FAQs

Thanks for your interest in learning more about OneChild! We hope these answers help you understand the incredible difference you are making. Plus, you can find out how to make the most of your sponsorship below. If you have any other questions, please email [email protected] or call 800-864-0200. We’ll be glad to help!

ABOUT ONECHILD

We want to communicate that each and every child matters, especially in God’s eyes. For many people, however, the problems of poverty seems so vast and overwhelming that it can be difficult to know how to help.

That’s why we invite you to discover what you can do for one child. We believe that one person can change the life of a child for eternity. No one person or organization will end global poverty in our lifetime. But together with the help of OneChild staff and volunteers who work in the field, you can demonstrate the love of God to one child who lives in a difficult place.

OneChild is a global community of Child Champions who help children in poverty. Our Child Champions who work directly with the children live in the same community as the children. In every community where we work, our Child Champions launch church-based or school-based Hope Centers that are designed to meet the unique needs of the community’s children.

OneChild focuses on holistic child development, providing programs that nurture children in faith, health, education and community. For more information about how we work, visit the Our Work page.

OneChild is not affiliated with a particular denomination.

We work in more than two dozen countries around the world and are always growing. For the latest on the countries we work in, visit Where We Work To Bring Children Hope for the Future.

OneChild listens to children and adapts programming to best suit their needs, mobilizes local resources in the communities, creates sustainable programs by partnering with local schools and churches, and offers individualized care so that every child is known, loved, and cared for by trusted adults. Learn more about our approach.

Hope Center layouts vary from country to country and even by each individual site. They can look like a school — with brick buildings, classrooms, and concrete courtyards — or they can be a one-room multi-purpose area, depending on the location.

Contextualized partnerships. OneChild partners with, and builds connections between, local churches and community leaders who are already helping children but need support to grow their impact.

Trusted relationships. OneChild’s Child Champions are committed to child protection, know the local needs in their communities, and are entrusted with the best way to serve kids in the program in their area.

Personalized care. Our global community exists so that each child in poverty can experience transformational love, support, child development opportunities, education, and have access to the resources needed to overcome the challenges they face.

One-to-one sponsorship. This model provides the opportunity for sponsors and children to build a relationship where they learn about one another, share their hopes, dreams, and faith, and pray for each other. This connection is fostered by regular correspondence where sponsors encourage their children through the messages and small gifts they send. The impact of these small but meaningful interactions has proven beneficial and even life-changing for both sponsors and children. Read about how one sponsor keeps opening her heart to transform lives.

A four-stage Partnership Development and Maturation Model. Transformational and sustainable development takes intentionality and time, but the shared goal with our partners is to establish Hope Centers in communities that are eventually entirely supported and run by local partners and staff.

Yes, there are several other ways to support kids in hard places. A one-time or recurring gift to the Sponsorship Fund, Children’s Crisis Fund, Partnership Fund, New Life Home, or Happy Horizons Children’s Ranch ensures that OneChild can reach more kids in need, is ready to mobilize assistance in an emergency, and can help with bigger community projects.

OneChild’s mission to support kids in our Hope Centers and their families means that we have additional programs to help children. For example, we link arms with partners who protect vulnerable children and rescue them from abuse and abandonment. Happy Horizon’s Children’s Ranch is a place of healing for sex traffic survivors in the Philippines. New Life Home cares for and finds loving adoptive homes for abandoned and vulnerable babies, including those affected by HIV/AIDS. By making a gift to these partners, you’re helping kids who have had to face extraordinary challenges.

Sources like UNICEF are helpful at providing the most up-to-date statistics on global poverty. For inspiring stories about how OneChild’s partnerships are affecting sustainable, positive change in poverty-stricken nations, go to our blog.

SPONSORSHIP

You will help your child thrive! Kids in OneChild’s sponsorship program receive life-changing care that often includes medical checkups, nutritious food, educational opportunities, and mentoring. All children also learn about God’s everlasting love and how they can fulfill God’s unique plan for their lives!

You can sponsor a child for $39 a month and give a boy or girl hope for the future. Many sponsors sacrifice financially to sponsor their children, but knowing they are transforming lives and sharing God’s love fills them with incredible joy. Please sponsor a child today!

