1. Does my donation go directly to my sponsored individual or family?
Your monthly gift contributes towards the costs of programs for your sponsored individual. The individual or family will not receive a direct cash benefit.
For teacher sponsors: Your monthly gift goes directly toward the teacher’s salary and benefits package.
For child sponsors: In some cases, the child you are sponsoring may receive a direct subsidy to their tuition at the Center in the form of a lower monthly payment ($18 vs. $45). If this is the case, it will be noted in the updates you receive on your sponsored child. Learn more about how these scholarships are awarded below.
2. How will my sponsorship donation be used?
Your sponsorship gift will go directly toward the cost of early education programming, family support services, or the Women’s Empowerment Project, depending on the type of sponsorship you choose.
Child sponsors: Your gift will support scholarships for children with economic hardship to attend the Center, two medical check-ups for students each year, social work services, educational materials, and a variety of experiential learning activities, such as yoga classes and field trips.
Family sponsors: Your gift will support psychological attention for children and families, financial literacy classes, family engagement events, and an emergency fund for families in need.
Teacher sponsors: Your gift will support the salary, benefits, and professional development of the lead teacher at the Center.
Women entrepreneur sponsors: Your gift will help cover all of the program costs for the Women’s Empowerment Project, including monthly workshops, mentorship opportunities, retreats, vocational training, and seed capital.
3. Am I the only donor supporting a specific individual or family?
Depending on the number of sponsors and their sponsorship levels, some sponsors may receive information about the same sponsored individual or family. Programa Velasco’s programming supports approximately 100 children, 85 families, 20 women entrepreneurs, and 1 lead teacher. All of the teacher sponsors will be contributing to support the same teacher.
4. Will I always sponsor the same individual or family?
Many sponsors have been able to sponsor the same individual over multiple years. If an individual is still a participant in our programs and is still eligible for sponsorship, Programa Velasco will pair the same individual or family with the same sponsor multiple years in a row.
Unfortunately, some of the participants in our projects will inevitably leave for a variety of reasons, including moving outside of the community, changes in family situations, and other unexpected life events. Should a sponsored individual or family no longer be receiving support from Programa Velasco, sponsors will be notified via email and a connection with a new individual or family will be established.
5. How are sponsored individuals and families chosen?
All individuals and families receiving services or participating in Programa Velasco programming are eligible for sponsorship. However, we do undertake a selection process in the following cases:
Child scholarship recipients: Children and their families are selected to receive a scholarship (a discounted monthly tuition rate) based on economic need. In order to renew their scholarship for the next year, families must show responsibility on a number of indicators that measure their commitment to and participation in their child’s development.
Lead teacher: The lead teacher is hired under the same contract used for all local staff, will respond to a set of results-based expectations, and will undergo periodic performance reviews.
Women entrepreneurs: Local women with a small business, or an interest in starting their own business, apply to participate in the Women’s Empowerment Program. Before inviting a woman to be a part of the program, Programa Velasco staff review applications, make house visits, and interview women in order to understand their economic need, interest in the program, and commitment to participation.
6. How long am I expected to commit to sponsoring an individual or family?
Ideally, sponsors make a 12 month commitment to contributing their monthly gift. Programa Velasco will notify sponsors 12 months after their initial donation in order to confirm whether they would like to renew for another year.
7. What benefits will I receive at each level of sponsorship?
As a sponsor with Programa Velasco, we believe the most important benefit of your commitment should be the opportunity to witness your impact and connect with the reality of the people you are supporting in El Salvador. All sponsors will thus receive updates on their sponsored individual or family (frequency depends on your preference) and a handwritten card or letter from the individual/s you are supporting. Additionally, if interested, all sponsors have the opportunity to participate in a video call together with their sponsored individual(s).
Depending on your sponsorship level, you are also eligible to receive a variety of thank you gifts:
- $25 level: A thank you gift
- $45 level: A personalized gift
- $75 level: A thank you gift and a personalized gift
- $100 level: A thank you gift, a personalized gift, and a special surprise!
