Sponsorship FAQ

Why sponsor a child?IMG_1340-300x200

It is almost impossible to imagine all the differences your sponsorship will make in your child’s life. Without you, there are few positive scenarios for a life worth living. With you, there are bright opportunities for improved

  • Health and healthcare
  • Self-esteem in the assurance that someone in the world knows and cares
  • Results in school and opportunities for secondary education that come from a new sense of security

Beneath these likely effects, there is a whole range of potential negative consequences that may now be avoided:

  • Being trafficked into prostitution or enlisted into criminal activity
  • Becoming a suicide statistic after graduation from the orphanage
  • Becoming a single parent due to premarital pregnancy

How do I set up a sponsorship?

IMG_9963-300x200Go to https://www.justiceandmercy.org/sponsor.

Orphan sponsorships are $40/month. We do have some special sponsorships available for kids with special needs (also $40/month); if interested in that type of sponsorship, email Rachel Trammell at [email protected]

We also have graduate sponsorships ($85/month) and transitional living sponsorships for both young men and women ($280/month) available.

Email [email protected] with questions/inquiries about different types of sponsorships and/or what would be the best fit for you.

What does the $40/month orphan sponsorship cover?

1. A quarterly gift to your child that varies depending on needs and time of year and can include items such as clothing, shoes, school supplies, etc.

2. A Christmas gift to all the children in the orphanages visited, usually consisting of fruit and a stocking.

3. Medical and dental care as needed.

4. JMI transators and staff to facilitate communication between sponsors and children and to deliver the letters, gifts and care the children receive throughout the year.

How can I communicate with my sponsored child?

All communication with children must be translated into English or Romanian by JMI’s interpreters for your protection and that of our sponsored children. You are able to write to your child by logging in to you “MyJMI” account at https://my.justiceandmercy.org. Enter your email address as your username and your last name (not capitalized) as the password. If that does not work, simply click the “forgot password” link on the left, and a new password will be emailed to you immediately.

When you have a new message from your sponsored child, you will receive an auto email from the JMI site prompting you to click the link above and log in to your account to view the message.

You should hear back from your sponsored child within approximately five weeks of emailing your letter. This allows our translators time to visit all orphanages (some are in remote parts of the country) at least once per month and to translate the letters for our approximately 300 sponsors.

If you have any questions, please contact [email protected] We recommend that you write your sponsored child once a month.

What are JMI’s expectations for corresponding with children?

We see correspondence with children as a significant part of your sponsorship. We’d like to see sponsors spend time getting to know their children and encourage them in their lives and spiritual walk with the Lord. Attaching photos of you and your family (kids keep these for years!), sharing Bible verses, encouraging words, etc. are all recommended. We also recommend that within a week or two of beginning your sponsorship that you write your child introducing yourself as his/her sponsor. Please share any appropriate information about yourself and your family, why you chose to be a sponsor, and that you are very excited about starting a relationship with him/her.

Anything we can do to affirm that these kids are precious in God’s sight and ours is beneficial. It is important, however, to also remember that kids often see Americans as “Santa”–people with unlimited resources/means and no problems or challenges. Therefore, anything we can do to instill values of work ethic, integrity, character, responsibility etc. within these kids will be a great help. We want to love these kids, and often one of the most helpful things we can do is instill values that will help them eventually help themselves and live successful, independent lives for God’s glory as Moldovan adults.

We advise against

  • making promises you may not be able to keep;
  • indulging their fantasies/desires about coming to America or being adopted by you;
  • any discussion with a child that is not age-appropriate (although you should be sensitive to any statements that might pertain to past abuse or potential human trafficking);
  • any evaluative statements about any particular religious denomination.

How often should I write my sponsored child?

We encourage you to write your child once a month. Our translators visit each orphanage at least monthly, so you should hear back from your child within five weeks of writing to allow adequate time for letter translation.

The card I use with Paypal expired. How do I reset my automatic giving?

Go to https://www.paypal.com and log into your account

Under the Profile drop down menu choose the “update card” option

Click on the card you wish to update and then click on “update expiration date”

Once you have updated your card on PayPal, please go to //justiceandmercy.org/donate/ and scroll down to “Set up an automatic gift for an existing sponsorship”

Choose your type of current sponsorship and add your sponsored child’s name to the provided blank. Complete PayPal process, and your monthly gift will be updated.

