Thank you for being a child sponsor, your support is making a huge difference in a child’s life and is deeply appreciated!

We are glad for sponsors to write their sponsored kids, but there are a few guidelines to keep in mind. ┬áThese are to help ensure that cultural differences don’t lead to hurt feelings.

Many of these guidelines are common sense and others may seem a bit overly restrictive. Please keep in mind that experience has shown that without these kinds of guidelines, there can be misunderstandings, unrealistic expectations, and disappointment.

These guidelines are compiled to ensure the relationship is always a positive one.

If you wish to send regular mail, at the top of each page, please write your full name and the name of your sponsored child. Please write neatly or type in order to aid the reading and (in some cases) translation of the letter.

Keep in mind that most Kenyan children over the age of 8 speak some English, but it is not their native language. Older children will be more comfortable with English than younger ones. The staff will help translate any parts of the letter the child has difficulty understanding.

Please do not enclose cash or checks in any postal mail correspondence. All monetary gifts should be sent to the Tenderfeet address for proper processing and record-keeping. If you would like to send extra money for birthdays or other events, please coordinate it with me and I will be delighted to assist.

Please do not include any of the following:

– Contact details such as address, phone number, or e-mail address
– Promises of additional financial assistance over and above your sponsorship
– Mentioning that the child should come to the U.S. to visit or be adopted by the sponsor

You may want to include family photos, postcards, greeting cards, and other flat items in the letter, such as bookmarks. These are items that will be treasured by your sponsored child. Please remember to dress modestly in the picture.

Write about subjects your sponsored child will understand and relate to, topics that transcend economic, geographic, and cultural barriers. For example, stories about your family, your pets, your hobbies, and interesting facts about the area where you live.

Please avoid topics that accentuate the differences between you and your sponsored child. For example, avoid descriptions or photographs of expensive vacations or parties, the size of your home or the new car that you bought, which show economic differences. Avoid comparisons of your home country with Kenya that might be viewed as implying that your home country, its culture, or its standard of living is “better than” that of Kenya.

Ask questions of how your sponsored child is doing and any prayer requests he or she might have, being careful not to promise assistance. Encourage your sponsored child in his or her current situation, in learning activities at school, and in his or her faith.