8. How frequently will my sponsored individual or family and I communicate and how does this work?
All of the communication between sponsors and sponsored individuals and families is conducted through Programa Velasco. For a variety of reasons, sponsors and program participants do not connect directly. Instead, when filling out the contribution form, you will be asked if you would like to receive updates on your sponsored individual or family on a monthly, quarterly, biannual, or yearly basis. Programa Velasco will send you updates based on your preferences. All sponsored individuals will also write a card or a letter to their sponsor once a year.
As a sponsor, you may send cards or letters via regular post or email to Programa Velasco for your sponsored individual, however this is simply an invitation rather than an expectation.
Please send any cards or letters via regular post to:
P.O. Box 601 Downers Grove, IL 60515
We will make sure they are delivered to El Salvador.
9. In what language will the communication occur?
Individuals and families will write to their sponsors in Spanish, and Programa Velasco staff will translate their words into English, if necessary. If a sponsor writes in English, staff will also translate as needed into Spanish for the individual or family.
10. How can I take advantage of the opportunity to meet my sponsored individual or family virtually?
in order to facilitate a time that will work for everyone. Program staff will be available to facilitate the conversation and translate.
11. May I send gifts to my sponsored individual or family?
If you would like to give a gift to your sponsored individual or family, we ask that you keep a few things in mind. First, please know that gift giving is not expected by Programa Velasco or the family. The majority of sponsored individuals do not receive extra gifts, and we prefer not to create this expectation. Additionally, mailing a gift internationally is risky and can take an uncertain amount of time.
If you would like to mail a gift, you may send it internationally to Programa Velasco at:
Asociación Nuevo Amanecer de El Salvador, ANADES,
Col. El Triunfo Final
Pasaje Molina #14 Apartado 567
Departamento de San Salvador,
El Salvador, Central America
Another option is to make a monetary contribution to Programa Velasco, and with that amount Programa Velasco can purchase an agreed upon gift in El Salvador for the individual or family. You may also consider having your extra contribution go toward a gift that will benefit a classroom, multiple families, etc.
12. Is it possible for me to visit the individual or family that I sponsor?
in order to coordinate a visit.
13. I would prefer to not make monthly automatic payments. What are my options?
If you would prefer to not make monthly automatic payments, you may pay once a month online or via a check. When choosing a sponsorship option, do not check the box that explains your donation will be recurring, and then in the comments section please leave us a note explaining your payment plan. Programa Velasco will send you a monthly reminder about your payment.
Alternatively, if you would prefer to pay in larger installments, please make your donation on our general donation page and leave us a note in the comment section regarding your sponsorship preference.
14. I would like to sponsor an individual or family as part of a group. How will this work?
Programa Velasco welcomes groups who would like to sponsor an individual or a family. When signing up for sponsorship, please include a comment explaining who the sponsors are and including contact information for each of them so that all can receive the electronic sponsorship updates. Unfortunately, Programa Velasco cannot send the sponsorship gifts corresponding to your sponsorship level to each member of the group, but is happy to follow the group’s instructions as to where to mail these gifts.
15. I would like to gift a sponsorship. Is this possible?
Yes, you can gift a sponsorship to someone. On the sponsorship page of your choice, please look for the section titled, “Make your gift in honor of someone!” By choosing whether you would like to make a gift or honor someone’s memory, a drop-down menu will appear where you can indicate this special person’s name and email address, if relevant. If you have any further instructions, please include those in the comment box at the end of the sponsorship page. Programa Velasco will then follow up with you and the recipient, if relevant.
16. What happens if my situation changes and I need to cancel my sponsorship?
if this is your situation and we will make the necessary arrangements.
17. With whom do I communicate if I have a question, concern, or commentary?
if you have any questions, concerns, or comments at any time.