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FAQ about child sponsorship

WHAT IMPACT DO I HAVE AS A CHILD SPONSOR? 

As a child sponsor, you provide the critical essentials for a child – food, clothing, shelter and medical care. However, your gift does so much more, ensuring that a child grows up in a family surrounded by a loving parent and siblings. 
 
Children living with SOS families benefit from our seven decades of expertise caring for at-risk children, including trauma support for children coming from difficult circumstances. Your sponsored child also receives a quality education and a tailored development plan so they can reach their full potential. 


Because building a stable, loving home is more than just providing the basics, multiple sponsors can support each child. In addition to ensuring financial stability, having multiple sponsors enriches the sponsored child’s life by letting them know that a number of friends worldwide care for them. 

 

HOW MUCH DOES CHILD SPONSORSHIP COST? 

Sponsorship starts at $35 per month or about a dollar per day and can be paid monthly or annually.  

 

HOW IS MY SPONSORSHIP CONTRIBUTION USED? 

We are proud to share that 80% of your contribution benefits our work with children. The remaining 20% is used for operational support and outreach.

 

HOW LONG WILL MY SPONSORSHIP LAST? 

Our work to support families and children is long-term, and because of that, sponsorship is ongoing, or until you share with us that you would like to end your support.  

For child sponsors, when your sponsored child is ready to become independent, we will notify you and offer you the opportunity to sponsor another child or discontinue your sponsorship. In some cases, other circumstances may cause your sponsorship to end sooner than anticipated, such as if we are able to reunite a child with their biological family. If such a situation occurs, we will notify you immediately. At that time, you will have the opportunity to sponsor another child or discontinue your sponsorship. 

If for any reason you are not able to continue your sponsorship, please give us a call at (202) 470-5172.

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AS A SPONSOR, WHAT DO I RECEIVE, AND HOW OFTEN WILL I RECEIVE AN UPDATE?‚Äč 

As an SOS child or village sponsor, you help provide children in need with the love and long-term support they deserve to help shape their own future. After registering to sponsor, you will receive a welcome packet containing a description and a photo of your sponsored child or village, including information about the community where your sponsored child lives. 

Your welcome packet will also include a mailing address for you to send letters to your sponsored child or village. Twice per year, you will receive updates, including photos. In addition, annually, we will send child sponsors a birthday card that you may personalize and send to your sponsored child for their birthday. We will also keep you updated on the work SOS Children’s Villages does around the world through our newsletters.

 

CAN I SPONSOR MORE THAN ONE CHILD? 

You can sponsor as many children as you want to. Some sponsors choose to sponsor a child and their village to give them extra support, or to sponsor children or villages in several different parts of the world. You can also sponsor a child or a village in a region where you have a close affinity, and have a family sponsorship in addition so they can make contributions to the children and families in greatest need. It is also possible to set your sponsorship contributions to a higher level, if you would like to contribute more.

 

CAN I CHOOSE MY SPONSORED CHILD, OR REQUEST TO SPONSOR A CHILD WITH A SPECIFIC RELIGIOUS IDENTITY, FROM A SPECIFIC COUNTRY, OR OF A SPECIFIC AGE OR GENDER? 

For child protection reasons, we cannot provide any information about children before we have matched you with your sponsored child, so you cannot choose your own child to sponsor. However, it is possible to make certain requests about your sponsorship. 

It is possible to request to sponsor a child from a specific country, but we cannot guarantee that we can always meet all preferences. We will do our best to honor your request, and if it is not possible, we will match you with a child in the nearest country where there is a need for sponsors.  

You can also request to sponsor a child of a specific gender and age (a general age range, such as “younger than five,” is recommended for requests, but more specific requests are also possible). We cannot guarantee that we can always meet all preferences, but we will do our best to honor your request.  

The religious identity of children in our care is personal and private information that is not provided to SOS sponsors. 

 

CAN I VISIT MY SPONSORED CHILD, OR CAN MY SPONSORED CHILD VISIT ME? 

