Ask Sponsor Services

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WELCOME TO OUR QUESTION AND ANSWER PAGE!

We will regularly post questions asked by Unbound sponsors and our answers on this page. We invite your questions and comments on these topics. If you have a question not covered by these posts, please feel free to contact Sponsor Services directly. Thank you!

If you have specific questions about sponsorship, or questions not covered here, please visit our website or contact Unbound Sponsor Services at mail@unbound.org | 800.875.6564 | 913.384.6500.

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Can I get mailing labels through email?

Ask Sponsor Services

Q: I’m all out of mailing labels. Can I get them emailed to me? A: One of the most common requests heard in Sponsor Services is for more mailing labels. Sponsors may know they can contact Sponsor Services to request more labels, but what many don’t know is that we can email the mailing labels as well. Sending the mailing […]

Ask Sponsor Services: We have a new envelope!

Ask Sponsor Services

We recently updated our stationery and you may have seen a new envelope arrive in your mailbox. If you haven’t seen it, you may want to check your mail. Some of our sponsors don’t recognize this stationery, and haven’t responded to some of the mailings we’ve sent them. In fact, our Sponsor Services team made more than 2,000 calls last […]

How can I sponsor someone who is in the greatest need of help?

Ask Sponsor Services

Q. I want to sponsor someone who needs help the most. How do you determine who among the children and elderly on your waiting list has the greatest need for sponsorship? A. Thank you for your question and for taking the first step toward changing someone’s life. Everyone in our program is in great need, which is why they are […]

Unbound has always been part of who we are

By Scott Wasserman, president and chief executive officer The start of the new year marked an important milestone in our organization’s history as we began a new chapter as Unbound. I feel blessed to be part of it. My family and I joined Christian Foundation for Children and Aging 25 years ago when we sponsored our first child. My own […]

Are there ways to support Unbound beyond sponsorship?

Sponsored child in Peru

Q. How can I help you in your mission to serve those in poverty, beyond sponsoring a child or elderly person? A. Although Unbound’s focus is the one-on-one relationship developed through sponsorship, we have many different funds and initiatives that support our work. Give to our special funds. You can make one-time donations to our special funds, which have grown […]

Ask Sponsor Services: Does CFCA have Christmas cards for sale?

Ask Sponsor Services

Q. During the holiday season, I send Christmas cards to relatives and friends. Does CFCA have any holiday cards I could purchase? Read this post to learn more! Q. “During the holiday season, I send Christmas cards to relatives and friends. Does CFCA have any holiday cards I could purchase?” A. This year we are excited to offer 11 cards […]

When is the best time to send my sponsored friend a Christmas greeting?

Ask Sponsor Services

Q: When should I send my sponsored friend a Christmas greeting? A: Typically, letters sent by regular mail can take six to eight weeks to reach your sponsored friend. During the holidays, it can take even longer. We always suggest our sponsors send Christmas greetings and gifts by mid-October if they want them to reach their sponsored friends in time […]

What postage should I use to send a letter to my sponsored friend?

Q. I would like to mail my sponsored friend a letter. Is there a Forever stamp for international mail? A. We’re so glad you asked! In January 2013, the United States Postal Service presented the Global Forever First-Class Mail International Stamp. The Global Forever stamp costs $1.10 and covers a 1-ounce piece of mail to anywhere in the world! According […]

Top 4 postal rate questions for sending mail to your sponsored friend

Sending letters

With postal rates constantly changing, it can be difficult to keep track of mailing regulations and guidelines. Read these top 4 postage questions to find out the skinny on sending mail to your sponsored friend! Creating a one-on-one relationship between you and your sponsored friend is at the core of the CFCA sponsorship experience. You form a relationship through the […]

Can I visit my sponsored child or aging friend?

Unbound Awareness Trips

Sponsors frequently ask us, “Can I visit my sponsored child or aging friend even if I can’t make it on a CFCA awareness trip?” The answer is a resounding yes! Learn about our individual sponsor visits and how they can help you find the best time to meet your friend. Q. I’m traveling to India this summer and would like […]

87 thoughts on “Ask Sponsor Services”

  1. I am sponsoring a child in Africa and I was supposed to get an mailing address for this child but still have not heard, I just get general news letters from CFCA. How can I get my child’s mailing address so that I can send cards? I signed up in December 2008 and still have not heard from CFCA about the address.
    Thank you

    1. Thank you for your comment, Linda.

      I am sorry that you did not receive the welcome packet we sent to you in December that contained your receipt and labels for writing to Joseph. I will be happy to mail a new packet for you today.

