“I believe that every person whose image reaches many people must think about the size of their responsibility and seek to use its influence to help bring about change by engaging in social causes, changed habits and attitudes that help the world to be better,” writes Cris Guerra, Brazilian blogger, publicist, columnist and, as she says on her blog profile, “model once a day.”
And she holds herself to her own standard: She has sponsored a child through ChildFund Brasil for the last 10 years. At her popular fashion blog, “Hoje Vou Assim” (Portuguese for “So, Today I ...”), she regularly encourages her audience to do the same.
Guerra began sponsoring Fernando when he was 4. Eight years and many letters later, she traveled to Brazil’s rural Jequitinhonha Valley to meet him for the first time.
The children of the community welcomed her with heart-shaped posters and hugs. Fernando shyly presented Guerra with a big bouquet of roses as his whole family looked on. Then came an afternoon of presentations that included theater, singing and karate. A special performance of capoeira, a Brazilian hybrid of dance and martial arts, featured Fernando. “We can see how is the reality of these boys and girls only when we see them close,” Guerra said afterward. “Then we want to go and tell everybody about it — to show people the importance of sponsorship and how it makes a difference in children’s lives.”
Guerra’s new understanding changed her own life, as well. Her blog, a style diary in which she writes about and models her personally assembled “look of the day,” became a platform through which she shares her passion for ChildFund’s work.
“I spread this idea and I am part of this story,” she wrote on Sept. 1, 2011, the day after ChildFund celebrated 45 years of work in Brazil. Later that month, Guerra promoted the message of sponsorship with the launch of a T-shirt design by noted Brazilian designer Victor Dzenk, all proceeds from which go to ChildFund Brasil.
And this spring, the day before her own wedding, that T-shirt was Guerra’s Look of the Day.
“I invite you to wear that shirt, whether you sponsor a child or just buy the shirt,” she wrote. “It is not aid. It is transformation.”