Tag: gifts

Feb 14 2013

Celebrating Valentine’s Day in Guatemala

CFCA-Guatemala celebrates Valentine's Day

Irma, a CFCA social worker, and the “secret friend” gift box for Valentine’s Day in Guatemala.

Valentine’s Day in Guatemala is known as “the day of love and friendship.”

In the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, some CFCA staffers organize giving activities to make the occasion extra special!

“On Feb. 1 we make little pieces of paper with our names on them,” said Irma Leticia Raquec Ros, a CFCA social worker. “Everyone gets to pick one. The person whose name appears on the little piece of paper will be your secret friend for the next couple of weeks.”

Every day after that, Irma said, staffers will bring small items such as cookies, chips and candy into the office and put them into the “secret friend” gift box (the bright red box pictured next to Irma).

“We have fun playing this game,” said Rocio Esmeralda Suguach, another CFCA social worker. “At break time we all come rushing to see what we got!”

On the big day, Feb. 14, the CFCA staffers will bring a larger gift such as a teddy bear, roses, clothing or special chocolates. Then the gift-givers reveal themselves to their no-longer-secret friends!

“Every day is a special day, but Valentine’s Day gives us the opportunity to say ‘I love you,’ ‘You are special’ and ‘Thank you’ to our friends, family and everyone that touches our lives,” Irma said.

CFCA-Guatemala staff celebrate Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine’s Day from this CFCA office in Guatemala!

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Feb 12 2013

Handmade with love: DIY Valentine’s Day card

By Veronica Batton, CFCA writer/editorVeronica

For me, tiny and cute go hand in hand.

I always think things are more adorable when they are shrunk to teacup size.

Think about it: puppies, babies, kittens and baby elephants are just a mere fraction of all the tiny, cute things in the world.

Check out this cute Valentine’s Day card I made for my sponsored friend! Complete with tiny messages!

DIY Valentine
IMG_1590

(Difficulty level: easy)

Materials needed:

  • Specialty paper
  • White paper
  • Glue stick
  • Thick cardstock
  • Scissors
  • Colored pencils or markers
  • Ruler
  • Pen/pencil
  • Heart stickers (optional)

Read more

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Nov 19 2012

Gifts mailed from sponsors to children in India go missing

CFCA sponsored child, Komala, in India

Komala, a child sponsored through CFCA in India.

As the holiday season nears, we would like to take this opportunity to remind our sponsors that mailing gifts is primarily a North American tradition. As such, it is often not culturally expected by sponsored friends.

Often, the most deeply meaningful gift a sponsored friend may receive is a heartfelt letter and a family photo that brings you closer.

Also, there are other reasons why it is best not to send large, expensive or costly gifts to your sponsored children and aging friends.

Such gifts result in high customs fees for local CFCA projects and run the risk of theft.

Our project staffers in Hyderabad, India, mentioned recently that they have been receiving packages that have been opened. The area post office could not identify at what point the packages were opened.

In another example, staff members could not find a chain that one sponsor had sent in the mail for her sponsored friend. The package arrived, but without the chain.

“I know sponsors take a lot of pain and care to send these gifts for their sponsored children, and they spend a lot for the postage,” said Clement Boyapati, a CFCA staff member in Hyderabad. “When children don’t receive them and they go missing on the way, we feel so sad.”

Your sponsored friend will still receive a thoughtful gift made possible by the CFCA Christmas Fund, which provides culturally appropriate gifts that are purchased locally from the community, helping to stimulate the area economy.

If you want to send a gift to your friend through the mail, we recommend that packages be no larger than 9 x 12 inches, weigh less than a pound and be less than an inch thick.

We have previously mentioned 18 small gift ideas that fit these guidelines. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments below!

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May 21 2012

3 best (and worst) gifts to send to sponsored children, aging friends

Writing letters and sharing photos are wonderful ways to build a strong friendship between you and your sponsored friend!

We so appreciate our sponsors who take the time to get to know their sponsored children and aging friends through correspondence.

Rosana helps CFCA sponsored child Auner write letter to sponsor

Rosana, right, helps Auner, a child sponsored through CFCA, write a letter to his sponsor. Rosana is a mothers group leader in Guatemala.

To improve your sponsorship experience, we’ve outlined the 3 best (and worst) gifts you can send in the mail.

Best gifts to send

1) Letters

Whether it’s a brief note asking about their family, how they’re doing in school or just saying, “I’m thinking of you,” a letter can mean the world to a child whose mother is sick, to a youth struggling to finish school, or to an elderly person who yearns for companionship. (Writer’s block? See some of our letter-writing tips to get you started.)

No matter how simple, these letters and notes help let your friend know there’s someone far away who cares and wants them to succeed in life.

Note: You can now send eLetters, which are messages sent to your friend through your CFCA online account. (You must be logged in to your online account before sending an eLetter.)

2) Cards

Birthday cards, holiday cards, friendship cards … There’s a reason why cards have endured even in today’s digital age, and that’s because they’re so personal!

Another option, if you and your sponsored friend speak the same language, is to send a recordable greeting card and let your friend meet you through a recorded message.

3) Photos

When you began sponsoring, you were given a photo of your sponsored friend. Just as you enjoy knowing to whom you’re writing, your friend would love to have a photo of you or your family.

Sending a photo allows your friend to get to know you a little better. As you place your friend’s photo on the fridge or elsewhere in your home, know that your friend’s family will have your photo in a special place, too.

Worst gifts to send Read more

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Dec 15 2008

Christmas shopping in your slippers

christmas_catalog22Have you had a chance to check out the CFCA Christmas catalog yet? It offers a great opportunity to share the true spirit of Christmas with a friend or family member.

You can choose from five funds that support the†needs of people living in poverty around the world: scholarship program assistance; HIV/AIDS funding; food crisis support; housing support; and Christmas celebrations and gifts for children and the aging.

So instead of standing in long shopping lines for sweaters and picture frames and toys, we invite you to make a cup of hot chocolate, relax in your most comfortable, cozy slippers and avoid the crowds while you make a donation in honor of someone you care about.

You can also take comfort in knowing that 100 percent of your contribution goes to CFCA projects to benefit those assisted by the fund you select.

†We hope you enjoy your CFCA Christmas†gift-giving experience.

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