Photo of Sally and Ken standing next to each other smiling, holding a laptop.

What We’ve Learned and Where We’re Going | 25th Anniversary Episode

Do you remember the first moment you felt conviction to act on fighting the injustices you saw in the world? 

The growth of Children’s HopeChest is built on many of these no-looking-back-now moments. From HopeChest’s founder George Steiner witnessing the need for improved conditions in Russian orphanages 25 years ago, to our current CEO and President’s moment of recognizing the Holy Spirit-inspired idea by staff to improve children’s “voice and choice” within child sponsorship, we are continually learning and growing and moving forward.

At the core of our existence, HopeChest believes our faith calls us to take action:

“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” James 2:14-17 (NIV)


In this month’s episode of “Build Relationships. Break Poverty.” we’re sharing a conversation between Chairperson of the Board, Sally Townsend, and CEO and President, Ken Sparks. Together, they reflect on what we’ve learned over 25 years of fighting the cycle of poverty around the globe, and where we are headed in the future.

Celebrate with us, by downloading and listening to our 25th Anniversary episode!


“It’s not us helping them, but we’re coming alongside them. And, the first step in that is to allow them the choice of, ‘Who would be my friend? Who would I choose to be in a friendship with me to help me achieve the dreams and hopes that I have.’ It changes that dynamic right out of the gate.” Ken Sparks




Sitting the interviewer’s seat is Rick Wright. As Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, Rick’s responsible for planning, developing, implementing, and monitoring the overall marketing and communications strategy of Children’s HopeChest.  Rick works alongside the President/CEO and board members to ensure that HopeChest’s message is distributed across channels and to targeted audiences that would include churches, schools, and corporations in the United States. Rick and the marketing team have primary responsibility for driving awareness of the HopeChest mission, the Greater Calling business initiative, and driving partnership leads through various advertising mediums.  Rick is also responsible for driving alternative and consistent revenue streams to support the HopeChest mission.


Sally Townsend has been a HopeChest Partnership Leader for the past eight years with Ekudzeni CarePoint in Eswatini. As HopeChest Partnership Leader, she is the point person for her church community here in the United States. Sally has been serving on the HopeChest board since 2015, and stepped into the role as Chairperson in 2018.




Ken Sparks joined Children’s HopeChest as CEO and President in 2014, after spending over 30 years in the corporate world. Although Ken’s “official” workspace is the hayloft of The Barn in Palmer Lake, Colorado, he works anywhere there is anyone willing to listen about what God is doing through HopeChest.





“Build Relationships. Break Poverty.” is a podcast that challenges the Western perception of international poverty by elevating the voices of local leaders and processing how we can help to alleviate poverty without harming those living in vulnerable communities.



You can download and subscribe to “Build Relationships. Break Poverty.” here:

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