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Frequently Asked Questions

How does CARITAS provide services?

CARITAS For Children’s programs are carried out under the direction of the Department of Catholic Education within each diocese where they exist. As a Catholic lay apostolate, CARITAS works with its ministry supporters to establish and develop its programs throughout the world. This relationship enables each program to operate with its ministry supporters to understand the local languages, cultures, and needs specific to each location [top]

Are all CARITAS children orphans?

Not necessarily! Some children are orphans. Some are abandoned children. Some have one parent. Some have both parents who, because of illness or misfortune, cannot support their families. CARITAS’ concern is to help as many needy children as possible, whether or not they are orphans, however, we do try to ensure that those that are most in need are receiving the proper amount of care. Each child’s story can be found on their individual profiles. If you are seeking to sponsor an orphan, please look for a child on our Boarding School Section [top]

What is the cost to sponsor a child?

The cost to sponsor a child with CARITAS will depend upon the program you select. The lowest monthly pledge amount is for our primary day school program at $36 per month. Check program descriptions and services being offered to compare possible differences [top].

How does my child directly benefit from my support?

Program funds go directly to the administration/bank of these schools for each child in our Catholic child sponsorship programs and are administered equitably to meet the needs of each of our children. We have complete trust and confidence in our ministry partners to provide all the services anticipated in a most efficient and effective way. The nature and list of services and benefits of each program are clearly listed on each program page on our website [top]

How long is sponsorship?

Your sponsorship pledge is a commitment of love, not a legally binding obligation. Sponsors are free to end their sponsorship at any timehowever, we hope that every sponsor prayerfully and carefully considers the impact of the relationship they are entering in toPlease be aware that some sponsorships can be longer commitments than othersFor example, a Seminarian Sponsorship may only last a few years while a child sponsorship may last a decade. Even though the length of a given sponsorship may vary, the relationship and the impact of this type of support will last for a lifetime[top]

Do children have to become Catholic to receive benefits from CARITAS?

No, there are children enrolled in CARITAS’ programs that are not Catholic. However, all our schools give their students instruction in the Catholic faith. Also, we know that the religious staff of the schools are a witness to the love of Jesus Christ, and they take care to share this love to the students. Many of these children have never experienced love in their lives until receiving a sponsor and going to these schools do decide to be initiated into the Catholic Church. This joyful celebration happens through the gifts of Caritas they’ve received, it is never forced upon them[top]

Can I share my own love of Jesus with my sponsored child and what that means to my family and me?

Yes. This is very important. For some, it is most important. It reinforces the reason for your child to have hopeSharing your love of Jesus and the Gospel is a message of hope that they can count on and live by for the rest of their lives[top]

Can I sponsor more than one child?

Yes. There is no limit to the number of children or different programs you may choose to support[top]

What are the primary benefits to be received by those being sponsored?

Please review each sponsorship opportunity for more details of all the benefits that your sponsorship provides.  

Child Sponsorship: The primary goal is to help a child become self-reliant through providing them with education, loving care, and basic necessitiesEventually, this gift leads the child to support their community for the duration of their lives and for generations to come.  

Vocation and University: The primary goal is to help a young man or woman become self-reliant through providing them with a higher-level education, loving care, and some schooling necessities. Here they can become educated enough to make an even greater impact in their community.  

Sponsor a Seminarian: The primary goal is to support the formation and seminary education of a young man going through Seminary training. This will provide them with the opportunity to become a Priest and serve the faithful in the Catholic church for the rest of his life.  

Adopt- A- Nun: The primary goal is to help a fully professed sister/nun to acquire the education she needs to give better service and care throughout the rest of her life. She will then be able to spread the Gospel in ways that are true to her talents and specialization.  

Adopt a grandparent:  The primary goal is to support a poor grandparent who may be forgotten throughout the struggle of old age and possibly sickness. This loving care and gift of basic daily provisions is a beautiful way to remind them of God’s love [top]

What should I expect to receive as a sponsor?

