Tag: letters

Jul 31 2012

‘We translate more than letters, we translate hope’

Karla Manzur and CFCA sponsored child, Jaime, in El Salvador.

CFCA translator, Karla Manzur, helps CFCA sponsored child Jaime write a letter to his sponsor.

Karla Manzur has worked as a translator at the communications center in El Salvador for the past four years.

CFCA-El Salvador holds letter-writing day workshops where translators help CFCA social workers supervise the writing, spelling and legibility in letters written by sponsored children, youth and aging friends.

Karla attended her first letter-writing day workshop in February 2012.

“It changed my way of thinking,” Karla said. “When you start working as a translator you don’t understand how important a letter is to the sponsors and sponsored relationship. This visit made me realize that we cannot request a child to write a perfect letter.”

Translators attend letter-writing day to learn more about the communities where we work and the difficulties the sponsored individuals face when writing letters to their sponsors.

Ana, CFCA sponsored child, in El Salvador.

Ana, a CFCA sponsored child, writes a letter to her sponsor, John.

It also allows Karla to discover more about the Salvadoran culture and the lifestyles of people in the United States.

Karla feels like a family member when she translates letters.

Translators have an important role in the communication between sponsors and sponsored friends by strengthening the bonds of friendship between the two.

Being a translator gives Karla the experience of traveling across the world as she translates letters from sponsors.

For Karla, her work is rewarding.

She isn’t just translating any document. It is about translating the sponsored members’ dreams, wishes and their joy of being sponsored.

Related links

Share this post:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Reddit Email
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

Share this post:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Reddit Email
Jan 24 2012

What do sponsored children want to know in letters?

CFCA sponsored children from Colombia talk about letters and what they want to hear from sponsors.

Jackelin, CFCA sponsored child in Colombia

Jackelin

Jackelin, 11

“I would like it if they told me about their family, friends and their cat. Also I would like them to tell me about where they live, how the city and country are.

“I would like to personally know and thank them for all the things they have given me. I would also like them to send me lots of pictures.”

Kevin, CFCA sponsored child in Colombia

Kevin

David, 7

“I want to know what my sponsor eats, and if they eat what they like. I would also like him to tell me where he lives and to send a photo.”

Kevin, 7

“… if there are robbers where my sponsor lives and if his work is going well.”

Jennifer, 9

“I would like to know how my sponsor’s family and children are doing and whether he has all he needs. I would like for my sponsor always to support me in everything I do, and am grateful that he gives me much love. I work very hard and send him lots of hugs and kisses.”

Wendy, CFCA sponsored child from Colombia

Wendy

Wendy, 7

“I would like them to tell me how they are doing, if they live with the family and for them to send me a photo.”

Katherine, 16

“I would like to know how their whole family is doing, and how he is doing since I last heard from him, how it’s been going in the [U.S.] Air Force, what has happened in his life since he last wrote.

“Also, what food he likes, if he is sick or well, his birthday so I can send a card and a happy birthday greeting, how old he is, if he lives with his children, if his wife is still alive, if he is a grandfather, if he still has his dogs.

“I’d like to know if he has received the letters I sent with thanks for his support and help. But the most important for me is to know how he is.”

Related links:

5 great letter-writing ideas for your sponsored friend

Share this post:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Reddit Email
Nov 9 2011

Mothers help sponsored friends write letters to sponsors

By Ricardo Ajpuac, CFCA staff member in Guatemala

A group of 134 mothers are helping CFCA sponsored children in the Guatemalan community of San Lorenzo, San Marcos, write letters to their sponsors.

Ilcia with CFCA sponsored children in Guatemala helping them write letters to sponsors

Ilcia helps CFCA sponsored children Manolo, center, and Auner, right, with letters to their sponsors.

Many of these mothers were only able to complete the primary level of education. Only a few were able to study in middle school.

ìI only studied up to fourth grade where I learned to read and write, and now I am putting that into practice,” said Ilcia, one mother. “Although I cannot write very well, I want to help.î

Mothers have used this as an opportunity to feel significant and involved with their community.

