How can I be in contact with my sponsor child?
To ensure the continued safety of communications between sponsored children and HART sponsors, we ask sponsors to ensure that their correspondence is sent to the HART office without exception. This enables HART to monitor any communications to ensure that both the sponsor and sponsored child are protected from inappropriate content, abuse and any fraudulent activities. We strive to protect the children and families we serve and thank our sponsors for their continued support in maintaining a sponsor-child relationship that is both appropriate and safe.
What should I do if my child writes me about health issues in the family?
Please contact our office and we will check with the child’s case-worker first and let her/him verify the situation and give us guidance on how to proceed.
If I’m sponsoring one child from a larger family, is it possible to sponsor my child’s siblings?
Yes. Generally in a family of two children, one child will be in the program. In a family of four children, two children will be in the program, and so on up to a maximum of four children per family. In order to provide the same opportunities to each poverty stricken family, we use these ratios.
Can I request a child from a specific village/region?
Yes. While we may not have a child in the specific area you are wanting at the time, we will make every effort to meet your requests. This might mean finding a child in a neighbouring village/region if a child in your preferred area is not currently available for sponsorship.
May I send gifts to my sponsored child?

Yes! You will be able to send small shoe-box sized packages along with your letters. A donation of $10 will help cover the cost of shipping a box of that size.

“God has showed us His grace through you. When I heard about the sum of money you had sent for Vladik’s Christmas gift, my eyes were filled with tears. I am pleasantly surprised with your love and kindness to me and to my Vladyslav. With the money, I bought him the winter jacket, construction toy set (he had been dreaming of it for a long period of time) and sweets. We pray for you, love you and bless you.”

– Vladyslav P.

Ideas of what you can send
Stationery Toiletries New Clothing Miscellaneous
Crayons Comb Hat Photos
Markers Toothbrush Mitts Letters
Notepad Toothpaste T-Shirts Stuffed Animal
Scissors Hair Clips Socks Toys
Glue Stick Travel Shampoo Underwear Wrapped Hard Candy
Pencil Facecloth Toque Jewelry
Sharpener Soap Vitamins
Ruler
Picture Books
Ideas for Older Children
Ages 14+
Dress shirt
Changeable head screwdriver
Other small tools
Disposable razor
Deodorant
Tea Towel
Feminine hygiene products
Wooden spoon
Potato peeler
Other culinary tools
Please do not send:
Prohibited Items
Medicine
Perishable food
Money
Used items
Battery operated items
Playing cards
Things that may harm or scare a child (war toys, guns, etc.)

For a printable version of this list, click here.

Guidelines
Please ensure that the child’s name and sponsorship number are clearly identified on all packages. For example – Misha Zharkov UKR-CA-03030. If you are enclosing a letter that needs to be translated or the recommended gift of $10 to cover shipping of your package, please securely tape these items to the outside of your package. This ensures the letter or donation isn’t overlooked during shipping and can be dealt with appropriately.**Please note: We are unable to ship packages to Moldova and recommend that your gifts be monetary only. These gifts can be by calling our Calgary office at 403-230-8263, toll-free at 1-888-788-3880 or mailing in your gift.**

Extra Monetary Gifts
Sponsors are welcome (but not expected) to give additional cash gifts ($15-$25) to their sponsored child. This may be for a birthday or Christmas gift or in response to a need they become aware of. A case worker will either take the child to a market where the child can choose their own birthday gift, or, if that is not possible, will purchase something the child needs.

Please do not send money with your letter or parcel to your child. We also ask that you do not refer directly to the money in any letters you send to the child. You can say something like, “I hope you enjoy the birthday gift your case worker will be getting for you;” or “I hope you enjoy your bicycle;” or whatever you have designated the money be used for. When you tell the child “I’ve sent $20 to buy a gift for you,” it creates an expectation that they will be receiving that money directly.

NOTE: It is best that you not mention a specific gift in a letter until that gift has been approved by the case worker. For instance, you may think your sponsored child would like a bicycle and give money towards that. The case worker may know that the child lives in an orphanage and a bicycle would cause jealousy amongst the children. Or the case worker may know that the child lives in a one room eighth-floor apartment with no space to store a bicycle.

In most cases it is not in the best interest of the child or the family to give the money directly to them as it may be used to support addictions or be used in ways that will not benefit the child. You can call/email/mail our office and we will arrange for the child to receive this extra monetary gift.

