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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Sep 26 2012

5 myths about letter-writing busted!

By Veronica Batton, CFCA writer/editorVeronica Batton

Ever sit down to write a letter and then notice an hour later you only have one word? Do you ever think, “I’ll send a letter next month,”†and then next month turns into next year?

CFCA is here to help bust these tough myths about letter-writing, and help you cross “write a letter to my sponsored friend” off your to-do list.

Myth 1: It’s too hard.

It can be difficult to start a letter. Trust me, I’ve been there. Sometimes there is too much to say, and sometimes too little.

Some sponsors don’t know where to start when it comes to writing a letter to their sponsored friend. Read more

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Sep 18 2012

7 ways you can help CFCA cut costs

We assign the highest reasonable amount of available resources to the direct benefits of sponsored friends, which is why more than 93 percent of our expenses go toward program support.

CFCA mission awareness trip to Guatemala

Glendy, left, a sponsored child, hugs Rebecca, who was visiting Guatemala with her family as part of a CFCA mission awareness trip. Rebecca’s family has sponsored Glendy since 2011.

Here are some ways sponsors and supporters can help us keep our overhead low:

1) Use our Automatic Payment Plan.

Sponsorship contributions made through CFCA’s Automatic Payment Plan are safe, secure and reduce our costs.

Printing, postage costs and bank fees continue to increase and currently average 84 cents for each sponsorship payment made by check. In contrast, the cost for an automatic bank withdrawal is less than 3 cents.

Automatic payment also helps sponsors to:

  • Save on postage and the time it takes to mail their contribution.
  • Never miss a payment ñ their contribution is automatically processed each month.
  • Reduce paperwork ñ electronic payment is environmentally friendly.

Click here if you want to sign up online. (If you haven’t already, you will need to log in to your online sponsorship account.)

Enter the amount of your monthly sponsorship payment and click “Make payment.”

A pop-up question will ask, “Would you like your sponsorship contributions paid automatically each month?”

Choose “Yes,” and your first monthly payment will be added to your contribution basket. You can adjust the amount and the frequency of your payment, if you prefer to pay on an annual, semi-annual or quarterly basis.

As you proceed through the checkout process, you will be able to choose which payment account you want to use (or add a new one). See the other six ways

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Sep 12 2012

18 small gift ideas to send in your Christmas card

By Veronica Batton, CFCA writer/editorVeronica Batton

Around the holiday season, a lot of sponsors call and ask what they can send to their friend for Christmas.

Sending small items that fit in a regular envelope are the best gifts to send to your sponsored friend.

Packages must be no larger than 9 x 12 inches, weigh less than a pound and be under an inch thick. Larger packages result in high customs fees and run the risk of theft.

What can fit in an envelope that small, you ask?

Well, a lot! Here are 18 small but awesome gift ideas for your sponsored friend!

Read more

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Sep 11 2012

Why does my sponsored child send me hand-drawn pictures in letters?

Ask Sponsor ServicesQ. Why does my sponsored child send me hand-drawn pictures in letters?

A. Many of our projects hold letter-writing camps, where sponsored children and youth come together to write letters to their sponsors.

All sponsored friends must write a minimum of two letters a year. Young children who cannot yet read or write can color on letters or draw pictures. These drawings are then paired with letters to sponsors, which may be written by a parent, older sibling or staff member. Read more

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Aug 8 2012

Does CFCA qualify for employer matching gifts?

Ask Sponsor ServicesQ. Does CFCA qualify for employer matching gifts?

A. Absolutely! Employer matching gifts are a no-cost way to double, triple or quadruple your contributions to CFCA.

To find out whether your company has a matching gift program, use our online search tool or ask your human resources department.

If your company qualifies, it’s simply a matter of completing a paper or online form through your employer’s human resources department or an affiliated third party.

Your matching gift forms are then submitted for processing and forwarded to CFCA for verification of your contribution(s).

Once your contribution is verified and approved, the matching gift is paid directly to us, which we note on our records. You should receive an acknowledgment from us concerning your contribution.

Where the matching gift money goes Read more

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Jul 18 2012

Why is my 18-year-old sponsored friend in fifth grade?

Ask Sponsor ServicesQ. Why is my 18-year-old sponsored friend in fifth grade?

A. Education in other countries is very different from education in the United States.
Many countries may have public school at no cost, but the school supplies, uniform and books can sometimes equal a family’s entire monthly income.

Sometimes, difficult choices must be made: food for the family or a school uniform.

The Hope for a Family sponsorship program helps families in these predicaments.

Your monthly contribution helps your sponsored friend prepare for school, which may include purchasing a uniform or supplies. Once a child is accepted into the CFCA program, they can receive benefits and begin their education.

First-time students must start at the beginning, regardless of their age, which is why some older children are placed in elementary courses.

Another common reason may be that your sponsored friend had to repeat a grade or skip school at times to help the family put food on the table.

Many projects offer benefits such as tutoring programs for students who get behind in school or economic development programs for parents so they don’t have to pull their children out of school.

One thing these older children need more than anything is encouragement. It can be quite daunting to start school so far behind your peers.

If this is the case with your sponsored friend, you can send letters to show her or him your support. (Try sending an eLetter on our website.)

You’d be surprised to know just how much your words mean to your sponsored friend.

(Read about 16-year-old Gladness in Tanzania who used sponsorship benefits to purchase a new school uniform.)

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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