Comments on: From the mail bag: Writing your sponsored friend http://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/ Around the world Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:52:35 +0000 hourly 1 By: Unboundhttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-4702 Thu, 13 Mar 2014 15:57:21 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-4702 Hello Jen! That’s a great question. Sending a plastic rosary should be fine. It would fit easily into a normal envelope and I’m sure your friend would enjoy getting it.

God bless,
Jordan Kimbrell, Unbound writer/editor

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By: Jenhttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-4699 Thu, 13 Mar 2014 14:24:59 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-4699 Hi,
My sponsored friend lives in Guatemala and he is Catholic. I was wondering if it would be okay to send him a plastic rosary? They are free at our church

Thanks so much,
Jen

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By: Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA)http://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1985 Mon, 29 Aug 2011 18:09:28 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1985 Anna,

We ask our sponsors not to send any kind of money to their sponsored friends through the mail. Doing so, even in small amounts, increases the risk that the letter be stolen and never reach your sponsored friend.

However, we would still encourage you to send the story along to your sponsored child.

Thank you,
Ashley from Sponsor Services

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By: Anna M Feehttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1984 Mon, 29 Aug 2011 01:49:17 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1984 Recently I received a Colombian 50 peso coin. I was collecting for Autism Speaks. I think it passed for a US quarter.
I have a sponsored child in Cartegena, Columbia.
I know we don’t usually send checks or money directly, but I wondered if it would be all right in this instance. I think the amount is negligible= about 2-3 cents US, and I could tell my friend about my experience.

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By: Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA)http://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1983 Wed, 23 Feb 2011 22:05:01 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1983 Hi Ann,

Unfortunately, sending items in the mail can be costly, and there is always the risk of items getting lost or stolen in the mail. During 2010 we were notified by several projects that many of the packages sent by the sponsors were being ripped open and stolen at the postal office in their country. This happens quite often in other counties; many of the postal workers do not have the same standard of ethics as the United States Postal Service.

Another problem with sending packages is the custom fees that are attached. These custom fees are very high, and we would rather the money that we receive be used for the benefit purposes for which it was intended. If a package incurs a fee, the project will not pick up these items.

We might suggest a small paper bookmark, stickers or photos. These items would be small enough to fit in an envelope with a letter.

~Sponsor Services

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By: Ann Whttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1982 Wed, 23 Feb 2011 01:31:22 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1982 I’m a new sponsor of a 12 year old girl in Costa Rica. Sent my first letter as soon as I received my mailing labels. Just wondering how Costa Rica rates in the postal theft scheme? I assume some areas are better/worse than others. I was planning on sending her a small piece of jewelry the next time I write (worth about $4 US). Good idea? Bad idea?

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By: Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA)http://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1981 Mon, 29 Nov 2010 14:55:35 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1981 Sponsors who are able to write their letters in Spanish are welcome to do so. We can also change a setting on your sponsorship account to notify our staff that letters from your new friend do not need to be translated. Please let us know when you sign up for sponsorship if incoming translations are also not necessary. We look forward to welcoming you as a new sponsor!

Sincerely,
Sponsor Services

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By: shannonhttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1980 Sat, 27 Nov 2010 13:51:20 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1980 We are thinking of sponsoring a child from Central America. I was a Spanish teacher and I can speak the language fluently. Could I translate my son’s letters to Spanish?

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By: cfcahttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1979 Thu, 15 Oct 2009 14:49:33 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1979 Hi Brian,

Good questions! Your idea of sending colored pencils and a small drawing pad to your sponsored child is very appropriate and a great way to encourage his talents. Simple items such as art or school supplies are still common enough in many of the areas where we work that sending them as gifts does not pose a significant risk to your child. You are also welcome to write your first letter on the first sheet of the pad or to include a separate letter. Either way, it is a good idea to just ask your friend to let you know if he received the items, and keep in mind that it might take a couple letters for him to mention your mail.

Thanks again for your thoughtful questions! Feel free to contact Sponsor Services with any other questions about your sponsorship.

Sincerely,

Ashley
Sponsor Services

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By: Brianhttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1978 Thu, 15 Oct 2009 02:34:39 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1978 I am a brand new sponsor of a child in El Salvador. I only signed up a few days ago, so I have obviously not received a letter from him or any additional materials from CFCA yet.

