Mailing your sponsored child
Writing letters shows your sponsored child that you care about them! Students in our program consistently ask if they could hear more from sponsors, so please do!
Please note: Our field teams review the contents for the children’s safety. Letters that do not follow these guidelines and contain culturally inappropriate subjects will NOT be passed along. Please check this guide carefully before writing your sponsored child.
Guidelines for writing letters
- Use two envelopes:
- enclose your letter in a smaller envelope, with the child’s full name and ID written on the front. Do not write your personal contact information/return address on this envelope.
- place the smaller envelope in a second larger envelope, with the mailing address written on the front. You can find this information on the back of the student’s profile card, on in the ‘My Child Sponsorships’ tab of your online account.
- Write often! Short, encouraging notes are greatly appreciated.
- Send photos so that they can see what you look like! We strongly recommend photos with neutral backgrounds, and with clothing or graphics that would not be offensive in the student’s cultural environment. Please do not include items that depict wealth such as your home, vehicle, or vacation site.
- Allow 6-8 weeks for mail to reach your sponsored child. We suggest you send Christmas correspondence no later than the end of August.
Please do not:
- include any cash, check, or any personal contact information such as your mailing or email address or phone number in your correspondence. Most of our fields do allow for you to connect directly once they’ve completed the program.
- send any packages to your sponsored child, as it will most likely not reach them. Any mail sent to the CMF US office instead of the address provided for the child will be returned to the senders.
- talk about meeting in person, unless you have confirmed travel plans with us that include meeting your sponsored child.
- make a direct attempt to evangelize the child. In some of our locations this could put our teams at risk.
Tips for writing letters
- Write clearly in simple sentences. Avoid slang or cultural references that may not be understood outside your culture. Jokes and humor rarely translate well!
- Consider these suggestions when writing your sponsored child:
- Describe the members of your family.
- Discuss your favorite activities, hobbies, and sports.
- Briefly share what you do at work, church, or school.
- Provide a general description of where you live (no specific address). Tell them about the climate and land type.
- Ask your sponsored child the same types of questions about what they like to do, where they live, and what they are learning in school. The information on their profile card can give you a few ideas on how to connect with them!
- We cannot guarantee that all mailed items will reach the field, but when they do, our field teams do their best to pass on letters as quickly as possible alongside their everyday work. Asking your sponsored child if they received previous letters might put unnecessary pressure on them.
Can I give a gift?
In wanting to meet local need most effectively, and for fairness among students in the program, we encourage only class-wide or program-wide gifts. Please contact us stating a suggested gift amount, and we will coordinate between you and the field where possible.
Examples of some gifts given so far have been customized notebooks, books for students in a class, special meals for one of the program events...we appreciate the generosity of all you who have given!
Will I be updated on my sponsored child?
Your sponsored child should write to you at least once a year.While many children understand the concept of exchanging letters, please understand that some might depend on an adult for suggestions on what to write and may not refer to the contents of your letter in their response. In many cases, the letters they write to you are the only letters these children are writing!
We at CMF will notify you any time we are made aware of a major event that occurs in the life of your sponsored child. You can also contact us at any time with a specific question regarding your sponsored child or their program, and we will get back to you as soon as we hear back from the field.
Questions? Please contact the CMF office by phone at 317.578.2700 or by email.