Sponsor Visit FAQs

May I bring gifts?
Yes. Gifts such as colourful books of Canada, scenic postcards or maps, family photos or school supplies are wonderful ice-breakers when you first meet your Chalice sponsored child. Practical gifts for the family like clothing, hygiene items or cooking utensils are also appropriate and could be purchased in country prior to your visit or between the initial meeting and visiting the home of your sponsored child (if applicable). When selecting gifts, please be sensitive to your sponsored child's lack of possessions and remember that siblings and/or other children in the community will likely be gathered around as well.

It is important not to make promises to your sponsored child to provide additional help. Following your visit you will have the opportunity to discuss with the Sponsor Site how you may continue to help. Please do not give money directly to your sponsored child, family or community members. If you would like to assist in meeting additional needs of the child, family and/or Sponsor Site your Sponsor Representative can explain how to give special money or grant donations before you go or when you get home. In order to protect your privacy, sharing personal contact information about where you live is discouraged.

Sponsor visits are life changing and have a lasting impact on all involved! Chalice seeks to ensure that every effort is made such that the sponsor and the child are given every opportunity to strengthen their relationship and gain a greater appreciation for each other.
What should I wear?
When you are visiting your Chalice sponsored child please dress modestly. Keep in mind that clothing may be a sensitive cultural issue. If you have questions or concerns about what is appropriate to wear, ask the person from the Sponsor Site with whom you are coordinating your visit. A comfortable pair of walking shoes or sneakers is essential.
Will I be able to take pictures?
While it is usually acceptable to take photos of your visit, you must ask permission. The Chalice Sponsor Site staff or translator will advise you about this. Please respect the wishes of your sponsored child's family if they do not want their picture taken. If you are able to share a few photos of your visit afterwards (by mail or email), it is a nice keepsake for your sponsored child! Contact your Sponsor Representative to find out how to do this.
How long will my visit last?
Sponsor visits are highly rewarding when sufficient time for the visit is made available to permit the child and sponsor to connect. It is recommended that at least one full day of available time be scheduled for the visit (this does not include travel time). If your schedule will only allow for a short visit, please let Chalice know this when you are making the initial arrangements.
How will my sponsored child feel about my visit?
Chalice sponsored children and their families are usually very honoured and excited to meet their sponsor. Your sponsored child may initially be quite shy and the experience may be overwhelming or intimidating. Give your sponsored child some time to get comfortable with you. You may receive a special welcome from the elders, leaders and even the entire community. Be assured that your sponsored child will cherish the memory of your visit for years to come.
Should I contact the Sponsor Site when I first arrive in my sponsored child's country?
Yes, the office will expect to hear from you once you arrive in order to finalize the details o fyour visit. You will be provided with the name, address, email and/or telephone number of the Sponsor Site before you leave.
What if I don't speak the language?
The Chalice Sponsor Site will provide assistance with translation if needed.
Where will I meet my sponsored child?
Sponsors will typically meet their child at the Site office, school, community centre or church for the initial meeting. Welcoming a foreigner into your home can be an intimidating and overwhelming experience for our sponsored families. Therefore Chalice seeks to respect the unique needs of each family. Availability to visit the child's home will be assessed by the Site and where possible facilitated after the initial meeting. During your visit you will see how your support is bringing about positive change in your sponsored child's community.
Do I need immunizations?
It is important that you visit a travel clinic or speak with your health care professional before any international travel. They will be able to provide you with information about diseases and immunizations, prevention measures, advice on food and travel insurance with medical coverage. At Chalice, we request that you check the Travel Reports and Warnings that are provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada for further information: http://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories .
What if I have to cancel or make changes?
Cancelling your visit should be avoided if at all possible. If you must cancel for unavoidable reasons, please contact us as soon as possible. As the coordination of your visit may already be in progress, you may be requested to reimburse Chalice for any incurred expenses. If changes to your itinerary affect the plans made for your visit, contact Chalice immediately and we will try to coordinate alternative plans.
What expenses will I have in visiting my sponsored child?
You are responsible for covering all the expenses related to the visit for both yourself and the local Chalice staff member. This includes transportation to and from your sponsored child's community, meals and accommodations (if applicable). Assistance with arrangements for accommodations in country may be available through the Site where sufficient notice is provided.
What is a Criminal Record Check with Vulnerable Sector Search?
All Chalice sponsors and their guests aged 19-24 need to submit the results of a Criminal Record Check (CRC) before they can visit the site. All sponsors and their guests aged 25 or older need to submit the results of a CRC with a Vulnerable Sector Search (VSS) before they can visit the site. The CRC with VSS is a background check for those in contact with vulnerable persons; both can be completed by your local police department or the RCMP. This check is required by most organizations in Canada that provide opportunities for individuals to form relationships with vulnerable persons. This is a requirement of Chalice's insurance provider. It can take several weeks to process a CRC with VSS; for example, in some areas it can take as long as 12 weeks. If you have any additional questions, please let us know.
What do I need to begin the process?
Please contact your Sponsor Representative as soon as possible (ideally three months before you plan to go) to let them know you are considering visiting your child. They will answer any preliminary questions you have, register your visit and put you in touch with the International Department Administrator, who will help you work out the details in coordination with the Sponsor Site.