In the child’s profile, it indicates that his favorite subject in school is drawing. Are a small packet of colored pencils and a small pad of plain drawing paper a reasonable gift to send? Bundled together, they certainly meet the size requirements stated by CFCA. However, although they are incredibly inexpensive by USA standards, I would not want to send a gift that might be taken away from him, might make other kids jealous, or have any other negative impact I may not be aware of due to cultural differences. I was thinking of writing (printing) my first letter to him on the first sheet of the pad, and then he would have both my original letter and the rest of the pad to use. Would that be acceptable for both his situation and CFCA guidelines?

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By: Mikaylahttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1977 Wed, 19 Aug 2009 18:53:11 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1977 I think its cool that you can send postcards I have never written A postcard in my life and if I have I don’t remember it

Thanks!

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By: cfcahttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1976 Wed, 12 Aug 2009 17:58:06 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1976 Dear Ruth,

Thanks for your questions. Foreign mail systems can be problematic when trying to correspond with your sponsored friends. Our projects in the Philippines and in India have commented that gift items or larger envelopes often get tampered with or stolen. In some cases, sponsored friends find the stamps or handwriting on the envelope more fascinating than the actual little goodies that a sponsor has sent!

We recommend keeping mail as simple as possible: letters, greeting cards, photos (sponsored friends love these!). Postcards from your travels are also great. Some countries have regulations about what can and cannot be sent in and out through the mail, so it is always good to check with the U.S. Post Office before sending plant seeds or similar items.

If you want to send stickers, colored pencils or related items, please make sure that your friend’s name and identification number appear on or attached to each item. Since all the mail for each project is routed through the central office, this will help the project staff sort and deliver the mail to your sponsored friend’s smaller community. It can also be helpful to ask your friend to write you back or mention your mail so you will know it arrived safely.

Thanks so much for writing to your sponsored friends! Please call Sponsor Services at 1-800-875-6564 or email us at mail@cfcausa.org with any additional questions you might have.

Peace,
Ashley
Sponsor Services

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By: Ruth Schmelzerhttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1975 Tue, 11 Aug 2009 22:35:55 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1975 Another question: Since we’re able to travel often around the United States, is it appropriate (or ostentatious?) to send postcards from some of the places we visit?
Thanks!
Ruth (again)

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By: Ruth Schmelzerhttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1974 Tue, 11 Aug 2009 22:33:57 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1974 I didn’t read all of what had been written and asked by others, so maybe my question has already been answered. We have a child in the Philippines and another in India whom we sponsor. We are always in a quandary as well as to what sorts of gifts can be given and received. Neither of the children has indicated having received any of the gifts we have sent, so we’re wondering if the gifts become “generic-given-at- Christmas-gifts,” or perhaps they actually never made it there.
Are packets of vegetable seeds or flower seeds useful? Or is there a risk of spreading botanical diseases?
Thank you!
Ruth

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By: cfcahttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1973 Thu, 30 Apr 2009 13:35:25 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1973 Ed and Ruby,

We are so happy that you want to establish a relationship with your friend! Postcards are a great way to send a short note. A postcard message would be sent the same way as a letter. You should have received pre-printed labels from us for addressing your letters.

One label has the address of the project that serves your friend. Use that label on the address section of the postcard.

Then, put the label that has your friend’s name on it on the top left corner — or somewhere away from the address label so the postal service does not get confused.

Be sure to use CFCA’s address (see below) as the return address to ensure your privacy. There is usually enough space by the stamp for a return address.

CFCA
1 Elmwood Ave
Kansas City, KS 66103

If you do not have pre-printed labels, please contact Sponsor Services, and we will be happy to send you some. Also, check out this link for some other writing tips: http://blog.cfcausa.org/2009/04/06/writing-topics/.

We hope that you will feel free to call or e-mail Sponsor Services with any further questions. You may reach us toll free at (800) 875-6564 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time, or send an e-mail to mail@cfcausa.org.

Thanks,

Claudia
Sponsor Services

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By: Ed & Rubyhttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1972 Tue, 28 Apr 2009 20:25:49 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1972 Thanks for your reply, I understand and appreciate your privacy policy. Somewhere in your litarature I read that post cards might be a welcome way to communicate. Is there a procedure to follow in sending a post Card ?