      If we can be of further assistance, please call us at 800.875.6564 or 913.384.6500 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CST or e-mail us at mail@cfcausa.org. Thank you for your care and support of the children and aging we serve.

      Sincerely,

      Claudia
      Sponsor Services

  2. I have been thinking about going to Kenya on the mission trip ,but the main reason for wanting to go is to see my sponsored boy in the Matiri project. This one has been excluded from the trip. I am wondering why. Thank you, SIncerely, Meg Ivan

    1. Meg,

      Thank you for your comment and for your interest in the Kenya mission awareness trip.

      CFCA has two mission awareness trips visiting Kenya in 2009. The trip leaving this week will visit the Matiri project. As you commented, the trip in September will not be visiting the Matiri project. Instead, the September group will visit the areas in western Kenya where CFCA works. Since we have two trips this year, we have the opportunity to focus on particular regions of Kenya during each trip. This way, different communities will have the opportunity to welcome and meet a group of sponsors.

      Although the group will not visit Matiri during the September trip, if you chose to participate in that mission awareness trip, we would invite your friend to meet up with the group so that you could have the opportunity to meet him. This is the case for everyone who sponsors someone in Kenya.

      Regardless of which trip someone chooses, a sponsor will have the opportunity to meet their sponsored friend.

      Karen
      International Department

  3. We have sponsored a boy in Haiti for the last 5 years. We are contemplating a mission trip, but Haiti is not on your list. Why not? and if so, When will it be?

    1. Matthew,

      Thanks for your question. The safety and health of our sponsors is our top priority. At this time, CFCA is not able to offer mission awareness trips to Haiti and some of the other countries where we work for a variety of reasons. In some of these countries, the number of available staff is limited, and some projects are not equipped to assist with a large-group visit. Also, CFCA communities in which we work can be located a great distance from each other, and poor roads, weather and lack of transportation make large-group travel difficult or unsafe.

      We thank you for your support of your CFCA friend.

      Sincerely,
      Ashley
      Sponsor Services

  4. I sponsor a child in Honduras. I was wondering if the current political strife has affected the mission there in any way.

    1. Robert,

      Thank you for your comment and concern. We received word from some of our Honduran projects that they have been able to continue their work, despite the political situation.

      The projects ask that we continue to keep the people of Honduras in our thoughts and prayers through this difficult time.

      Best,

      Natasha
      blog administrator

  5. We sponsor a child in Legaspi. At some point does their education end if they do not achieve the appropriate education goal. our boy is 13, I worry about him having to leave school to work. How can the project help keep them in school.

    1. Doris,

      CFCA believes that one of the keys to breaking the cycle of poverty is education. As a child grows older, the family may feel the need for him or her to start working in lieu of going to school. Our hope is that the benefits of sponsorship will alleviate some of the financial burdens, which may otherwise prevent a child from continuing his or her education, whether it be actually paying school-related expenses or relieving other financial constraints in the family to allow the child to focus on school instead of working.

      Although we know this is not always possible for a child to stay in school, our project staff works with the families and children to promote the importance of education and help families consider all of their options before making a choice to discontinue studies.

      Depending on the situation, a sponsored youth may even be provided with the option to discontinue studying for a certain amount of time to work, as long as he or she intends to return to school. At times, these out-of-school youth may bank their benefits to pay for education expenses or their family needs may be so great that they focus their benefits on other important needs, such as food.

      Don’t forget: Your encouraging letters can also play an important part in keeping your sponsored friend focused on education.

      Thank you,

      Claudia
      Sponsor Services

  6. I am currently sponsoring an elder lady in the Phiilppines. How can I find out if she and her family have been affected by the recent typhoon?
    Thank you for your help.
    Judy Richardson

    1. Hi, Judy

      Thank you for your concern. Anyone who has questions about a sponsored friend’s well-being may contact Sponsor Services via email or phone, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.

      Sponsor Services contact info:
      mail@cfcausa.org
      913.384.6500
      800.875.6564

      Thank you for your continued support,

      Natasha
      blog admin

    1. Ajay,

      We appreciate the love and concern you have for your sponsored friend and respect those who consider adoption as a possibility; however, facilitating adoptions is not part of the mission of CFCA.

      CFCA is committed to doing the best job possible of helping to build life-giving relationships between sponsors and sponsored persons, and encouraging their families and communities. We do not engage in activities that go beyond the scope of that mission or that might serve to mislead or confuse people about our true purpose.

