Tag: Sponsor Services

Oct 8 2012

CFCA staffers celebrate Customer Service Week

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One week every year, CFCA employees who work closely with our sponsors get what they deserve.

They celebrate Customer Service Week!

Customer Service Week is an international event celebrated annually in the first week of October. The event is sponsored by the Customer Service Group, which provides information and inspiration to companies and organizations who want to recognize their customer service professionals by participating in the celebration.
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Mar 4 2011

My child is turning 18 soon. Will he/she be leaving the sponsorship program?

Ask Sponsor ServicesQ. My child is turning 18 soon. Will he/she be leaving the sponsorship program?

A. Not necessarily. Within the CFCA sponsorship program, eligibility for sponsorship does not depend on age. As long as your friend is attending school, including college, technical or trade school, he or she can stay in the sponsorship program.

The Hope for a Family sponsorship program provides children with the opportunity to reach their maximum potential.

This means encouraging them to continue their education. As long as your friend is sponsored, he or she will receive help with tuition, books, school supplies, and even transportation and meal costs.

With the help of sponsorship, the burden of paying for education does not fall entirely on the family and it will be easier for your friend to stay in school and achieve his or her career goals, become self-sufficient and help support the family and community.

It may be helpful to ask your sponsored friend about his or her educational plans in your letters.

As a sponsor, you can be a positive influence in your friendís life. Encourage your friend to continue with school and let your friend know how proud you are of his or her effort.

Sep 30 2010

How can sponsors get news in times of disaster?

Ask Sponsor ServicesQ. How can sponsors get news in times of disaster?

A. When disasters strike countries where CFCA works, we offer many ways to stay informed.

By visiting the CFCA website, you can view news reports and blog posts compiled using reports from the field, and connect to our Facebook page and Twitter account. These outlets are updated with the latest reports, photos and video we receive from the field.

When disasters occur, the first priority of the local staff is to contact sponsored members to assess damage and identify immediate needs.

As soon as we receive information from the field, CFCA publishes reports on our website, Facebook, Twitter and the CFCA blog. Sometimes, disasters can affect communication lines and it can take longer for CFCA to receive and publish information.

It is not feasible for CFCA to notify individual sponsors on the status of their sponsored friend. CFCA is only able to notify individual sponsors when a sponsored friend dies. CFCA does not publish names of sponsored victims until their sponsors have been notified.

Oct 9 2009

Thank you, Sponsor Services

By Raelene Dietz, Director of Sponsor Outreach

When I am faced with a daunting pile of projects and need a boost of energy, I need only walk a few steps outside my office and listen to any of the 24 voices that can be heard speaking on the phone to our sponsors.

Rico in Sponsor Services
Rico in Sponsor Services

As the voice of CFCA, Sponsor Services is a well-informed, committed team that deals with the various issues of concern to our sponsors. The men and women of Sponsor Services are different from other customer service teams. They must be equipped with the patience to handle the many questions about contributions, the compassion to share difficult news and the spirituality to pray for and with sponsors over the phone.

The topics are many, the results are varied and the goal is singular ñ to help sponsors in a way that shows the thankful respect and care we feel for them.

Speaking with a smile on their faces, (it can be heard, you know), Sponsor Services strives to guide sponsors on their journey of friendship with their sponsored friends. They donít have the answers to every question, but they will do everything they can to help the sponsor, if possible.

Customer Service Week is celebrated nationally, Oct. 5-9. The week was designed to recognize company representatives for the important work they do all year, and to drive customer service awareness and improved service levels throughout the entire organization.

The team of Sponsor Services at CFCA will be celebrating the week as well. They have a variety of team-based activities planned. Silly Hat Day, ë80s Day and International Dress Day are among the spirited plans for the group.

Some member of Sponsor Services: <i>(top row, right to left)</i> Ramiro, Liz, Mary, Linda <i>(bottom row, r-l)</i> Jessie, Raelene

Some member of Sponsor Services on Silly Tie Day: (top row, left to right) Ramiro, Liz, Mary, Linda (bottom row, l-r) Jessie, Raelene

As they celebrate Customer Service Week, this entire team shares a deep commitment to quality sponsor service. We are thankful for that commitment and dedication as we recognize the service they provide!

