For Existing Sponsors

Here are some helpful tips to make the most of your sponsorship!



Letter-writing guidelines


Thank you for taking the time to write to your sponsored child! Your letters remind them that you love and care for them. Children of the Nations has established specific letter-writing guidelines to protect the children we serve and allow for healthy relationship building between sponsors and children. Sponsors may only write to the child/children they sponsor – we do not facilitate letter writing to other children in our program.


All mail must be screened at our COTN-International office located in the USA. This includes reading all letters— both coming from and going to children.


Mail your letters to:

P.O. Box 3970

Silverdale, WA 98383


1. We suggest writing once every one to two months, as it may take several months for you to receive a response. All mail is sent to and from our countries with staff and Venture teams. Therefore, the mail only goes when staff or teams go, which may be once every one to three months, depending on the time of year. Please do not wait for a response before you write again. However, please do not send more than one letter per month.


See the journey your letter takes to get to your sponsored child by clicking on the image below.


Include your name as well as your sponsored child’s name and reference number on the letter so we can ensure it reaches your sponsored child.


 Click here to see a full-sized version of the image above

Or, read about your letter's journey to your sponsored child and the journey of their response letter to you.


2. You can use your own stationery or right-click and download one of our letter templates (downloading is preferable to opening the template in your web browser):

Letter Template for Africa (Malawi, Sierra Leone, Uganda)
Letter Template for the Dominican Republic and Haiti
Letter Template for University/Vocational students in all countries


3. You may include photos and a single sheet of stickers with your letters. (Note: If you send items that do not adhere to our policies, those items will be donated to our warehouse and distributed to the country where there is a need for them.


4. Please double-envelope your letter if mailing to our office. Address the inner, unsealed envelope with your sponsored child’s name and reference number on the center of the envelope and your first and last name on the upper left corner. Address the outer envelope with the COTN address, P.O. Box 3970, Silverdale WA 98383.

5. If you are writing to a child in the Dominican Republic or Haiti, please leave room in your letter for translation.


6. Things we encourage:

  • Write plainly and clearly, or type your letters. Cursive can be difficult for the children to read.
  • Write about things that your sponsored child will understand, like family, pets, work, church, hobbies, tastes in food, music, and activities.
  • Encourage your sponsored child’s learning and relationship with the Lord.
  • Send photos! Dress standards may be different in your sponsored child’s country, so please send pictures where everyone is dressed modestly.
  • You may include a single sheet of stickers no larger than 5 x 9 inches.


7. Things to avoid:

  • Signing your name “Mom” or “Dad.” Terms such as “Auntie” or “Uncle” are permitted as they are cultural signs of respect.
  • Sharing any contact information (address, email, phone number, Facebook page, etc.).
  • Asking your sponsored child if there is anything they need or desire.
  • Discussing politics or governmental issues. In many of the countries where we serve, families have very strong views regarding politics.
  • Items that can’t be sent include any flat items other than a letter (includes greeting cards), photos, and a single sheet of stickers.
  • Sending letters and photos greater than 6 x 9 inches in size and over 1 ounce in weight.
  • Writing to your sponsored child more than once a month.
  • Discussing money and possessions. These things may cause your sponsored child to feel jealous or ashamed.
  • Any mentions within a letter that include personal contact information, photos, or content not consistent with COTNI’s Child Protection Policy or Letter-Writing Guidelines may not be sent to children.


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View our complete Partner Correspondence Policy here


Gift-giving options



Here are some ways you can give that will benefit all the children in COTN's care. (Note: Items will be distributed wherever the need is greatest, and cannot be designated for a specific child.)

1. Order books. Choose books from our Amazon.com wish lists, to be sent to your sponsored child's country and benefit all the children there. (Note: Amazon.com purchases are not tax-deductible.Just follow these easy steps:

  •     Click one of the following links for your sponsored child's country: Dominican RepublicHaitiMalawiSierra LeoneUganda (use your Amazon Smile account if you have one)
  •     Purchase books one country at a time, to keep them organized for shipping
  •     Choose the option to have your books shipped to the Gift Registry Address (Children of the Nations, 11992 NW Clear Creek Road, Silverdale WA 98383)

2. Donate resources by checking out the most needed items here.

3. Assemble SmilePacks. This is a great activity to do with your coworkers, Sunday school class, family, or Bible study group. You can gather supplies to be sent to a child in Africa or the Caribbean, meeting their physical, educational, social, and spiritual needs. Click here to learn more.

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View our complete Partner Correspondence Policy here



FAQs for Sponsors

1. What specific benefits does my sponsored child receive?

Your donation will help meet the physical, educational, social, and spiritual needs of the child you sponsor. Your donation will go into our sponsorship fund and your sponsored child will receive the benefits of their program through your contribution. Every child in our program is assigned multiple sponsors to meet all of their needs.

$39 a month: Village Partnership and I Love Baseball Program. Your monthly gift will help a child living with parents or caregivers who cannot adequately provide for them. Needs vary by village and family, but typically include some combination of: educational assistance, extra food, medical care, Christian mentorship, clean water programs, resource distributions, and more.
$43 a month: Family-Style Children’s Home. Your monthly gift will help an orphaned child living in one of our Children’s Homes. Housing, food, medical care, schooling, clothing, and spiritual discipleship for your sponsored child are all included.
$55 a month: University/Vocational Program. Some of the benefits your sponsored student will receive are: tuition, room, board, transportation, books, and materials, depending on their individual needs.

2. Why do we have rules for gift giving?

While we appreciate the intent behind gifts, limiting gift giving helps the children and in-country staff by: (1) Promoting equality. It's common that some children and staff receive an abundance of gifts while others receive nothing. (2) Supporting the in-country staff's role in our children's lives. Our gift policy seeks to respect the authority of the in-country staff as the best people to make decisions regarding the children's welfare. (3) Encouraging Christ-like behavior by promoting honesty and inclusiveness while discouraging jealousy and secrecy. You can learn more about why we have rules for gift giving by reading one of our favorite books, When Helping Hurts.

3. How long should my sponsorship last?

You may sponsor your sponsored child through high school, the University/Vocational Program, or trade school, depending on the child. Our desire is to see these children grown and actively contributing to their society. (For some, this might be 18 years old, others older.) If we determine your sponsored child no longer needs support, or if they move out of the area we serve, we will send you a profile of a new child for you to consider sponsoring within 30 days; your sponsorship will automatically transfer to this child unless we hear from you.

See the full list of sponsorship FAQs here.

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View our complete Partner Correspondence Policy here


Other ways to stay involved

1. Shop on smile.amazon.com and designate part of each purchase to Children of the Nations.

2. Clip your Box Tops for Education and mail them to COTN (COTN Education Dept., P.O. Box 3970, Silverdale WA 98383), to help develop libraries for the children.

3. Read children's stories and more on the Children of the Nations blog.

4. Gain first-hand knowledge of your sponsored child's country by going on a Venture trip.




Getting to know your sponsored child better can be a rewarding experience for you and the child you sponsor.


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View our complete Partner Correspondence Policy here