Depending upon the resources and nature of each program, you should at minimum receive several communications each year about the progress of your child. This may include direct letters, photos, videos, progress reports, and report cards. If you write to your child, we work to have your letters answered by your child’s own hands. If for whatever reason that is not possible, then your child will get the support of his or her program director. With some programs, especially where English is not the primary language, translations will be given to you alongside the original letter. In addition, you will receive periodic statements about your account; and from time to time there will be updates about the general results of the program in which your child is a beneficiary [top]

What should I write to my sponsored child?

We encourage you to write to your child. This post Sponsor a Child and Keep in Touch: Tips for Writing is an excellent source for ideas and guidelines [top]

How do I send a letter to my child?

Regular correspondence is handled online through our donor management system right from your own CARITAS account. Click Here for a video on how to view and send letters online. Additionally, letters and cards can be mailed to CARITAS For Children, ATTN: Sponsorship Services at 7400 West National Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53214. Note your child’s name and ID number at the top of your letter[top]

May I send gifts for my sponsored child?

If a sponsor would like to give a gift to their child, we encourage them to send a monetary gift rather than purchasing individual gifts for their sponsored child. We have found that the ministry leaders at each of our locations know what is best for the children and can purchase their gift for much less money. This gift also allows your child to go out shopping which is a gift in itself and at the same time it positively impacts the local economy. You can add a personal gift to your child through your account. If you would like assistance in doing this, please email [top]

Can I visit my sponsored child?

Though this is not always a simple matter, the general response is yes! There is hardly a better way to know your child and to create that bond of human relationship than a face to face meeting. However, doing so is more complex than simply getting on a plane one day and showing up. Those wishing to meet their child, should either email us at or call our office at 414-323-5000 and ask to speak to one of our coordinators about that possibility[top]

Can I send a donation without sponsoring a child?

Yes. CARITAS is involved with many different projects and gratefully and prayerfully accepts all financial contributions and many gifts in kind as well for the support of its programs and projects. This type of contribution can also be securely made online on our Special Projects page [link], by mail or any other method possible. Please call: 414-323-5000 or e-mail your questions about this matter to[top]

Can I make a sponsorship gift on behalf of another person?

Yes. While the sponsorship will be in your name, the relationship can be expanded to include another person. We encourage this type of sponsorship, especially between family members or friends. It is an excellent way to engage the youth of developed countries with those of developing countries and teaches so much to all involved[top]

Am I the only sponsor for my sponsored child, seminarian, or religious sister?

In most programs, the relationship is a one-on-one exclusive connection. Where the cost of sponsorship requires more than one, the details of that program will clearly be known in advance. For the standard $36 per month child sponsorship programs, the beneficiary will have only one sponsoring family[top]

Is CARITAS directly involved with inter-country adoption?

While CARITAS is not a licensed adoption agency it does advocate for adoption. CARITAS was founded with the goal of promoting and assisting individual families wanting to adopt children in Poland. In 1999, CARITAS assisted the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago to create an inter-country adoption program for American families wanting to adopt from Poland. Since then, CARITAS has continued to support the Catholic Charities Adoption Programs and provides limited and informal information about adopting children from Poland. For more specific information we urge you to contact the Adoption Department of the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago, 312-655-7000[top]

What is CARITAS’ privacy policy?

To view the details of the CARITAS Privacy Policy, please go to:, write or call to CARITAS and a copy will be mailed to you directly [top]

Can I pay using my Credit Card online? Is it safe?

Yes, you may use your VISA, Mastercard, American Express or Discover Card. It is safe and secure. All Credit Card transactions use the Internet Security Protocol known as “Secure Sockets Layer” or “SSL.” This is a certification and encryption technology designed to make using your credit card as safe as possible on the Internet[top]

Are my gifts tax-deductible?

Yes! Gifts to CARITAS are deductible for U.S. federal income tax purposes. You can print your yearly tax documents right from our online dashboard. Click Here for a video on how to easily print your own Tax Document. For morin-depth information, please consult your tax advisor about your specific situation[top]