Mar 3 2009

Would it help if I wrote my letter using translation software?

Ask Sponsor ServicesQ. I do not speak the same language as my sponsored friend. Would it help if I wrote my letter using translation software?

A. We truly appreciate your desire to communicate with your friend in her or his native language. This language may be Spanish, Swahili, Hindi or one of many hundreds of indigenous languages.

CFCA employs translators to translate your letter into your friendís language. Although the translations may be less than perfect, the translators try very hard to convey the sentiments of sponsors and sponsored friends.

We prefer that you do not use translation software. Using such software often results in an unintelligible translation because the software is incapable of recognizing context and common phrases and expressions. For example, the word ìMassî can be translated as ìlumpî in Spanish. That is only one example among many. Sometimes, the translations are so poorly constructed, the letter must be returned to the sponsor.

If you do decide to use translation software, please include the English version of your letter so the translator can use it as a reference.

Thank you for writing to your friend. Letters are an important part of the sponsorship relationship and a sign of your love.

Feb 6 2009

Helping Luis smile again

Julie Watson is a member of the CFCA Communications Department. She went on a 2008 mission awareness trip to Bolivia, where she met Luis, her sponsored friend.

He was shy and quiet, and I was the peculiar American whose presence frightened the 4-year-old boy.

While waiting for the bus to depart to the first subproject visit, I felt a tap on my shoulder. A translator from the project was standing there with a surprise for me: Luis, my sponsored friend. I didnít even recognize him. I hadnít been told that I would be meeting him. My own confusion soon turned into exhilaration, and Luisí eyes told me of his confusion, too. He was experiencing something new as well.

LuisAs the bus pulled away from the hotel we took our seats. Luis returned to the security of sitting next to Olivia, his guardian from the orphanage. Slowly, Luis began to smile and make eye contact with me. He was looking around the bus, which was filled with a dozen or more strange, white faces that all looked back at him. His face broke into large smile, and his dark eyes twinkled like stars in the evening sky. As the trip went on, ìShorty,î a nickname given to Luis because of his small stature, began to sit closer to me and play peek-a-boo-type games.

Luis enjoyed the bus ride and sat back in the seat, drinking his soda. I wondered if that was what had contributed to his decaying teeth. Olivia told me that the children in the orphanage donít get sugary snacks or drinks. They did not know what care he had before coming to the orphanage. When I asked if his teeth bothered him, she told me that he often holds his hands cupped around this jaw because of the pain.

Even with the toothaches and a bit of travel sickness, he never ceased to be a bright ray of sunshine for many on this trip, especially myself. I wanted to sweep him up and carry him home, where I could give him everything I thought a 4-year-old needed to be happy and healthy. I settled for helping him in whatever way I could. His immediate need was obvious: helping with his dental care.

LuisWhen I returned to Kansas City, I asked Sponsor Services to ask the project to find out what was wrong with Luisí teeth, and what it would cost to get them fixed. I learned that Luis would need very extensive dental work, yet the total cost would be only $80 U.S. Can you imagine?

Sponsor Services helped me set up a special funds account to pay for his dental work, which the project said would begin sometime in February. I pray that he is feeling better.

I plan to return to Bolivia on the 2009 mission awareness trip and canít wait to see Luis and his new smile. God bless CFCA and all the staff members who are helping my special little friend smile again.

Jan 12 2009

Why are my sponsored friend’s letters written by someone else?

ask_graphic1Q. Sometimes I receive a letter written by someone else. Why doesn’t my sponsored friend write?

A. There are a variety of reasons why a letter may be written by someone other than your sponsored friend. When this occurs, CFCA asks that the person writing the letter clearly identify themselves so you will know.

Letters to sponsors sometimes are written by parents, relatives, social workers or project staff on behalf of the child or aging person. It may be that the parents or project staff want to help a child write a more meaningful letter, or the child may be too young to write.

If your sponsored friend is elderly, conditions such as vision problems, illness or illiteracy may make it necessary for a representative to write on their behalf.

For some people in developing countries, oral communications are the norm and letter writing is a challenge. Composing a simple letter may require the assistance of a family member or a project staff member.