What does a desperate child do while he waits for a sponsor? He thanks God for your “shelter” gift, providing a place of refuge from abuse, poverty, malnutrition, exploitation ¬– even war. We’re doing our best to find sponsors…in the meantime you can help us start them on the road to bright futures while they wait!Give Now
Have questions about sponsorship? We’ve got answers!
How Kids Alive International sponsorship works
What is the cost to sponsor a child?
The cost to sponsor a child is $39 a month, $117 per quarter, $234 semi-annually, or $468 a year. You are welcome to send your gifts in any frequency that is convenient for you. If you wish to change the giving interval, just let us know so that we can update our records. You may call us at (800) KIDS-330 any time you need to make changes.
Do I need to commit to a specific length of time to sponsor?
We would love for you to experience a long-term relationship with your sponsored child, but we certainly understand that unforeseen circumstances arise that could affect your commitment. If at any time you need to cancel your sponsorship, please call us and the change will be processed within 10 days.
What benefits will my child receive?
Sponsored children receive:
- Nourishing meals
- Medical care
- Quality education
- Christian caregivers
- Individual attention
- Introduction to the love of Jesus
- A safe and loving family-style home (in the case of those who are in our residential homes)
What do I receive as a child sponsor?
As a child sponsor, you will receive:
- Photo and history of your child
- Kids Alive Sponsorship Program packet
- Unique opportunity to impact your child’s life by praying regularly by name
- Privilege of developing a personal relationship with your sponsored child through letters, cards, photos, and by remembering your child on his or her birthday and special holidays
- Three letters or cards from your child annually
- Annual progress report and updated photo
Will I be the only sponsor for my child?
Because of the range of comprehensive, holistic care that is unique to Kids Alive sponsorship, and because of our desire to keep monthly sponsorship affordable, more than one sponsor per child is typically needed.
Will my sponsored child receive healthcare and education?
All children receive a health evaluation when they enter one of our programs so that we can provide them with any needed treatment. Their health is then monitored on an ongoing basis, including visits to a doctor and dentist.
All of our children are part of an education program appropriate to their age and ability. This may include elementary and secondary education, technical training, and even advanced education in university. Special educational needs are met by specialists when required.
How does my sponsored child learn about Jesus Christ?
It’s our goal that every child in our programs enter adulthood with love, respect for, and knowledge of God, personal faith in Jesus Christ, and growing discipleship through the Holy Spirit. We strive to disciple each child who makes a commitment to Christ by offering them help to grow in the faith and by challenging them to minister to others. We build close partnerships with local churches in the areas where we work and encourage the kids to be active parts of those churches.
To whom do I make my check payable?
Make checks payable to Kids Alive International, or call our offices to make arrangement for convenient auto-pay options.
May I send money directly to my sponsored child?
No, our offices overseas are not equipped to handle funds sent from sponsors and can’t issue tax-deductible receipts. Also, in most of our countries, US dollars sent directly to the child would not be beneficial since the monetary systems are not the same. Additionally, many of our countries have unreliable postal systems and customs regulations, so there is no guarantee that funds sent abroad will actually be received.
May I send gifts to my child?
We understand the desire of sponsors to send gifts to their sponsored children. However, Kids Alive must maintain a “No-Package Policy” to our fields for the following reasons:
- Complexity of foreign postal regulations
- High duty charges to the recipient in many countries
- Slow delivery
- Possibility of loss, theft, or damage
- Difficulty getting packages to children in isolated locations (modes of transport by which mail is picked up on Kids Alive fields include bicycle, motorbike, even canoe!)
- Possibility of tension created in the community by one child receiving numerous or expensive gifts
If you would like to remember your child in a special way, you may enclose small, flat items in letters or in an envelope not larger than 6×9 inches. These can include ribbons, bookmarks, picture postcards, and other flat, inexpensive items.
We do allow small gifts to be given by sponsors who visit their child as part of a service team. The giving of these gifts will be coordinated through the Field Director or Ministry Director in the most appropriate way. Suggested gifts, whose value should not exceed $25, are toys, books, a watch, books, and simple jewelry.
What is the Treat Fund?
