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Frequently Asked Questions

Sponsor a Child Program

About Child Sponsorship

What is the Arms of Love Sponsor a Child Program?
What makes the ministry of Arms of Love International unique?
What benefits go to an Arms of Love sponsored child?
What does it cost to sponsor a child?
Which countries can I sponsor children in?
How will I be billed for my sponsorship commitment?
Am I the only sponsor for my child?
If I commit to a particular level of sponsorship, can I give more some months?
How long does my sponsorship last?
What if I need to discontinue my sponsorship?

Correspondence and Gifts

How do I correspond with my child?
What should I write to my child about?
How often will my child write to me?
Can I send pictures to my child?
Is it important for me to correspond with my child?
Can I send packages or gifts to my child?
When will I receive updated pictures or information concerning my child?
Can I visit my child?

About Child Sponsorship

What is the Arms of Love Sponsor a Child Program?

Arms of Love’s mission is to completely restore the lives of children who have been orphaned, abandoned, and terribly abused.  Changing the lives of these children means not only providing food, clothing and shelter, but also a loving family environment where the children experience genuine acceptance and learn to develop healthy relationships.

The Sponsor a Child program connects needy children to sponsors in a personal and individual way. You offer monthly financial support and encouragement through prayer, letter writing and relationship. Through photos, correspondence, updates and visits, many sponsors develop a deep, personal connection with the children they sponsor.  You can even visit your child and volunteer to help at the children’s home.

Most importantly, a child who has been abandoned is given special attention from someone who truly cares—sometimes feeling loved for the first time.

What makes the ministry of Arms of Love International unique?

Many ministries focus on providing children with supplemental care that will help meet their basic needs.  These sponsored children already have homes and families.

Unlike other sponsorship programs, the focus of Arms of Love is to create a home in a Christian family environment for orphaned, abandoned, and abused children who would otherwise be homeless. Each of our ministry projects houses a maximum of 50 kids with groups of 10-12 children living in their own home with houseparents.  We maintain a very high staff-to-child ratio.

Additionally, Arms of Love operates all of its ministry projects in partnership with the local church.

What benefits go to an Arms of Love sponsored child?

Your sponsorship helps us provide your child with a home and a family and essential care: 3 well-balanced meals every day; clothing; medical and dental care; safe and secure shelter; and, of course, the houseparents and other staff who care for your child.

But Arms of Love goes a step farther and provides your child a future: a private Christian school education, vocational training; birthday parties; recreational opportunities; and everything else your child needs to live a well-rounded, fulfilling life where they can not only support themselves, but become leaders in their own communities.

What does it cost to sponsor a child?

For only $35 per month, you can become a Compassion Sponsor and help Arms of Love receive an orphan and provide for his fundamental needs of food, clothing and housing.

For $140 per month, you can become an Advocate Sponsor and help us provide education, counseling, recreation and field trips, and everything else that is needed to bring complete restoration into the life of the child.

You can also sponsor a child in another amount you want – or sponsor more than one child!  Click here to meet our children waiting for sponsors.

Which countries can I sponsor children in?

Arms of Love currently supports children’s homes in Nicaragua and the Philippines.

How will I be billed for my sponsorship commitment?

For your convenience and to reduce our processing costs, we will automatically debit your credit card or bank account for the amount of your monthly sponsorship. If you prefer to pay by check, your receipt will include an envelope for your next gift.

Am I the only sponsor for my child?

Most one-on-one sponsorship programs provide “supplemental care” for children living in poverty.  However, the children being sponsored already have homes and families that are providing their basic care.

By contrast, Arms of Love has full legal custody of each sponsored child and provides comprehensive care for those children.  Each sponsored child would otherwise lack a home or a family to care for him.  On average, it costs us between $200 and $350/month to care for each child (depending on the country and other variables). 

Therefore, we combine your monthly gift together with other donations that we receive for the same children’s home, in order to provide the comprehensive care that those children need to give them a home, a family and a future. In addition, we try to assign a similar number of sponsors to each child, so every boy and girl has a comparable number of sponsors praying for them and corresponding with them.

If I commit to a particular level of sponsorship, can I give more some months?

Yes, the additional money will be designated for the home where your child lives (unless you specify otherwise).  The support we receive through the child sponsorship program is typically insufficient to cover the complete monthly support of the children’s homes, so we rely on undesignated support and occasional “extra” donations from child sponsors to cover our operational expenses.  We also use those funds to cover expenses that are above and beyond the monthly budget such as books or computers for the children’s library, new playground equipment for the children, etc. 

How long does my sponsorship last?

Each child in our sponsorship program is in our full-time legal custody and care.  Your child will be living at our children’s home until he reaches the legal age in his country and/or completes his high school education. Once your child graduates from high school, he will be given the opportunity to apply for our Independent Living Program (ILP). If your child chooses the ILP, it will allow your child to have financial support while attending college and learning how to live independently.  Your sponsorship will continue until the child leaves our care and moves out on his own or completes his college education.

In some instances, a parent or a relative may seek to regain custody of a child who was previously abused or abandoned, either by them or another family member.  Legally, Arms of Love has indefinite, long-term custody of the child, but this does not preclude the government from deciding to reunite the child with his family at a later date if circumstances permit. 

When your child leaves our care or graduates from our program, we will transfer your sponsorship to a new child unless you request otherwise.

What if I need to discontinue my sponsorship?

