What is shelter the homeless international projects (ship)?
Shelter the Homeless International Projects is a non-profit 501(c)(3) humanitarian organization and has been in existence since December 2004. SHIP seeks to build clean, safe dwellings for the needy in the Salvadoran neighborhood where SHIP’s facility is located. We also seek to offer food and humanitarian aid regardless of race, background, or religion. We invite you to partner with us as we serve those in need.
Where does ship operate?
SHIP is a grassroots, international organization that is locally based in the United States, specifically in Bryan, Texas. Our office, Board members, and most of our volunteers are located in the Bryan/College Station, Texas, area. However, some volunteers come from other parts of the United States and often serve with us on mission trips. SHIP operates locally in the Bryan/College Station area, regionally in central Texas, and internationally in El Salvador.
Who controls and manages ship?
A Board of Directors determines policy and oversees and guides the mission of SHIP. Board members are dedicated volunteers who are deeply concerned about the problems of poverty housing. The SHIP office operates with a part-time administrative assistant, who is the only paid employee, assisted by a core group of volunteers.
How does it work?
Through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, SHIP builds and rehabilitates simple, decent housing for the needy. We do not seek to exercise authority over the people we assist; rather, we respect the responsible parties to make the decisions that are best suited for their situation. We work toward equipping people with the basic humanitarian needs necessary for them to safely carry on their lives.
Where do you travel?
We currently serve in El Salvador, in the neighborhood where SHIP’s facility is located. We also serve in the United States, primarily in areas that are within driving distance of Bryan/College Station, Texas, where most of our volunteers are located.
How are donations distributed and used?
Donations, whether in-kind or monetary, are used as designated by the donor. Donations designated toward a certain project in progress are used for that project alone. Undesignated gifts are used where they are most needed and for administrative expenses. SHIP’s most recent financial statement is available upon request.
Will a ship representative come speak to my civic organization or ecumenical group?
Various members of SHIP’s Board of Directors are available upon request to present a program for your church or civic organization. We can offer presentations to small gatherings as well as large meetings. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at 979.260.7447 for more information and details.
How do i volunteer?
For opportunities to serve, please check our website, call us at 979.260.7447, or email us at email@example.com.
How do i get more information?
For additional information, see the other sections of this website, or contact us through any of the ways listed below. We would love to answer your questions!
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 $100/month (or a portion of the $100/month). Your $100 sponsorship provides education in a private, academically challenging Christian school. In addition to tuition, it also provides books, a backpack, school supplies, uniforms, and shoes. SHIP provides afternoon tutoring for all students at SHIP’s facility and access to our computer lab.
SHIP has students who have graduated high school and desire to continue their education at university. Sponsorship of one of these students is $150/month (or a portion of $150/month). A $150 sponsorship provides them with books, tuition, and other associated costs.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
P.O. Box 3003
Bryan, TX 77805.3003