Tag: mail

Nov 27 2015

Ask Sponsor Services: Sending mail to your friend


Q. Can I send my friend a gift through the mail?

A. Gifts sent in packages may incur high custom fees or get lost or stolen in the mail. Because of this high cost and risk, our international offices will no longer accept packages. Instead of sending a package, even a small one, try sending a letter instead.

The gifts of letters and photos are treasured most by your sponsored friend. Children and elders often say getting a letter from their sponsor is their favorite part of sponsorship.

You can easily send a quick note from our website. Just sign in and you can send your friend an eLetter and even upload a photo without having to set foot inside the post office.

If you really want to give your friend a gift, consider donating to Unbound’s birthday or Christmas funds.

Families living in poverty often find it difficult to afford the expense of celebrating birthdays and Christmas with gifts and parties. Donations to the birthday and Christmas funds help Unbound sponsored friends celebrate these special occasions.

The local staffs plan community-wide celebrations, which often include the entire family. Sponsored children and aging friends know the celebrations and gifts are from their sponsors.

Please keep in mind that some cultures do not celebrate birthdays and Christmas as we do. Unbound projects ensure that gifts and celebrations are appropriate for the culture.

And remember, what your friend needs most is your friendship and encouragement.

Thank you, and happy writing!

Contact our Sponsor Services team at (800) 875-6564 or mail@unbound.org for more information.

Feb 4 2015

Thank a Mailman Day: A letter’s journey

Today in the United States we celebrate mail carriers and thank them for their work. In honor of this day, we’d like to say thank you to all those in the U.S. and around the world who help deliver and send mail to and from sponsored friends. Because of you, relationships grow and friendships are formed. Thanks for all of your hard work!

To celebrate today, we’d like to give you a look behind the scenes at a letter’s journey from your sponsored friend. It all starts with a piece of paper and pencil …


Shirisha, a sponsored child in India.

Click here to follow the journey of a letter!

Writing letters
Sep 20 2013

Mail systems around the world: Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala

Sponsored children in Kenya

Sponsored children in Kenya work on homework and write letters to their sponsors.

By Kristen Littrell, CFCA correspondent

Have you ever placed a letter to your sponsored child in the mailbox and wondered how many people and places, cars and planes are required to put that letter in your sponsored child’s waiting hands? Read more to find out!

Ask Sponsor Services
Sep 17 2013

When is the best time to send my sponsored friend a Christmas greeting?

Ask Sponsor Services

Q: When should I send my sponsored friend a Christmas greeting?

A: Typically, letters sent by regular mail can take six to eight weeks to reach your sponsored friend.

During the holidays, it can take even longer.
Read more

nonprofit work
Sep 3 2013

Kenya staffer finds joy in letters

CFCA staffer sorts mail

CFCA staff member Lawrence Maina in Kenya processes letters and packets sent by sponsors to their sponsored children.

By Regina Mburu, CFCA communications liaison for Africa

Sorting through the parcels and letters, Lawrence Maina goes through each of them keenly and logs them in the record books.

He smiles as he reads through the lines written by sponsors to their sponsored children.

Lawrence is the driver at CFCA’s project in Nairobi, Kenya, but he also helps open the letters and parcels that come through the project office.

Read more

Jul 17 2013

What postage should I use to send a letter to my sponsored friend?


Q. I would like to mail my sponsored friend a letter. Is there a Forever stamp for international mail?

A. We’re so glad you asked!

In January 2013, the United States Postal Service presented the Global Forever First-Class Mail International Stamp.

Read more

Feb 19 2013

Did my sponsored friend receive the gift I mailed?

Ask Sponsor ServicesQ. I sent my sponsored child some gifts in the mail (using a CFCA-approved mailing package and everything), but I never received any thank-you letters from her or any acknowledgement of my gift. How do I know she received it?

A. Depending on when you sent the item, an acknowledgment letter may have crossed in the mail.

If much time has passed, however, and you still havenít heard from your friend, try sending a letter asking her to let you know if she received your gifts. Make sure you describe the items and when you mailed them.

It’s also important to remember that cultural expectations for correspondence vary from country to country. CFCA works in many areas where oral traditions are the main way of communicating. Your friend may not have grown up with thank-you cards or other kinds of written correspondence.

Read the answer to a related Ask Sponsor Services question: Why do my child’s letters sound so impersonal?

A good tip when sending a gift to your friend: Include a note asking her to write you and let you know if she received your gift.

And remember, by following CFCA’s mailing guidelines, you lower the risk of the item becoming lost or stolen in the mail.

For some small gift ideas, check out 18 small gift ideas to send to your sponsored friend.

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

Apr 6 2009

Writing topics

Ask Sponsor ServicesQ. I donít know what to write to my friend. Could you offer any suggestions?

A. We are happy that you will be writing to your friend. Children, youth and aging friends eagerly anticipate receiving letters and photos from their sponsors. For both you and your friend, writing letters and sharing photos is the best way to build a strong relationship. But we know that itís sometimes difficult to get that first letter started.

Here are some topic suggestions:
Your story ñ age, children, family
Holiday traditions special to your family
Your favorite color, food, memory, sports/games
Interests, profession or hobbies
Weather where you live
The landscape in your geographic area
Cultural activities ñ art, music, dance, theater
Why you chose your sponsored friend
Ask questions about your friendís life and dreams
Offer words of encouragement and support

If you donít have time to write a letter, postcards and pre-printed greeting cards are an easy and quick way to stay in touch with your friend.

Remember: Itís a good rule of thumb to avoid talking about material possessions, money and other topics that could serve to highlight the differences between your circumstances. Please keep these same considerations in mind when sending photographs.

For the privacy and protection of sponsors and sponsored friends, please do not share or ask your friend for personal contact information, including e-mail or home addresses and phone numbers.

Please visit the CFCA writing page for more writing tips, including up-to-date information about mailing costs and how to request more pre-printed labels.