Looking for information - Child Sponsors - The Spirit of Giving Selflessly
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Ok, I'm kind of new at this & I'm looking for an organization where I can sponsor a child through. What I looking for is an organization that will use my mnthly contribution mostly for the sponsored child instead of the needs of said organization(fundraising, adminstrative costs,ect.). I want to go with a non-religious, non-political organization that will allow me to have as much of a relationship with my sponsored child through letters & sending photos & the like as possible, I know it might seem like a lot but I really don't know what to expect or where to find a comparison chart of any kind, the main thing I have noticed in searching the web is the majority of organizations have religious motives & that's not what I'm looking for.
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karmabreeze From: karmabreeze Date: October 29th, 2008 04:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Why the objection to fundraising and administration costs? I understand not wanting some greedy executive to get fat on your charity, but a charities require money in order to function. The money goes to the children as well, but also allows the organizations to provide quality care and services to those children. If an agency isn't well-funded, the quality suffers and your contribution is actually going to be worth less.

Additionally, contributions to an agency can be distributed evenly amongst all the children in the program, not just those who were cute enough to get sponsors. I'm both cynical and realistic enough to acknowledge that dirty little truth about society. We all want the cutest puppies, kittens, babies, and it's only natural that when we're allowed to choose between two equally needy children, we'll pick the one who's cuter, or the one that's a girl because we want girls, and so on. Most agencies recognize this and pool donations specifically because they want every child in their programs to see the benefits, sponsored or not. It's a much fairer way of doing things.

Another benefit is that in the event of a disaster, such as a devastating typhoon that hits the Philippines for example, funds can be redirected to where they are most needed.

As far as not wanting a religious organization, I can recommend Children International. It's an agency donation, but you get the chance to build a relationship with and be a cheerleader for a child who knows you care. You can make unscheduled donations that are used to provide something needed specifically for your child's family, and they allow sponsors to send gifts.
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danikalarae From: danikalarae Date: October 29th, 2008 05:32 am (UTC) (Link)

Sorry I'm so long-winded! (Repost to correct html! :)

I heartily recommend Angel Covers. It's a volunteer-run charity started by a woman in Colorado, with volunteers in North America, Europe, etc.

They have a few sponsorship types available - the one I'm currently involved with is the Humble Hearts School for the Deaf in Nairobi, Kenya. The main reason I chose to sponsor through them is that I really feel the.. personal touch with them, and I love that they are volunteers. The lady who runs the organization visits Kenya as often as she can, and is in semi-regular contact, through regular mail and email, with the director of the school there.

Basically, the setup is it's a sponsorship of a child going to the school. So what you're paying for is a school uniform, text books, at least one good meal at the school every day, etc. You are always welcome to send additional money if you choose, which is used as you request - you can say that you want it used for whatever the child needs most, and the director of the school in Kenya will try to purchase what seems most needed, or you can request that it used specifically for clothing, or toys, or medical care, etc..

You can also send letters whenever you wish, and you can send small gifts. There are some guidelines for gift-giving, but you can send clothing and books and stickers and photos and all.. and I think it's.. 2-3 times a year you will get an updated photo, a letter from your child (or their primary teacher if the child is too young), and a school 'report card' sort of thing to see how they are progressing at the school, so you can encourage them in their weaker areas, send toys or books that may help, etc.. You also generally get at least one photo whenever a package you mailed arrives with items for the child. The school director has access to a computer some of the time, and a small digital camera, so she tries to update as much as she can..

You can also make donations to the school itself, to help provide more food for the students, to help expand or update their classrooms, etc.

What I like is that you can email the organization head in Colorado any time, directly, with questions, etc.. or any of the wonderful volunteers, such as the sponsorship coordinator. They are more than willing to answer any questions you have.. I've had email conversations back and forth with them for days in the past.. they're very friendly.

There's a mailing list and yahoo group you can be a part of, as well, that keeps you in touch with other Humble Hearts sponsors and keeps up updated on happenings at the school, as well things the charity is doing overall.

