Children love receiving gifts because they serve as extra reminders of your special love. If you send a gift with your next letter, please remember to put your sponsor number and your sponsored child's number on the items to help ensure that your child receives everything.
Because of strict mailing and customs regulations in the various countries where we work, we limit gifts to 8-1/2" x 11" and 1/4" thick.
We do not accept packages, primarily because of customs and duty costs. Instead, we send all of our mail, including any gifts you send, through customs as “documents” to avoid any fees.
If a customs official opens a box of letters and finds a piece of jewelry, clothing, food, etc. the entire box of letters gets held until the customs fee for the one item is paid. This unnecessarily delays the delivery of many sponsors' letters.
If you send a gift that we can't deliver, we will contact you to see if you’d like the gift returned or donated to a local Colorado Springs charity. To prevent that from happening, we've listed the types of gifts you can send as well as the common gifts we receive but can't deliver.
Because custom regulations can and do change, the items listed below can also change from time to time.
Gifts That Can Be Sent
- Assembled puzzles in zip lock bags, sealed with tape or glue to remain assembled in the mail (see above size restrictions)
- Baseball and football cards
- Calendars, smaller than 8-1/2" x 11"
- Construction paper
- Greeting cards, including musical cards
- Laminated flowers and leaves
- Magazine pages only, less than 1/4" thick
- Colored and uncolored pages from coloring books (may not send crayons, pencils or pens)
- Pages from watercolor paint books (may not send paint brushes)
- Paper dolls
- Photos of you and your family
- Scrapbook paper
- Scripture cards
- Small posters
Gifts That Cannot Be Sent
- Books and booklets
- Ceramics or glass
- Cloth items
- Elastic hair bands
- Foam crafts
- Foreign currency
- Halloween items (such items are inappropriate in many countries)
- Large items
- Perishable items
- Plastic items
- Plastic rulers
- Toothpaste and tooth brushes
- Unassembled puzzles
If you want to send a gift but just aren't feeling creative, consider these fun ideas. The "how to" details are just a web search away.
- Make a calendar that includes photos of you and your family.
- Create a photo notepad.
- Make a pocket mini-book.
- Create a small table-top calendar.
- Cut out and send a paper-star garland.
- Trace your hand and send the cutout to your sponsored child. Include extra paper so your child can trace his or her hand and send it back to you.
- Collect pictures of your family and make a small photo album for your child. Use glue and/or tape and construction paper.