By Jordan Kimbrell, Sponsor Services
Easter is almost here, and many sponsors are thinking about sending a card or letter to their sponsored friend expressing Easter blessings.
Before sending your next letter, here are a few tips and recent changes we’d like to share with you:
1) Check new mailing rates.
This January the United States Postal Service introduced new mailing rates for international mail.
A 1-oz. letter will cost $.85 to Mexico and $1.05 to other countries. Larger envelopes or those weighing more than an ounce will cost more to send.
A full list of prices can be found here: https://www.usps.com/send/first-class-international.htm.
You will still need to visit your local post office to have the item weighed and stamped.
2) Consider eLetters.
We introduced new website features in August that gave sponsors access to a variety of new features, including eLetters.
The eLetters feature can be accessed from the ìMy Sponsorshipsî page when you log in to the website. This feature allows you to write an online letter to your sponsored friends, and you can choose from several different backgrounds that are updated to reflect the current season and significant holidays.
When you click on the submit button, we will email your letter as a PDF file to the project office that serves your sponsored friend, and the office staff can then print the letter.
Because the letter will still need to be translated and hand delivered, it may still take several weeks to reach your sponsored friend, but it guarantees the letter will reach the project and saves on the cost of postage.
(If you havenít created a username and password yet, just click on the ìRegisterî button from the ìManage My Accountî page to get started.)
3) Plan mailing times.
For sponsors wanting to send Easter greetings, birthday cards or any other type of mail that might be date specific, it is important to keep in mind normal mailing times.
Items by regular mail can take six to eight weeks to arrive. If you are running short on time, using the eLetter feature is a great way to get your message there faster.
4) Check letter size.
We ask that sponsors send nothing larger than an envelope 9 by 12 inches and more than an inch thick. We also ask that it weigh a pound or less. This is still considered a letter size by international mailing guidelines.
Anything larger may cause the project to be charged high customs fees, which would reduce the amount available to help their community. CFCA projects are instructed not to accept mail with high customs fees.
While this means you canít send teddy bears or soccer balls, many inexpensive items can easily fit into a 9 by 12 envelope, such as paper dolls, coloring books or calculators. Sponsored friends have also said they love receiving photos of their sponsors.
If you want to send something truly unique, try a recordable greeting card and let your sponsored friend meet you through a recorded message.
Questions? Feel free to call Sponsor Services at (800) 875-6564 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.