Q: How does my sponsorship help a child?
A: The vast majority of kids in our sponsorship program are in full-time, residential care. Some are here because of difficult family situations and others because they have no living family capable of caring for them. We have taken them in on the faith that you, and people like you will help us provide for them. We don’t have a secret source of funding – we are genuinely dependent on your generosity to provide for the needs of these kids. We provide them with necessities, educational opportunities, and a chance to learn about God and accept the gospel. In addition to what we provide, your communication can provide them with a stable adult who cares for their well being, and that can make a world of difference. Your sponsorship also allows us to care for more kids, because we make the determination of when to allow more people into our program based in part upon how much support we have for the existing kids in our program.
Q: What do shares mean? How many shares does each child have?
A: We as a ministry have taken on the full liability for these children’s food, shelter, clothing, supervision, education, and medical care. Although some things in Haiti cost less than the US, it does still cost money to raise kids. We set the goal of $175 a month as a price at which we could provide a reasonable standard of living and future opportunities for the children in our care (the average American spends about $925 a month on their own kids). We broke that into five “shares” of $35, because that is more affordable for the average individual donor.
Q: What happens to children not fully sponsored? Do they still receive care?
A: Yes, they receive the best care that we are able to provide with the resources we have. We don’t tell a partially sponsored child that he can’t have breakfast – that would clearly be a poor way to steward your investment. That said, if average sponsorship is at 50%, there probably won’t be enough money to afford the nutritious breakfast we would like to provide. So sponsorship levels do affect the quality of life for children, but it affects them collectively, not individually.
Q: Does my support directly impact the child I sponsor?
A: As noted above, we clearly have to take care of all of the children, not just the ones with sponsors. That said, the first tier of sponsors tend to cover basic needs and as we approach full sponsorship across the board, we have more money for things like vocational training and higher education. So yes, your donation may directly provide opportunities for your child that she wouldn’t have had otherwise, but no, we don’t keep a separate account for each child.
Q: How long is a sponsorship commitment?
A: We hope you can sustain a long term relationship with the child you sponsor. A sponsor can provide a stable adult in the life of a child who has already experienced a lot of turmoil. At a minimum we would ask you to commit to a year of sponsorship before signing up. If you think that a year may not be feasible, then ministry partnership might be a better option for you. If something unexpected comes up, and you need to cancel your sponsorship inside of a year, we understand. You can cancel your sponsorship at any time.
Q: How can I connect with my sponsored child?
A: Relationships with the children are built through ongoing communication with your sponsored child. Sponsors can connect with their sponsored child in the following ways:
– Praying for your child
– Emailing your child through the REACH portal by logging in.
Once logged in, click on “My Profile” at the top of the page and select “Inbox.” Choose “Send New Message” and your child will be delighted to hear from you! GVCM staff will assist your child in responding to your email.
– Visiting your child on a missions trip
Q: How do I benefit from sponsoring a child? What will I receive from it?
A: By sponsoring a child, you are investing in the life of a child who would otherwise live in extreme poverty. Just as the sponsorship impacts the life of the child you sponsor, we pray it will impact your life as well. The greatest benefit from sponsoring a child is building a relationship with the child and showing the child he or she is valued, loved, and accepted. In addition to the joy of impacting the life of a child, sponsors can expect to receive the following:
– Quarterly updates on your sponsored child including education updates, gifts made by the child, and other important communication from GVCM
– Annual photo updates of your child
– Ongoing communication via email through the GVCM REACH portal
Q: Is child sponsorship the best way to help the people of Haiti through GVCM?
A: It is a very good way, but not the only one. Child sponsorship has the advantage of allowing you to connect with, and hopefully build a meaningful relationship with a child. Your money will only be used to meet the needs of kids in our child sponsorship program, who mostly reside in our orphanage. However, we are more than an orphanage, we are also a network of Haitian churches and schools. The child sponsorship money will not be used help those churches and schools (though it may free up other resources for them indirectly). If you want to support those churches and schools as well as the orphanage, then ministry partnership may be right for you. As a ministry partner, you give an amount that is right for you each month, and we will spend it wherever the need is greater. Sometimes that will be in our clinic, churches or schools, and sometimes that will be for the kids in our orphanage. This is another great way to help the people of Haiti.
Q: Do I have to write to the child I sponsor?
A: No, we’re not going to make you, though we would encourage you to give it a try. If you think that maintaining a relationship would be too difficult, but you still want to help these kids, you could consider becoming a ministry partner and give another donor a chance to communicate with your potential sponsor child.
Q: Can I send physical gifts?
A: Our experience has been that we cannot offer reliable and timely delivery of large gifts to Haiti. We will accept gifts that fit in an envelope – either a paper envelope or a small padded envelope. These items can be mailed to our office and will be hand-carried by our staff on a space available basis. Please do not send anything perishable. You are also welcome to hand deliver a gift of any size to your sponsor child, or send it with a friend (please not a staff member) who will visit GVCM. We would ask that you inform our staff before you give gifts to the children, so we can assess the suitability of the gift and ensure you are able to present it in a setting that doesn’t make other children feel neglected.
Q: Can I visit my sponsored child?
A: Absolutely! You are welcome to come see what we’re doing with your gifts and meet your sponsored child in person. There are opportunities to come in groups as well as for individuals to join existing groups. Find out more here.