Can Holt Sponsors Send Letters

The question our sponsorship staff encounters most frequently is, “Can I write my sponsored child?” followed swiftly by, “What can I send my sponsored child?”

We think both these questions are fantastic! They show that you take your sponsorship seriously — often sending positive thoughts or prayers to your sponsored child, and wondering how he or she is doing. Your desire to connect with your sponsored child and bless him or her with additional gifts is one that warms our hearts … and your sponsored child’s, too!

Generally, the answer is yes, you can write your sponsored child, and yes, you can send extra small gifts. But, there are a few stipulations, mostly designed to ensure your sponsored child and his or her family remain safe and successful in our programs.

Here, we’ve created a “10 do’s and don’ts” list regarding correspondence with your sponsored child.

1. Do send cards, letters and words of encouragement.

What you can send your child varies slightly from country to country, but generally, if your sponsored child lives in China, Korea, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Haiti, Mongolia or India, you can send hand-written cards or letters to your sponsored child.

Unfortunately, sponsors of children living in Ethiopia and Uganda are not able to send personal letters at this time. In these countries in particular, fairness and equal distribution of resources is critical to maintaining the positive relationships the staff have formed with families. If one child receives a letter while another does not, it could cause feelings of jealousy within the community. In order to avoid favoritism and encourage healthy working and learning environments, program staff request that no letters come to children or families in these programs at this time. However, there are some ways you can still give to your child. See #7 below!

2. Do tell your sponsored child about yourself and your family!

We encourage you to write about your family, activities you enjoy together and what life is like where you live. Sponsored children like to hear about your town, if you attend school, what you do for work, if you have pets, and other details that help them get to know you.

3. Don’t evangelize or give out personal contact information.

Avoid giving personal and specific contact information, like your address, phone number or specific place of employment. While you are welcome to write statements like “our family enjoys attending church” or “we are praying for you,” we ask that you please avoid language that directly evangelizes to children, such as “Jesus died on the cross for you.” Because we work in many countries with diverse religious beliefs, or even in countries with laws about how and where religion can be practiced, evangelical statements can be dangerous or confusing for a child — and potentially threatening to our relationship with that program as well. It can also alienate a child from his or her sponsor and Holt’s programs and services in the region. Finally, please refer to yourself as your sponsored child’s friend or sponsor, as other relational designations can be confusing.

4. Do include small gifts or photos.

You can also include a photo or yourself or your family, and small gifts that can be mailed in a flat 6×8 inch envelope like stickers, bookmarks or paper coloring pages.

5. Do keep mailed materials child and culture appropriate.

Please avoid sending pictures in which someone is holding an alcoholic beverage or sending your child photos of your family or children in swimwear, which can be considered immodest in many of the countries where Holt works. We do screen letters for content and appropriateness, including photos.

6. Don’t send money.

It is quite rare that Holt provides actual money to children or families — but, rather, their enrollment in our programs helps them access things like paid school fees, uniforms, medical care or supplemental food. For that reason, we do not allow sponsors to send money directly to their sponsored child.

7. Do give gifts that impact your sponsored child’s entire family or community!

If you would like to give your sponsored child a gift above and beyond your monthly sponsorship contributions, we welcome you to donate to our birthday or Christmas gift fund, which helps Holt throw a birthday celebration or provide Christmas gifts for the children in our care. These events are joyous and fun and serve as a time of bonding and celebration. We encourage sponsors of children in Ethiopia and Uganda to donate in lieu of letter writing, and the message you include with your donation will be shared with your sponsored child and his or her entire program. You can also send Gifts of Hope to help a family in your sponsored child’s community.

8. Do send your mailed items to Holt International’s office.

All mailed items are screened and mailed in bulk from Holt’s headquarters at 250 Country Club Road in Eugene, Oregon, 97401. We will open and check letters, photos and other materials to ensure they follow our guidelines.

9. Do let us know if you have questions or concerns.

Do call us if you have specific questions about an item you would like to send your sponsored child. Our sponsorship team is always happy to answer your questions! Call us at 1-800-451-0732.

10. Don’t forget to tell your friends, family and community about Holt sponsorship! It can make a life-changing difference to a vulnerable child or family.

11 Replies to “Can Holt Sponsors Send Letters”

  1. Hello! my mom is sponsering a child and i would like to send the little guy a letter to say hello (i love mail haha) but…where do i send it? the little packet my mom got doesn’t have an adress?So where would i adress my letter to?and how would i adress it if i’m not suposed to share my adress how will they send a letter back?

  2. Hi Erica,

    You can mail letters to 250 Country Club, Eugene, Oregon, 97401. That is our headquarters office, and it is where we bundle and sort all mail to and from sponsored children :).

    Thank you!

  3. I’m wanting to write the little girl that I sponsored, and I understand that I should mail the letter to the address you told shared. But how do I ensure that the letter reaches my child? Am I supposed to write the Child I.D. somewhere?

  4. Hello! Do you have an option to send electronic mail with photos to our sponsored children through your website? Just wanted to check on that option. God Bless You for your wonderful mission!

  5. Are letters translated into the child’s language? Our family has been sponsoring two children for a couple of years now and we were unaware that we could send personal letters. We would love to encourage our children with an occasional letter! I see the address listed above, but how should it be marked to ensure our children receive their letters?

  6. Hi Jennifer,

    Yes, letters will be translated by Holt’s on-the-ground partners or staff. Please make sure anything you wish to send can fit in a flat envelope. Please address it to Holt International — Child Sponsorship. It’s helpful if you include a sticky note or card with the materials for your child that indicate something like “Letter for Child’s Name” and include their child ID number if you have it, along with your name, address, phone number and sponsor ID (if you know it). That will help us ensure your package goes to the right program. Your child and his or her family will be so encouraged by your letter or card! Thank you for your compassion and advocacy for your sponsored child!

  7. Hi! I want to send a letter to the girl I am sponsoring, but I am wondering if she can respond, and how long it will take to get it to her. She lives in China. Thanks!

  8. Absolutely! It will probably take a month or two for your sponsored child to receive your letter, depending on how rural the area she lives in is. Please remember to keep letters flat, and if you include photos, to remain very modest to ensure that we can send it. She may be able to respond, depending on her age. Older children with some English skills will often try to respond, but young children may not. However, she will definitely appreciate the letter and support! Sponsored children tend to keep their letters from sponsors as one of their most prized possessions.

  9. I see someone asked about sending letters via electronic but I cant find an answer. That is my question. Can you only communicate via mail.
    Thank you

  10. Hi Debbie,

    Yes, the only way that we can guarantee messages will be successfully delivered to children is when they are sent via snail mail. Thank you so much for wanting to write to your sponsored child! He or she will be so thrilled to hear from you. You can mail your letters to Holt International attn: Child Sponsorship, 250 Country Club Road, Eugene, Oregon 97401 and we will make sure it makes it to your child. Please, if possible, include your sponsored child’s I.D. number on every piece you send. You can also include flat items, like stickers or photos.

    Thank you!

  11. We were notified that our sponsored child left the program because she felt she did not have the grades to enter higher education. We are now happy to be sponsoring another beautiful young lady but wonder if there is ever any followup on those that have left Holt’s care. We continue to pray for her and would love to know that she is doing well. Is there anyway to have a letter forwarded?

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