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!