Send this, not that
Jul 25 2013

Send this, not that: A guide for mailing items to your sponsored friend

Send this, not that!

Send this, not that!

Crayons can melt during shipping. A great alternative is colored pencils.

Have you ever wondered, “What can I send to my sponsored friend in the mail?”

If so, this post’s for you!

By Jordan Kimbrell, CFCA Sponsor Services

One of the most exciting aspects of CFCA sponsorship is exchanging letters with your sponsored friend.

Through letters you can come to know more about your sponsored friend’s life and culture, and the experience can enrich both of your lives.

We know our sponsors like to send gifts to sponsored friends. In fact, mailing questions are some of the most common questions asked of the Sponsor Services team.

To help with these questions, we’ve prepared some suggestions on what is and what isn’t practical to send by mail.

The first thing you need to know: Packages must be no larger than 9 x 12 inches, weigh less than a pound and be less than an inch thick.

A 9 x 12 envelope is considered a standard-letter size by international mailing criteria.

If a mail item exceeds this size, the CFCA field project accepting the item may be asked to pay high customs fees in order to accept the item.

When this situation occurs, the project staff is instructed not to pick up the mail item.

Unfortunately, we do not have a way for the sponsor to pay the customs fees at the receiving end, so we ask that sponsors follow the suggested mailing size.

Anything sent worth more than $10 runs the risk of theft.

Larger packets also increase the likelihood that the items never reach their intended destination.

The second thing you need to know is … Send this, not that!

Send this, not that!

Expensive items run the risk of theft. Try sending a small calculator instead of an electronic tablet or laptop.

Send this, not that!

Send a small puzzle instead of a doll, which does not fit within mailing guidelines.

Send this, not that!

Try sending hair accessories instead of mailing shampoos or other liquids.

Send this, not that!

Crayons can melt during shipping. A great alternative is colored pencils.

Send this, not that!

Miniature toy cars can usually fit inside a regular envelope, whereas a large stuffed animal will not.

Send this, not that!

Soccer balls are too large to send. A great alternative is an inflatable ball.

Do you have any ideas? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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11 thoughts on “Send this, not that: A guide for mailing items to your sponsored friend”

  1. Is there still a problem sending packages to India? I’ve sent two that were not received by my sponsored friend. CFCA sent a warning out recently, is it still a concern?

    1. Thank you for your question, Steve.

      Sending packages to other countries is always a risk when the delivery of your package cannot be guaranteed.

      If you decide to send a package to your sponsored friend, we ask that anything mailed fit in a 9×12 inch envelope, weigh less than a pound and be less than an inch thick. A package this size is considered a letter by international standards and will not acquire customs fees. Theft is less likely to occur with a smaller envelope as well.

      If you would like to give your sponsored friend an extra gift, we suggest sending a donation through our birthday, Christmas or urgent need funds.

      Thanks and have a blessed day,

      ~Sponsor Services

  2. age and grade appropriate books in the child’s language .. religious cards and notes! photographs of you and your family are very special to your sponsored friend just make sure the pictures are without all your material things visible …like don’t send a picture of yourself standing in beside your new car

  3. We have sent dominoes, sewing items, friendship bracelets (more than one so she could share!), easy to read books, t-shirt from our local sports team, school supplies, manicure set over the years as our sponsee grows into a teenager. Fun things from the $$ store too.

  4. My sponsored child in Honduras loved a set of lip balms that were in different flavors. Cute stickers, small paper doll sets also. I sent a child’s book to her one year and when I went to visit her she sat on a chair next to me and read me the story. I was thrilled needless to say. Cute socks are nice also. Also you can sometimes find pens or pencils with their names on them.

    The boys like the trading cards. Small photo album is great and when you send additional pictures they have something to put them in. If you have a pet they really like pictures of them.

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