Every dollar you direct to your sponsor child and his/her family remains with that child and his/her family. Our caseworkers know the children, families and the situations within each family and often know of needs that we may not, so additional funds are not only greatly appreciated but often much needed.

Other
Please keep your gifts within the limits set. If one family in a region receives too much support it can generate jealousy from other families in the area. This can hurt the Child Sponsorship Program or create expectations from other sponsored children towards their sponsors. We also do not want the families to become completely dependent on their sponsor. Finally, there are many, many needy children and rather than lavishing all your resources on one child/family, we recommend you consider sponsoring an additional child.

How long will it take my gift to get there?

Gifts are shipped at the end of each month and take approximately two months to get to Ukraine from that date. They will be delivered by the caseworker the next time they visit the family. It wouldn’t be surprising for it to take three months for a gift to get to a child. Please take this into consideration if you want your gift to get to your child by their birthday or Christmas AND if you are sending seasonal items (toques/mittens for winter, shorts for summer).

**Please note: We are unable to ship packages to Moldova and recommend that your gifts be monetary only. These gifts can be by calling our office at 403-230-8263, toll-free at 1-888-788-3880 or mailing in your gift.**

Which would be more beneficial, a milking goat or a milking cow?
A good milking goat costs almost the same as a milking cow. The goat doesn’t give as much milk as a cow and goat’s milk has a strong odor – it’s an acquired taste and not everyone likes it. We’ve found that goats are also more vulnerable to disease. When the time comes to butcher the animal, you get more meat from the cow and each year the family can sell the calf and make money.
Can I visit my sponsored child?

Yes. If you will be visiting Eastern Europe – either on a personal vacation or as part  of a mission team – and would like to visit your sponsored child, we will do our best to facilitate this meeting. However, we’d encourage you to consider the options if your desire is to make a special trip to Ukraine or Moldova specifically to visit your sponsored child. (See pros and cons below.)

Conditions of your visit:

Please let the HART office know at least 8 to 12 weeks in advance. Our team in Ukraine is small and we are limited as to the number of such visits we can orchestrate each year.

You will need to provide a current criminal record check before we are able to help arrange your visit.

All costs associated with visiting your child (transportation, accommodation, interpreters, meals, etc.) will be the responsibility of the sponsor.

If you are on a mission team, the team activities will take precedence over a visit to your child, but we will do our best to facilitate this visit.

We will do what we can to have you visit YOUR child but typically are not able to arrange visits to children sponsored by your family or friends.

Pros:

Visiting your sponsor child can be quite special and will no doubt be remembered by you and your sponsored child for years to come. “My wedding day was the happiest day of my life and meeting our sponsored child is now second.” Stefan W. (sponor)

Cons:

Not every family or child is open to a visit by the sponsor. Child sponsorship is a work in progress and your visit may not coincide with the best circumstances for the family.

Your child may live in a remote area that is not easy to get to or a long way from where you’ll be during your stay.

The length of your visit will only be for a couple of hours depending upon the circumstances. When you factor in the need for transportation, a driver, a translator and the caseworker to accompany you on this visit, it can become rather complicated and time-consuming for all involved. A lot of pre-planning will be necessary.

It is important to do a cost-benefit analysis of a trip like this, if your primary reason is to see your sponsored child. For example, the travel costs from North America for one person could be the equivalent of your sponsored child’s entire Post-secondary education or vocational training costs.

If you do visit your child:

Bring a gift! You can ask ahead of time what is needed or choose items you think are appropriate for the age of your child. T-shirts, toys, school supplies, candies, children’s vitamins, hygiene supplies, etc. are all welcome. Be aware of the family dynamics. Are there siblings? How can you bless them as well? Something for the parents is also appreciated.

The living conditions of the family may be very different from what you are used to. Be prepared for that so your reactions do not offend them.

Ask questions! Be interested! Meet the other members of the family (if they are willing). This is your chance to get to know your child in his/her own environment. What an honour and a privilege.

Ask for permission to take pictures, both of the family and their surroundings.

Do not give money to the family. If you see or hear of a need that you would like to help with (eg. home repairs, medical care or English lessons) discuss this with the case worker privately, and then you can make a donation through HART for this family when you return to Canada. Some families have not proven to be responsible with money due to addictions or other struggles they may be having. If that is the situation, the case worker will ensure the money is spent in the way you have requested.

Why is my child’s name spelled differently?

