Tag: Christmas

Dec 20 2012

Small gifts to send to your sponsored friend

CFCA sponsor, Steve Taylor

Steve Taylor, CFCA sponsor, visited his sponsored friend on a CFCA awareness trip to the Philippines.

By Steve Taylor, CFCA sponsor

Previous blog posts have provided great suggestions (try 18 small gift ideas to send in your Christmas card), and I wanted to add a couple more.

1) Hello USA book series

We wanted a way to describe our home state of Virginia.

I was lucky enough to find the perfect book: Virginia, Hello USA. It is written at a level that anyone would enjoy. The books are for young children ages 2 and older.

Even for sponsored friends who don’t speak English, there are enough scenic pictures and maps to highlight our respective states.

The Hello USA series has books for most every state. The paperback sells for approximately $6.95 and fits in a 9 by 12 envelope, the recommended size for any gifts sent to sponsored children.

I found the book at a local store, and I’m sure you can find it at local bookstores or online. Check it out.

2) USA map

United States map

Being retired military, the first thing that came to mind was a United States map highlighting the various locations where we have lived.

It also provided a resource for our sponsored friends to refer to when we mention other locations.

Dec 17 2012

5 gift ideas for the children in your life

Kristin Littrell and family

Kristin Littrell and family

By Kristin Littrell, CFCA correspondent

If you’re like me, you may still be looking for a few gift ideas for family and friends. As a mom who works to integrate diverse items into our family’s toy chest, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite gifts with you.

These gifts are perfect for the preschool to elementary school-age child, who will have fun while learning more about the world.

Our hope is that those experiences at an early age grow into compassion later in life for people all around the world.

1. Memory game: I never forget a face

Memory game: I never forget a face
For preschool children working on memory and matching skills, this memory game, “I Never Forget a Face,” is perfect. The children featured represent diverse ethnicities and cultures, introducing appreciation of diversity in a beautiful way. Read more

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!

Sep 12 2012

18 small gift ideas to send in your Christmas card

By Veronica Batton, Unbound 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

Aug 30 2012

A CFCA Christmas

The children are ready to play and have fun,
While the youth are ready for school to be done.

Santa Claus, aka, Kris Kringle

Santa makes a stop at a CFCA-Guatemala Christmas celebration last year.

Aging friends wait with anticipation
As Santa arrives to a Christmas celebration!

The CFCA Christmas fund brings gifts to all
Be it shoes, or clothes or a shiny new ball.

The day is filled with excitement and joy,
It’s a wonderful day for all girls and boys.

They share with each other, stories and laughter,
And a meal is shared by all soon thereafter.

The CFCA Christmas Fund is good to consider,
Your friend will feel special and honored this winter.

You can donate on the website or by mail,
Or simply call to let your donation prevail!

Related links

Aug 21 2012

A CFCA Christmas card contest in Bogota, Colombia

August isn’t always the first month when people think about Christmas cards, but it’s never too late to start preparing ñ especially if you’re in a CFCA community in Colombia!

Every year more than 300,000 children and aging friends sponsored through CFCA send Christmas cards or year-end greetings to their sponsors. That’s a lot of mail for our projects to coordinate, process and send.

Harry Garcia, our communications liaison in Colombia, explains about a competition for the best Christmas card to be sent to sponsors this December.

Christmas card contest in Colombia

All the Christmas cards ready to be chosen.

We decided to have a competition for the Christmas cards in the CFCA communities in Colombia where the sponsored children and mothers participate with new designs, decorations, sizes and messages.

In this way the community creates the cards, and at our office in Bogota we choose the best card for the sponsors. Read more and see the final card chosen!

Jan 4 2012

Christmas reflection: Recognizing Christ when we find him

Larry LivingstonThis is the last in this seasonís Christmas reflections from Larry Livingston, CFCA church relations director. We hope these reflections have helped you on your own journey through this time.

“And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was.” (Matthew 2:9)

It is interesting to observe how differently families and faith communities deal with the “Three Kings” in their Nativity scenes.

Some place the figurines right there at the manger, along with the baby Jesus, as soon as Advent begins, while others keep them hidden away until the Feast of the Epiphany and only then allow their crËches to be complete. Read more

Dec 28 2011

Christmas reflection: We are God’s partners in serving others

Larry LivingstonEvery Wednesday during the Christmas season, we will post a reflection from Larry Livingston, CFCA church relations director. We hope these reflections help you on your own journey through this time.

ìAnd Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.î (Luke 2:19)

Raising children is always an adventure, but perhaps even more so for adoptive parents.

Often I am completely clueless about the whys and wherefores of my sonís personality because, unlike some, I canít look at him and see myself at his age.

And I learned pretty early on in my parenthood that it is a mistake to try.

Sure, this can be frustrating at times, but it can also be a delight. I canít count the number of times I have been bowled over by the creative insights Ben has or by his left-field sense of humor.

He sees things just a little differently from me, and I have come to cherish that difference as a surprise bonus of him being my son.

My experience with Ben gives me, I think, a little insight into what it must have been like for Mary and Joseph as they raised Jesus.

Even before his birth they knew that this child would be different and that they would have to get used to sharing him with the world. Read more

Dec 21 2011

Christmas reflection: Glorifying God with fully human lives

Larry LivingstonEvery Wednesday during the Christmas season, we will post a reflection from Larry Livingston, CFCA church relations director. We hope these reflections help you on your own journey through this time.

[This reflection is based on the Scripture readings for Christmas Mass during the day.]

Communication is a tricky business. First you have to come up with the right words to say, then you hope the listener hears what you intend. Between your original thought and the listenerís final interpretation there is plenty of room for misunderstanding.

So you can imagine Godís frustration in wanting to communicate to a wounded humanity just how sacred and deeply loved we are, only to have some hear only judgment and condemnation, while others hear nothing at all. Read more

Dec 19 2011

Giving the gift of sponsorship this Christmas

By Shanxi Omoniyi, web editor and writer

Margarita, CFCA sponsored aging, and sponsor David Pumphrey on mission awareness trip to Chile

Margarita, left, is sponsored by David, right, and Jen Pumphrey. The Pumphreys visited Margarita during a 2011 mission awareness trip to Chile.

If, like me, you’re still shopping for Christmas gifts for friends and family, why not consider giving sponsorship as a gift?

Many of our sponsors have been calling us to ask whether they can gift a sponsorship to their nieces, grandchildren or other relatives.

Longtime CFCA sponsors Tom and Gerri Hiestand recently set up a new sponsorship for their 14-year-old granddaughter Ally.

With this process, Ally will receive correspondence from their sponsored friend, Sendy from Honduras, while Tom and Gerri pay the monthly sponsorship contributions.

“One of the nicest things, I think, will be the correspondence between the kids,” Gerri said. “We have another granddaughter, and we’ve mentioned both of our granddaughters in some of the letters to our older sponsored children. The adopted children always seem quite interested in knowing more about their lives. In this way, it can be a really direct communication between all our children.”

Tom said growing up today in the U.S. can be a very materialistic process. He said that he and Gerri hope this gift will encourage their granddaughter to know that other people may not have enough for their daily needs, and that she can help.

Sponsorship is a practical way to reach out and meet the needs of those living in poverty around the world, he said.

“We can all easily get wrapped up in our own little world, and this is a good way for our youth to realize there are a lot of folks in need out there,” he said.

If you’d like to give someone a sponsorship, please call us at (800) 875.6564 or email info@cfcausa.org.