Thanks again for your quick responses. Thanks also for your patience. Obviously, I’m a novice at this and am just looking to establish an efficient, effective, and meaningful communication with the child we sponsor. I know his world is totally different than ours and we would like to know more about his and tell him about us.

Ed & Ruby

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By: cfcahttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1971 Fri, 24 Apr 2009 14:06:55 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1971 Ed and Ruby,

Thank you for your understanding, and we appreciate your suggestion. However, CFCA works very hard to protect the privacy of our sponsors. It is important that all sponsors remember our privacy policy warns against sharing any personal contact information, including your return address.

Claudia
Sponsor Services

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By: Ed & Rubyhttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1970 Wed, 22 Apr 2009 14:52:00 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1970 Thanks, for your response, that was kind of what I thought. One idea might be to include a self addresed stamped return post card to acknowledge it was received at the point CFCA opens and translates the letters or receives the gifts. Just a thought.

Thanks Again

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By: cfcahttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1969 Tue, 21 Apr 2009 13:47:19 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1969 Ed and Ruby,

We understand your concern. At this time, we do not have a confirmation process in place. Because of the high volume of mail received in the project offices, it would be very difficult to notify each sponsor when their letter or package arrives at the project. We do ask that our project teams encourage the sponsored individuals to mention items they receive in their letters to their sponsors. Sponsors are also welcome to include a note with their gift asking their friend to write back and let them know if the gift was received.

Thanks for your questions.

Claudia
Sponsor Services

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By: Ed McCowanhttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1968 Mon, 20 Apr 2009 16:46:40 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1968 I have read all the questions and cfca’s responses. Most were informative or helpful. But, if it understandably takes 8 weeks there and 8 weeks return, then the soonest we could know if our sponsee received our letter or gift would be four months. Is there some confirmation process to know the child received our package or letter. If these items are highly subject to theft or no delivery confirmation, we may never know if our sponsored child received the gift. Any comment?

Thanks

Ed and Ruby

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By: cfcahttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1967 Thu, 19 Feb 2009 15:00:18 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1967 Dear Billie,

Thank you for your question. As soon as your initial sponsorship contribution is processed, we will mail you pre-printed mailing labels and instructions on how to write to your sponsored child. If you have questions after receiving this information, please don’t hesitate to contact Sponsor Services at 800.875.6564 or 913.384.6500 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST or e-mail us at mail@cfcausa.org.

We appreciate your support!
Sincerely,

Ashley
Sponsor Services

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By: Billiehttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1966 Wed, 18 Feb 2009 21:29:56 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1966 I have misplaced some of my packet; can you tell me where to address a letter to my child or what the process is?

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By: Harriethttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1965 Mon, 05 Jan 2009 23:38:08 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1965 I understand what you are saying but if there is no translation and airmail it shouldn’t take 4 months.

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By: cfcahttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1964 Mon, 22 Dec 2008 22:09:13 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1964 Harriet,

Thanks again for your comments and questions. Here is an example of the journey a letter takes:

1. Mariaís sponsor writes a letter to her and mails it from her home in the U.S.
2. Mariaís sponsor sends the letter via airmail so it gets to Central America in an estimated five to seven postal business days instead of two to four weeks by ground.
3. The letter arrives at the CFCA project office in Guatemala.
4. CFCA workers have many letters to translate, so Mariaís letter is translated in about seven days and mailed to the smaller office serving Maria.
5. Maria lives in a remote village with no mail delivery. Her letter arrives at the nearest post office about 10 days later.
6. Mariaís subproject coordinator picks up the letter four days later on a weekly visit to the post office.
7. Maria receives the letter about six to eight weeks after it left the U.S. via airmail.
8. When Maria responds to her sponsor, the journey begins again.

If your sponsored friend does not write or read English, he/she will always receive your original letter and a translated copy. The same is true for a sponsor when their sponsored friend writes.

A family member or staff member can write on behalf of sponsored friends who may not be able to write on their own and ask that the author identify him/herself and why the sponsored friend is not writing at the time.

Please feel free to contact Sponsor Services at mail@cfcausa.org or at (800) 875 6564 with any other questions.