Treat Fund monies are additional gifts to the sponsored child to address specific needs or for special occasions. These gifts should be sent to Kids Alive International and will be forwarded to the field. Local project workers then purchase gifts on behalf of the sponsor and make certain that the funds are used appropriately. A proportion of the gift fund money may be put into a “pool” for trips or activities for all children in the program.
May I visit my child?
Yes. If you’d like to visit your child, please coordinate through the US office. This enables us to work with the field in setting up the visits. If a donor arrives at a field unannounced, the Field Director or Ministry Director will handle the visit according to its policies and procedures and will notify the US office. In accordance with our Child Protection Policy, all interaction between sponsors and children must be accompanied by a Kids Alive employee or missionary, who are responsible for ensuring that the children are protected from any inappropriate activity.
Can my child visit my in the United States?
We understand that sometimes sponsors would like to have their sponsored child visit them in their homes. However, for a variety of reasons, including the safety and well-being of the child, the cultural shock experienced by the child, and the child’s readjustment to his or her own lifestyle, this is not permitted. If you would like to see your child, consider traveling overseas to visit.
Why can’t I give a financial gift for the family members of my sponsored child?
In order to maintain our status as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation, Kids Alive must ensure that all contributions designated for specific purposes are used appropriately. If the parents/families of our sponsored children are not in one of our programs, then the donations cannot be used to assist them, but can be used to assist the child. Donors wishing to give to a child’s family should inquire about our “Keeping Families Together” program or others set up for this purpose.
What is the Keeping Families Together program?
At Kids Alive International, we believe in families. That’s why we create a family environment for the children in our care. But bringing children into full-time residential homes is not always the best option because of expense and because the child may have to leave behind whatever family they still have left.
Our goal is to keep family units healthy and together when possible, so we are addressing the problem of needy mothers and grandmothers who desire to care for their children but have no resources. Since instituting our “Keeping Families Together” initiative we have seen the tremendous potential the program has to increase the number of children who can be helped.
Kids Alive identifies single mothers, grandmothers, or other relatives who would be able to care for their children with some additional help. We are coming alongside these moms and grandmothers to provide food, medical care, Christian education for the child, and training and micro-enterprise loans for the parent or relative so the family can remain together.
If you would like to give toward this program, please click here: Keeping Families Together
May I write directly to my child?
All pieces of communication go through the US office. Please send your correspondence to:
Kids Alive International
2507 Cumberland Dr.
Valparaiso, IN 46383
Please ensure that your child’s name, child’s number, and your name are written clearly on each piece.
How do I write to my child?
In your sponsorship packet you will find a sheet marked, “Your Letter to Your Child.” You may use this to write a note or you may use your own stationery. If you need extra copies of this form, you may download and print them here.
Kids Alive also offers an option for the sponsor to communicate with sponsored children through email. For details, see here.
Do I need to send my letter in a separate envelope from my donation?
If you are mailing a check or other items to the Kids Alive office, you may send your letter to your sponsored child in the same envelope. We will provide an envelope for you and then forward your letter on to the field. If you’d like, you can send your card/letter addressed personally to your sponsored child in its own envelope and then insert that into a larger envelope addressed to Kids Alive. Either way will work!
Why should I not include my address, email address, or phone number in my letter?
The regulations that we follow regarding child protection mean that we cannot pass on sponsors’ details to the children. One way Kids Alive guards against any inappropriate communication between a sponsor and a child is by screening each communication piece between the child and sponsor. Therefore any information given to either the child or the sponsor that would enable direct communication is removed to protect both the child and the sponsor.
I’m writing as part of a group. Can group members take turns writing letters?
Absolutely! However, it is necessary for each individual to place on the communication piece the name of the Group that the sponsorship was set up under. We are unable to forward any mail to a child when the sponsor cannot be properly identified.
How often should I write?
You may write to your sponsored child as often as you like. Your child will not be able to answer each letter, but will write to you at least three times a year.
How long does it take for my child to receive my letter?
This differs depending where your child lives. In some very remote locations it may take a month or more for mail to reach your child.
How does my sponsored child communicate with me?