Setting up automatic payments ensures your sponsorship contributions are consistent and on time every month. Go to www.onechild.org/autopay to set up autopay or update/change your payment information at any time.

To submit a one-time sponsorship payment (for several months, a year, or more rather than having recurring monthly payments, please go to www.onechild.org/sponsorshipcontribution.

OneChild is committed to the security, well-being, and success of kids in hard places. Child Champions in the countries where we work receive specialized training and certification around Child Protection that they use to train others at Hope Centers. In addition, anyone in direct contact with children in our Hope Centers (from cooks to teachers to volunteers) must complete Child Protection Modules and sign and agree to a Statement of Commitment to Child Protection. In OneChild’s messaging, we protect children by changing their names and using photos that protect their identities. If you’d like to know more about how we protect children, you can contact us, and we’d be happy to share.

There are many ways to engage with our global community of Child Champions and support children in need.

Write letters: Corresponding through letters is the most important part of building a connection with your sponsored child. Your encouraging messages and small gift items (see parameters in the About Sending Gifts section in the FAQs) will bring your child so much joy and the knowledge that you care. You can read about how important letter writing is on our blog.

Give to funds: If sponsoring additional children isn’t for you, you can still support kids in need by giving to one or more of OneChild’s funds. Read more about how these gifts make a difference for children and their families on our blog.

Visit your child: Spending time with your child and his or her family, touring the Hope Center, and meeting your child’s Child Champions in person is life-changing and will give you an inside look into your sponsored child’s life and the OneChild program that is helping them grow and thrive. Learn about one sponsor’s special visit with his sponsored child. For information about visiting your child, email us.

Share about your sponsorship journey on our Wall of Champions: Tell us why YOU are a Child Champion!

Learn more about our work on OneChild’s blog and tell others: On OneChild’s blog, you’ll find stories that will delight, inspire, and bring hope to you and anyone with whom you share them. Subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss out on any new stories! You can also listen to our podcast where we talk to Child Champions about the work they are doing to reach kids in hard places.

Follow us on social media: Instagram, X (formerly known as Twitter), YouTube, and Facebook.

We know that circumstances can change and affect your ability to continue your sponsorship, and we completely understand. If you need to cancel your sponsorship, your child will continue to receive care until we find a new sponsor. You can discontinue your sponsorship at any time by contacting us.

We would love nothing more than for every child to complete our program. Regrettably, some children leave the program unexpectedly. The reasons for this can vary, but the most common are:

  • The child is needed at home to care for younger siblings or to work to help support the family
  • The family’s financial situation has improved, so they no longer need assistance
  • The child’s family moved to a place where we do not have a Hope Center
  • A Hope Center closed, and there is not another center nearby for the children to transfer to

To honor a sponsor’s commitment, and so there is no interruption in support, we go ahead and choose a new child for sponsors whose children have left the program. We make every effort to select a child that very closely matches the country/region, age, and gender of the child that departed.

Sponsors who wish to choose their own child only need to contact us. We’re happy to help!

LETTER WRITING

Exchanging letters is the most powerful way to connect with your child and build a relationship that blesses you both!

It’s fast and easy to write online:

  1. Click here — this will bring you to a letter-writing form that will be sent to OneChild.
  2. Use the form to write an encouraging note — you’re also welcome to attach photos of you and your family.
  3. Be sure to include your name and sponsor ID as well as your child’s name and ID. (If you don’t have these handy, please send us a message here so we can help.)

We’ll print your message and any photos that you attach and mail them to your child. It’s that simple!

Sending letters online saves time and money, which means more resources can go toward helping children. So, send a quick message today!

You’re also welcome to mail your letter:

  1. Please feel free to use stationery provided by OneChild or your own.
  2. Mail your letter and any photos to OneChild, P.O. Box 62600, Colorado Springs, CO 80962.
  3. Important reminders: Please leave ample space for translation. If you’re using your own paper, be sure to include your name and sponsor ID and your child’s name and ID.

Please know that every message you send will be treasured and will bring your child incredible joy!

We encourage you to write to your sponsored child at least three times a year, but you may write as frequently as once a month. Your words of hope will mean more to your sponsored child than you can imagine!

