Contacting your sponsor child
This page contains information regarding how you can contact your sponsor child and other useful information on what to expect as a sponsor.
Please note: If you haven't already, you are now able to create an account on my.salvationarmy.org.au. Please click here to create an account. Once your account is created you will be able to view your sponsorships and write a letter to your child.
Sending mail to your sponsor child
All contact with your sponsor child must be through the Child Sponsorship department.
We encourage you to keep in touch with your sponsored child through letters, cards and photos however to ensure the safety of the children in our care we insist that all mail be directed through our office marked “Attention: The Salvation Army Child Sponsorship PO Box 479 Blackburn VIC 3130. If it is easier you are welcome to send an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will upload your letter into our letter template.
Each piece of mail will be opened by our staff both to ensure the protection of the child and to enable us to complete the overseas declaration forms required by Australian Law. Please do not write your personal or email address on mail going to your sponsor child.
Please enclose the card or present for your child in an unsealed envelope inside another envelope addressed to us. That way we can read your letter and seal it up before sending to the child.
As many countries will need to use translators to translate letters to the children shorter letters are preferred. Photos and pictures are an excellent way to communicate as they avoid the language barrier. As standards of modesty differ from culture to culture please be sensitive to the location of your child when selecting images to send.
What can I send?
Due to cost and practicality mail must be kept as small and light as possible. As a guide, no mail should be any larger than an A5 envelope (23cmx16.5cm). Appropriate items to include are: photos, stickers, hair ties and clips, ribbon, small note books and pencils, bookmarks etc.
Sending gifts for my child
We accept small gifts that are light, unbreakable and will fit into a card-sized envelope. Stickers, hankies, bookmarks or hair ribbons are useful additions to your letter. We are unable to send large parcels due to the risk of them being opened in transit and the customs duty which the recipient may be asked to bear. Any gifts that we deem inappropriate will be donated to The Salvation Army for use within their welfare programs.
As large packages cannot be sent we recommend sending gift money via our department. It is an excellent way to help, not only your sponsor child, but invest in the economy of their community. Gifts purchased locally will vary on the community and needs of the child. Items may include staple food packs, clothing, toiletries or educational needs.
What can I expect to receive from my sponsor child?
We ask for two items of mail per year from each sponsored child. Please be aware that correspondence from your child may be irregular because of costs and difficulty of mail service in many countries.
Your letter may be the only one your child has ever received and they may not know what to write back. If the child is young, institutional staff may maintain correspondence on behalf of the child. As family members may not be literate, handwriting can vary from letter to letter when different staff write from verbal greetings given by the family. Names may also vary in spelling from letter to letter according to the sound of the words when spoken. When an area is experiencing conflict or extreme weather it is usual for mail to be disrupted. Please ask for advice on which areas receive regular mail if this is an important factor to you.
Correspondence with a centre
We ask the homes and centres to send a yearly newsletter giving information on events and activities of the children. The timing of this will vary from centre to centre.
You are welcome to write to the staff and children at the centre. Words of encouragement are always needed.
Visiting your sponsor child
Visiting your child and seeing firsthand the situation their community faces can be an inspiring life changing experience. Please contact us to determine if this is an option in the area you sponsor.
Any planned visits must be registered with our department at least 3 months prior to your intended travel date. We hate to disappoint however it is not always possible to visit all of the countries where we sponsor. By contacting us we can make enquiries on your behalf and it will help us fulfill all conditions necessary as per our Child Sponsorship Policy.
Social networking policy
We want you to have the opportunity to develop a meaningful relationship with your sponsor child that is safe, secure and fulfilling to you both. Due to the increased popularity of social networking sites worldwide we discourage unmonitored direct communication with your sponsor child and family without our knowledge. This includes contact through internet, facebook, instant messaging, skype and other social networking sites.
If you are contacted by your sponsor child (or family member) via email, facebook, twitter or other electronic media please do not respond. Instead please take the following steps:
Contact us on (03) 8878 4543 or email email@example.com to report the attempted contact
Use the social site “block” to block the person from asking you to be their friend.
It is important to understand that this policy protects both you and your sponsor child.