Ashley
Sponsor Services

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By: Harriethttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1963 Sun, 21 Dec 2008 03:26:00 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1963 I have experienced the same problem that Maryann has. My questions are not answered either. What is the mail process once it is received? If the sponsored child does not understand English is the letter rewritten or read to the child? Is the return letter the child’s words or someone else’s?

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By: cfcahttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1962 Thu, 18 Dec 2008 22:12:07 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1962 Harriet,

Thanks for your question. Some children do learn English at school and will write their letters in English to practice. If a child does not learn or write in English, a sponsor will always receive their friend’s original letter and a translated copy. A family member or project staff write on behalf of sponsored members who are unable to write their own letters.

If we can be of further assistance, please contact us toll free at (800) 875-6564 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CST, or e-mail us at mail@cfcausa.org.

Have a blessed holiday!

Ashley
Sponsor Services

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By: Harriethttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1961 Thu, 18 Dec 2008 02:59:02 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1961 Do any of the children speak or write English, if not who writes the letters for them.

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By: cfcahttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1960 Wed, 17 Dec 2008 23:38:26 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1960 Dear Ms. Powell,

Warm greetings during this Advent Season.

Thank you for your continued support and interest in your sponsored friends. Our project in Haiti is located in the northeastern part of the country in and around Ferrier. The hurricanes this season hit the hardest in the south. So, your sponsored friend was spared the worst of the storms. The largest cities by your friend would be Ferrier and Cap-Haiten. You should be able to find both of these cities on the map, near the border with the Dominican Republic.

Besides theft, another issue with sending gifts to Haiti is the mail service itself. Although you must pay for postage, each package delivered to the projects requires an additional fee at the project site when delivered. There is no way to pay this cost up front. There is no additional charge for letters, but there is for packages. This is why we ask sponsors who wish to show additional support and encouragement to consider a contribution to the Christmas or birthday funds.

I hope this answers your questions. Again, thank you for your continued love and support of your sponsored friend.

Greta
International Programs

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By: cfcahttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1959 Wed, 17 Dec 2008 15:17:45 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1959 Maureen,

Thank you for your comment. We created a black and white version to ease your printing problems: http://www.cfcausa.org/foroursponsors/documents/profile_web_gs.pdf. I hope this helps.

This form is not required when writing your friend. We have always had many questions from sponsors asking how to get started and what to write about. So we created this form as a way to help sponsors by offering writing topics and a friendly format. If you would like to use it every time, that is certainly fine, but it would be just as acceptable to use your own stationery or just plain paper.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

Natasha
Communications

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By: Maureen Sheahttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1958 Tue, 16 Dec 2008 19:18:16 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1958 Would it be possible for you to print the sample letter forms in black and white? I am finding it difficult to copy, even in color. It comes out very light- and it will not print in black ink at all.
I assume you want all letters written on this form for translation purposes.
Thank you in advance for your response.

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By: Susanhttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1957 Mon, 15 Dec 2008 02:27:59 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1957 Thanks for the great blog. My questions about sending small items were answered.

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By: Ms. R. Powellhttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1956 Sat, 13 Dec 2008 06:10:48 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1956 I don’t know how much the hurricanes have affected my sponsored child’s family. I know she goes to school in Bidou, Haiti. However, I do not know which large city she lives near. So that I can at least watch the news.

I have been dealing with the same issues regarding wanting to send a small gift, plus thinking I should add something for her younger sister. I did not realize the theft issues. How bad is the problem in Haiti?

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By: cfcahttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1955 Wed, 03 Dec 2008 22:22:04 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1955 Julie,

Amounts totaling more than your standard contribution should be designated to a specific fund, otherwise the extra will be applied to your future sponsorship balance.

If you wish to send something extra in honor of Christmas or a birthday but do not wish to contribute to the funds designated for this purpose, it would be best to contact Sponsor Services directly to learn about your options for a special contribution to your friend.

Thank your for your question and your continued caring and support for your friend.

Ashley
Sponsor Services
800.875.6564

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By: Julie Prettihttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1954 Wed, 03 Dec 2008 03:46:52 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1954 For special days, such as Christmas or birthday, I have thought about sending extra money along with my monthly contribution. Would this extra amount go directly to the child? Or is there another way to send extra money? Thank you.