      Claudia
      Sponsor Services

  7. This is kinnu from India,
    It’s a very help for to like me childs and others praise the lord god like this only .
    prayer for me and help me……
    I wait for your mail and your’s good talks
    praise the lord

  8. We have sponsored a child in Bolivia. It’s been well over 2 months and we have yet to recieve any letter from her. Is this unusual? Gary

    1. Dear Gary,

      Thank you very much for your question. I’m sure you are very excited to hear from your new friend!

      It is not unusual for the first letter to take two to four months to arrive. The time depends on many factors, including the time of year, how far away from the project office the child lives, translating, etc.

      Each month, our project teams receive a report to remind them to have the individuals with a new sponsor to write letters. I would expect you will receive a letter before much longer, but I encourage you to contact Sponsor Services directly if you have not received a letter by the end of January.

      If we can be of further assistance, please contact us at 1-800-875-6564 or 913-384-6500 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CST, or email us at mail@cfcausa.org.

      Thank you for your care and support of the children and aging we serve.

      Sincerely,

      Claudia
      Sponsor Services

  9. Hi !I’m a sponsor now and previously working with CFCA Zamboanga Project as Assistant Project Coordinator for more than 10 years and now presently working here in Canada. I just had on hand my sponsored child second letter but a little of disappointment . I wrote her a letter but to may dismay her 2nd letter seems to be a welcome letter again.If only these kids would really write a letter coming from their heart like tellings stories regarding their summer vacation or anything happened within the last time she wrote a letter to me.That would feel more exciting and would encourage the sponsor to continue on sponsoring them.Her 2nd letter was about how old she is ,what grae is she now ,how siblings she has.I know that these kind of things was already mentioned on their welcome letters.I’m sorry about this I’m just suggesting for CFCA to be able to keep all the sponsors.

    1. Hi Stan,

      Thank you for your question. In fiscal year 2009, total program support represents 94.2 percent of CFCA expenses, and includes both project funding (87.8 percent) and U.S.-based program support services to the projects and our sponsors (6.4 percent). Fundraising costs are 2.8 percent of expenses, with the remaining 3 percent used to fund general and administrative costs.

      You can find more information about our financial stewardship report and charity ratings at http://www.cfcausa.org/aboutus/accountability.html.

      Thanks!
      Shanxi Omoniyi, web editor/writer
      Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA)

    1. Thank you for your recent comment.

      In regards to sponsorship, CFCA does not end child sponsorship at any specific age, and we allow children to remain sponsored as long as they are attending school. Many children in developing countries are not able to start school until they are older.

      If the project has college or vocational schools available in the area, we encourage sponsored children to continue their education. We make every effort to keep children in the sponsorship program to facilitate access to higher education.

      If you correspond with your sponsored friend, it may be helpful to ask about their educational plans through a letter. If at any time your child discontinues his studies or leaves the program, we will inform you and ask if you’d like to continue with a new child.

      You are also not under any obligation to continue, and if at any time you feel that you need to end the sponsorship, you can contact us and let us know of your decision.

      Thank you for your care and concern, and please feel free to contact us with any further questions or concerns. Have a blessed day.

      Sincerely,
      Veronica
      Sponsor Services

  10. I have been a sponsor for many years. I sponsor through automatic bank payment, but like to make a Christmas Fund offering — which I usually mail. This year, I thought I would make electronic offering, but I cannot find on the website how to donate to the Christmas Fund online. Is there a way to do this and still enter my ID information? Thanks for your mission!! I’ve been a sponsor since 1993 and love all my “goddaughters” that I have been able to sponsor over the years!
    Jenn H.

    1. Hi Jenn,

      Thank you so much for supporting your sponsored friends! You can definitely donate to the Christmas fund online at http://www.cfcausa.org/GetInvolved/Donate/SpecialFunds.aspx?FundID=3.

      After you check out, there should be a screen that asks whether you’re already a sponsor with us, at which point you can still enter your ID information.

      Thanks again, and God bless!

      Sincerely,
      Shanxi Omoniyi
      Web editor and writer
      CFCA

    1. Thank you for your question. Due to high costs to pick up packages and a high incidence of theft in the mail, we recommend against sending gift items through the mail. Perhaps you could find something small, like stickers or a bookmark, which would be inconspicuous in a letter or card that you send to your friend.

      Claudia,

      Sponsor Services

  11. Do you have sponsored children in China? I have a neice who is interested in sponsoring a child about her age, 10, there. Thank you.

  12. Does CFCA work in the USA? If not, do they have plans on doing so in the future? I sponsor an aging person, and have shared with my co-workers, but they are hesitant in doing so. Their excuse is, they are not sure the funds reach the person intended. I have told them about my experience but……

    1. Thank you for your recent blog comment. CFCA does not work in the United States, but we do work in 23 different countries worldwide.

      It is understandable that your co-workers would have these types of questions, and we would be happy to answer them for you. CFCA has 94.2 percent of our funds going directly towards program support. We were given an A+ by the American Institute of Philanthropy, and we are highly rated by the Better Business Bureau and other accredited charities.

      If your co-workers are interested to learn a more detailed report of our finances, they can visit our website at http://www.hopeforafamily.org where we have our 990 and 990T IRS forms available for viewing.

      In addition, the sponsored members are required to write a minimum of two letters each year to their sponsors, and we will send a new photo of the sponsored member every year as well. This helps some of our sponsors put a face to the person they are supporting.

      We also have mission awareness trips that our sponsors can attend. On these trips, you will be able to meet and talk with your sponsored friend, as well as share and partake in new and exciting cultural experiences.

      If you or your co-workers have any additional questions, please feel free to call Sponsor Services at 1-800-875-6564 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central.

      Thank you, and have a blessed day.
      ~Sponsor Services

  13. My husband and I just became the sponsors of two children in colombia! this has been a life long dream for both of us. I have been sharing this experience with all my friends and coworkers and i think a very close friend of ours may sponsor now too :) I have been passing along the wonderful info about your site but one common questions is how many NEW sponsors do you get every year?

    1. Jen, thanks so much for spreading the word about us! We’re very grateful for your support.

      In 2010, we had a little more than 29,000 new sponsorships. Most of them were the result of new sponsors stepping forward to support a child or aging friend, but some of them came from existing sponsors who signed up for additional sponsorships.

      With almost half the world’s children living in poverty, many need our help. Our goal for 2011 is to have 37,000 new sponsorships – 8,000 more than last year.

      It’s wonderful to hear that you’re sharing your experience with friends and family; that’s how we get many of our sponsorships. Keep up the great work!

      Sincerely,
      Shanxi Omoniyi, web editor and writer

  14. Hello, I am doing a speech on CFCA for a non profit organazation at school. i am a sponser myself, but I need to know more about what CFCA does, where they branch out o and other important facts to know about CFCA. Please reply and than you soooo much!

    1. It’s great to hear from you, Rachel. Thanks so much for your support, and all the best with your speech!

      A quick overview of CFCA can be found at our website under the About Us section. We currently work in 22 countries, serving more than 300,000 children, youth and aging persons around the world. (You can see the countries on our interactive map.)

      Beyond our Hope for a Family sponsorship program, we also have special funds helping families in specific ways. These include the birthday and Christmas celebration funds, disaster assistance and food assistance funds, livelihood programs and scholarships for deserving youth to continue their education.

      Thanks again, and let us know how your speech goes!

      Shanxi Omoniyi,
      web editor and writer,
      CFCA

  15. Don Roberto es un hombre muy fuerte y bueno, admiro el recorrido caminan2juntos, se necesita mucho espiritu para hacer algo grande como su recorrido a pies

  16. I would like to know if there is any way we kind find out if there is a special need for our sponsered child’s family. Something like a chicken, goat, seeds, etc. I often see in the newletters that someone has supplied one of these types of items but do not know how to go about this.

    1. Hi Patricia,

      Thank you for your recent comment. We appreciate your care and concern for your special friend. Through the CFCA Hope for a Family program, we strive to empower the sponsored members and their families. Our goal is for them to become self-sufficient, and be able to sustain a good quality standard of living.

      In order for the sponsored members to empower themselves, the project offers many special workshops and livelihood programs. Through these workshops and training courses, the project is able to educate the sponsored members on the ways in which they can earn extra income and provide for their family. The sponsored members work hard to learn these new skills, and the end result leaves them feeling a sense of pride, confidence and a deeper respect for themselves.

      External donations can have a positive impact on these initiatives in some cases, but in other cases external help can create negative unintended consequences. CFCA understands and appreciates our sponsors and how they make these donations to help their sponsored family.

      However, these donations can impede the familyís path toward self-sufficiency. ëHand-outí charity can create dependency and diminish a familyís initiative. In some cases, the family is provided with a loan to start a business from the sponsor, but without the proper training and planning, the business might fail and the family will fall right back into the clutches of poverty.

      CFCA offers sponsors the option of sending an inquiry to local project staff to help assess whether they believe a livelihood donation to a particular sponsored childís family would be beneficial.