 

You will always receive two communications from your sponsored child each year. This includes a Christmas card and a special communication piece. Also, whenever you write to your child, she or he will respond — the more you write, the more you will hear from your child.

We suggest you begin the process of building a relationship with your sponsored child by writing about some of the following topics:

  • Family
  • Hobbies
  • Climate/Weather
  • Work
  • School
  • Church
  • Pets
  • Sports
  • Holidays
  • Encouragement
  • Prayer requests
  • Your relationship with God

Please avoid topics that emphasize the poverty your sponsored child is living in or anything that could be culturally offensive to him or her. Topics to avoid include:

  • Personal possessions — Discussing material items only highlights the disparity between the material wealth many of us enjoy and your sponsored child’s poverty.
  • Dating relationships — Cultural differences surrounding this subject are significant. For example, in some cultures, marriages are arranged by the family and your sponsored child may find discussions about dating objectionable.
  • Gifts — Don’t ask your sponsored child what type of gift he or she would like from you. In many cultures, this question puts the child in an uncomfortable position.
  • Personal contact information — Your home address, email address, phone number, and personal or professional website is private information that should not be shared, for both your sponsored child’s privacy and yours. If your personal contact information is included, our staff will remove it before sending your letter to your sponsored child.

You have the unique opportunity to speak truth and hope into your child’s life! Here are a few ways to encourage your child spiritually:

  • Share your story of faith.
  • Remind your child of God’s life-changing love.
  • Let your child know that God has a special plan for his or life — and that all things are possible with God.
  • Tell your child that you are praying every step of the way.
  • Ask how you can pray for your child.

Please be sensitive to your sponsored child’s age, background, and spiritual maturity. Also, keep in mind that your sponsored child may not be a Christian.

Thanks for helping strengthen your child’s faith!

Many younger children are unable to write on their own, so a Child Champion at the Hope Center or a family member may help. As children grow older, they are encouraged to write letters on their own.

Your letters are typically delivered to your sponsored child within three months. Shipping to Hope Centers is costly, and they are often located in remote areas of the world, so it takes time. To save costs, we ship to our centers once a month. Because it takes two to three months for your letter to reach your child, it will take about the same amount of time for your child to write his or her response, have it translated, and then ship it back to the U.S. for processing. Thanks for your patience!

Because letter writing may be unfamiliar to your child, he or she may not realize that a response is needed. Over time, our goal is to help your sponsored child become comfortable with responding to your questions and asking his or her own.

Also, the time involved in delivering your letter often plays a part in unanswered questions. It could take up to six months from the time we receive your letter for you to receive your sponsored child’s response. If you receive a letter from your child within a few months of sending a letter to him or her, he or she most likely has not yet received your most recent letter and may answer your questions in a later letter.

Your patience, understanding, and encouragement will help your child grow in this area!

All communications must go through OneChild’s office. We do not allow sponsors to give their contact information to their sponsored child. These important measures help protect the privacy of both sponsor and child.

Yes, kids love receiving photographs! Your child will enjoy seeing pictures of your family, pets, and local scenery as well as postcards of where you live or trips you’ve taken.

Because standards of dress may be different in your sponsored child’s culture, please do not send photos that depict people in immodest clothing. Please also do not send photos of possessions since this only highlights the disparity between the material wealth many of us enjoy and your sponsored child’s poverty.

Children cherish photographs from their sponsors and often keep them for years as a source of inspiration. So, be sure to include pictures whenever you can!

Absolutely! You may send greeting cards and other small, flat items as gifts to your sponsored child. Please keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Limit your giving to no more than one envelope per month.
  • All gifts must be flat and fit comfortably inside a 6″ x 9″ envelope. The thickness of the envelope must not exceed 1 inch.
  • Please write your sponsored child’s name and ID on each item if possible.
  • Christmas cards and gift envelopes must reach our Colorado office by the end of October to ensure Christmas delivery. Other cards and gifts for special occasions must be received two months prior to the occasion to ensure on-time delivery.

