Do you sponsor a child at Let Them LOL’s Hope Rising Academy? Are you excited to reach out and encourage them or extend a gift? Our annual Christmas gifts might just be our favorite way to see sponsors interact with their sponsor kids and families!
Each year you as a sponsor have the opportunity to provide a card/letter and Christmas gift to your sponsored child(ren)! After distributing these gifts each year we’ve received so many thank you notes from students and teachers in Sierra Leone. Our town floods with singing and giddy children showing their families new school supplies, clothing, and other gifts. Pride, surprise, hope: emotions many in our town do not know or do not allow themselves to want for. It is a unique and precious relationship as we engage in providing tangible needs and a few fun delights, always aiming to build up and empower children and families to hope and dream for their futures.
When? It’s hard to believe but the time to begin Christmas Gift preparation for your Let Them LOL sponsored children comes much earlier than December! This is because your gifts will be included in a shipping container which takes months to arrive. Much of the other needed supplies are time sensitive so we work hard to prepare them typically around summertime. We will always send sponsors reminders about when to begin gathering your gifts and when they’ll be due, but keep this post handy if you’d like to reference the details year-round!
What? As our school, Hope Rising Academy, continues to grow and we have more students sponsored each year we are careful to set some helpful guidelines for what should be included in these gifts (see below, also for ideas). We ask that everyone please read carefully and do everything possible to adhere to the guidelines or we may not be able to send along everything you package for us. These guides are put in place to help ensure all the children are equally cared for, benefitted, and treated with love first and foremost. We also want to be sure your gift is received by your child undamaged.
How? We ask that each gift is placed inside a plastic 2-gallon ziplock bag. If you would like to give a donation of $20 to LTLOL in lieu of preparing a gift, we will make sure your sponsored child is given a Christmas gift in your honor. At this link you may send your $20, and please include your sponsored student’s name and student number if you have it. This donation will allow our volunteers to help give a gift to match what other students are receiving.
The best way to get these gifts to Let Them LOL is to drop them off at our Volunteer Center at: 5205 Harris Hill Rd., Williamsville, NY 14221. This year’s drop-off times* will be:
- Mondays 9am-4pm
- Wednesdays 9am-4pm
- Thursdays 9am-8pm
- Saturdays 9am-1pm
- Also, we have a box at our rear door available for drop-offs anytime
* Please note: the offices will be closed July 30-August 2 but the brown box at our rear door is still accessible
• Guidelines for Sponsor Christmas Gifts •
- spend $20 or less
- make sure gift fits inside a 2-gallon zip-lock bag
- include a picture or letter (please follow the same guidelines for these as the other letters)
- include hygiene products (soap, toothbrush, hairbrush/comb/hair picks, etc)
Please Do Not:
- give anything breakable
- give anything that cannot fit in the specified bag
- include pictures or gifts highlighting the differences in our cultures or economic status (we cannot include pictures or gifts that do this)
- include language implying seeing the student or the student coming to see you in the future (we cannot include letters that say these types of things)
Some Christmas Gift Ideas:
- t-shirt/shorts/socks/hat (think 1 or 2 sizes bigger than their last picture)
- flip flops
- water bottle
- small plastic ball/frisbee
- school supplies
- hygiene products (hair pick/brush for girls)
- action figure/doll (plastic)
- personal letter
- picture of yourself (nothing excessive/material in the background, no jewelry present)
Have questions? Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org