We realize that your circumstances may change and that you may no longer be able to sponsor your child.  If this happens, please let us know that you will be discontinuing your sponsorship so we can seek another sponsor for your child.

Correspondence and Gifts

How do I correspond with my child?

You may write your child as often as you like. If sending your correspondence by mail, please write your name and return address on the outside of the envelope, but for privacy purposes, please do not include your address or phone number on the letter or inside the envelope.  On the letter itself, please address the letter to your sponsored child, and clearly print your name at the top or at the bottom of the letter. 

Similarly, if sending your correspondence by e-mail, please do not include your address or phone number in the body of the e-mail, but be sure to address the e-mail to the sponsored child, and clearly state your name at the top or at the bottom of the e-mail. 

When the correspondence is received by the children’s home, your letter or e-mail will be given to your sponsored child and will be translated if necessary.

Depending on where your child lives, you can mail your correspondence to the appropriate address below.  Please understand that mail can be unreliable to these countries, so note the other options also described below.

For Nicaragua:
Hogar de los Niños Brasos de Amor
Bario Guadalupe
Cruz Verde, 800 metros
este. mano izquierda
Jinotepe Dpt: Carazo
Nicaragua

For the Philippines:
Arms of Love Children’s Home
P.O. Box 215
Tagbilaran City, Bohol
6300 Philippines

We highly recommend sending your correspondence directly to the Arms of Love office in the U.S., and we will ensure delivery to the children’s home.  Please note that in order to keep our costs down, deliveries are only made periodically.  Our U.S. mailing address is 2973 Harbor Blvd #535, Costa Mesa, CA 92626.

You can also e-mail your child by sending your correspondence directly to us here.  Your e-mail will be forwarded to the children’s home where your child resides, and will then be given to the child and translated if necessary.

What should I write to my child about?

Do

  • Correspond at least once every three months with your sponsored child, but no more than once a month. 
  • Tell them about things you enjoy doing in your spare time
  • Tell them about your job, school and family
  • Share your relationship with Christ with them
  • Share your dreams for your future
  • Tell them about your pets, hobbies and interests
  • Tell them about interesting places you have visited
  • Write about subjects your child will understand and relate to, topics that transcend economic, geographic, and cultural barriers. For example, baseball is popular in Nicaragua, but would not be familiar to children in the Philippines
  • Include cards or other flat items with your letter, such as bookmarks and postcards.
  • Include pictures of your family and about your life

Don’t (to protect both you and your child)

  • Make promises you can’t keep. This includes mentioning that you’d like to visit “sometime.” To a lonely child this means you are coming in the next few weeks
  • Make any type of suggestion that you may want to adopt them or bring them to the U.S., whether for a visit or permanently
  • Give personal mailing information or phone numbers
  • Write about things that accentuate the differences between you and your child such as descriptions of expensive vacations or lavish parties, the size of your home or the new car that you bought
  • Send pictures that accentuate the the above differences
  • Share personal financial information with them.
  • Send gifts or money (see Gift Giving Guidelines)

How often will my child write to me?

Your child will write to you at least twice each year. The children’s home will forward these letters to our US office, and then we mail them to you. Whenever possible, local staff in each country will provide translations of the correspondence when needed. If you write to your child on a more frequent basis, we will encourage the child to write to you more frequently.  However, please understand that this will depend on the age of the child, the volume of correspondence being received, and the ability of the staff to assist the child.

Can I send pictures to my child?

Yes.  We strongly encourage you to send pictures of your family.  You may also send other flat items, such as drawings or cards.  However, please do not send photos of your house, car, or other things that would illustrate your standard of living here in the U.S.

If you would like your child to have a high-quality “hard copy” of a picture, we recommend sending it by regular mail.  You can send photos as e-mail attachments; however, the children’s home does not have the ability to print a high-quality color copy of the photo for the child to keep.

Is it important for me to correspond with my child?

While it is not required that you to write to your sponsored child, sponsorship is as much about relationship as it is financial support. These children know you by name and they pray for you. When our US staff come visit the kids they are often deluged with questions about their sponsors! The children do enjoy receiving letters and pictures and knowing that you care about them

Can I send packages or gifts to my child?

We ask that you not send gifts to your child for several reasons:

  • Birthday and Christmas presents are already included in the cost of sponsorship, along with all of the other needs of your child.
  • Gifts can sometimes have difficulties proceeding through customs, and oftentimes result in significant taxes or duties having to be paid by the children’s home.
  • By purchasing presents in the host country, the local staff is able to provide the children with material possessions that are appropriate to the local culture and standard of living.
  • Allowing the local staff to control the disbursement of toys and other items provides the staff with control of the children’s upbringing and the development of their value systems.  This approach also ensures that each child receives the same number and type of gifts as the other children, achieving consistency within the program. 
  • Sometimes, receiving gifts from abroad can undermine the structure of discipline and positive reinforcement within the home.  For example, the children’s home in Nicaragua once ran a contest to see if the children could follow certain house rules for an entire month.  The first month the children were successful, they would be rewarded with a new soccer ball.  A week later, visitors to the home gave the children a soccer ball as a present – unintentionally undermining the system of positive reinforcement that had been implemented by the staff.

When will I receive updated pictures or information concerning my child?

Each year we will send you a new picture of your sponsored child and an update describing how your child is doing.  This typically occurs in the summertime.

Can I visit my child?

If you are ever visiting your child’s country, we can arrange for you to visit with your sponsored child.  You are welcome to stay at our children’s home while you are there. Find out more about volunteering here.