Leaving a Legacy

By Robyn Wilson, Photos Courtesy of the Holden Family

A loving sponsor inspires the next generation to live generously.

After college, Richard pursued a promising career in baseball, but left when he felt God calling him to return home and learn the family business — a decision that brought him great joy.

Richard Holden, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, business owner and OneChild sponsor went to be with his heavenly Father on Oct. 28, 2019. Before he went home, he had a request that was close to his heart:

Please make sure that my sponsored kids are taken care of when I’m gone.

Richard, who lived in Georgetown, Texas, had been sponsoring kids with the nonprofit OneChild for 40 years. Because of Richard’s kindness over the years, 68 sponsored children received nourishing food, medical checkups, and educational opportunities. They also learned about God’s love. That’s 68 lives that were helped and transformed!

All of Richard’s sponsored children are incredibly grateful for his faithfulness. Because of his generosity, they have hope for the future.

Richard’s employees at the Radiation Detection Company, who loved him dearly, remember his filing cabinet with fondness. When Richard sponsored his first child, he hung that child’s photo on his cabinet at work. Each year, he would sponsor more kids. Eventually, his entire cabinet was completely covered with photos of children. The children’s smiles brought joy to his heart.

David Holden, Richard’s son, will always remember how much his dad cared about the kids he sponsored.

“He enjoyed calling each child his own,” says David. “He publicly displayed pictures of each child. He did this so he would remember why he went to work each day. He would explain that his company’s mission was to glorify God and the children were a daily reminder of this fact. My brother and I would tease him that he had more pictures of his sponsored children than us!”

Richard, center, inspired his two sons, David, left, and Robert, right, to live with humility and generosity.

For Richard, sponsoring children living in poverty was more than sending donations — it was about building a relationship. “Every night, he and his wife, Geri, would pray for each child by name before they went to bed,” explains David. “They loved to send their sponsored children letters and gifts. He would usually cry as he spoke about them.”

Richard’s kindness and compassion were contagious. “In the area of generosity, the combination of his words matching his actions left an indelible impression on me,” says David. “He would always teach me to whom much is given, much is required. So, my wife and I have sponsored several children.”

Over the years, Richard’s passion for helping those in need touched even more hearts. “All three of our children are now sponsoring children,” says David. “My middle daughter, Rebekah, and her husband, Erik, are sponsoring several children from one family in Guatemala and have visited them. All of my dad’s grandkids love the Lord and have chosen professions of service.”

David recalls his dad’s reason for living — sharing the hope of Jesus. “All he cared about was making Jesus known,” says David. “He shared his faith every day with anyone who would listen. He was the most humble, God-fearing man I have ever known. When people saw my dad’s heart, they saw an accurate reflection of the heart of Jesus.”

Even though Richard didn’t strive to leave a legacy — he only wanted to bring God glory — he left a powerful legacy that will live on for generations to come. “I could never ask for a better legacy than the one he left me,” says David. “He taught me to live out Colossians 3:12: ‘So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (NASB).’”

Because of Richard’s legacy, his extended family members, pictured above, are all living for God and making a difference today.

Richard’s life reminds us that our actions today will impact future generations. As a sponsor, your passion for helping children living in poverty around the world is contagious. Be encouraged — your generosity and kindness can inspire countless lives!

Over the years, Richard treasured photos and letters from his sponsored kids because he believed each child was special, valuable, and precious to God.

Help this story grow:

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Our accountability to our donors is one of our highest priorities. Our goal is to use the funds entrusted to us as wise stewards. To do this requires continued monitoring of our fund distribution. OneChild is also a member in good standing with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA)