May 21 2013

Can I visit my sponsored child or aging friend?

Visiting CFCA sponsored child, aging friend

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.

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Apr 12 2013

How do I make a special donation for my sponsored friend?

Ask Sponsor ServicesQ. I learned through my sponsored friend’s family profile that she sleeps on a straw mat, and I would like to buy her a bed. Is there a way to make an extra contribution for my sponsored friend beyond the $30 monthly sponsorship contribution?

A. CFCA has several funds designed to address special circumstances of sponsored friends and their families. If your friend tells you of a special circumstance through their letters and you want to make a special contribution, contact Sponsor Services for assistance.

CFCA and our field staff will work with your sponsored friend and family to use your contribution effectively. Once your friend’s needs have been addressed, any unused portion of the funds may be used to help another member of your sponsored friend’s family or another person in the CFCA community.

Special needs funds allow you to help address critical needs identified by your sponsored friend or family that go beyond what regular monthly sponsorship can cover. Needs may include medical emergencies, home furnishing items, housing repairs or assistance in times of financial crisis.

Please note that donations for special needs must be handled through Sponsor Services.

For more information, please email mail@cfcausa.org or call Sponsor Services at (800) 875-6564 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time.

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Feb 19 2013

Did my sponsored friend receive the gift I mailed?

Ask Sponsor ServicesQ. I sent my sponsored child some gifts in the mail (using a CFCA-approved mailing package and everything), but I never received any thank-you letters from her or any acknowledgement of my gift. How do I know she received it?

A. Depending on when you sent the item, an acknowledgment letter may have crossed in the mail.

If much time has passed, however, and you still havenít heard from your friend, try sending a letter asking her to let you know if she received your gifts. Make sure you describe the items and when you mailed them.

It’s also important to remember that cultural expectations for correspondence vary from country to country. CFCA works in many areas where oral traditions are the main way of communicating. Your friend may not have grown up with thank-you cards or other kinds of written correspondence.

Read the answer to a related Ask Sponsor Services question: Why do my child’s letters sound so impersonal?

A good tip when sending a gift to your friend: Include a note asking her to write you and let you know if she received your gift.

And remember, by following CFCA’s mailing guidelines, you lower the risk of the item becoming lost or stolen in the mail.

For some small gift ideas, check out 18 small gift ideas to send to your sponsored friend.

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Jan 16 2013

When a natural disaster hits, does CFCA tell sponsors if sponsored friends are affected?

Ask Sponsor ServicesQ. When a natural disaster hits, does CFCA tell sponsors if sponsored friends are affected?

A. We do our best to inform sponsors personally whenever their sponsored friend has passed away from a natural disaster or any other cause.

We don’t have the resources to contact each individual sponsor if their friends have been evacuated or otherwise affected from a natural disaster. We’re always working to update our records about sponsored friends who were affected: whether they need a new house, for example, or other support we can provide as they recover from tragedies.

Shortly following a natural disaster, CFCA local staff will typically survey the impacted communities and assess if there are specific family needs that CFCA could help address through special funding from donations to the disaster assistance fund or through direct services from our staff.

If your sponsored friend lives in an affected area, please feel free to contact our Sponsor Services team to see whether any specific information about your sponsored friend has been received. We’ll be more than happy to share that with you.

We also post stories on our website whenever disasters strike areas where our sponsored friends live. While these stories generally don’t contain information about specific children or aging friends, they report on the disaster’s impact in the area and how CFCA is helping.

For more information, please email mail@cfcausa.org or call Sponsor Services at (800) 875-6564 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time.

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Nov 29 2012

What’s the best way to let CFCA know when I change my address?

Ask Sponsor ServicesQ. I just moved to a new address. What’s the best, easiest way to let CFCA know?

A. We’re so glad you asked!

It’s important that we keep our records updated whenever you move, so that we can continue sending your sponsored friend’s letters to you at your new location (as well as your tax-deductible sponsorship contributions). If we cannot locate your new address in time, your sponsored friend’s letters cannot get to you.

The easiest way to update your mailing address is through your online sponsorship account. Click on the “Profile” tab to the right of the “Account home” tab. Then under the main “Account information” section, edit your details or confirm that the address we have on file is correct for you.

Change CFCA online account information

As an alternative, you can always call our Sponsor Services team at (800) 875-6564 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays or email mail@cfcausa.org.

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Nov 27 2012

Send an online photo to your sponsored child, aging friend

Shanxi Omoniyi, CFCA online content managerBy Shanxi Omoniyi, CFCA online content manager

We keep hearing wonderful stories from those of you who have logged into your online sponsorship account and used our eLetter feature to send an online letter to your sponsored friend.

One of the most frequently asked questions we have received since launching the eLetters in 2011 is “When can we send a photo with these?”

The answer is: Right now!

Here’s a step-by-step guide to sending your next eLetter with a photo attached:

If this is your first time logging in, you’ll need to register your account first. See our step-by-step guide here.

Your†screen should look something like this (I’ve grayed out my sponsored child Victor’s middle and last names for privacy reasons):

Online photo with CFCA eLetter

If you have more than one sponsored child, you can use our dropdown menu to select the one you’ll write to first. Read more

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Nov 20 2012

What is required of sponsored children in the CFCA program?

Ask Sponsor ServicesQ. What is required of sponsored children in the CFCA program?

A. Once your sponsored friend is accepted into the Hope for a Family sponsorship program, there are a few requirements the sponsored friend and his or her family must meet in order to continue to be eligible for sponsorship benefits.

1. Education. All children and youth must be enrolled in school in order to be a part of the sponsorship program. CFCA values education as the door to opportunities, and through sponsorship benefits, all children have the opportunity to go to school and fulfill their potential.

Marcela, a CFCA sponsored child in India.

Marcela, a CFCA sponsored child in India.

For individuals who do not attend traditional school, such as individuals with special needs and sponsored aging friends, the project offers workshops and other gatherings so sponsored friends can enjoy group activities and experience personal growth.

2. Family participation. Many CFCA projects have begun to implement mothers groups or parent groups to develop a deeper sense of community and empower families. Through these groups, mothers and parents can opt to build up savings or take out loans to increase their income through small businesses, agriculture or raising livestock.

Read about Roseline in Kenya who started her own grain business, and Margaret in India who raised livestock to send her son to college.

Sponsored friends and family members also participate in meetings and CFCA events held in the local community. These meetings and events allow sponsored friends and their families to form close-knit relationships with others in the community, develop long-lasting friendships, and most importantly, build a sense of mutual accountability and support as a key to the development of their families and their communities.

Colombia family integration activity

Sponsored children and their families gather together for a family fun day in Colombia.

3. Another requirement of the sponsorship program is the sponsored child, youth or aging friend must write a minimum of two letters a year and take an annual photo. If a sponsored friend cannot write yet, then the CFCA social workers, scholarship students or family members can help them with their letters.

Read what one CFCA translator in El Salvador has to say about letter-writing campaigns.

4. Sponsored friends and family members must also meet with a CFCA social worker on a regular basis. Personal outreach is provided in every CFCA community. It is through this personal outreach that families become more involved and communicate openly with the staff. It is also a meaningful way for the staff to learn of a family’s individual needs and potential.

Click here to read about a day in the life of a CFCA social worker.

For more information, please email mail@cfcausa.org or call Sponsor Services at (800) 875-6564 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time.

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