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By: cfcahttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1953 Mon, 01 Dec 2008 18:48:07 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1953 Lucinda,

We respectfully ask all sponsors to avoid using online translation services or software. Just as you said, common phrases and idioms could be translated literally and cause confusion. If a sponsor does not need letters translated, it can help CFCA save on translation costs, but does not significantly decrease the time it takes for a sponsored friend to receive mail.

If you have other questions about correspondence between you and your sponsored friend, please feel free to e-mail Sponsor Services at mail@cfcausa.org or call (800) 875-6564.

Thanks for your question.

Ashley
Sponsor Services

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By: cfcahttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1952 Mon, 01 Dec 2008 17:48:44 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1952 Susan M. –

For most projects, except Liberia and Haiti, your mail will be sent to the project office in the country where your friend lives. You can use the pre-printed labels that we send (these are printed on a page that is bright pink at the top) or contact Sponsor Services and we will e-mail the address to you so you can write the information on your letter or small package.

For privacy reasons, mail will not go directly to your sponsored friendís home. The project staff will give the mail to your friend once the items are received and translated, if needed. Please do not wrap the contents as they will need to be checked before they are given to your friend. You could bundle small items in a plastic zipper bag, if you wish.

Thank you for your questions.

Claudia Staply
Sponsor Services
800.875.6564

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By: Susan Maybankshttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1951 Sun, 30 Nov 2008 01:03:57 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1951 I have a small package (Colored pencils, sketch pad and pencil sharpener) ready to send to our child but I cannot find in any of your documents nor on your site, how to address it, where to send it. Does it go to your offices in Kansas City? Should I address the actual package to the home address of our child, then wrap it and address of it to the local office in his country and then wrap it again to send to Kansas City? Please give me the details of how this is done. Thank you

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By: Lucinda W Veithttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1950 Thu, 27 Nov 2008 15:51:54 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1950 How does the program feel about the automatic translation services available on the web? Is that timesaving? I imagine one would have to be very careful about idioms, semantics, etc.

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By: cfcahttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1949 Tue, 25 Nov 2008 16:11:07 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1949 Susan I.-

Great questions! All mail to your friend needs to be sent regular “First Class International” (this used to be called international airmail). Sending items with priority delivery or other special services can keep the mail from reaching your friend.

Mail sent with special services attracts more attention for tampering, plus it can be harder for the staff to pick up as it may require signatures for delivery or waiting in long lines. Finally, as you said, it really does not help the item get to your friend any faster. The majority of your letter/gift’s journey is spent traveling long distances from the project to the subproject office and then on to your friend.

For the second part of your question, I understand your concern, but please do not think that your friend would ever be disappointed. It means so much for the individuals being sponsored to have someone writing to them, praying for them, caring for them – someone who, prior to sponsorship, was a perfect stranger. To them, being sponsored is a joy.

Having this connection with their sponsor is so important, I truly believe that they are not going to be disappointed if your gifts change over time.

Claudia Stapley
Sponsor Services
800.875.6564

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By: Susan Ishmaelhttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1948 Tue, 25 Nov 2008 02:21:25 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1948 I always try to remember my sponsored child at Christmas and his birthday, but unfortunately, I sometimes underestimate the time it takes to get there, be picked up and translated, and get to him. ( I guess I ‘m stuck on US thinking, that it can get there by tomorrow if you need to!) Do you know whether it helps much to send it faster through USPS, or does it usually get held up on the other end (in this case, Bolivia)?

Also, in regards to sending small gifts–I have tried many times to come up with unique small items to send, but I am running out of ideas, especially since my child is now 15. For his birthday last April, I decided to contribute extra to the community project fund and did it in his honor; I also had a Mass said for his intention. I tried to explain this in his birthday letter, but as some other sponsors have said in their postings, I hope this doesn’t confuse or disappoint the child.

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By: cfcahttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1947 Mon, 24 Nov 2008 22:39:40 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1947 Mark and Nancy –

Thanks for your question.

You are correct: typed letters are the easiest to translate, but sending a handwritten letter is OK, too. We do recommend printing if you write the letter by hand. Doing this also helps the translators.

Perhaps you could trade off by typing some of your letters and hand-write the others.

Regardless, your friend will be happy to hear from you.

