The more you write to your children, the more you will hear from them. You will always receive two communications from your sponsored child each year. This includes a Christmas card and a special communication piece each year.
We encourage you to write to your sponsored child at least two to three times a year, but you may write as frequently as once a month. Please know that your words of hope will mean more to your sponsored child than you can imagine!
We suggest you begin the process of building a relationship with your sponsored child by writing about some of the following topics:
- Holidays you observe
- Prayer Requests
- Your relationship with God
As a general rule, you should avoid any topics that emphasize the poverty your sponsored child is living in or anything that could be culturally offensive to him or her. Topics include:
- Personal possessions – Discussing material items only highlights the disparity between your material wealth and your sponsored child’s poverty.
- Dating relationships – Cultural differences surrounding this topic are significant. For example, in some cultures, marriages are still “arranged,” and your sponsored child may find discussions about dating objectionable.
- Gifts – Do not 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 awkward, 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 on to your sponsored child.
- Share your story of faith
- Let your child know that you are praying for him or her. But please be sensitive to your sponsored child’s age, background and spiritual maturity.
- Keep in mind that your sponsored child may not be a Christian.
Many younger sponsored children are unable to write on their own, so a staff member, or volunteer at the Hope Center or family member may do so on their behalf.
Your letters are typically delivered to your sponsored child within three months. Shipping to our centers is costly, and the centers are often located in remote areas of the world, so it takes time. To save costs, we ship to our centers once a month.
It may take about 4-6 months to receive a direct response to your letter. Because it takes 2-3 months for your letter to reach your sponsored child, it will take about the same amount of time for your child to write his or her response letter, have it translated in the country office, and then ship it back to our offices in the U.S. for processing.
Letter writing is an unfamiliar concept to most of our children, and cross-cultural communications are challenging, even in the most favorable conditions. Most children have never received a letter prior to becoming a sponsored child, so it takes time for them to become accustomed to writing letters. Please be patient with your sponsored child and encourage them in their learning process.
Because letter writing is initially unfamiliar to your sponsored child, he or she may not realize that a response is needed. Over time, our goal is to help your sponsored child become better at responding to your questions and asking his or her own. Your patience and understanding will help your child grow more familiar with letter writing.
Also, the time involved in delivering your letter to your sponsored child 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 sponsored child within a few months of sending a letter to him or her, he or she most likely has not yet received your letters and may answer your questions in a later letter.
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.
Stationery forms and return envelopes are included with your new sponsorship packet and the letters you receive from your sponsored child. The form has space on the front and back for your letter and a translation. Please leave the section titled “Translation” blank on both sides. Feel free to copy this form for future use. You can send your written letter to our office with your monthly commitment or on its own to the following address: OneChild, P.O. Box 62600, Colorado Springs, CO 80962.
Yes. However, if you do, be sure to leave plenty of room for a translation, and include the following information:
- Your sponsored child’s name and identification number
- Your name and sponsor number
- The OneChild office address on the envelope: OneChild, P.O. Box 62600, Colorado Springs, CO 80962.
In order to protect the privacy of both the children and our sponsors, all communications must go through our office.
No. We do not allow sponsors to give their contact information to their sponsored child, as a measure to protect the privacy of both sponsor and child.
Yes! Your sponsored child would enjoy receiving pictures of your family, pets, and local scenery, as well as simple 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 or photos of possessions, since this only highlights the disparity between the material wealth many of us enjoy in the U.S. and your sponsored child’s poverty.
Yes. 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 one inch.
- Please write your sponsored child’s name and identification number on each item.
- 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.
No. Due to high international shipping costs, as well as customs regulations, we cannot send anything to your sponsored child larger than what fits in a 6″ x 9″ envelope. In the interest of good stewardship, we strive to keep our shipping costs low.
Yes. We realize that the relationship you have with your sponsored child plays a significant role in your life and that you may desire some form of closure. We will make every attempt to get your final letter to your sponsored child.
We recommend that you appoint one individual to be the group’s correspondent. It is simpler for a child to relate to one person rather than a group.
Yes, you can email a letter to email@example.com You can also attach photos! We will get this message processed, printed, and sent to your child’s country in the following month’s shipment. Please remember to include your sponsored child’s ID and name and your sponsor ID and name.