If you've ever called or emailed World Vision with a question about your sponsored child, your online account, the mail we just sent you, what jobs and volunteer opportunities are available, or how World Vision is responding to the latest natural disaster you saw on the news, you've talked to us. We're the team of donor contact representatives who answer your calls and respond to your emails.
And its each one of those calls and emails that connects us with you and has showed us just how much you support World Vision and how much you love your sponsored child. Its an honor for us to be able to help make your sponsorship experience a rewarding one. In an effort to provide you with the best information about child sponsorship, here are the top five most frequently asked questions to the donor contact services team, and their answers.
1. Can I write to my sponsored child, and what am I able to share with him/her?
Yes, please write to your sponsored children. The children love learning about their sponsors, so a few details you can share include:
Simple things about your family and community
- Activities you enjoy
- Why you chose to sponsor him or her
- Pictures of yourself and your family
- Postcards, or drawings from your own children
When writing a letter to your sponsored child, also keep in mind:
- The information and pictures you share must be culturally acceptable and appropriate. For this reason, our staff members and volunteers in the community will review your letter and pictures first before delivering them to your sponsored child. Pictures and information that may not be regarded as appropriate will be withheld.
- Keep your letters to a single page. This will help our limited staff members and volunteers review, translate, and deliver your letters in a reasonable amount of time.
- Sending a letter internationally takes more time -- even more so when your sponsored child lives in a remote community that is challenging to reach. You can expect to wait several months to receive a reply from your sponsored child.
2. Why haven't I heard from my sponsored child?
When you first begin sponsoring a child, you will receive an introductory letter from him or her. The letter is generally brief and may include additional details about your sponsored child, favorite foods, or school activities he or she enjoys.
If you mailed a letter to your sponsored child, it can take about four months to receive a response. If four months have elapsed, please call our customer service department, and an agent will send an inquiry to the World Vision office in your sponsored child’s country to confirm receipt of your letter, as well as when his or her reply was mailed to you.
3. Can I mention Jesus in my letters?
It depends on where your sponsored child lives. In many countries, it is against the law to speak openly about Jesus, or even to convert to the Christian faith. However, wherever World Vision works, we are identified as a Christian organization.
In many countries where we serve, we are free to openly express our faith and work with local churches. In other places where there is no church and Christian witness is discouraged or banned, we are still known as a Christian organization, and those being helped are able to see an expression of God's love.
4. Can I send a gift to my sponsored child?
Yes, gifts are a wonderful way to bless your sponsored child. You can send items like stickers, hair ribbons, picture cards, and bookmarks. For more ideas, see gift ideas from our sponsors. Also keep in mind:
- Always mail your 6x9 envelope to the address printed on your child’s picture folder. Need help finding the correct address?
- Please do not send jewelry; items that appear to be expensive or excessive; keepsakes or items of great sentimental value; or money of any currency, which could be confiscated.
- Other gifts: You may learn that your sponsored child has a special financial need, such as a bicycle for transportation or a new roof for the family’s house. If you’d like to help by giving a financial gift beyond the amount of your sponsorship, please call us at 1-888-511-6464.
- For other questions about sending gifts to your sponsored child -- like whether or not the gift you’re sending is appropriate, package weight and/or size restrictions, and other details -- please call us at 1-800-777-5777.
5. Can I visit my sponsored child?
Yes! Meeting your sponsored child face-to-face can be an exciting and moving event for both of you. And if you ever wish to do so, we're here to help you. Of course, visiting many of the countries and remote communities where sponsored children may live is not always a simple matter. Be sure to contact our U.S. office at least three months in advance of your desired travel date at 1-888-511-6425.
All World Vision staff members and visitors must submit a background check before visiting sponsorship communities. Once your visit is approved, a staff member will be assigned to act as your guide and interpreter, and must accompany you at all times during your visit.
For more questions and answers, see our frequently asked questions page.
Cleo Lujan-Eckhart supports World Vision's Donor Contact Services Center, where customer-service inquiries are handled via phone and email.