sponsorSHIP – FAQs

You may have some questions about sponsoring a child, so we’ve created this FAQ section to address some of those questions. If you still can’t find your answer, fill out a request form by clicking here or by emailing us at contact@shipinternational.org.

What is a SHIP sponsor?

A SHIP sponsor is someone like you who has made the decision to personally invest in the life of a child in El Salvador. You can help your sponsored child develop a sense of confidence and self-worth with the love you express through letters and prayers. As a SHIP sponsor, you are assured that there is a real connection between you and the specific child you support. The child you sponsor will know your name, write to you at least twice a year, and benefit directly from your monthly sponsorship.

Your relationship with your sponsored child allows you to play a significant role in his or her development. You stand alongside others who are taking an active role in encouraging and developing the child.

How long should my child sponsorship last?

SHIP child sponsorship offers you the opportunity to stay with a child for a number of years, usually through the school year in which the child reaches the age of 18. When the child that you sponsor graduates from the sponsorship program, we will inform you and give you the opportunity to sponsor another child. While we hope that you will be able to continue in your support of your sponsored child until he or she completes the program, we recognize that sponsors’ circumstances sometimes change.

Please understand that a sponsored child’s circumstances may change, too. For example, sometimes families move beyond the reach of SHIP’s program, and children have to leave SHIP sponsorship. We will inform you as quickly as possible if any such circumstance affects the child you sponsor, and we’ll offer you the opportunity to support another child in need of your help.

As a sponsor, how else can I learn about the child I am helping?

In addition to letters from your sponsored child, SHIP will send you newsletters about SHIP’s ministry  in El Salvador. You’ll have a better understanding of your sponsored child’s culture and life. It’s quite likely that your vision of God’s kingdom will expand. You may even have the opportunity to visit your child on a SHIP mission trip. It is an unforgettable experience. If you would like to learn more about the opportunity to visit your sponsored child on a mission trip, please check out the Mission Trips section of our website for upcoming mission trip dates and the associated costs.

How can I communicate with the child I sponsor?

We encourage you to send your sponsored child a personal or family photograph and a short letter of introduction when you begin your sponsorship. SHIP’s staff and partners will translate your letter and deliver it to the child you support. (Please send your letters to us to be translated and delivered to the child. Our mailing address is P.O. Box 3003, Bryan, TX 77805-3003.)

When you write, your sponsored child will benefit from knowing that someone in addition to his or her family really cares. Your words of encouragement will make a big difference to your child, and you have the unique opportunity to instill hope into your child’s life.

Correspondence between sponsors and the children they support is truly developmental. The more you write the child you sponsor, the more he or she will reap the benefits of your relationship.

Will my child write to me?

Your child will write to you at least two times a year. A teacher or staff person will help children who have yet to learn how to read and write.

As you share your own family and stories with the child you support, you may discover that he or she is also praying for you. As your exchange of letters with your sponsored child grows over the years, you can build a scrapbook of letters and photos from your child. Your scrapbook will serve as a constant reminder of the relationship you’ve developed with the child you’re helping and of how you’ve contributed to his or her growth.

How important is prayer in SHIP sponsorship?

Prayer is a critical link between SHIP sponsors and the children they help. Your prayers for the health, safety, education, and spiritual development of your child are extremely valued.

Remember that the child you sponsor may pray for you, too. As you share your own family and stories with the child you support, you’ll probably discover that he or she is also praying for you.

How much does it cost to sponsor a child?

Sponsorship of a child is $150/month (or a portion of the $150/month). Your sponsorship provides education in a private, academically challenging Christian school; school uniforms and transportation to school; afternoon tutoring at SHIP’s facility; social skills development; and exposure to Christ’s love.

We offer the opportunity for you to donate a base amount of $35 per month, with increasing increments up to $150. We want each person to have the opportunity to bless a child and share a relationship with them. If you have questions regarding these options, or if you would like to discuss an amount that more specifically fits your financial ability, then please send us an email at contact@shipinternational.org.

Are my contributions to SHIP, including my sponsorship support and gifts, tax-deductible?

Yes. All monetary contributions to SHIP are tax-deductible in the United States.

If I can’t choose a child to sponsor, can SHIP choose for me?  

Yes, we can pick a child for you. Just email and ask us!  We will select a child that has not had the opportunity to be sponsored yet.

How do I update my PayPal information for SHIP and my monthly donation for the child I sponsor?

You will need to make all changes through the PayPal interface. SHIP is unable to change individual PayPal accounts. For information about making changes in PayPal, please see our PayPal FAQs page

I am thinking about canceling or need to discontinue my child sponsorship. What happens to the child I’m helping?

If you need to discontinue your child sponsorship, we will look for a new sponsor for your child to continue the child’s sponsorship support without interruption.  You may discontinue your child sponsorship at any time.

How did SHIP begin, and what is its current status?

If you would like to read the full story of SHIP’s beginnings, you may do so here at our About Us page.