Category: Ask Sponsor Services

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.

Jul 9 2012

How do I know my money’s going to benefit my sponsored friend?

Ask Sponsor ServicesQ. How do I know my money’s going to benefit my sponsored friend?

A. Great question. It’s important that you fully evaluate any charity you consider partnering with, and we’re happy to answer any questions about CFCA you might have.

At CFCA, we’re proud of our outstanding ratings from charity evaluators. We receive an A+ from CharityWatch, their highest rating possible.

Charity Navigator says we perform as well as or better than most charities in our cause. We also meet all 20 rigorous standards established by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. Read more

Jun 5 2012

What about my sponsored child’s additional educational expenses?

Ask Sponsor ServicesQ. How can I help support additional educational expenses of my sponsored child?

A. CFCA encourages sponsored children and youth to strive to achieve their educational goals. For a growing number of sponsored youth, this means pursuing a college education or vocational training.

Normal monthly sponsorship benefits, however, are not always enough to cover the entire educational expenses, and the sponsored member’s family may not be able to make up the difference.

If you are interested in helping your sponsored friend with additional educational expenses beyond the monthly sponsorship amount, you can make special contributions by establishing an education fund for your sponsored friend.

If your sponsored friend still has a few years before reaching higher education or vocational training but you would like to start planning for the future now, you can make additional contributions to a future education fund for your sponsored child.

Contributions to this fund are held at CFCA until your sponsored friend is ready to begin college or vocational training.

For more information, or to set up an education fund for your sponsored child, 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.

May 3 2012

CFCA Communications Centers: Bogota, Colombia

CFCA has five communications centers in El Salvador, Guatemala, Kenya, India and Colombia.

Although we call them centers, which sound like a big operation, they actually consist of one or a few local staff members. They help us find and feature stories from our sponsored children and aging friends.

Harry Garcia, CFCA communications liaison in Colombia

Harrison Garcia

We’d like to introduce you to each communications center liaison, starting with Harry in Colombia.

CFCA has changed the life of many families. This is how CFCA changed my life as well as my family’s.

My name is Harrison Garcia, and I am 27 years old. I am the CFCA communication center liaison in Bogota, Colombia.

The story of my family at CFCA started when my sister Carolina, now 35, got sponsored in our little school 27 years ago.

The benefits that she received through CFCA at that time were a great help to my family as my mother was a single mother with three children.

When I was 10, I got sponsored, too, and it was a great experience for me to share letters with my sponsors during three years. Read more of Harry’s story

Apr 24 2012

Should I connect with my former sponsored child on Facebook?

Ask Sponsor ServicesQ. I recently received a Facebook friend request from my former sponsored child. Should I accept it?

A. While we can’t prevent a former sponsored child from trying to find and contact their sponsor via Facebook, we do encourage everyone to consider any potential risks that could happen from direct contact.

These risks may not come from your friend, but from other people within your friend’s community who learn about their direct contact with you in the U.S.

Some of these risks could include requests being made to you for ongoing support, or people trying to extort money from your friend or friend’s family because they are in direct contact with someone in the U.S.

For these reasons, CFCA does not facilitate or encourage direct contact between sponsors and their former sponsored friends.

We cherish the friendships that form between sponsored friends and sponsors through our program. Unfortunately, our ability to safely facilitate these friendships is only through the sponsorship program.

Please note: CFCA’s child protection policies do not allow current sponsors to be in unsupervised communication with sponsored friends, including social media such as Facebook.

To protect the privacy of our sponsors and ensure that all communications with sponsored friends are appropriate, our project staffs monitor all correspondence.

Related links:

Apr 10 2012

With your help, we’ve sent $1 billion in overseas support

Eliakim and Rebecca in Kenya

Eliakim, left, and his sponsor, Rebecca Shaneyfelt. Rebecca visited Eliakim on a CFCA mission awareness trip to Kenya in February 2012.

Great news, everyone! As of April 2012, weíve sent $1 billion to the field in support of our programs to help sponsored children and aging friends around the world.

(Read our news report here: CFCA reaches milestone in supporting families)

We’re deeply humbled and grateful for the support of everyone in our community for making this possible.