Your sponsored child will send you three communication pieces a year. Normally these are sent around Easter, summer, and Christmas. You will also receive an Annual Progress Report and current photo of your child sent from the field, as well as an annual Director’s Update. If you give a special monetary gift to your child through the Treat Fund, you will receive a thank-you note.
What should I anticipate in the letters I receive?
Some children enjoy writing letters to their sponsors more than others. The children may write as often as they desire, but keep in mind that they normally have more than one sponsor. In some cultures, help in writing letters will be given to the children as one of their school projects. Some children are too young and/or cannot write well and therefore the Sponsorship Field Coordinator will write on behalf of the child – or the child may draw or color a picture.
Why doesn’t my child answer my questions?
Since many children write just three times a year, they may not always remember the questions the sponsor asked in the previous letter.
What should I write about? Is there anything I shouldn’t write about?
Our children enjoy reading and learning all about their sponsors and their families! Describe your family, your pets, your hobbies, and the type of work you do. Share any special family traditions and how you celebrate special occasions and holidays. Talk about important events in your life and some of your childhood memories. Write some of your favorite Bible verses or stories. Be sure to let your sponsored child know you are praying for them regularly. Be encouraging! Let your child know that God loves them and has a great plan for them. Encourage your child to write back and/or draw pictures for you.
Please be sensitive to the child’s economic situation and avoid discussing the material aspects of your life or sending photos that show your possessions. Please also do not share your home address, email address, or telephone number. Be careful not to use colloquialisms and slang or talk negatively about political leaders or matters. It is very important that you do not suggest that your child come for a visit or that you will send a particular gift.
May I ask if my child believes in Christ or is a Christian?
Yes. Kids Alive International is a Christ-centered ministry, and our hope is that the children we care for will one day become ambassadors for Christ in their own countries. However, a child does not have to be a Christian to be in or benefit from any of our programs. Each child has many opportunities to hear the Gospel and see Christ’s love modeled in an age-appropriate way. Many children in our Latin America ministries also are able to participate in the AWANA program.
How do I communicate personal issues to my sponsored child like death and divorce?
The best way to address issues such as this with your child is to state the fact in a clear and age-appropriate way such as, “My wife died” or “John and I are getting a divorce.” Avoid descriptions that may be unclear to them, such as, “She passed away,” or “We are splitting up.”
May I send photographs to my child?
Yes! The children love to “see” their sponsors. You may also send photos of your family, your pets, and scenery where you live. However, please don’t send photos of your material possessions.
May I send greeting cards?
The children love receiving greeting cards. However, to avoid postal complications, please limit the size of your card to no larger than 6×9 inches.
Why was my letter not delivered?
Kids Alive International reserves the right to decline any letters and/or materials that we view as incompatible and inconsistent with our ministry beliefs. This might include, but not be limited to, items that advocate another religious worldview, information that condones a lifestyle choice inconsistent with our ministry values and beliefs, or information we consider personally inappropriate to any child and/or their culture.
How do I let my child know that I cannot continue to sponsor him or her?
It’s not necessary to go into detail, but you may let your child know that you will be unable to continue sponsoring them. Reassure your child how much you enjoyed getting to know them. Talk with your child about what you learned from him or her, their country, and culture. You might also let your child know you love them and will continue to pray for them.
Why is someone else writing for my child?
Since Kids Alive wants to be sure our child sponsors hear from their child, sometimes a caregiver may write on behalf of the child if the child is too young to write or if the child has difficulty writing due to their learning levels or language skills.
Why is my sponsored child’s name spelled in different ways?
Kids Alive is aware that often a child’s name is spelled different ways. When we rescue a child, we are often working with what is described as an “invisible child.” There may not be any written records of the child’s existence and the parents do not read or write. So we capture the child’s name and age as best we can and if we are able to obtain better information, we update our records.
In many cultures children will have several names and there is more than one correct way to spell a name. Therefore the child’s records may give different spellings each time it is processed. In Lebanon and Sudan, the child’s name is translated from Arabic and there is no one right way to spell it in English.
