May 17 2013

How the Taylors know their sponsored friend through ‘love of letters’

Sponsors can travel around the world, experience many cultures and make new friends … all through the pages of a letter! See how CFCA sponsors Steve and Jayne Taylor “met” their sponsored friend, Nathasha, through precious letters, even as they plan to meet her in person this October.

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Oct 29 2012

Letters to sponsored friends translate into smiles

Did you know that every year, we process more than 1 million letters from sponsored friends to their sponsors?

That’s tremendous cause for celebration! Behind every letter is a special story and friendship that we treasure.

Here are three sponsored children in El Salvador who recently received letters from their sponsors. Their smiles say it all.

CFCA sponsored child Norma in El SalvadorNorma is 8 years old. She enjoys attending school and playing with her friends. Photos, like the one Norma is holding from her sponsor, are a fun, meaningful and practical way to deepen ties between sponsors and sponsored friends.

CFCA sponsored child Veronica in El SalvadorVeronica, at 10 years old, writes frequently to her sponsor. They share many things in common. For example, their favorite cartoon is “Tom and Jerry.”

CFCA sponsored child Luis in El SalvadorLuis is 10 years old. He loves to play soccer. Here he is, reading aloud from his sponsor’s letter.

Developing a sense of friendship and mutual encouragement is one of the most rewarding aspects of sponsorship through CFCAís Hope for a Family program.

Don’t wait - write a letter to your sponsored friend today!

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Oct 9 2012

Get your craft on: D.I.Y. friendship bracelet

Veronica
By Veronica Batton, CFCA writer/editor

I am a huge fan of crafts. If it involves fabric, creativity or hot-glue guns, you can almost guarantee I’ll be crafting it at some point down the road.

When we posted 18 small gift ideas to send in your Christmas card, we received so much positive feedback from our sponsors, I thought it would be fun to start a D.I.Y. (do-it-yourself) tutorial on small craft items to send to your friend.

So, here it is! CFCA’s first D.I.Y. post: 10 steps to a friendship bracelet.
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Sep 26 2012

5 myths about letter-writing busted!

By Veronica Batton, CFCA writer/editorVeronica Batton

Ever sit down to write a letter and then notice an hour later you only have one word? Do you ever think, “I’ll send a letter next month,”†and then next month turns into next year?

CFCA is here to help bust these tough myths about letter-writing, and help you cross “write a letter to my sponsored friend” off your to-do list.

Myth 1: It’s too hard.

It can be difficult to start a letter. Trust me, I’ve been there. Sometimes there is too much to say, and sometimes too little.

Some sponsors don’t know where to start when it comes to writing a letter to their sponsored friend. Read more

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Sep 12 2012

18 small gift ideas to send in your Christmas card

By Veronica Batton, CFCA writer/editorVeronica Batton

Around the holiday season, a lot of sponsors call and ask what they can send to their friend for Christmas.

Sending small items that fit in a regular envelope are the best gifts to send to your sponsored friend.

Packages must be no larger than 9 x 12 inches, weigh less than a pound and be under an inch thick. Larger packages result in high customs fees and run the risk of theft.

What can fit in an envelope that small, you ask?

Well, a lot! Here are 18 small but awesome gift ideas for your sponsored friend!

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Jul 31 2012

‘We translate more than letters, we translate hope’

Karla Manzur and CFCA sponsored child, Jaime, in El Salvador.

CFCA translator, Karla Manzur, helps CFCA sponsored child Jaime write a letter to his sponsor.

Karla Manzur has worked as a translator at the communications center in El Salvador for the past four years.

CFCA-El Salvador holds letter-writing day workshops where translators help CFCA social workers supervise the writing, spelling and legibility in letters written by sponsored children, youth and aging friends.

Karla attended her first letter-writing day workshop in February 2012.

“It changed my way of thinking,” Karla said. “When you start working as a translator you don’t understand how important a letter is to the sponsors and sponsored relationship. This visit made me realize that we cannot request a child to write a perfect letter.”

Translators attend letter-writing day to learn more about the communities where we work and the difficulties the sponsored individuals face when writing letters to their sponsors.

Ana, CFCA sponsored child, in El Salvador.

Ana, a CFCA sponsored child, writes a letter to her sponsor, John.

It also allows Karla to discover more about the Salvadoran culture and the lifestyles of people in the United States.

Karla feels like a family member when she translates letters.

Translators have an important role in the communication between sponsors and sponsored friends by strengthening the bonds of friendship between the two.

Being a translator gives Karla the experience of traveling across the world as she translates letters from sponsors.

For Karla, her work is rewarding.

She isn’t just translating any document. It is about translating the sponsored members’ dreams, wishes and their joy of being sponsored.

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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

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