I've been quite happy with them and what they're doing. Oh, btw - they do accept hearing children. It started as a school for deaf kids, because it seems quite common in Kenya for deaf people to be .. outcast. The director of the school saw this as a real need in her community, to try and educate these children that were set aside as not good enough. Then she started accepting hearing siblings of deaf children, and now she accepts a lot of children. They mostly live in the Sinai and Kibera slums, which are the biggest and some of the worst slums on the African continent.. it's not an easy place to be, and getting an education is just not something most of them would have the chance to do if not for Beatrice, Kari and this school & charity team! :)

Oh! And the school is not run by any religious group and as far as I have seen personally, there are no particular religious leanings within the charity organization or the school, except what is maybe just the common belief system in their community. Your child may or may not have some religious beliefs, but they do not seem to be taught or enforced by the school, and the volunteers running the charity are a very mixed bag from all walks of life!

I'm getting all rambly and preachy! lol I just love them and recommend to anyone looking to sponsor. :)

One last thing - the website is a bit .. less than stellar but it gets the job done. Along the top of the page there's 3 tabs - go to the Programs tab, and Child Sponsorship is one of the options on that page. Angel Covers does a few different things besides sponsorship!
trisianna From: trisianna Date: February 25th, 2010 09:42 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Sorry I'm so long-winded! (Repost to correct html! :)

Hi. Sorry this is ridiculously late.
I e-mailed them some days back with inquiries regarding the Mama's Wish sponsorship (mainly about what sort of things the money will cover and how involved we can be as sponsors).

I've yet to receive any reply from them. Is it normal for it to take this long? Or do they usually reply within a few days?

It sort of worries me - the communication aspect I mean. Any ideas?
kaosangre From: kaosangre Date: October 29th, 2008 06:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Orphan Sponsorship International may be a good fit for you. This is one of the best sponsorship organizations out there, and I would greatly recommend it for the impact on a child's life and your own. www.orphansponsorship.org

100% of sponsorship funds go directly to your child's needs. Administrative costs are very lean and are funded by "site sponsors" who give specifically for that purpose.

OSI is specifically non-religious, but will respect the child's own preferences and heritage. The program is heavily focused on the individuality of children living in orphanages, as opposed to the community-aid type. Your child is assigned to you based on his or her needs and the info you provide about yourself. Other projects for groups of children are possible, and you can really be as involved as you wish.

OSI works in Russia, Bulgaria, Sri Lanka, and now India. I believe sponsorships are available in Sri Lanka right now.

For other orgs, I also recommend Kenya Kids in Need, which sponsors schoolchildren in Nairobi, Kenya. www.galileeschool.org

This too is an excellent small org that truly makes a difference, but the individual child communication is about 3 times a year. However, your child's life is greatly helped and a little money goes a long way.

Angel Covers/Humble Hearts is also high quality, and while I have not sponsored there, I've heard nothing but good from those who have.

You really may consider a smaller organization that is "on the ground" with the children they serve. All of the ones I mentioned are registered in the US, some with international recognition as well.

Good luck with your sponsorship!

danikalarae From: danikalarae Date: October 30th, 2008 05:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
I also considered OSI when I was originally searching for a sponsorship organization. They seem great, and working with kids in Russia was, at the time, something I was *looking* for... can't remember what sealed the deal with Angel Covers for me, but I would certainly recommend either one! :)
From: freedom_tide Date: October 30th, 2008 08:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
thanks for the info, i'm actually looking into sponsorint with OSI.
amazonelf78 From: amazonelf78 Date: October 29th, 2008 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
i'm thinking of sponsoring again myself after my baby is a little bigger (due soon). children incorporated looks like a good fit to for me to try this time around. it doesn't seem to have religious affiliations, and they have 3 programs for american kids- appalachia, inner city, and native american. i did sponsor with children international, save the children, and christian children's fund. and i think all of them are good.
amazonelf78 From: amazonelf78 Date: October 29th, 2008 02:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
you have to look for secular/non-religous based programs, though. so many are started by church members, which can be difficult for a non-religious person.
yayhappens From: yayhappens Date: October 29th, 2008 04:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
on the community page is a series of recommended organizations.

They are listed as recommendations because their model and plan for sponsorship puts the highest percentages of sponsorship money to the children, little to administration fees.

Charity Navigator is an excellent resource. Also listed on the right of the page. Hopefully you will find that the links available in the community page side bar will get you going on what information you need and where is the best place for you personally.

Thank you for taking steps towards becoming a sponsor. It is truly a joy. :)
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