After CFCA staff members explained more about how to write a good letter, moms now meet in advance to plan all activities on the day of writing letters to sponsors.

Each sponsored child has two notebooks. One is for writing the letter draft, and here the mothers can make observations and corrections. Read more

Share this post:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Reddit Email
Apr 4 2011

What postal price changes will mean for CFCA sponsors

A number of sponsors have mentioned the upcoming price adjustments for the U.S. Postal Service, which will be effective on April 17.

The only letters that will be affected are letters to Mexico (1 oz.), which will cost 80 cents instead of 79 cents.

All letters to other international destinations will remain unchanged at 98 cents, according to the U.S. Postal Service.

Happy writing!

Share this post:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Reddit Email
Nov 18 2009

What do I say? How to write your sponsored friend

“I feel very good when I get a letter. I feel I am being loved very much. It makes me want to write lots of letters to my sponsor.” – Sesilia, 9, Tanzania

Sesilia expresses what all sponsored friends feel about receiving letters from their sponsors. A letter from you is a symbol of love and represents the human connection in the relationship. Exchanging letters is a way for you build that relationship.

(Update: You now have the option to send an eLetter once you’re logged in to your online sponsorship account!)

If you haven’t written your friend because you don’t know what to say, grab a piece of paper and a pen. Our goal is to help you compose a letter step-by-step using as an example a letter written by a sponsor to her friend in Venezuela.

Step 1: The opening
How do you start? This is usually the toughest part of the letter. Start by greeting your friend and asking about the family. Then, follow up with something your friend mentioned in a previous letter as Sheila has done here. Did he take a test? Is a family member ill? Did she have a birthday? The opening is the place to touch base about important events your friend has talked about.

Step 2: The body
Now that you’ve opened the letter, share what’s going on in your household. Sheila mentions Halloween and the upcoming holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Sponsored friends love hearing about holiday customs. Or, share something about yourself. Describe a pet. Talk about your favorite sport. Tell your friend about your children, their ages and grades in school. The words will flow once you start writing about something important to you.

Step 3: The closing
In your closing paragraph, give your friend encouragement. Sheila simply closed her letter by wishing Edinson and his family a happy New Year. Tell your friend you think about him and pray for him and his family. Then, sign off.

Congratulations! The hard part is done. You can include a photo of yourself and your family with your letter. Sponsored friends love getting pictures.

Mailing your letter
Follow the instructions provided with the pre-printed mailing labels you received from Unbound. Send your letter via international airmail, unless it is sent to a U.S. mailing address. Check postage rates at the U.S. Postal Service Web site, www.usps.com.

We have more suggestions about letter writing here.

Was this helpful? Do you have any questions for us regarding letter writing? Drop us a line, we’d love to hear from you.

Share this post:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Reddit Email
Nov 5 2009

Happy birthday, Sarge

Angie aka SargeEvery year CFCA processes an estimated 1.5 million letters from sponsored children and elderly. Each of these letters, with mailing labels, must be put into envelopes before they can be mailed to the sponsors.

You might think we need a small army to get this done. But, we have something better: a group of 35 highly dedicated volunteers.

And today, one of those volunteers, Angie Simms, is celebrating her 95th birthday!

Angie has been helping CFCA for 25 years, making her our longest-serving volunteer. She averages around 570 volunteer hours per year.

The staff and other volunteers know Angie simply and affectionately as “Sarge,” both for her military background (she served in the Womenís Army Corps in World War II) and her no-nonsense manner.

“She’s very spit-fire, and brings humor to the work place,” said Colleen McKeone, CFCA coordinator of child letters who works closely with the volunteers. “She has no qualms about speaking her mind. I enjoy her presence very much.”

AngieFor those who take the time to listen, Angie has a wealth of stories and life lessons. She’ll also trade some one-liners with anyone who’s quick enough to keep up with her.

After thousands of volunteer hours and probably millions of letters, we wonder what makes her so steadfast. Her brisk answer is pretty simple:

“God must have left me here in this world to do something.”

We’re glad He has, Sarge.

Happy birthday!

Share this post:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Reddit Email