Change happens through relationships – build one!
We are passionate about the meaningful relationships that are established through sponsorship and we will do our best to provide a personal connection between you and the child you sponsor. We’re grateful to have people like you who will pray for them, encourage them and support the schools that make a tremendous difference in their lives. We encourage you to communicate to the children or teacher you sponsor to help foster this important connection. You are a source of hope and encouragement that supports them through the school year, and we believe they will be the same for you.
It is our goal to secure sponsorship of all the children and teachers in order to fully cover the cost of operating the schools – which includes teacher’s salaries, meals, vitamins, school supplies, utilities, etc.
What you can expect:
- Within a month of beginning sponsorship please send a letter and a photo to introduce yourself to the child/teacher you sponsor. You are then encouraged to write to them at least once every two months but please feel free to write more often if you would like.
- Handwritten notes are preferred but we also have an online form on our website for those who want to take advantage of this. We will have all letters translated into Spanish and will send them to the child/teacher within a month of receiving them (in most cases). We will then forward all correspondence (translated into English) from the child/teacher to you as soon as we are able to.
- Consider being a part of one of our Service Learning Trips to serve in La Limonada in the coming years so you can meet the child/teacher in person. This has been such an incredible experience for those who have been able to do so. Let us know if this is something you would like to consider and we will provide you with more information.
- Spread the word about Lemonade International to family, friends, co-workers, churches, etc. and let us know of any opportunities that arise for us to share about our work in La Limonada.
- Gifts items are appropriate on two occasions: the child’s/teacher’s birthday and/or a personal visit by the sponsor. In both of these situations, we ask that you limit your gift to fit in one gallon sized Ziploc bag.
- If you will be part of a Service Learning Trip and you are asked by family members, friends or members of your church to take gifts with you to Guatemala for sponsored children/teachers, please obtain permission from the Lemonade Int’l Sponsorship Director at (firstname.lastname@example.org) and your service learning trip leader before agreeing to do so.
- Once you receive permission please email a copy of the sponsor letters to (email@example.com). The correspondence will be translated into Spanish and given to the LI Guatemala staff to be delivered to the child/staff along with the original correspondence you will be bringing on your trip.
- Our team in Guatemala would be more than happy to purchase a gift for the child’s/teacher’s birthday if you would prefer not to mail one. You can do so by sending a check or making a donation online and include a note that the donation is for a birthday gift for the child/teacher you sponsor. Please limit the donation to $20.00 or less.
- You can also celebrate the child’s/teacher’s birthday with the purchase of a birthday cake, that they can enjoy with their classmates or family. A donation of $20.00 is appropriate for a birthday cake to be purchased.
- Each year for Christmas we will have a special Christmas fundraising campaign to purchase items the children, families, and teachers need most for the coming year (eg. shoes, school supplies, scholarships for formal school, salaries for teachers). We are not able to receive gift items during the Christmas season because there is no school during the month of December. The school staff is on break while they prepare for the new school year (which begins in January in Guatemala) and we don’t schedule Service Learning Trips during that time of year. These factors make it difficult for us to distribute personal gift items to the children/teachers in La Limonada. We understand that many sponsors would love to send personal Christmas gift items, however, financial gifts are most practical and most needed at Christmastime.
- You are encouraged (as often as you would like) to send letters, family pictures, photos, bookmarks, stickers, (eg. small, simple and inexpensive items that can be sent in a letter envelope).
- On rare occasions, a need may arise when a child/teacher or family have an urgent need (emergency medical need, family funeral expenses, etc.) On occasions like these, you may be notified and given an opportunity to help meet an urgent need. Other than those mentioned needs, donations made over and above your monthly sponsorship donations will be used to support the programs at the schools in La Limonada.
- We do our best to create a personal connection between you and the child/teacher you sponsor. These guidelines are in place to help foster as much of a personal connection as possible, however, we also want to promote fair or equal treatment among the children, teachers, and families we serve. There are situations when a decision has to be made between doing what is best for the child/teacher and what is best for the sponsor, and in those situations, we will always do what we feel is best for the child/teacher. It is our mission to serve and empower the people of La Limonada and we’re grateful that you are supporting this mission through sponsorship.
Please send all gifts and correspondence to:
3201 Edwards Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27612
What to include in your letters:
- Your name (first name only and NO ADDRESSES please)
- Your favorites (colors, games/sports, toys, hobbies, animals, etc…)
- What you like to do on weekends, what you like to do for fun, ask them what they like to do for fun
- If applicable, share about your family: your spouse, children, pets
- Questions about school. What they like about it, their favorite subjects, etc.
- Encourage them to write back to you and ask if there is anything they want to know about you or your family
- Let them know that you are praying for them and thinking about them
- Ask about the customs, climate, culture, and country
- Encourage them in their education, job, hobbies, and interests
- Encourage your whole family (if applicable) to write to them as well (send hand drawn pictures or decorate the letters for fun)
- A simple one-page letter is ideal
- Please consider their environment and culture. Be sensitive not to mention your material possessions or money. Even for families living on a modest income, there is a huge disparity in lifestyle compared to people in La Limonada and it is best not to draw attention to that disparity. Our hope is for sponsors to relate to the children/teachers as fellow human beings with hopes, dreams, fears and challenges – to focus on what you have in common, not on what separates you from them.
Sharing of personal information:
- Please do not send the them your last name, address, or any other type of personal contact information. This is just to protect you in extreme instances where someone could use your information to get into the country and/or put you at risk of any level of personal responsibility.
- In some cases, the older students and teachers have internet access and utilize social media. Please do not respond to personal requests for financial assistance (but direct those request to Lemonade International) and follow the same guidelines outlined here if you communicate with them using email, Facebook and other social media.
- We ask that you do not let the child/teacher know that you intend on visiting them in Guatemala or that you would like them to visit you in the US. It is important that promises of any kind are not made to them that you may not be able to fulfill. If you are scheduled to be a part of a Service Learning Trip to serve with us in La Limonada, the staff in Guatemala will notify the child/teacher you sponsor a few days before your arrival so at that time they can prepare for your visit.
Important note: In some cases beyond our control, a child/teacher will leave or move and we are no longer able to support them through the schools. If the child/teacher you are sponsoring should leave the program for any reason, we will notify you and make arrangements to send a profile card for a new child/teacher to sponsor.
If you have any questions please contact the Lemonade International Sponsorship Team.