Sorry, due to high international shipping costs as well as customs regulations, we cannot send your sponsored child anything that is larger than what fits in a 6″ x 9″ envelope and is more than 1 inch thick. In the interest of good stewardship, we strive to keep our shipping costs low. Thank you for understanding.

In many of the languages our children speak, there is no direct English translation, and the spelling of names is very difficult. The spelling of names can and will vary between translators.

We recommend that you appoint one individual to be the group’s correspondent. It’s simpler for a child to relate to one person rather than a group. But please let your sponsored child know that your entire group is cheering for him or her!

Yes! We realize that the relationship you have with your sponsored child plays a significant role in your life and that closure is important. We will make every attempt to get your final letter to your sponsored child. Thank you for caring so deeply!

SENDING GIFTS

Yes! You may give a birthday gift of $25-$100 for your child as well as a $50-$300 gift for your child’s family once a year. You can also give an additional $25-$200 gift if your child is graduating from the sponsorship program. Because the children we serve live in areas of extreme poverty, we ask that you don’t send more than these amounts to avoid creating an uncomfortable situation. The gift your child receives will be based on his or her needs and wishes and will be determined by our Hope Center staff after they talk with the child and the child’s family. We cannot verify what your child will receive ahead of time. If you would like to give a gift to your child, please call us at 800-864-0200 or email us.

Due to customs regulations and high international shipping costs, we cannot send your sponsored child anything that is larger than what fits in a 6” x 9” envelope and is more than 1 inch thick. In the interest of good stewardship, we strive to keep our shipping costs low.

Please do not ask your sponsored child what type of gift he or she would like from you. In many cultures, this question would put the child in an awkward, uncomfortable position.

As long as your gift fits in a 6″ x 9″ envelope and is not more than 1 inch thick, the following suggestions may be helpful depending on your child’s age:

  • Crafts
  • Bookmarks and stickers
  • Educational activity pages
  • Coloring book pages
  • Child card games that promote learning
  • Finger puppets
  • Family/pet photos
  • School supplies like pencils, markers, stencils, etc., but not crayons (please see below)
  • Non-metal hair accessories, such as barrettes or ribbons
  • Non-metal jewelry
  • Small maps
  • Postcards

Because of customs restrictions, risk of loss or theft, the high cost of delivery and other challenges, the following cannot be sent to your sponsored child:

  • Items larger than what fits inside a 6″ x 9″ x 1” envelope
  • Cash or coins
  • Seeds or leaves
  • Battery-operated items
  • Heat-sensitive items, like crayons or candies
  • Magnets
  • Metal objects
  • Electronic/musical cards
  • Used items

Large items are removed from our shipments and are not sent to the child. Our staff will attempt to contact you and inform you of this.

As long as your gift meets the stated guidelines, we will still send your gift and make every attempt to deliver it to the child.

All contributions to the Christmas Gift Fund are disbursed to all of our Hope Centers based on the number of children who attend each one. This is to ensure that every child we serve receives a Christmas gift and can participate in the celebration, even if they do not currently have a sponsor.

VISITING MY SPONSORED CHILD

Yes! If you are planning an international trip to the country and region where your sponsored child lives, we will make every effort to connect you with your sponsored child.

Please contact us at least three months prior to your trip since it takes time to coordinate your visit with the country leaders and staff.

Possibly. Our Child Champions and the child’s family will decide. While the family is grateful to you for supporting and encouraging their child, they may not be able to meet you in person. For example, families in extreme poverty can’t afford to miss work and may lose their jobs if they do.

To make the coordination of your trip as smooth as possible, please have the following information before requesting an individual visit:

  • Your sponsored child’s name and identification number
  • Your dates of travel
  • A date that would be most convenient for you to visit your sponsored child
  • Your in-country contact information, such as lodging information and phone numbers

Since this is an individual visit, you will need to make your own flight and hotel reservations and provide your personal ground transportation. For security reasons, OneChild staff will arrange to meet you and drive you to the Hope Center and back.

Possible expenses could include transportation, a translator, food, and a gift basket. We will provide an estimate of any expenses upon request.

Yes. A Traveler Information form will be sent to you. Once you fill it out, it will need to be returned to OneChild. The form includes traveler and emergency information, a media waiver, guidelines for the visit, and a covenant not to sue. Contact us and we will send you the form.