      A donation to the livelihood programs would be the best way to help your child and childís family succeed in everyday life. These programs help develop the livelihood of the families, and your donation would be very beneficial to your childís project.

      If you have any questions, please contact Sponsor Services at 800-875-6564 or email mail@cfcausa.org.

      ~Sponsor Services

  17. I would like to find out if it is possible to sponsor a child through this organization, given that I’m not a resident of the US (I am from New Zealand)

    1. Tessa,

      Kia ora from a fellow Kiwi! I was born in New Zealand and spent my childhood there.

      It is possible for non-U.S. residents to sponsor through CFCA. We ask that non-U.S. sponsors make their contributions through a major credit card in U.S. dollars. It is also important to keep in mind that your contributions will not be tax-deductible.

      Cheers, and thanks for asking!
      ~Shanxi, CFCA web editor and writer, along with Ashley from Sponsor Services

  18. Hello,

    I just signed up for a sponsorship at the end of May. Will I be charged again at the end of June or at the beginning of June? How do I know if I’ve signed up for automatic payments?

    Thanks,
    Liz

    1. Liz,

      Congratulations on becoming a sponsor through CFCA! We appreciate your commitment and goodwill to bring hope for a family.

      After you send in your first payment, you will receive a receipt in the mail. This receipt will list your next due date for your sponsorship. If you signed up for automatic payments, you will always receive an automatic payment confirmation letter in the mail, notifying you that you signed up for CFCAís automatic payment plan.

      If you are not sure the automatic payment will be reoccurring, feel free to contact Sponsor Services toll free at 1-800-875-6564 or e-mail us at mail@cfcausa.org. Sponsor Services will be happy to assist you and answer any questions you might have. Thank you for your commitment to the children and aging we serve!

      ~Sponsor Services

  19. Hello…is there any hope that my sponsored child would be able to visit me in the United States someday if I offer to imburse the travel expenses. What a wonderful experience it would be for the both of us.
    Thanks, Diane

    1. Hi Diane,

      Because of legal liability, cost and the difficulty of getting permission to travel outside their country, CFCA does not allow sponsors to bring sponsored friends to the United States. Such a trip would also bring their lack into more prominence and might also incite jealousy among their peers.

      Instead, CFCA offers mission awareness trips and individual sponsor visits. These give sponsors the opportunity to meet their sponsored friends and to experience the culture and climate their friends live in.

      Thank you,

      Jordan
      Sponsor Services

  20. HOLA AMIGOS..TENGO UNA CONSULTA..QUISIERA CONOCER A MI NI—A APADRINADA EN COLOMBIA..PERO NO SE CUANDO SERAN LAS FECHAS PARA PODER ASISTIR EN MAT. GRACIAS..LES DESEO MUCHAS BENDICIONES..
    SALUDOS DESDE GUATEMALA..PROYECTO HERMANO PEDRO

    1. Hi Amy,

      Christmas gifts vary from project to project, but theyíre all chosen with love and thought by the local CFCA staff in your sponsored childís area.

      Through the Christmas fund, all of the sponsored members will receive a gift on behalf of their sponsor. All sponsors can donate to these funds, which are distributed equally among all of the sponsored members. We distribute the funds equally so that no child feels left out if their sponsor was unable to contribute. Each project uses the Christmas fund donations to purchase items for the sponsored friends.

      You can learn more about Christmas gifts for your sponsored friend on our website.

      To find out what your child receives, go to https://www.cfcausa.org/Login.aspx to manage your sponsorship account online. Once you are logged in, there should be a link to your sponsored childís project.

      Click on the link to see any specific benefits listed under the Christmas section. (If you have any questions related to your online account, a Sponsor Services representative at 1-800-875-6564 will be more than happy to assist you.)

      Thanks,
      Veronica from Sponsor Services

  21. I understand that there will be a final letter from either the field staff or friend in case when a sponsored friend leaves the program. I didn’t realize this at first when I began looking into your program.

    I’m new to CFCA sponsorship and I would like to know if you allow a furthering of the friendship between the sponsor and his/her friend after leaving the program? I also understand that there are legitimate reasons why there is a need for protection of privacy for both parties. Have you considered that an extraordinary friendship can exist outside of program rules?

    Thank you in advance for your response.

    1. Thank you, Cristina, for your recent commitment of sponsorship. The CFCA program is designed to invite people of good will to live in daily solidarity with the worldís poor through one-to-one sponsorship. We understand that a treasured friendship, whether short or long, can have a lasting impact in our lives.

      There are several reasons why we are unable to facilitate communication after a sponsored person leaves the program. We always want to protect the privacy and well-being of our sponsors and our sponsored. We also lose contact with the child or family when they leave the program. They may move away, have difficulty trying to send letters on their own or they may not have internet access.

      I recently spoke with a sponsor, and she shared her thoughts and feelings about the CFCA Hope for a Family program. When she began her sponsorship, she felt very close to her sponsored child, but as her child grew up, she began to view the relationship as more of a mentor program ñ designed to help others help themselves. Iíve thought about this statement recently, and feel that it expresses the heart of what CFCA aims to achieve with all of our sponsored families.

      If you have any further questions or comments, we would love to speak with you. Please feel free to contact Sponsor Services at 800.875.6564 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time, or by email at mail@cfcausa.org.

      Thank you again, and have a wonderful day.

      ~Veronica from Sponsor Services

  22. I sponsor a young girl in the Brazil Mineiros Project and wondering if in the future there will be a mission trip planned in that area? Thank you,
    Susan Baker

    1. Hi Susan,

      Right now we don’t have any mission awareness trips planned for Brazil. If you would still like to visit your sponsored friend, however, we may be able to schedule an individual sponsor visit for you.

      Hereís a list of frequently asked questions about individual sponsor visits.

      For more information, please call us at 800.875.6564 or 913.384.6500, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Central time, or email us at cfca_isv@cfcausa.org.

      Thanks!
      ~Shanxi, CFCA web editor and writer

  23. Hello! I am a brand new sponsor and am looking forward to receiving my sponsor kit so I can write my first letter to our child. My question is, is there such thing as writing to much? I’m thinking that I want to push myself to write at least once every month. Is that overboard? I know the requirement is just once a month but I also know how much I loved receiving mail as a child (and still do!) and I really want to do all I can to really impact our little girl’s life. Thanks for any feedback!

    1. Hi Lisa!

      Thanks so much for your sponsorship, and welcome to the CFCA community!

      It’s great that you want to write to your sponsored friend once a month, but there are some practical limitations. It can take 8-10 weeks for your sponsored child to receive your letter, depending on obstacles such as translation time, unreliable mail systems and delivery to remote areas. As a result, your letters may cross in the mail.

      One other aspect to keep in mind is that sponsored members are required to write a minimum of two letters per year. They can write more if they choose to, but it’s not required.

      We now have an option where you can send eLetters to your sponsored friend (in addition to traditional letters sent through the mail). There is a limit, though, of six eLetters per calendar year. That limit may change in the future, but for now itís capped at six.

      We’re thrilled that you took the time to write to us. Here are further tips on letter writing: http://www.cfcausa.org/WhySponsor/HowSponsorshipWorks/WritingLetters/LetterWritingTips.aspx

      Thanks again!

      ~Shanxi, CFCA web editor and writer

  24. Hello, thank you for the quick response to my last question. I now have another one! I know that though CFCA is a Catholic organization, it is not your goal to teach the sponsored children about God and try to “convert” them. I have read that some other organization who are not Christian based will not let the sponsors write about religion or God in their letters. Is that the case with CFCA? Obviously, I will try to be respectful in everything I write, I am just hoping that I will be allowed to talk about Jesus with my little girl but I also want to make sure that I will not be breaking any roles or making anyone feel uncomfortable.

    Thanks!

    -Lisa

    1. Thank you for your comment, Lisa. Part of the sponsorship program is about building a relationship between the sponsor and the sponsored friend, and this includes learning about each other and your respective cultures. For many people, religion is a large part of who they are and what their culture is like.

      You are certainly welcome to share your faith with your sponsored friend and to ask them about their own faith. Asking these kinds of questions in a respectful manner can foster an environment of understanding between various cultures and beliefs.

      ~Jordan K., Sponsor Services

    1. Hi Nyana,

      Thanks so much for asking! You can write as often as you want. Most friends write to their sponsors twice a year, so there can be anywhere from four to six months between the time a letter is sent and received.

      As a result of this extended time frame, your letters may cross in the mail. Questions asked in one letter may remain unanswered until subsequent letters are received.

      If you are thinking of writing an eLetter from your online sponsorship account, you can send eLetters up to six times a year. You must be logged in to write an eLetter, though.

      Hope this helps! Let us know if you have any other questions.
      ~Shanxi, CFCA online content manager

  25. I’m new to the program and would like to send a coloring book to my new friend for his birthday. I’m not sure how or if I can do this. Any suggestions would be helpful.

