This is the beginning of a beautiful relationship, complete with personal updates, letters and more.
Frequently asked questions
Answers to common questions, as well as expectations and a few guidelines for your gift of hope child sponsorship.
How does the Gift of Hope Program affect the life of a child?
When you become a sponsor, you make it possible for an at-risk child to receive the 24/7 on-site care they need at an Esperanza Viva Youth Home; nutrition, educational, medical and dental services; and a secure living environment. Sponsorships help provide opportunities that homeless and at-risk children would not have; to achieve a high level of fulfillment in all areas of life. When their family is unable or unwilling to care for them, knowing that someone outside of their immediate environment truly cares about them is a great encouragement to each child.
Can I send letters or emails to my child?
We certainly encourage sponsors to be an active part of their child’s life. We suggest that you to write and ask your child about his or her life, interests, daily activities, etc.
Emails are a quick and easy way to communicate with your child. We will translate and read the email to your child, who will then dictate his or her response. You can expect to hear back within a few weeks. Please send emails with your child’s name in the subject line to: Sponsorship@LoveHopeMercy.org
Letters from you can really lift the spirits of your sponsored child. Letters mailed to Mexico can take 6–8 weeks for delivery as well as time for a response, so your patience is appreciated. Please do not write your address or email inside the letter. This is for your own protection of privacy. Please do not send cash or checks in your letters mailed to Mexico.
How often should I expect to hear from my child?
We send out periodic mailings to each sponsor, and at that time you will also receive a response to any letters you have sent to your child. If you send an email to your child, you should expect to hear back within a few weeks.
Why do my child’s letters seem short and poorly written?
Many of the children are in school for the first time, and most of them are writing at a grade level far below the age group they represent. Some are embarrassed to write and require assistance from staff or other children. To learn more about your sponsored child, ask specific questions that he or she can answer easily.
Can I send special gifts to my sponsored child?
Gifts are a special way to bless the children because many of them were not able to enjoy receiving gifts before coming to Esperanza Viva. Since packages sent to Mexico do not always arrive, we encourage sponsors to make a special financial gift so we can purchase the gifts in Mexico. Afterwards, we will send you a photo of your child with the gift.
- Birthdays and Special Occasions: If you give financially toward a birthday or special occasion gift for your child, please include a brief note with your child’s name along with at least two gift ideas. We will do our best to obtain the gift of your choice. Some suggestions are watches, dolls, games, balls, clothing or art supplies. If giving online, use the notes section of your online checkout to indicate your intentions. You may also contact us by telephone or email to make a donation electronically. If you wish to give a gift larger than $30, we suggest sponsoring a birthday party for your child to enjoy with friends in their dormitory.
- Christmas: In order to ensure all of the children experience a special Christmas, whether they have a sponsor or not, we combine extra Christmas financial gifts and use them towards a celebration with gifts, games, a special dinner, piñatas and treats for every child. If you would like to contribute towards their Christmas celebration, you can send any amount you choose. You can easily give online at: LoveHopeMercy.org/Christmas.
Does my child receive my financial support in cash?
No. Your support is used to provide services and benefits for all of the children such as food, clothing, housing, medical and dental care, and quality K–12 education. All of the children under our care receive the same level of 24/7 care regardless of whether or not the child has sponsors.
How long does a Gift of Hope sponsorship last?
Ideally sponsors choose to sponsor a child for many years, however, some choose to do so for a year or two.
At times, we are able to reunite children with parents or relatives; however, most of the children are in our full-time care until they reach adulthood. Upon reaching adulthood some choose to establish a home away from Esperanza Viva and others choose to enroll in our ministry training center and remain on staff, serving in various areas of the ministry.
What happens if my sponsored child leaves Esperanza Viva?
When a child leaves the care of Esperanza Viva, the sponsor is notified and asked to consider transferring their sponsorship to another child in need of a sponsor. In the event we are unable to contact you, we will transfer your sponsorship to another child and will send a new sponsorship packet as an introduction to this new child.
What if a sponsor misses a monthly contribution?
We encourage sponsors to do their best to maintain monthly support for their child. We understand that circumstances can arise which may make it difficult to make a monthly contribution. At times, contribution interruptions can be caused by a change or expiration in billing accounts. In any case, we may contact you about making arrangements for your gift or your intentions to get caught up. You may also restart your monthly support without additional or back-contributions. Consistent financial support from Gift of Hope child sponsors opens the door for more children to receive the loving care they need. We understand that your involvement in the Gift of Hope Child Sponsorship program is an important financial commitment.
What happens when a sponsorship is discontinued?
Your sponsorship is not contractual and can be discontinued at any time. In this case, ideally the child is chosen by a new sponsor as soon as possible.
Why can’t I send my sponsored child my address, email or phone number?
This is for your protection. If the children or their relatives have your phone number or address, they might seek money from you directly, in a way that could make you vulnerable to fraud or other serious breaches in your privacy.
Should I connect with my child on Facebook or other social media?
Some of the older children in our care have access to social media accounts. We do not recommend connecting with current or former children of Esperanza Viva out of concern for your privacy. If you choose to do so, please use discretion in the types of things you share or post. If a young person solicits financial or other help directly, please report this to LHI immediately.
Is my sponsorship tax deductible?
Yes. Sponsorships and other financial gifts to LHI are tax deductible in full or in part within the United States.
Can I visit the child I sponsor?
Yes! We encourage anyone who can to come visit their sponsored child. This allows you to see first-hand the urgent need for our type of ministry. We also encourage groups to come help in the ministry on a short-term missions trip. If you are interested in visiting, please visit: LoveHopeMercy.org/VisitUs or contact us.