As stewards of the money you, our sponsors and donors, entrust to us, we’ll continue our commitment of sending the highest reasonable amount of available resources directly toward program support.

We also will continue to honor our co-founders’ commitment to put the needs of those living in poverty first.

CFCA President and Co-founder Bob Hentzen put it this way at a CFCA board meeting:

“We want to promote a new view of globalization, one in which we put into international motion a true sharing of the resources of God’s creation. We want the resources and goods of this earth to favor unity, not separation. In our preferential option, we favor the poor.”

Because of their perseverance and the support from more than 628,000 sponsors who have “walked” with us, we’re the organization that we are today. We’re excited to see where the next 30 years will take us.

As always, thank you so much for your support!

Feb 13 2012

Automatic Payment Plan helps you, CFCA and sponsored friends

Angel, CFCA sponsored child in El Salvador

Angel, left, is a CFCA sponsored child in El Salvador.

Last year we had a special initiative in which our project in Guatemala would plant a tree for every sponsor who signed up to pay for sponsorship through our Automatic Payment Plan.

This year we have another initiative!

Sign up, and CFCA will send $5 to your sponsored friend’s project to help meet urgent needs in your friend’s community.

That means if 100 sponsors from your friend’s project sign up, your friend’s project receives $500!

Right now two out of every five sponsors choose to pay their sponsorship using our Automatic Payment Plan. Here are some of the benefits:

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

If you want to sign up online, go to https://www.cfcausa.org/SponsorsOnline/MyContributions.aspx. (If you havenít already, you will need to log in to your online sponsorship account.)

Enter the amount of your monthly sponsorship payment and click ìMake payment.î

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

Choose ìYes,î 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).

Thanks, as always, for your support!

Jan 27 2012

How do I help CFCA, continue providing for my sponsored friend?

Ask Sponsor ServicesQ. If something happens to me, how can I help CFCA and continue to provide for my sponsored friend?

A. Whether through a current gift, will, trust, retirement fund or life insurance policy, you can support the ongoing work of CFCA and also provide for the continuation of sponsorship benefits, emergency assistance or higher education for your sponsored friend.

Planning today using our estate planning tools can make a lasting impact for years to come.

We are here to help with any questions you or your advisers might have regarding estate gifts to CFCA. Contact Michael Calabria at (800) 875-6564 or giftplanning@cfcausa.org, or visit hopeforafamily.org/estate for suggested language and beneficiary information for your attorney to include in your estate documents.

We assign the highest reasonable amount of available resources to directly benefit sponsored friends. See our financials and the consistently high ratings we receive from independent charity evaluators.

Dec 11 2011

Why doesn’t CFCA have programs in the United States?

Ask Sponsor ServicesQ. Why doesnít CFCA have programs in the United States?

A. CFCA was founded in 1981 to work in developing countries because two of the founders, Bob Hentzen and Jerry Tolle, had worked in Latin America and witnessed conditions of extreme poverty in which the most basic life needs went unmet.

Social assistance programs similar to those in the U.S. are often not available in communities where CFCA is present.

Education may not be free. Parents must often pay enrollment fees, or buy books, uniforms and supplies they cannot afford. Many children donít visit doctors because of the cost of care.

CFCA’s Hope for a Family program provides benefits tailored to the needs of sponsored friends, such as nutritious food, education, health care and livelihood programs for families to help them build a path out of poverty.

In developing countries, the contributions of CFCA sponsors go a long way toward providing these vital services.

CFCA does strive to serve the local community at its headquarters in Kansas City, Kan., through participation in several programs, including an internship program for underprivileged high school students and collecting personal-care items for a homeless shelter.

Nov 7 2011

Handy infographic about CFCA awareness trips

We get a lot of questions about CFCA awareness trips – before, during and after the actual trip!

Some of the most common questions are: “How many sponsors go on these trips?” and “How many sponsored children and aging friends have actually met their sponsor?”

To answer these and other questions, we’ve created the following infographic for you. Enjoy!

CFCA mission awareness trips infographic