The following documents are required from each person wishing to visit:

  • Signed Personal Information and Emergency Contact form
  • Signed Informed Consent
  • Signed Release of All Claims Against Chalice
  • Copy of valid Passport (some countries require it to be valid a certain length of time after leaving)
  • Criminal Record Check with Vulnerable Sector Search
  • Copy or details of travel itinerary, indicating days of Site visit
  • Proof of Travel Medical Insurance with worldwide coverage

Sponsorship FAQs

What should I know before I become a sponsor?
  • That you are going to make a great difference to a child (or elder) and their family!
  • Sponsorship is $42 per month or $504 annually. There are multiple methods of payment.
  • Children are enrolled for sponsorship based on need and family circumstances, regardless of race, age, ability, gender, or religion. The children are not necessarily Catholic, although many are.
  • Sponsorship does not necessarily end at age 18. If your child pursues further education, you can still sponsor (at the same rate) for as long as s/he is studying.
My charitable giving decisions are based on research and financial trustworthiness. Why choose Chalice?
  • Chalice has an A rating and is ranked in the Charity Intelligence Top 100 charities.
  • For a dollar donated, after overhead costs of fundraising and admin/management, Chalice commits 90.2 percent of its spending in support of programs.
  • Chalice’s sponsorship model pairs one child with one sponsor. Read more about our family funding model, which is unique in Canada.
  • Chalice is in control of distributing funds. The distribution of funds is mandated by Canada Revenue Agency regulations. We are audited by an external auditor and internal auditor. All the funds that are sent to the sites are audited on a quarterly basis.
  • You can read our Annual Reports and financial statements at any time. Check out Annual Report & Financials.
  • Chalice respects our supporters’ privacy. We keep all information on our supporters (and sponsored children) in a very secure system and do not release names or other information to other organizations.
  • Chalice is a registered charity in Canada under the Income Tax Act. Our CRA Registration Number is 13759 1012 RR0001.
There is so much need in the world... how can I choose a child/elder?
  • There are no “wrong choices”- every child or elder is in significant need of sponsorship. If there is a country, age, or gender that speaks to your heart the most, then feel free to let that guide your decision.
  • You can also contact us and we will help you choose.
  • If you are concerned about the duration of your sponsorship, perhaps consider an older teenager who may only need a few more years of support to complete their education.
I’m a sponsor! What does that mean for me?
  • You will receive correspondence from your child every year at Christmastime. This will include a new photo, a letter from your sponsor child and a status report from a Field Worker. You will also receive a Christmas card along with a sponsor site update from the Site Director.
  • If you need to change your mailing address or anything else about your personal information, just contact us.
  • You can write to your child at any time. We highly encourage this! Your sponsored friend would love to know more about you and your family. Many sponsors build strong bonds through their letters. Learn all about how to write to your child. 
  • We do not facilitate email correspondence or encourage social media connections. This protects both you and your friend’s safety and privacy.
  • You will get an official tax receipt for the full amount of your sponsorship. Income tax receipts are issued each February for donations processed in the previous year.
Can I do more?
  • You can send your child/elder extra funds, of any amount, any time you wish. These are called gifts of ‘special money.’ Many sponsors like to send extra amounts around Christmas or their child’s birthday.
  • If you become aware of any special needs for your child or their family, please contact us. We will contact the site on your behalf to get more information on how you can best help.
When does sponsorship end?
  • In a perfect world, either when the young person finishes their studies and enters the workforce, or their family reaches a level of income stability that they no longer need your financial support.
  • However, sometimes they must exit the program because they or their family moves or chooses to withdraw for personal reasons.
  • When your current sponsorship relationship concludes, we will contact you about your decision to sponsor another child or elder.
What if I can no longer sponsor?
  • We understand that personal circumstances change, and you may contact us to cancel your sponsorship at any time.
  • Please be assured that your child/elder will not lose their benefits. Chalice will continue to support them until they are paired with a new sponsor.

Gift Catalogue FAQs

Can I send my card anonymously?
Yes - we'll inscribe the card in whatever way you prefer.
Can I ask you to buy an item not in the catalogue?
No - the items in the Chalice catalogue have been carefully selected by the regional directors. A new item can be suggested and we will present the idea for future consideration. We do not participate in any joint marketing campaigns for products.
How do I sponsor a child?
The Chalice gift catalogue can be used to sponsor a child on an annual basis for $504 using a credit card.

