Richard, 22, from Uganda is one of the artists who contributed work for CFCA’s 2013 Christmas cards. Richard is pursuing a degree in development studies. He dreams of using his management skills to help his community in the areas of planning and sustainable development.
Q. During the holiday season, I send Christmas cards to relatives and friends. Does CFCA have any holiday cards I could purchase?
Read this post to learn more!
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.
Tuesday, we celebrate Christmas in the United States and at CFCA headquarters in Kansas City. Our office will be closed Dec. 24 and 25 for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
In this season when we celebrate the birth of Jesus more than 2,000 years ago, let us pray for the children of our world.
As Jesus grew from the complete dependency of infancy to embrace his mission as the Christ, may all those we serve be protected and nurtured and loved unto their full potential.
From all of us at CFCA, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
By Steve Taylor, CFCA sponsor
Previous blog posts have provided great suggestions (try 18 small gift ideas to send in your Christmas card), and I wanted to add a couple more.
1) Hello USA book series
We wanted a way to describe our home state of Virginia.
I was lucky enough to find the perfect book: Virginia, Hello USA. It is written at a level that anyone would enjoy. The books are for young children ages 2 and older.
Even for sponsored friends who don’t speak English, there are enough scenic pictures and maps to highlight our respective states.
The Hello USA series has books for most every state. The paperback sells for approximately $6.95 and fits in a 9 by 12 envelope, the recommended size for any gifts sent to sponsored children.
I found the book at a local store, and I’m sure you can find it at local bookstores or online. Check it out.
2) USA map
Being retired military, the first thing that came to mind was a United States map highlighting the various locations where we have lived.
It also provided a resource for our sponsored friends to refer to when we mention other locations.
By Kristin Littrell, CFCA correspondent
If you’re like me, you may still be looking for a few gift ideas for family and friends. As a mom who works to integrate diverse items into our family’s toy chest, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite gifts with you.
These gifts are perfect for the preschool to elementary school-age child, who will have fun while learning more about the world.
Our hope is that those experiences at an early age grow into compassion later in life for people all around the world.
1. Memory game: I never forget a face
For preschool children working on memory and matching skills, this memory game, “I Never Forget a Face,” is perfect. The children featured represent diverse ethnicities and cultures, introducing appreciation of diversity in a beautiful way. Read more
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!