When are sponsorship payments due?

If you are providing monthly support, it helps us to have it in house by the middle of each month in time for our end of the month wire transfer of funds to Moldova.

Will I receive an acknowledgement of my gifts for tax purposes?

Yes. You will receive an end-of-year acknowledgement.

What methods of payment are available?

1. Automataic Bank Draft.To set up automatic draft, mail JMI a voided check, and note how much you would like us to withdrawal from your account each month and on what date (1st, 15th, 30th). Please also indicate your child’s name in the memo line. Our address is 1810 Columbia Avenue Suite 100 Franklin, TN 37064..

2. PayPal. You will be given the option of setting up a recurring PayPal donation if you sign up for a sponsorship through our website (https://www.justiceandmercy.org/sponsor). If you go through one of our staff members to initiate a sponsorship, you will also use our website to set up PayPal, but instead, you will go to https://www.justiceandmercy.org/donate and choose the “existing sponsorship” option. Please enter your child’s name in the memo/designation line.

3. Mailing a check. You can mail a check monthly, quarterly, or yearly to JMI at 1810 Columbia Ave. Suite 100 Franklin, TN 37064. Please put your child’s name in the memo line.

Please email [email protected] with any financial questions

Is it possible to mail gifts to my sponsored child?

Mailing packages is very expensive and unreliable. We suggest you deliver gifts (no more than $25 value recommended per child) in person as a part of a mission team or through one of our mission teams. Email [email protected] if you are interested in sending something with a mission team, and a member of our stateside JMI staff will let you know when the next team is leaving.

If you would like to send your child a birthday gift or a Christmas gift, click the cake or Christmas tree icon when you log into your MyJMI account (https://my.justiceandmercy.org). We ask that all Christmas and birthday gifts stay within $25 per sponsored child and that you send the money in at least 6 weeks prior to Christmas or the child’s birthday. If we have a birthday for your child on file, you can find it on your MyJMI page. If not, we recommend that you ask your child in an email, and our translator will get that information at the next orphanage visit.

Is it possible to send money to my sponsored child on special occasions?

Yes, but we encourage you to limit gifts to no more than $25 and to be aware that gifts children ask for the most are probably things that are more susceptible to theft. We recommend that gifts are items of clothing (including socks, gloves, etc. depending on time of year), inexpensive jewelry, candy, etc.

How should I respond if my sponsored child asks me about bringing her to America or providing him with some particular gift which may be an extravagance?

Any gift you provide a child of any value is likely to be stolen…one of the distasteful realities of life in an orphanage. Therefore we discourage indulging children with such items as bicycles, cell phones, iPods, expensive jewelry, etc.

Requests to be brought to America will become more frequent among our children as they hear of others receiving those opportunities. Do not assume that this is the absolute best thing you can do for a child. Certain pathologies in children do not become apparent until they are introduced into a stable environment. Simply inform them that you are not able to do so. Unfortunately, the kids we serve have had lives full of unfulfilled promises, and we do not want to add to that list. We are thankful for your cooperation in this matter.

What should I do if my child asks me to keep something confidential?

Agreeing to keep confidential requests is a potentially damaging practice and is strongly discouraged. Children living in institutional environments are prone to hearing and sharing inaccurate information and contributing to rumors that may or may not have any basis in fact. If a child tells you he has something important to tell you but you have to promise not to tell anyone, your response should be: “I will be glad to listen to you, but I can’t make you any promises that might cause you or anyone else harm.” Beyond that you should encourage them to share their concerns with a JMI staff member.

Do you advise us to inquire about or avoid family history when writing our sponsored child?

Conversation about family is customary and appropriate in Eastern Europe. Most of the children you encounter will have traumatic childhoods and no child should be encouraged to reveal things about themselves that are apparently embarrassing or shameful to them. It is okay to ask a generic question or two such as, “Do you have a mother, father or siblings?,” “where do they live?,” “do you see them often,” etc. If you are in Moldova and attentive to their tone and facial responses, they will indicate whether they are comfortable with your questions. However, you should never comment about a parent as being right or wrong, good or bad (although, if a child reveals a history of abuse, it would be appropriate for you to say, “That wasn’t your fault,” and leave it at that). A good rule of thumb is to not engage children on this level unless you have been educated in counseling.