Also, because some countries do not require birth certificates, remembering the birth date is not a high priority. If the child has been abandoned, they may not know their birth date or they may choose a date that they want as their birth date.
Are my letters really important?
An alumnus of our Kids Alive home in Lebanon wrote: “At such a young age, I did not really understand what sponsorship meant. It did not occur to me that every month they were sending money to help care for me at the children’s home. All that mattered was that I had an adopted family who cared enough to write, encourage, and pray for me…If there was someone out there who loved me, then I was worthy of love; and if worthy of love, then worthy of God’s love!”
Your letters are important!
Additional questions about Kids Alive and sponsorship
What does Kids Alive International do?
Kids Alive rescues and helps vulnerable and at-risk children worldwide who have insufficient care and nowhere to go for help. All of the children in our care come out of crisis situations. They were orphaned, abandoned, abused, living on the streets, or victims of poverty, disease, or warfare. Kids Alive rescues these children – one at a time – and enrolls them into one of our Children’s Homes, a Care Center, or a school program that is best suited to the care they need.
Where is the greatest need so that I can sponsor a child there?
Every country where Kids Alive International serves has great needs. We will be happy to choose a location for you if you are undecided.
Are all sponsored children orphans?
Some of our children are true orphans – meaning they have lost both parents. Many others have one living parent who is unable or unwilling to care for the child. All of the children are economically deprived. Most come from dysfunctional backgrounds. Kids Alive ministers to children in crisis – street children, those who have been orphaned or abandoned, and those who are victims of war, disease, and abuse.
What percentage of my sponsorship goes to care for my child?
Kids Alive uses over 85% of all donations in program services for the children.
Why doesn’t Kids Alive offer sponsorship for kids in the US?
Since the United States already has programs to care for disadvantaged children, we prefer to work with children who have no other means of help. We minister in countries that have extremely limited or no provisions available for orphaned and vulnerable children.
Can sponsored children be adopted?
The mission of Kids Alive is to rescue and help children to grow and mature (physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually) so that they will become productive citizens and ambassadors for Christ in their own communities and countries. Therefore, we do not operate as a foreign adoption agency.
What are your child protection/privacy policies?
You may review our complete Kids Alive Child Protection Policy here.
What is the Supporters’ Bill of Rights?
Kids Alive International believes that we have an obligation to our donors and constituents. That’s why we have strict guidelines that detail our commitment to our supporters. Read our full Supporters’ Bill of Rights here.
Are my contributions tax deductible?
Kids Alive International is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which means all gifts are tax deductible as allowed by US law. For every gift over $5.00, you will receive a tax-deductible receipt. If you would like to receive a year-end receipt only, helping us save on postage and printing costs, please call our accounting department at 800-KIDS-330.
Is your website a secure place from which I may contribute?
Yes, the security procedures used by Kids Alive for processing credit cards are very secure. We have several measures in place to ensure security and confidentiality of cardholder data.
How is child safety/security protected in the web sponsorship process?
Profiles for the children on the website exclude identifying information such as last name and family members’ names. Any personal information, such as an HIV/AIDS diagnosis, is not accessible on the website. Also, in compliance with our Child Protection Policy, Kids Alive performs random searches of potential child sponsors to ensure that they are not listed on the U.S. Department of Justice National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW).
I live outside the US. Can funds be automatically withdrawn from my bank account?
If your bank account is located outside of the United States we will not be able to do an Automatic Funds Transfer (AFT). However, if your foreign bank has issued you a Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover credit or debit card, we should be able to process your card and set up an automatic payment plan with the card of your choice. Generally, the fees for these cards are higher than what US banks charge.
How is Kids Alive funded?
Kids Alive is funded primarily through contributions from individuals, churches, and private foundations. Approximately 25% of Kids Alive funding comes through child sponsorship. Employer matching gifts and funding from the U.S. Combined Federal Campaign result in less than 1% of total contributions. Kids Alive has not received any grants or funding directly from any Federal or state agencies.
How can I change my billing address or giving method?
Call us at 800-KIDS-330 and ask to speak to our accounting department. They will be happy to change your records to reflect your new address, preferred method of giving, or answer any other questions about your sponsorship donation.