    1. Thanks so much for the question!

      A great way to remember your friend on his birthday is to donate to our birthday fund. Your gift will be sent in its entirety, and 100 percent of contributions are distributed among our CFCA projects to ensure that all sponsored children and aging friends are remembered on these special occasions. The project staffs plan community-wide celebrations, which often include the entire family.

      Sending a coloring book to your sponsored friend is a great idea for a gift and fits nicely into our suggested package guidelines. If you want to occasionally send a small gift to your friend, we ask that it fits in a 9-inch by 12-inch or smaller envelope, weighs less than a pound and is less than 1 inch thick. Any packages larger than this are usually not accepted because of high customs fees and the difficulty of delivering them.

      For more information, check out our letter-writing FAQs on our website.

      Hope this helps, and please let us know if you have any other questions.

      ~Shanxi, CFCA online content manager

  26. A friend of mine is currently a sponsor of a child in India.
    I am thinking about sponsoring a child myself.
    What type of education do children usually receive? Is it public or private?
    Does CFCA provide the education themselves? Or just the funding for the child’s tuition? Are students taught religion, or just traditional academics?
    As a college student who has to pay for his own college education, these are important concerns for me and whether I chose to be a sponsor or not.

    Thanks,
    Tom
    Connecticut, USA

    1. Hi Tom,

      Thanks for your questions.

      Our Hope for a Family sponsorship program provides the support and opportunities necessary to help sponsored children achieve their educational goals. Whether it is elementary school, middle school, high school, technical school or university, we support the students and help with their tuition for either school options.

      CFCA does not own or run the schools that sponsored friends attend. Depending on the area and availability for enrollment, children attend either public or private schools.

      Course options are different in every country and region; therefore, some children may have religious programs and some may not. However, this is not a requirement of our program.

      Our role is to help the families with education costs, including paying tuition on time, providing uniforms, school supplies, funds for bus fare, etc.

      We have many sponsored friends who have gone on to complete professional degrees and come back to serve in their communities. We believe these young people are the future leaders of their communities and their countries.

      ~Sponsor Services

  27. i have misplaced the instructions for sending packages to our sponsored friend. Please tell me the envelope size, weight, etc.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Sheila,

      Certainly! Our guidelines are a 9-inch by 12-inch or smaller envelope that weighs less than a pound and is less than 1 inch thick. We ask that you never send cash or checks directly, as this makes the package more likely to be stolen or tampered with before it reaches your friend. Thanks so much.

      ~Shanxi, CFCA online content manager

      1. Thanks, Shanxi, that’s a big help. I talked with Elaine, who is a sponsor who volunteers at parishes to encourage sponsorship. She had some clever ideas for items to send. I have not been as involved in my friend’s life as I’d like to be. I made a promise to myself that I will write letters 3 or 4 times a year.
        Are there some items you know of that sponsored friends like to receive?

        1. So glad you asked! One of our recent blog posts, “18 small gift ideas to send in your Christmas card,” addresses that question. Feel free to read the comments, too, which also have great suggestions.

          We also have other letter-writing tips here: http://www.cfcausa.org/CFCA/WhySponsor/HowSponsorshipWorks/WritingLetters/LetterWritingTips.aspx

          We’re thrilled that you’re taking this step of writing letters. Your support and encouragement are great gifts in your friend’s life!

          ~Shanxi, CFCA online content manager

  28. thank you all individually and as a whole. Your charity is known to be honest and cares for the people they help. The world we live in, its SO HARD, to trust anyone with money, but you have so far, been honest–PLEASE_keep it up!

  29. hello ,

    i want to apply as a scholar to this program, for my parents having a problems on my financial stabilities.. i need your help .

    1. Thank you for your interest in the CFCA sponsorship program. All applications for sponsorship are handled at the local CFCA offices in the countries where we work. Our international headquarters in the U.S. does not take applications for sponsorship. We encourage you to contact the CFCA office in your area for information. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

      Sincerely,

      ~ Sponsor Services

  30. My husband and I are sponsoring a little girl in Guatemala and I would like to go visit her next year, but he wouldn’t be able to take that much time off of work. Would I be able to bring a friend with me on one of your group trips so I wouldn’t have to travel alone?

    1. Dear Lisa,

      Thank you so much for your comment and for your interest in CFCA’s Awareness Trips. We welcome anyone who would like to join a CFCA trip and encourage non-sponsors to experience our program through a visit to one of the 21 countries we serve. We hope that you both decide to join us on a trip to Guatemala in the future. Please continue to check the CFCA Awareness Trip page, as the 2014 schedule should be published soon!

