor/child story told by compassion. I would have love to have been a fly on the wall when they told these sponsors their plans – and then again when they got to go through the experience themselves.
The other thing I was amazed at? The fact that they included real cards and paper memories from the child’s life. That’s not just a copy of a letter, card, or drawing; it’s the real deal.And finally, when you complete the experience, you get the chance to meet one of the children whose story you just heard. Erin and I were honored to meet Julian after our tour; and she was gracious enough to let us take a photo with her. (also, she had the coolest earrings on. You can’t hardly see them in the photo, but they were the continent of Africa and were about 3″ x 4″)
Have any of you been through the Compassion Experience? I’d love to hear your take on it.