How should I regard comments from my sponsored child assigning me the status of a parent?

Moldovan children are eager to please and in some cases assign you the status of a parent. It is not necessary to correct them in this, but it is also not wise to encourage these designations unless you are ready and capable of entertaining questions of adoption. (Even if you ARE ready to discuss adoption, it is vital that you bring this to the attention of JMI staff, appropriate others, etc. BEFORE mentioning or promising that to your sponsored child. Unfortunately, the kids we serve have had lives full of unfulfilled promises, and we do not want to add to that list. We are thankful for your cooperation in this matter.)

Furthermore, children will eventually need to come to some healthy resolution over issues of neglect or abandonment by their real parents, and reaching that critical goal can be hindered if they become confused by your role in their lives. We want children to have the sense of being “claimed” or accepted by someone in the universe, but we’d like to first and foremost direct them to an understanding that they are children of God and loved unconditionally by Him. In most cases it is preferable to refer to them as your special friends.

Should I offer my sponsored child advice?

It is inadvisable to provide a child with advice. Most of us are not professional counselors and are unfamiliar with Moldovan customs and attitudes. Nor do we realize all the ways in which our suggestions to children can be misconstrued. Even well-intentioned adults can do more harm than good despite their best intentions. You can help the most by offering words of encouragement or sympathy, congratulations, and helping children to think for themselves.

What is JMI’s policy regarding communicating on matters of faith?

For the country of Moldova, we believe it can be helpful and appropriate for you to tell a child about your personal relationship to Christ. We do not believe it is helpful or appropriate to force that conversation or engage them in discussions about denominational superiority, doctrinal issues, or make blanket statements about the rightness or wrongness of controversial issues such as abortion, gender preference, etc. Many of our kids have been exposed to a variety of faith expressions and they very well may ask your opinion about the differences they perceive. If a child initiates such a question, you may want to encourage them to read certain Biblical references and formulate their own belief. If you have ongoing concerns, encourage them to speak with one of our staff.

What type of social services does JMI provide its sponsored children?

Children who are in the graduate living, and transitional living programs are provided with such services as assistance with job placement, English and computer proficiency, training in life and business skills and counseling. All sponsored children living in orphanages will be monitored for any physical need not attended to by the orphanage….JMI will work to meet those needs.

I have heard that other organizations sponsor children in Moldova…does that represent a problem?

No. In our view, the more advocates and services an orphaned or destitute child has access to the better! Our money is used in different ways than that of other organizations and for different phases of life. JMI will attempt to avoid duplicating sponsorships within our own organization without worrying about what others may or may not be doing.

What should I do if I suspect my child or another child is in an abusive situation or has made suicidal suggestions?

There is a high incidence of suicide and institutional abuse in Moldova. Your connection with your sponsored child is an invaluable resource in keeping them from being anonymous and hopeless. Any suspicion of child abuse, neglect or potential suicide should be reported immediately to Steve Davis, Executive Director, at [email protected]

Is there anything else you think I should know?

Yes. In order to responsibly ensure the safety of the children in our programs, sponsors should be aware that correspondence with children is not considered a private matter. All emails are translated by our staff. JMI staff are provided training in identifying any content that might be deemed inappropriate or represent a potential risk to children. We assume that in those rare instances in which there is a questionable comment, sponsors have simply made statements that were poorly worded, and the author would be notified if a statement was reworded in translation. However, more questionable comments or innuendos will be brought to the attention of executive staff for follow up with the sponsor in question.

Upcoming Events

  1. RHCC Moldova Trip #1: Risipeni

    June 21 - June 28
  2. Moldova Pastor’s Conference

    June 29 - July 1
  3. RHCC Moldova Trip#2: Carpineni

    July 1 - July 8

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Justice & Mercy International
1810 Columbia Ave., Ste. 100
Franklin, TN 37064
©2015. JMI is a 501(c)(3) organization.
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