Little Pixie


“Helping one person might not change the world, but it could change the world for one person.” Anonymous

Written by Caroline Sheaffer

Esta historia se escribe en Español = This story is also written in Spanish. Click here.

Being in accompaniment with families in El Salvador has been especially fun to watch the children in the communities grow and develop over the years. One particular little girl was probably two or three when I first met her. She always had the most enchanting, captivating personality and welcoming smile. She leaped into the arms of visitors if she wasn’t already on Luis’s (her pastor) back. Luis looks after her and visits as much as possible. I teased him that I didn’t think we had pictures of her alone because she was his “little pixie shadow.” From that time on, “Little Pixie” became her nickname between us. In all our notes back and forth there would be news about our “Little Pixie.” Her cheerfulness is particularly striking when you consider her parents died of AIDS when she was young leaving her abuela (grandma) to raise her with the support of lots of cousins, aunts, and uncles on the adjoining property. They live in what we would classify as abject poverty in a dirt-floored structure within a campesino community.

A shy toddler

On our church’s sanctuary screen I would show photos of “little pixie” from time to time. She captured another member’s heart, also. This person never met her, but just seeing this little one and hearing about her stole her heart. She wanted to reach out to help.

This member would ask when we were returning to El Salvador and send along wonderful gifts for “Little Pixie.” There were gorgeous little sundresses, sandals, backpacks, and toys. If this child wore all of them, she would have been the envy of the entire community. We took them along with us; however, we explained to our generous donor that these items would need to be divided up among all the children in the extended family/community. One child being singled out would create jealousy.

Later we spoke to our donor about considering making monetary donations through our church on behalf of this little girl to go toward her education instead of sending all the material gifts. We explained we would keep track of each donation she made and make certain those funds would not be mixed into our general scholarship fund. “Little Pixie” has always loved school, and her pastor assures us she does well. He meets with her teachers.

Lots of life getting in the way has transpired over the years since those early days of our donor’s generosity. Her own health has taken a toll. Likewise, my partner and I can no longer make our annual pilgrimages to El Salvador. However, we make certain to get the donor’s funds there. I give much credit to this donor who faithfully continues to sponsor this now young lady in hopes her funds will enable “Little Pixie” to study for a career someday.

Little Pixie

With her teacher

Our donor faithfully continues to send me a text every time she makes a contribution to the church. That way I can keep a running account of the funds to go directly to this specific child. I can count on a donation on “Little Pixie’s” birthday every year.

Quincenera celebration (15th birthday)


Here is the note “Little Pixie” wrote her faithful sponsor after her 16th birthday:

Dear sponsor.

I hereby want to thank you for all the help you have given me including the money you sent me recently which will be used to study computing. 

I know that all the help I have received from Pastor Don comes from you. Before the pandemic he and Caroline Sheaffer would visit me every year.

My dream is to enter the National Academy of Public Security (NAPS). For that I have to be a high school graduate. I need to study four years more for that.

With God’s help I will reach my goals.

God bless you.

It is one thing for me to be charmed by this petite, brown-eyed child whom I got to see every time I visited El Salvador. But it is quite another for someone who has never set foot in the country to set aside funds to help subsidize this girl’s education over the long term. We know “Little Pixie” and her family are grateful for all that dedication. We give thanks to her donor and for Luis who faithfully watches over her also.


Her 16th birthday


    Afflicted with Hope / is one of many outreach ministries at
    Saint Stephen Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELCA)
    30 West Main Street, PO Box 266
    New Kingstown, PA 17072

    Tax deductible donations for support of this work in El Salvador may be sent to the above address.