Children’s HopeChest FAQ's

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In it’s simplest form, sponsoring a child through Children’s HopeChest connects a vulnerable child to a person who will give $38/month, write letters, and pray for their sponsored child.

Yes, while child sponsorship provides for the basic needs of a child, the way HopeChest approaches long-term care and transformation really does set us apart from other traditional sponsorship organizations. First, we take a holistic view of the child and their community. If we simply help a child and forget to partner with their home community in long-term transformation, when they grow up, these formerly vulnerable children will potentially be released as adults back into an unhealthy – and potentially dangerous – situation.

This is why HopeChest engages in a unique model that we call Community-to-Community transformation, or C2C. The HopeChest C2C model sets the foundation for HopeChest’s Survive, Thrive and Succeed approach to transformation. Community transformation does not happen overnight. It takes time. That is why HopeChest partners with churches and individuals in the US and Canada who commit to a long-term relationship with overseas communities. Through this long-term relationship, the elements of Survive, Thrive, and Succeed are set in motion.

Survive, Thrive, and Succeed are the three phases that we – together in partnership – help move vulnerable children and their communities through.

1. Survive:

Physical Needs

Basic needs such as food, water, shelter, clothing and healthcare are the first priorities addressed when engaging with a community in need. These most basic needs are met through child sponsorship and the programs set in place by Children’s HopeChest, which vary from community to community.

Emotional Needs

Orphaned and vulnerable children crave a sense of “family” and the love and care that comes with being a part of a family unit. Our survival strategy focuses on helping meet that need with consistent caregivers and staff, and the ongoing love and support of a relationship with a sponsor community.

Spiritual Needs

Christian counseling and mentoring is an important aspect of the survival strategy. Regular discipleship classes are a part of every community we partner with, and the relationships formed with sponsors help place God’s value on the orphaned and vulnerable children in these communities.

2. Thrive:

Equipping Vulnerable Children and Communities for Future Success

Involvement during the “thrive” phase is designed to strengthen, solidify, and build off of the progress already made during the “survive” phase. During this phase, formal vocational, life skills training, and other educational training takes place to emphasize learning opportunities for the orphaned and vulnerable children in each community.

3. Succeed:

Addressing and Reducing Systematic Issues

Orphaned and vulnerable children, and the communities in which they live move on to establish household and livelihood security during the “succeed” phase. Activities broaden to include programming that helps young men and women make the complex transition from orphaned or vulnerable child to whole and successful adult.

Rest assured that through the HopeChest child sponsorship program, your sponsored child will receive so much more than urgent and needed care. They will learn about Jesus, and they will see that modeled through the love and care of our in-country staff, and those that visit them via HopeChest mission trips. But, at the core, here are the items you can depend on:

  • Direct assistance for survival needs (food, water, basic medical care, educational support)
  • Regular letters from sponsors. You write and send the letters to Children’s HopeChest. We handle translation, delivery, and return letters.
  • Christian discipleship classes taught by a local church leader or Children’s HopeChest staff member.
  • Dedicated in-country staff who provide oversight and guidance for the sponsored location.

While a minimum commitment of at least a year is requested of all sponsors, it is our hope that you will engage with these vulnerable children for years – hopefully for a decade or longer. Really, we ask that you sponsor your child for as long as they are registered in our program which, for younger children, can be 10-15 years. Why do we request this long term commitment? Real transformation takes time, and our Community-to-Community model is focused on long-term transformation of the child and the community in which they live. See more details above.

 

CHILD SURVIVAL

Half of all sponsorship funds are spent on direct child survival needs such as food, water, basic medical care, clothing and education. These funds provide jobs at the CarePoint for those who cook, serve and prepare food and represent the critical component to stabilizing a child’s most basic life needs.

PROGRAM DELIVERY

Approximately 1/3 of sponsorship funds provide for implementing your community’s development plan. This includes in-country ministry staff, Christian discipleship program, US program staff, your Partner Relationship Manager, the letter-writing program and mission trip support.