Claudia Stapley
Sponsor Services
800.875.6564

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By: Mark and Nancy Ostrowskihttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1946 Mon, 24 Nov 2008 20:34:45 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1946 Is it best to type letters or hand-write them? Hand-written notes are probably more heart-felt for our sponsored child but typed letters have less chance of being misinterpreted due to my occasional sloppy handwriting.

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By: cfcahttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1945 Thu, 20 Nov 2008 22:23:42 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1945 Mary Ann –

Sponsors may observe that letters from their children tend to be “generic” in nature, and may not be fully responsive to questions asked in previous sponsor letters.

Letter writing is a new experience for many of the people we work with. So our goal is to help sponsored members get comfortable with writing their required letters and that the quality will improve as the sponsorship relationship progresses.

Although it does not seem to be the case in your specific instance, It is also important to keep in mind that since mail takes about eight weeks to go one way, correspondence can often cross in the mail. During the holdiay season, a letter can take up to 12 weeks to arrive at its destination.

We always encourage sponsors to contact Sponsor Services directly by phone at (800) 875-6564 or e-mail at mail@cfcausa.org with any questions or concerns about their sponsored friend’s correspondence.

Thank you for sharing your concern with us.

– Ashley
Sponsor Services

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By: Mary Annhttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1944 Thu, 20 Nov 2008 17:34:42 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1944 I regularly send small gifts and letters to my sponsored child. She is 14 and writes to me as well.

However, she never answers the questions that I ask or mentions the gifts that I send, even when I ask her about them.

It is almost like she doesn’t get the gifts or letters from me. And, it is not a timing problem. And she writes very well so I know that she is capable.

I hope that she is actually receiving the items and letters and cards from me.

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By: cfcahttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1943 Tue, 18 Nov 2008 19:06:23 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1943 Barbara T. –

It is fine to include a little something extra for Vivian’s siblings. Just enclose a note that you have included these items to be shared, and make sure that what you send still fits within CFCA’s mailing guidelines.

Your sponsored child will always benefit on your behalf from the Christmas fund, and many projects hold a holiday celebration for the sponsored members and their families.

Thank you for everything that you do, and have a blessed holiday season!

– Ashley

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By: Barbara Tomeihttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1942 Tue, 18 Nov 2008 17:03:13 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1942 Is it proper to send something small for Vivian’s 2 baby sisters for Christmas? I will also donate to the Christmas Fund….does this mean that my sponsored child will be included in any party, etc?
Thank you.

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By: cfcahttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1941 Thu, 13 Nov 2008 16:08:25 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1941 Barbara M. –

We do understand that some sponsors enjoy and feel strongly about sending small items to their sponsored friends, beyond a letter and photo. You are still welcome to send small, flat items (colored pencils, paper, or similar art/school supplies are good ideas) that will fit in a 9-by-12-inch or smaller envelope, weighs less than a pound and is less than one inch thick.

If we can be of further assistance, please contact us toll-free at (800) 875-6564 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CST. Thank you for your care and support of the children and aging we serve.

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By: Toni Guidicehttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1940 Thu, 13 Nov 2008 04:48:16 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1940 I have three sponsored children and they LOVE pop-up or musical cards. A photo, though, is important. When I met my little girl, she was holding a photo of me that looked as if she carried it everywhere. I also gave my little girl a photo of me in a Syracuse, NY, snowstorm, and when I went to Guatemala people on the street stopped me to ask about the snow. I always send a little something (flat) with the card and photo — this year a hologram bookmark and a Christmas ornament. My kids always comment on what they got and how they enjoyed it.

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By: BArbara Mirushttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1939 Tue, 11 Nov 2008 22:31:23 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1939 While I’m sure she will enjoy the letter and photo, she already receives these, so suddenly getting no gift will be a noticeable loss. I guess I will just include a note that CFCA prefers we not send packages to explain the change. I hate to think how disappointed she will be.

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By: Heather Hallhttp://blog.unbound.org/2008/11/04/from-the-mail-bag-writing-your-sponsored-friend/#comment-1938 Tue, 11 Nov 2008 19:47:43 +0000 http://cfca.wordpress.com/?p=624#comment-1938 The donation process is incredibly easy! Thank for you making our family’s gifts for our sponsored child so accessible and quick!

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