SOS villages welcome guests! In addition to writing to your sponsored child, consider a trip to visit your sponsored child’s community. It’s a life-changing experience to meet your sponsored child and see firsthand the impact you are making. As in any household, SOS families have established routines and obligations. To ensure a successful visit, please contact us at least one month in advance. We will help coordinate arrangements with the appropriate SOS national office.  

However, unfortunately, sponsored children while in the care of SOS Children’s Villages cannot leave the country to visit their sponsors. If you would like more information, please refer to our Child Protection Policies. 

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CAN I WRITE TO MY SPONSORED CHILD, SEND MY SPONSORED CHILD A GIFT, OR SEND AN ANNUAL HOLIDAY OR BIRTHDAY GIFT TO MY SPONSORED CHILD? 

Absolutely! Children love to receive letters and photos from their sponsors! Included in your welcome packet, at the bottom of your sponsored child’s village description, you will find the address where you can write to your sponsored child. While you’re welcome to invite your sponsored child to write back, please understand that the ability to respond may be limited due to the child’s age, education level, or competing activities or interests. When sending photos to a religiously or socially conservative country, subjects should be modestly dressed.

Please include your sponsorship ID number and sponsored child’s ID number to ensure that your letter arrives properly. If you do not remember the ID numbers, please email sponsors@SOS-USA.org or contact our sponsorship team at 202-470-5172

When sending gifts, you can send a small, light, flat and easily shippable package directly to your sponsored child. A small, easily shippable package helps ensure that it arrives at the SOS village without incurring any extra clearance fees that the village cannot afford to pay. Flat packages are also more likely to arrive efficiently when traveling through customs. We ask that you attach your sponsor number and sponsored child’s number to your gift to help with delivering the package directly to your child. High-tech gifts such as iPads, cellphones or laptops are not recommended. These items can incur large taxes and can be stuck in customs, stolen or even returned.  If you are questioning if an item is appropriate, please contact our sponsorship team at 202-470-5172, Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. EST. 

You may send monetary gifts to celebrate special occasions in addition to your sponsorship contributions. We know how important it is to you that your sponsorship helps provide for the future of these children; that’s why 100% of special gifts are deposited into your sponsored child’s bank account to be used later in life. These funds are held in a savings account until your sponsored child transitions to independent living. At that time, your gift might help provide technical training or higher education, rent an apartment, start a small business or purchase a home or land. 

To pay by credit card, click here. All checks should be mailed to our Washington, D.C. office, care of SOS Children’s Villages-USA, Inc. Please include your sponsorship ID number and sponsored child’s ID number and make sure to indicate clearly that the check is for a gift and not a sponsorship payment to ensure that funds are forwarded appropriately. If you do not remember your sponsorship ID number or your sponsored child’s ID number, please email sponsors@sos-usa.org or contact our sponsorship team at 202-470-5172

You can also send an annual holiday or birthday gift to your sponsored child. The best way to send your sponsored child a birthday or holiday gift is to send a monetary gift to your sponsored child’s savings account through for your sponsored child’s future. Click here to do so! 

 

WHAT DO I DO IF I LOSE MY SPONSORED CHILD’S PHOTO?  

If you lose any updates, pictures, addresses or information about your sponsored child or village, please send an email to sponsors@sos-usa.org or call our sponsorship team at 202-470-5172 and they will request another copy for you from our international office. 

 

CAN I POST A PICTURE AND SHARE INFORMATION ABOUT MY SPONSORED CHILD ONLINE? 

You are a key stakeholder in ensuring that sensitive information about your sponsored child is not shared with third parties outside your immediate family or circle of friends. We kindly ask you not to publish pictures or information about your sponsored child or family on Facebook or any other social media. 

We are fully committed to protecting the security, privacy and dignity of the children under our care. Learn more about SOS Children’s Villages’ Child Protection Policy. 

 

CAN I ADOPT A CHILD FROM SOS CHILDREN’S VILLAGES? 

No, we try to promote the development of a lasting relationship between the SOS mother and the children in her care in the SOS village. One of the principles of SOS Children’s Villages is that the SOS village is a permanent and loving home for a child. It is an important part of the SOS philosophy that each child finds a permanent family in their SOS village.  

Call us at 202-470-5172 and we will help adjust your support as needed.

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