How do I communicate with my sponsored friend?

It’s easy for you to write a letter to your friend through your online account. Even better, you can make your sponsored friend’s day in a matter of minutes by sending a photo and quick “Hello!”

Prefer postal mail? Sending a letter online is a faster and more reliable way to communicate, but if the area where your sponsored friend lives has postal service, you can also send postal mail. You can find the address when you log in to your online account, or reach out to our Sponsor Support team at [email protected] or 800.875.6564 for assistance.

For your privacy, please use Unbound's address as your return address if you mail your letter:

1 Elmwood Ave.
Kansas City, KS 66103

Please do not use online services or software to translate your letter from English to another language. Translation services and software programs can create confusing or otherwise poor-quality translations. Unbound is happy to handle the translation for you!

Please note:
The time it takes for your postal letter to reach your sponsored friend may be extended because of obstacles like unreliable mail systems and limited delivery to remote areas. Letters sent through postal systems may take a considerable time to arrive, and your letters to and from your friend may cross in the mail. That’s why we recommend sending a message through your online account, and you can download our mobile app to make it even more convenient.

What do I say in a letter to my friend?

Children, youth and elders eagerly anticipate receiving letters and photos from their sponsors. For both you and your friend, writing letters and sharing photos is the best way to build a strong friendship.

Not sure what to say? Consider sharing about:

• Your family and pets
• Your occupation or hobbies
• What the weather is like where you live
• Your favorite color, food or thing to collect
• What you would like to know about your sponsored friend’s life
• Why you chose to sponsor

Still stuck? Simply attaching a favorite photo and telling your friend you’re thinking about them shows them you’re a real person who really cares.

It's a good rule of thumb to avoid talking about material possessions, money and other topics that could serve to highlight the differences between your circumstances. Please keep these same considerations in mind when sending photographs.

Can I contact my friend directly? 

All correspondence must be monitored by Unbound program staff for translation, appropriateness, and the protection and privacy of sponsors and sponsored friends. It is strictly against our child and elder protection policy to be in unsupervised communication with your sponsored friend.

Do not share personal contact information including, but not limited to, email, home address, phone numbers and social media handles. In addition, do not communicate using messaging apps or social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter.

Violation of this policy could jeopardize your friend's eligibility for sponsorship and your eligibility to sponsor.

How often should I write to my friend?

We suggest writing a short note or letter two to three times a year to offer encouragement and support. When you use the letter-writing tool in your online account, you can send letters up to six times a year.

What do I need to know about receiving communication from my friend?

Generally, sponsors can expect to hear from their sponsored friends twice a year. The time between when a letter is sent and when it is received varies greatly depending on the method through which the letter was sent and your friend’s location. We work hard to deliver your friend’s correspondence to you as quickly as possible, but occasionally due to postal delays or other unanticipated interruptions, there may be anywhere from several weeks to several months between the time a letter is sent and it is received. As a result of this extended time frame, your letters may cross in the mail. Questions asked in one letter may remain unanswered until subsequent letters are received.

How do I receive correspondence from my sponsored friend?

Choose to receive an email notification when a new letter from your sponsored friend is available in your account (the most cost-effective method), receive your friend’s letters by postal mail, or opt for both! Update your preferences online or reach out to us to make changes.

Can I send my friend special gifts?

Our international offices do not accept packages. Gifts can be lost, damaged or stolen in the mail and when packages do arrive safely, the time and resources required for our field staff to pick up, process and deliver them can be considerable.

The gifts of letters and photos are treasured most by your friend. Children and elders often say getting a letter from their sponsor is their favorite part of sponsorship. For special occasions, we suggest you send a photo and greeting and consider giving to the Unbound Birthday and Christmas funds. Contributions to these funds are distributed among all sponsored members to ensure that everyone is celebrated and remembered on these special occasions.

For more information, contact us at 800.875.6564 or [email protected].