Answers about our Child Sponsorship Program
By sponsoring a child with The GOD’S CHILD Project through our child sponsorship program, you are forming a personalized relationship with the project. This child becomes our ambassador to you, and to you this boy or girl becomes the personification of all it is that we are trying to do to help the poor break the chains of poverty.
Under normal circumstances, we receive applications during the first two weeks of November for new children interested in joining the program when the new school year starts in January. We’ll normally receive ten times more applications during these two weeks than we could possibly hope to have room for, so the subsequent selection process chooses the children who truly have the greatest need. Of course, there are many extraordinary circumstances such as emergency court referrals, victims of natural or family disasters, etc., in which case the children may be accepted at any time of year, day or night.
Child Sponsorship Program
Because we cannot manage over 500 different accounts, we use the “soup pot” concept. All gifts received from everywhere go into the “soup pot” and from there we “ladle out” what is needed to pay the bills of each child according to their needs at the time. This is similar to all sponsor programs that we know of. The GOD’S CHILD Project follows all rules and regulations for 501(c)3 organizations. Given this, money cannot be directly given to a child.
Please call or visit our shop to find ways to give that special gift to your sponsor child. On your behalf we purchase a birthday gift, Christmas gift and new school supplies throughout the year. Many sponsors make a donation to help us offset these costs.
Possibly, though most new children have just one sponsor. We currently have over 500 children in the program, and almost 1,000 sponsors. Occasionally, a new sponsor will request to sponsor a specific child that they met personally, or request a specific age and gender child from a specific living situation. Or a sponsor may stop being a sponsor for a while, and then return years later requesting to sponsor the same child they sponsored before.
Raising the Children
At this writing, our direct cost per child is $125 per month for each child who lives with his/her own family and $160 per month for each child who lives with a program foster family. With the latter, $50 a month goes right to the foster family.
The program helps the children year-round. As you can imagine, though, our program expenses are much higher between the months of November and March, when we are paying for Christmas as well as the very expensive new school year costs for each child. In addition, children with a program foster family receive everything that a child needs, including all living expenses. The same is true for a child who lives with his/her natural family, except that we share the financial responsibility with the natural family.
The children can receive school enrollment fees, school uniforms, shoes, and school supplies from the program. They can also receive new clothing at the start of the New Year, and new and used clothing twice a year, or when there is a special need. They can also receive medical and dental care, daily academic tutoring, personal counseling, family crisis intervention, etc., as needed.
The children leave the program when they have completed with their education. We encourage the children to continue studying, and have promised to help them through college if they will keep studying that long. So far many boys and girls have taken us up on our promise!
A child who drops out of school during a school is not automatically dropped from the program. To the contrary, we believe that this is when the children need us the most. We focus extra attention on discovering the root of the problem, and we try to help them to resolve whatever issue they may have.
Even if they drop out of school for a year, we continue to stand by the child and to make him or her feel welcome in the program. We also strongly encourage them to go back to school the following year. It is only when an adolescent does not want to return to school for a second year that we remove them from the program. If they should decide at a later time to return to school, we automatically accept the child back into the program.
This has happened a couple of times. In each occasion, the girl continued in the program and we arranged the best medical care possible. We helped the girl through her pregnancy, arranged counseling and encouraged the girl to return to school after giving birth.
The children of Asociación Nuestros Ahijados and The GOD’S CHILD Project absolutely love to receive letters from their sponsors!
When you write to your child he or she will receive both your original letter and a translated copy of your message. You can also send pictures to help your child get to know you better.
You can write to your child often as you like. We give the children your translated letter as soon as we receive and translate it. Your child will send you letters and cards several times a year, especially on holidays, and even more frequently if the two of you begin a regular, sincere correspondence.
All letters should be sent to The GOD’S CHILD Project in Minneapolis, MN. All letters are forwarded to the Asociación Nuestros Ahijados in Guatemala. Packages, on the other hand, are discouraged since those are sent only when there is someone traveling to Guatemala, which could potentially be several weeks. You can mail your letters to:
(Your child’s name)
The GOD’S CHILD Project
P.O. Box 50668
Minneapolis, MN 55405
Absolutely! Their prose, their phrasing, their thoughts, and their message come directly from them to you. We help out by “holding the pen” only if your sponsored child is too young, and doesn’t know how to read or write yet.
You received a summary of your child’s history. Ask your child about parts of it: favorite sports, his or her part-time summer job, the agriculture, the country, his/her village, etc. Also, your child is very interested in knowing about you. They are very curious about what your life is like where, you live, children, pets, job, hometown, etc. In addition, the children love to receive photos of their sponsors.
We recommend you avoid issues that you yourself would not wish to discuss, i.e. a child witnessing a traumatic event in his or her village, etc., as well as emphasizing expense luxury items that might make your child resentful of a culture or class difference. Also, please do not suggest that your child come visit you in the States.
Since we need to translate your letters, please try to keep them to one page. This is also an ideal length for your child to read.