Frequently Asked Questions
What does child sponsorship with Children’s HopeChest look like?
In it’s simplest form, sponsoring a child through Children’s HopeChest connects a vulnerable child to a person who will invest into the life of that child and his/her community, which starts by giving monthly, writing letters, and praying for their sponsored child.
I’ve heard that Children’s HopeChest does so much more for a child through sponsorship. Can you tell me more?
Yes, while child sponsorship helps to provide 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 for 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 and not have the tools to be an agent for positive change.
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 starts with a change of paradigm in thinking, which 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.
Is sponsorship right for me?
Sponsorship can be a joyful, prayerful, meaningful way to lift up orphaned and vulnerable children. The most beneficial and successful sponsorships are those which sponsors enter into selflessly and with no expectation of gain. If you are willing to open your heart to an orphaned and vulnerable child and to contribute financially toward that child’s physical, emotional and spiritual welfare and transformation, please consider becoming a sponsor.
You may choose to give monthly, quarterly, or annually.
Ideally, sponsors will continue to support their child or children until they reach adulthood. This provides for continuity of care throughout their development. At a minimum, we ask sponsors to commit to at least one year of sponsorship. If you’re not sure you can make this kind of commitment, you can still make a significant impact by donating to a CarePoint. Funds will be used to care for the children and the community in that CarePoint.
How long does sponsorship last?
We ask that you sponsor your child for as long as they are registered in our program. For younger children, this can be 10-15 years. A minimum commitment of one year is requested from all sponsors.
How are sponsorship funds used?
Half of all sponsorship funds are spent on direct child survival needs such as food, water, basic medical care, clothing and education. These funds may help to 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. The funds may also go toward vocational training that will equip a child to Thrive and Succeed as a contributing member of society when they are old enough to “age out” of the program.
Approximately 1/3 of sponsorship funds provide for implementing your community’s development plan. This includes in-country ministry staff, a Christian discipleship program, US program staff, your Community Partnership 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 oversight by the US Board of Directors. They cover all expenses for donor receipting, financial reporting, fundraising and marketing. Our actual administrative and fundraising costs are between 15-18% annually.
What benefits does my child receive?
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 team 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.
How often are sponsorship contributions made?
Sponsors can give their sponsorship contribution in monthly, quarterly, or annual increments.
Can I share a sponsorship with someone?
If you would like to share the sponsorship of a child with one or more people, you’ll need to designate one person to be the named donor. At this time, we cannot split the payment for a sponsorship among multiple people. We suggest that all co-sponsors provide their contribution to the named donor, who will be the point of contact for any donation questions, payment confirmation, and receipt.
Can I sponsor a second child?
We welcome any sponsor to sponsor additional children. While it is not required, we recommend that additional sponsored children be from the same CarePoint as the initial sponsored child. A connection to a child is a connection to the child’s community, and that relationship is strengthened when you sponsor additional children in that community.
Do children sometimes leave the sponsorship program?
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, which include moving out of the project area, attending a different school, living with other family members that are not close by, and others. 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.
How do I write to my child?
For handwritten letters, please mail to our U.S. office:
P.O. Box 1190
Palmer Lake, CO 80133
You may send a message from the “Write Your Child” page.
You may also email letters to your child through our sponsorship email addresses:
Russia, Kostroma region (RU12XXXXX): email@example.com
Russia, Vladimir region (RU03XXXXX): firstname.lastname@example.org
Russia, Ivanova region (RU10XXXXX): email@example.com
Russia, Ryazan region (RU20XXXXX): firstname.lastname@example.org
Russia, Kirov region: (RU05XXXXX): email@example.com
Swaziland (SZXXXXXXX): Swaziland@hopechest.org
Uganda (UGXXXXXXX): Uganda@hopechest.org
Ethiopia (ETXXXXXXX): Ethiopia@hopechest.org
Guatemala (GTXXXXXXX): Guatemala@hopechest.org
India (IAXXXXXXX): India@hopechest.org
Moldova ((MCXXXXXXX): firstname.lastname@example.org
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).
What information do I need to include on a letter to my child?
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).
Are there guidelines for writing letters?
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 HopeChest Partnership Leader 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.
May I send a gift to my sponsored child?
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. In lieu of gifts, we encourage you to consider making a donation to your child’s CarePoint medical, nutrition, or education funds to help continue providing much needed support that will benefit them for years to come.
What are the guidelines for attaching a photo?
1 photo with max 2MB file size
Will I receive communication from my child?
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.
Why does my child’s age and grade seem to be inaccurate?
In some of the countries we work, along with working with vulnerable and orphaned children, keeping accurate track of a child’s age can be difficult. In addition, children may not be in the grade typically associated with a specific age in the way that we expect in the US. By sponsoring your child you are providing them with the opportunity for education, which may not have been the case before. This means it may not be unusual for a 12 year old to be in 4th grade, and so on. Our field staff make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the age and grade of children attending the CarePoint each year.
Who do I call if I have questions?
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.
What kinds of payments do you accept?
Major credit cards and checks are accepted; however, payments by ACH are preferred because there are no credit card fees charged and there is a way to track the payment. For instructions on creating an ACH payment, please click here.
What is the payment schedule?
Recurring donations may be made on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis.
Can I make a donation with non-U.S. funds?
On foreign currency donations, HopeChest is able to receive foreign currency. However, the donor should be aware that our bank charges additional fees for deposit of foreign currency donations, and that there are additional administrative steps required. Further, the date of exchange, which is often later than the date of the donation may result in an unfavorable foreign exchange rate and thus a loss in value of the money intended to be applied to ministry. To maximize the value of their donation at the time of giving, HopeChest recommends using a major credit card (Visa, MasterCard, CapitalOne, American Express) in online giving, or donations in USD (from the donor’s bank account or USD account). The donor should be aware that their credit card company or bank may charge additional fees for these types of transactions.
What if my payment is declined?
Occasionally, a scheduled payment may be declined by your financial institution because of an expired card, an account number change, or a bank system error. We will do our best to contact you regarding declined transactions, using the contact information in your account, in order to notify you of the declined transactions and to update your payment information. A recurring gift will not be cancelled until at least 60 days have elapsed from the time of the missed payment and contact attempts have been made.