Did you know that every year, we process more than 1 million letters from sponsored friends to their sponsors?
That’s tremendous cause for celebration! Behind every letter is a special story and friendship that we treasure.
Here are three sponsored children in El Salvador who recently received letters from their sponsors. Their smiles say it all.
Norma is 8 years old. She enjoys attending school and playing with her friends. Photos, like the one Norma is holding from her sponsor, are a fun, meaningful and practical way to deepen ties between sponsors and sponsored friends.
Developing a sense of friendship and mutual encouragement is one of the most rewarding aspects of sponsorship through CFCAís Hope for a Family program.
Don’t wait – write a letter to your sponsored friend today!
I am a huge fan of crafts. If it involves fabric, creativity or hot-glue guns, you can almost guarantee I’ll be crafting it at some point down the road.
When we posted 18 small gift ideas to send in your Christmas card, we received so much positive feedback from our sponsors, I thought it would be fun to start a D.I.Y. (do-it-yourself) tutorial on small craft items to send to your friend.
So, here it is! Unbound’s first D.I.Y. post: 10 steps to a friendship bracelet.
Ever sit down to write a letter and then notice an hour later you only have one word? Do you ever think, “I’ll send a letter next month,”†and then next month turns into next year?
CFCA is here to help bust these tough myths about letter-writing, and help you cross “write a letter to my sponsored friend” off your to-do list.
Myth 1: It’s too hard.
It can be difficult to start a letter. Trust me, I’ve been there. Sometimes there is too much to say, and sometimes too little.
Some sponsors don’t know where to start when it comes to writing a letter to their sponsored friend. Read more
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!
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.
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.
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.
To improve your sponsorship experience, we’ve outlined the 3 best (and worst) gifts you can send in the mail.
Best gifts to send
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.)
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.
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
CFCA sponsored children from Colombia talk about letters and what they want to hear from sponsors.
“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.”
“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.”
“… if there are robbers where my sponsor lives and if his work is going well.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
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.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