To sponsor a child on a monthly basis for $42, we recommend using automatic withdrawal which is much more economical than a credit card. We would be happy to arrange this for you at 1-800-776-6855.
If I can't afford the whole item, can I buy part of one, like a school?
Not from the gift catalogue. But Chalice donors can consider paying for part of a community project. These are listed on our website, with more information available by calling 1-800-776-6855.
Can I pay for my purchase with cash?
Cash should never be sent through the mail. If someone drops into the Chalice Bedford office in person, we can accept the cash and provide a temporary receipt.
Can I make a purchase with a credit card?
Credit card transactions can be accepted and the gift card will go out promptly to the person you wish to honour.
Can I send you a cheque?
Can I make purchases by automatic withdrawal?
Yes, but we have a minimum monthly automatic withdrawal of $20.
Will I hear from the person who receives my gift?
No - we don't have the administrative staff or the dollars to follow every gift. We will, however, publish stories in the Chalice newsletter that show how some of the items have made a difference to the community. Stories are also included in the next edition of the catalogue.
If I send multiple gifts, will you send multiple cards?
Will you send the card to me (the donor) so that I can give it?
When will my card go out?
Usually in the next morning's mail. We send by Canada Post only.
What percentage of my donation goes into the gift?
100%. Our administrative overhead is recovered from other sources.
Why are houses and schools so cheap?
In tropical climates, buildings don't have indoor plumbing, electrical wiring, heating systems, insulation, storm windows, multiple rooms and many other things we're accustomed to in Canada.
Some of these items are odd. Who chose them?
The Chalice Regional Directors who live overseas chose these specific items because they are really needed and are also appropriate to the local culture.

Examples are:

Horses: In Ukraine, families need horses to plow fields and pull carts for transportation.

Jiko Stove: In Africa, it's a safe way to cook and can burn any fuel from twigs to scrap paper.

Bees are needed everywhere. When there's no pollination, plants don't grow. Bees also provide an income.
Does the donor get the tax receipt, or can it be sent to the honouree?
Only the donor can receive the tax receipt. Tax receipts cannot be sent to the honouree. Tax receipts cannot be split between people.

Tax receipts will not be issued to individuals as a result of group activities such as a school or parish campaign.
Will I get a tax receipt?
Yes - receipts are automatically issued. Your receipt for tax purposes will be sent in February of the following year. Chalice's official charitable tax number is: BN: 137591012RR0001.
Is there HST or GST?
No - this is a donation. No items will be purchased in Canada.
What is the most useful gift to buy?
Each of the gifts in the Chalice catalogue has been identified as essential by the communities that we work with. It would be true to say that all of them are important.

We would like to expand our health services, in particular the fight against the spread of HIV ($300).

Every child needs a visit to a doctor or dentist ($25).

As the price of food keeps rising, nutrition is becoming more and more important and needed ($50 - food for a family).

Our sponsor sites also have young people who are ready to move on to higher education and our Scholarship Fund will help them prepare for meaningful careers and community leadership ($400).

If you still cannot decide, then we have a 'most needed' section where the most immediate needs of our sponsor sites will be met.
How can I receive a catalogue?
If you wish to receive a Chalice gift catalogue you may contact our office and one will be mailed to you.
If I buy a goat, will a goat actually be provided?
The answer is yes, within categories. A goat will be provided if there is a request for one from our sites. If not, then we will keep the money within the category and another animal will be provided that is needed by the Chalice sponsor site.
How are the items in the gift catalogue chosen?
The Chalice regional directors who live overseas choose the specific items based on need and suitability to their local culture, because they are really needed and also appropriate to the local culture.

Horses - Ukraine needs horses to plow fields, and pull carts for transportation.

Jiko Stove - In Africa, it's a safe way to cook and can burn any fuel from twigs to scrap paper.

Houses - Due to constant flooding, flood resistant houses are needed in Bangladesh.

Bees and Bee Hives - These items are needed in all areas, as they are necessary for pollination and plant growth.
Who helps decide what goes where?
A Chalice staff committee of five ... made up of the Senior Fund Development Manager, the International Communications Officer and three International Managers, consider the requests that come in from our various sites (located in 15 different countries) and make decisions based on their individual needs.

All our sites are monitored for quality and administrative integrity.
Can I send something to my sponsored child or to his or her country?
No - unfortunately, this is not possible. The goal of the Chalice gift catalogue is to help the sponsor sites obtain the items that they need most.
Where do the prices come from?
The prices shown for gift items in  the Chalice gift catalogue are based on the average costs of purchasing the items around the world. Sometimes there are necessary additional costs. A medical professional may be required to assess patients and administer medications. The price of a goat may include vaccinations and training in animal husbandry.
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