Anyone who plans to visit a sponsored child will need to fill out the form separately. The form may be copied.

Yes. For your security as well as our own, we require that the form be filled out for each sponsor visit request.

Please return the form as soon as possible to assist OneChild staff in coordinating your visit. Please do not leave without submitting the signed form for each person visiting.

Yes. This is to facilitate the visit, provide translation services, and carry out the visit according to our Sponsor Visit Guidelines.

Typically, sponsors spend several hours to a whole day with their sponsored child, but this is arranged on a case-by-case basis.

Yes! We recommend you give your sponsored child practical gifts since the need is great. However, your sponsored child will value any gift you give. Here are some recommendations:

  • Clothes
  • Backpack or tote bag
  • School supplies
  • Coloring books with crayons and markers
  • Personal hygiene items such as toothpaste, toothbrush, and soap
  • Dolls
  • Soccer balls with a pump
  • Photo albums with photos of your family
  • Hard candy

Please note: OneChild staff will also provide you with a food gift basket to give to your child’s caregiver during the visit. This gift is separate from any additional gift you may choose to give the family. You are responsible for the cost of the food basket and will need to reimburse the OneChild country office.

Yes, but please do not bring expensive or large gifts for the family since this may overwhelm them. Our idea of a small gift is different from theirs, and a small gift from you will be treasured. Let us know if you would like to provide a gift for the family, and we will coordinate this with our staff based on the family’s needs.

Every country and region within a country has different requirements, so we recommend you talk to your doctor or go to a travel health clinic for the recommended and required immunizations of the country you are visiting.

Yes. All U.S. citizens are required to have a passport for international travel, regardless of the destination.

Each country’s requirements for a visa are different and can change; check on the country’s websites for up-to-date visa requirements.

FINANCIAL INTEGRITY

The generous sponsorship dollars you give provide your sponsored child with nutrition, medical checkups, educational support, socio-emotional growth opportunities, and the chance to know God. View our financials.

Eighty percent of all sponsorship contributions go directly toward the care of your sponsored child.

Non-sponsorship revenue is money that is donated to a group of funds that support different needs.

Sponsorship Fund: Help ensure that unsponsored children in Hope Centers can continue to receive care.

Children’s Crisis Fund: Alleviate the challenges that come when a natural disaster, medical crisis, or other type of emergency occurs for children, families, and communities.

New Life Home: Support work being done in Kenya to rescue, care for, and find adoptive homes for abandoned and vulnerable babies.

Happy Horizons Children’s Ranch: Empower sexual abuse survivors in the Philippines as they heal and find hope.

Launch a Hope Center: Help make it possible for more children in hard places to reach their potential and break the cycle of poverty.

Christmas Gift Fund: Bring hope to children by giving them a joy-filled Christmas.

For the safety of our kids and their families, we ask that you please do not send money directly to your sponsored child. Any contribution you make to support your child will be managed by trusted Child Champions from the Hope Center. Once per calendar year, you may give a monetary gift that will directly impact your child and their family — a Child or Birthday Gift of $25-$100 and a Family Gift of $50-$300. To give a Child/Birthday or Family Gift, contact us. At Christmastime, all donations to the Christmas Gift Fund are combined and evenly distributed among our Hope Centers so that every child, regardless of sponsorship status, receives a present, a special meal, and a fun and meaningful celebration.

If you have already given the maximum allowable contributions to your child, the best way to support whatever need might arise is to give to one of our special funds.

Sponsorship Fund: Help ensure that unsponsored children in Hope Centers can continue to receive care.

Children’s Crisis Fund: Alleviate the challenges that come when a natural disaster, medical crisis, or other type of emergency occurs for children, families, and communities.

New Life Home: Support work being done in Kenya to rescue, care for, and find adoptive homes for abandoned and vulnerable babies.

Happy Horizons Children’s Ranch: Empower sexual abuse survivors in the Philippines as they heal and find hope.

Launch a Hope Center: Help make it possible for more children in hard places to reach their potential and break the cycle of poverty.

Christmas Gift Fund: Bring hope to children by giving them a joy-filled Christmas.