by JENNIFER FRAKES | photo by Spark Photography

Giving Heart

volunteer_foster1For Melissa Foster, there is no better feeling than serving others. She is an active volunteer for Children of the Nations (COTN), a nonprofit organization that operates homes, schools, farms, skill centers, clinics, and village feeding centers for orphaned and destitute children across the globe. The organization is funded primarily through child sponsorships and individual donations. “My heart and the bulk of my energy belong to Children of the Nations. I learned of COTN while attending a church that presented the sponsorship opportunity during a service event. As I learned more about the mission of COTN, I was immediately drawn to the organization. I have always worked with children, so I could easily see myself sponsoring a child,” revealed Melissa.

She has since sponsored two children and has traveled to Uganda twice. The first time was to run a sports and fitness camp for the kids at the school and children’s home there, and the second was to conduct leadership workshops to equip and empower the staff at the school. “While in Uganda the second time, I met a teenage girl named Mercy, one of the children I sponsor. I was able to spend a week getting to know her better, and it was an amazing experience to see her grow and how she cares for and gives to those in her community. She was such an example to me – it is a special cycle to be a part of,” related Melissa.


Name: Melissa Foster
Communtiy: Rancho Bernardo
Volunteer Affiliation: Children of the Nations and Feeding America San Diego
Profession: Child Care and AdvoCare Distributor
Family: Two parents, one sister, three pups, and a boyfriend
Hobbies: Running, hiking, reading, crafting, making homemade cards


According to Melissa, sponsorship funds give children the opportunity to attend school, receive two meals a day, and have medical care. The correspondence between a sponsor and a child also helps the child to grow into a strong and confident leader that can make a difference in his or her own community.

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Here at home, Melissa is involved with the local COTN organization in San Diego, as well as Feeding America. She is very close with her family, and credits her parents with inspiring her to give back and make a difference in the world. Melissa is a second degree black belt in tae kwan do, and she loves to run, craft, hike, and spend time with friends and her boyfriend Michael. “Michael is in the Navy and is currently on deployment. I am very proud of him and his servant heart. I can’t wait for him to come home so we can have many more adventures together,” stated Melissa.


Group: Feeding America San Diego
Purpose: End hunger through healthy food, education, and advocacy.
Website: www.feedingamericasd.org

Group: Children of the Nations
Purpose: Raising children who transform nations.
Website: www.cotni.org