ADMIN / FUNDRAISING

We allocate 20% to administration, fundraising, donor reporting, and accounting. These funds cover our annual audit, membership in the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, and US board of directors oversight. They cover all expenses for donor receipting, financial reporting, fundraising and marketing. Our actual administrative and fundraising costs are between 15-18% annually.

Sponsors can give their sponsorship contribution in monthly ($38), quarterly ($114), or annual ($456) increments.

The easiest way to make sponsorship contributions is by electronic monthly payments. HopeChest accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. You may also set up an automatic withdrawal from your Checking or Savings account, or send a physical check to our mailing address.

 

For questions related to sponsorship payments and other financial items, call our Finance Department at 719-487-7800 x1010

For other questions, call our main number at 719-487-7800.

For handwritten letters, please mail to our U.S. office:
Children’s HopeChest
P.O. Box 1190

Palmer Lake, CO 80133

You may send a message from the “write” page at http://www.hopechest.org/get-involved/write-your-child/.

Please include your child’s full name and reference number on all mail (handwritten or e-mail).

For Russia mail, please write the reference number only on the envelope (not the actual letter).

Please include your child’s full name and reference number, as well as your full name, on all mail (hand written or e-mail).

For Russia mail, please write the reference number only on the envelope (not the actual letter).

DO (to benefit your child)

Write at least once every 3 months. At most you may write one letter per month.
Tell them about your hobbies, interests, activities, job, school, and family.
Share your walk with Christ with them.
Share your dreams for your future.
Tell them about interesting places your family has visited.
Include pictures of your family and about your life.

DON’T (to protect your child and yourself)

Don’t send gifts. (If your community takes regular mission trips, this is a great way to send small gifts. Contact your sponsorship coordinator for more information).
Don’t promise anything you can’t keep. This includes mentioning that you’d like to visit “sometime.” To a lonely child this means you are coming in the next few weeks.
Don’t make any type of suggestion that you may want to adopt them or bring them to the US.
Don’t share personal communication information (address, email, phone numbers, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, etc.) for your privacy.
Don’t share personal financial information with them.

For letters going to Russia, do not include discussion of the Gospel, Bible verses, or evangelistic messages. This type of content is forbidden by Russian law.

We request that you do not send gifts due to space limitations and to minimize the potential for jealousy between children when one receives a gift and others do not. You are welcome to include small flat items in a letter such as stickers, photos, postcards, or bookmarks.

Please know your communication means more to your child than you can imagine. Because of the nature of the population served by Children’s HopeChest, you should not expect timely responses from your child. Since most of these children have suffered trauma, often from the adults in their lives, we do not force or require children to write letters. Letter-writing is an appropriate and important development practice for children, and one we strongly support and encourage from every child. The field staff works with the children to help them grow emotionally so they can function in relationships, but progress could take years. In most cases, sponsors receive between 1 and 2 pieces of mail per year, even if they write once a month. This can be frustrating, but we appreciate your willingness to sponsor and selflessly support these children. We do find that sponsors who send letters regularly are more likely to receive personal responses. 

It is our hope that you will build a long-term and close relationship with your sponsored child. We attempt to screen the children that have been placed in the sponsorship program; selecting children that we feel will remain in the orphanage/community for an extended period of time. However, in dealing with orphaned and vulnerable children, there may be times when a child will leave the sponsorship program due to a variety of reasons. If your child does leave the sponsorship program, we will notify you once we receive this information from our in-country staff. Due to the nature of our CarePoint programs (day programs only), there may be times when a child will simply stop attending. When this happens, the CarePoint staff will follow up to determine the reason for the child’s absence (changed schools, moved homes, etc.). We will wait a period of time before removing the child from our sponsorship program in case the child’s absence is only temporary. In some cases, there are times that a detailed explanation is not available.

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