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A child sponsorship organization can help provide food, clothing, medical treatment, and education to a needy person. Before you become a sponsor, learn as much as you can about the various organizations that offer this service. Try to find out if the money you donate to sponsor a child will go to a particular child or the community at large. Ask the agency what things your donation will be used to pay for. Find out if you will be given updates on what the international sponsorship organization is doing to help needy families.
Make sure you are involved with a reputable child sponsorship organization. In order to do this, you should first try to find out as much as you can about the agency you are dealing with. Do a search for the sponsorship program on the Internet to see if others are happy with the way their money is being used. Try to find out if any watchdog groups have received complaints about a particular sponsorship program.
It is good to know how you would like to help a needy child before you donate. That way, you can choose a child sponsorship organization that is in line with your goals and desires. Ask the agency representative about the type of work the charity does so you will know if it is being used to provide items such as food, shelter, or medical care.
If you are affiliated with a religious organization, check with that group to see if they can recommend any agencies for you to sponsor a child through. Agencies often send representatives from religious organizations to distribute necessities or build housing. Find out if volunteer opportunities are available if this is something you may be interested in.
Some organizations may allow you to choose a child to sponsor. If you elect to sponsor a child in this manner, the agency may provide you with photographs and backgrounds about different children. Giving to a child sponsorship program in this manner can give you a personal connection with the child you are sponsoring.
If you are able to select a child, ask the child sponsorship organization if you will receive updates from time to time. Some agencies may allow you to correspond with the child or send additional gifts for special occasions. For these reasons, it can be helpful to decide what level of commitment you would like to have before sponsoring a child.
I may get some flak about this, but it seems the Christian-based organizations tend to do a better job with child sponsorship programs, so even if I weren't a Christian, I'd probably go with one to sponsor a child.
I always look to see if an organization's annual report is online. I also look to see what the percentage is of funds they receive that go to the child versus how much goes to fundraising and administration. That's a really good indicator of how well the program cares for the child.
Some programs are community-based, which means they focus on the child's immediate community. I prefer a child-based approach, since the program zeroes on a child's individual needs. The community almost always also receives assistance in the process.
I sponsor a child with Compassion International and it has been a joyful experience. My child is an 18-year-old young lady who lives in Kenya.
I've always wanted to sponsor a child, and I liked what Compassion offers a child in the sponsorship program. They help with food, clothing, education and medical care. They also provide spiritual support, which, as a Christian, was important to me. A child does not have to be a Christian or come from a religious family to be sponsored, though.
I'd recommend checking with an online charity ratings site. There are several. See how the organization rates. Compassion usually gets five stars everywhere. They are also a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, which requires them to meet certain transparency standards.
My child has been a blessing to me. I'd recommend the experience.
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