In Ukraine the Cyrillic alphabet is used rather than the English alphabet. When names are translated, differences can result based on translator preferences (Tanya or Tania, Natalia or Natalya). As with children in all parts of the world, your sponsored child may have a nickname or shortened version of their name. For example Michael/Misha, Alexander/Sasha, Paul/Pasha, Constantin/Kostya, Petro/Peter.

If you have any questions about your child’s name, please feel free to contact the HART office.

E. csp@hart.ca
P. 403-230-8263
Toll-free. 1-888-788-3880

What else can I do to help my sponsored child?

There are many ways you can help your sponsored child IF YOU ARE ABLE.

    • Bicycle;
    • Computer;
    • Dental work;
    • Tutoring in English or other classes;
    • Sports classes or music lessons;
    • Post-secondary education (college, university, trade school).

In all cases, please contact the office first and we will communicate with the case worker to see if any of these items would be a good fit for your child. Every child’s situation is different and a bicycle or computer might not be realistic. There may not be any tutoring or extra lessons available in their area. Post-secondary education may not be the best choice for the child either.

What is the age limit for a child attending summer camp?
A child is eligible to begin attending summer camp when he/she can stay there without parents (7-9 years old) and can attend camp up until the age of 14-16 years old (youth camp).
Is there the option of sending my sponsor child’s sibling(s) to attend summer camp as well if they are not currently sponsored?
Yes.
Are children in orphanages available for adoption?
Yes, if they meet the criteria of being orphans, having no mother or father or their living parents have waived/been stripped of their parental rights. Adoption in Ukraine is a lengthy, limited, expensive, complicated and even sometimes corrupt process. If you are serious about pursuing an adoption, we can help provide you with resources to start you on your journey, but it is not directly associated to what we do with HART.
I currently sponsor a child who’s in an orphanage. Can I sponsor the orphanage as well?
Yes. If you or your small group/family would like to support a ministry in this way, it is possible.
I can’t afford to give more, are there other ways to help?
We welcome volunteers in our office or at our events. Please consider volunteering.
How can I change my contact information or banking/credit card information?
Any changes to your contact or banking information can be done by calling the office (403-230-8263 or toll free at 1-888-788-3880).
Can I change my payment preference?
Yes. If you want to switch from monthly to annually or annually to monthly, or switch from Credit-card to EFT, contact our office with your preference change and we will adjust your account for you.
How can I contact HART if I have more questions?
You can contact our office, Monday through Friday, 8am – 4pm by calling 403-230-8263 or toll free at 1-888-788-3880 or you can email us at office@hart.ca for any questions you may have about our organization and the many ministries we are partnered with in Ukraine.
Why sponsor an older child?
Older children quite often get overlooked in sponsorship programs. By sponsoring an older child, you will most likely inspire and encourage them to believe in themselves and their future. Many older children in the Child Sponsorship Program go on to pursue their dreams and better careers instead of settling for something easy to reach.
What are the ages of the children?
Children between the ages of newborn and 14 are welcomed into the program.
How often will I receive updates about my child?
You will receive an annual update on the health and family situation of your child. In most cases you will receive two cards or letters from your child each year.
What if I can’t afford the monthly amount but still want to donate?

No problem. HART has a Child Sponsorship Program (CSP) general fund to which you can give at any time in any amount to benefit children through church programs offered in their area. This fund also helps support children who are waiting for a sponsor. We never want you to feel limited in your desire to give to HART.

You can contact our office (office@hart.ca) at any time to donate to any one of the many ministries that HART is partnered with (eg. summer camp, orphanage support, prison ministry, etc.), including supporting the Child Sponsorship Program without committing to a specific child. This helps us cover costs while children are waiting to be sponsored.

Are there any programs offered for CSP children?
In most of the regions CSP Bible studies are held once a week. Some regions also have craft or sport classes.
What is your privacy policy?
HART believes in protecting the privacy of our donors, sponsors and sponsored children. Please read our privacy policy.
Will a child in this program be protected from human trafficking?

The most vulnerable targets for human trafficking are:

  • Orphans;
  • Children in poverty;
  • Children & young people living on the streets;
  • People who are hungry.

Through Child Sponsorship, these children have an advocate, someone looking out for them. They have hope for the future and will not be so quick to say yes to an offer that sounds (and often is) too good to be true. The recruiter knows these children have someone on their side and they are less likely to target a child in the Child Sponsorship Program.