Frequently Asked Questions

These are the most commonly asked questions by sponsors and potential sponsors. They are updated often to remain current. If you have any other questions, please contact us.

What is CARITAS For Children?

How does CARITAS provide services?

What makes CARITAS stand out among other child development and/or sponsorship organizations?

What is the cost to sponsor a child?

How long is sponsorship?

Can I sponsor more than one child?

How does my child directly benefit from my support?

Can I sponsor a child online?

What is CARITAS’ privacy policy?

What should I expect to receive as a sponsor?

Can I visit my sponsored child?

What should I write to my sponsored child?

Where do I send my letter to my child?

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

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

Are my gifts tax-deductible?

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

Are all CARITAS children orphans?

May I send gifts for my sponsored Child?

Am I the only sponsor for my sponsored Child?

How and when did CARITAS start?

What does the word CARITAS mean? What does the CARITAS logo represent?

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

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

Does CARITAS have direct involvement with inter-country adoption of children?

Are all contributions only for sponsorship?

Can I send a donation without sponsoring a child?

What is CARITAS For Children?

CARITAS For Children is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization which provides financial assistance for life-changing education, health, nutrition, emotional, and spiritual support to orphans and children in need worldwide through a variety of child sponsorship programs in relationship with the local Catholic Church in the areas where it serves.[top]

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]

What makes CARITAS stand out among other child development and/or sponsorship organizations?

CARITAS For Children is unique in that we partner exclusively with schools directed by employees of Catholic institutions who serve in the proximity of our program locations. These people have committed themselves to a ministry of serving others, live in communities within the countries we work, and in some cases have suffered the same poverty of the people they serve. They have been doing this work  for decades, even centuries. We know that they are trustworthy in their heartfelt missions to serve their own people, and in the long-term goal of self-reliance and sustaining change, they know how to reach their own people. They are committed to this work for life and we are blessed to have the opportunity to support their service to others. [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 standard monthly program is $30 per month; however, in some countries or for special programs, the cost could be higher. Check program descriptions and services being offered to compare possible differences. [top]

How long is sponsorship?

Given the unique programs fostered by CARITAS there are hopes for different terms of sponsorship support to last. Maximum benefits between a sponsor and child develops when a one-on-one relationship is established and that can take some time. A young child needs to be educated and nurtured for a whole life and the roots of that success comes over time. We hope that most sponsors will stay with their child at least through secondary or vocational school. [top]

Can I sponsor more than one child?

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

How does my child directly benefit from my support?

The nature and list of services and benefits of each program are clearly listed in our web site and literature. 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. [top]

Can I sponsor a child online?

Yes. Sponsoring a child online is safe and an easy way to start and maintain your sponsorship commitment. It also allows you to view your account information and history. [top]

What is CARITAS’ privacy policy?

To best view the details of the CARITAS Privacy Policy, please go to: caritas.us/privacy-policy, write or call to CARITAS and a copy will be mailed to you directly. [top]

What should I expect to receive as a sponsor?

Depending upon the resources and nature of each program, you should at minimum receive communication each year about the progress of your child. If you write to your child, we work to have your letters answered if not in the child’s own hand, then with the support of the director of your child’s program. With some programs, especially where English is not the primary language, this will need a lot of patience and consideration for that limitation. In other programs, where technology is more advanced, a quicker turn-around might be available. 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]

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 relations than a face to face meeting. However, doing so is more complex than simply getting on a plane one day and showing up. For those wishing to meet their child, please call CARITAS For Children: 414-323-5000 extension 304 and ask to speak to one of our coordinators about that possibility. [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]

Where do I send my letter for my child?

All letters and cards should 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. Letters are processed and forwarded to the Location Coordinator of your child’s particular location. [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 quite save 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]

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 grandparents, Godparents, parents, aunts, uncles, etc. and their grandchildren, Godchildren, children, nieces and nephews. 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]

Are my gifts tax-deductible?

Yes! Gifts to CARITAS are deductible for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Consult your tax advisor for information about your specific situation. [top]

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

The primary goal is to help make the child self-reliant and to learn how to support their community for the duration of their lives and for generations to come. That can only come from a proper education about what pertains to their lives where they are and within their own culture. We as westerners can not impose on them our values about what is important about life for them where they live. In addition to learning about what to do and how to do it, our programs all include a fundamental Christian basis to help the beneficiary learn about why they live. While our Caritas roots are bound in the Catholic Christian we respect all faith, while simply trying to live and be witness to the teachings of Christ’s love and compassion for us all. [top]

Are all CARITAS children orphans?

Some 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 support the option of supporting the poorest of the poor. [top]

May I send gifts for my sponsored child?

We encourage our sponsors to contribute to our Special Gift Fund 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. They use contributions to the Special Gift Fund to periodically treat all of the sponsored children to a gift or party and this ensures that no child will be left out!  In this way we hope to ensure that all the children are treated equally and positively impact the local economy at the same time. [top]

Am I the only sponsor for my sponsored child?

In most programs, the relationship is a one-on-one exclusive connection. Where the particular cost of sponsorship requires more than one, the details of that program will clearly be known in advance. For the Standard $30 per month programs, the beneficiary will have only one sponsoring family. [top]

How and when did CARITAS For Children start?

CARITAS For Children was founded in 1998 by Christopher and Barbara Hoar. While in the process of adopting children from Poland, they encountered the beautiful faces of many children waiting for parents and the tremendous care and love of the Little Sister Servants of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They could not take them all home, but they decided they could try to find other parents willing to do the same. “It felt like a calling from the Holy Spirit to do something for these children,” said Chris, and that led to a need to build CARITAS into an organization where many people could join together to improve the lives of children in need of the love of God to help them reach their own life dreams and hopes. [top]

What does the word CARITAS mean? What does the CARITAS logo represent?

It is the Latin root word that means charity. But in a much more important way, it means “God’s Love!” It is the divine love that God has for us all to share among all His people and the love commanded by Jesus Christ when He commanded us to “Love One Another…” (First Book of John 13:34) With regard to the logo, The shape framing the purple heart is a stylized letter “C” and is also intended to represent the chalice holding the blood of Christ. Catholic liturgical use of the chalice symbol is meant to commemorate Christ’s use of a chalice at the Last Supper. The word CARITAS forms the foundation of the chalice over the words For Children. The purple color of the heart references the association with royalty and the color of the robe in which the soldiers dressed Jesus on the way to Calvary. The purple heart encompassed by the chalice therefore designates Christ Jesus, the fulfillment of God’s eternal love, Davidic King, Messiah and Savior of the World. [top]

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

NO. Many of the children enrolled in CARITAS’ programs are not Catholic. It is simply required that the people serving them be a witness to the love of Jesus Christ and that our children come to understand that love from their care and the relationships we foster with their sponsors. [top]

Can I share my own love of Jesus 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 hope and sharing this message of Jesus is a message of hope they can count on and live by all the rest of their lives. It is also important to remember that we are conveying a message of hope and love and not of this church or that, yet, remember too, CARITAS’ program coordinators are Catholic missionaries by nature, and they know what kind of messages will serve the children in their care and those that will not. [top]

Does CARITAS have direct involvement with inter-country adoption of children?

CARITAS was founded with the goal of promoting and assisting individual families wanting to adopt children in Poland. CARITAS is not a licensed adoption agency; but does advocate for adoption. 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 or visit their website[top]

Are all contributions only for sponsorship? Can I send a donation without sponsoring a child?

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, by mail or any other method possible. Please call: 414-323-5000 or e-mail your questions about this matter to [email protected][top]

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