      Sincerely,

      ~Sponsor Services

  31. I am not at all aware of current shipping regulations. I was curious about things like seed packets, dry paint packets that you mix with water, things like that. Would these be acceptable gifts to send to my friend? They would fit the package guidelines. Thank you

    1. Thanks for your question, Candi! Instead of sending dry paint packets, which may become damaged in the mail, you could send a compact watercolor case. Some countries may prohibit foreign seeds, so I’d suggest checking with the United States Postal Service for more information.

      For more ideas, check out my blog post highlighting 18 small gift ideas to send in your Christmas card.

      Hope this helps,

      Veronica Batton, CFCA writer/editor

  32. My first sponsored child, a girl in India, has just graduated with high marks and been accepted into a training program to be a policewoman. We are very proud of her! But now, will her mother still be able to participate in the CFCA mothers group she joined? We hope so!

    1. June, thanks for sharing such great news! Often times, even when a sponsored child graduates, the family continues to be part of the community. The mothers especially become good sources of guidance for newer mothers and continue to work with Unbound to help other families in need.
      Thanks again for sharing,
      Christina, Sponsor Services

  33. We have been sponsoring one child in Zamboanga for about ten years and a girl, also in the Phillipines for three or four years. What first drew us to your organization was the outward Christian affiliation and the encouragement to these children to study the teachings of God and our Lord Jesus Christ. I was saddened to see you have completely erased the word “Christian” from both your name and your website completely. Why did you feel the need to go the route of the rest of the world and do this? Pressure? Political Correctness? Saddened and curious is all.

    1. Thank you for your support, Sergio. While our name has changed, our core values and the work we do remain the same. We continue to be a faith-based organization open to and working with people of diverse faiths.. We are in no way giving in to any outside pressures or political correctness. The name Unbound is rooted in Scripture and describes our work to partner with families in unbinding them from the many obstacles and barriers they face. If you would like to discuss your concerns further, please call us at 800-875-6564. We hope you will take a moment to view this video message from our late co-founder Bob Hentzen, who was instrumental in this process. http://www.hopeforafamily.org/unbound
      Gratefully,
      Christina, Sponsor Services

  34. I sponsored a very bright and promising little girl in Kenya. I’m interested and care about her education and would like to get updated on her progress in school. So I was wondering does this organization send me follow up information on my sponsored child schooling, such as report cards, tests scores or some class work? It would be very nice and meaningful to feel included in the sponsored child academics. :-)

    1. Thanks so much for your question, Cathyna. We’re so glad you’re interested in your friend’s academic progress. Unbound doesn’t send report cards to the sponsors, but often times students will update their sponsors on their school status in their letters. If you ask your sponsored student about how she’s doing in school and if she could send you a copy of her grades, she will most likely be happy to tell you. Just keep in mind that grading systems in Kenya are quite a bit different than here in the US.

      Thanks again for your question,
      Christina, Sponsor Services

  35. I too am sadden and dissapointed that the name has changed to Unbound. I have been told the reasons why but I don’t agree. Many charitable organizations display who they are and as such reach out to help different denominations/beliefs, as they keep their name, like St. Jude Hospital. “Unbound” does not represent the Christian Foundation I want to support. I will continue with my 3rd sposored child until she finishes school.

    1. Miriam, thank you for sharing your concerns. We want to assure you it is only the name that has change, our organization and how we work remains the same. We’re so glad you’ve decided to continue your relationship with your current sponsored friend and want to thank you for all your years of being a sponsor.
      Gratefully,
      Christina, Sponsor Services

  36. I have been a sponsor for several years and have multiple sponsorships. I have no problem with the way sponsor funds are used and know that 93.5% of funds go to “program support.” However, I know that there is a lot of program support such as social workers, accountants, home office staff etc. that are not discretionary for the family. I have often wondered what percent of sponsor funds actually go into the sponsored friend’s account to be budgeted by the family for direct services such as tuition, food, etc.
    Thank you for clarifying this for me.

  37. We are currently away from our home for the winter months and, unfortunately did not bring our mailing label with us. I have a letter and package for our dear child, Bala, in India. I am devasted that I left this information and material home since I really want these items in the mail ASAP. Can you help me. I look forward to your reply. Elizabeth

    1. Elizabeth,

      Sorry to hear you left you mailing label behind. Contact Sponsor Services by phone at 800-875-6564 or at mail@unbound.org and they can send you the mailing information.

      Have a happy Thanksgiving,
      Jordan Kimbrell, Unbound writer/editor

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