Frequently Asked Questions

What does Sponsorship cost?
For little more than a dollar a day, or $35 a month, a child can be fully supported for an entire year.

How long does sponsorship last?
Your sponsorship commitment will last one year from the time we receive your first donation, although it is our aim to establish a long-term relationship with our sponsors.

Can I sponsor more than one child?
Absolutely, please sponsor as many children as you can.

Can I email my child?
Gokulam is not equipped at this time to offer this sort of correspondence. With generous donations we may be able to make this possible in the future.

What amount of the funds is used to benefit the children?
100% of the funds go directly to the orphanage and the children.

Will my $35 a month sponsorship go directly to my child? 
Your monthly gift of $35 will be combined with the contributions of other sponsors to make resources available that meet the needs of all the children. Your donations will even help children who have not yet received a sponsor.

May I send gifts to my child?
You may send photos and letters. Please refer to the Writing to Your Child section for information and guidelines. We don’t allow gifts to be sent because of the high duties and taxes, and because it could create animosity between the children receiving gifts and those not receiving gifts. You may however, send a monetary gift to your child to commemorate a special occasion like a birthday, holiday, or achievement. Your child will be notified that a sponsor has given him/her a special gift. However, no specific details will be given to your sponsored child about your gift. This again prevents animosity between your sponsored child and his/her peers whose sponsor may not be as generous. Monetary gifts will be put into your sponsored child’s individual savings account. This money will help to provide your child with start-up capital for when they leave Bhaktivedanta Children’s Home and help them start an independent life.

Can I write to my child?
Yes, you absolutely may. Please refer to the How to Write Your Child page for information and guidelines.

Will my child write back to me?
This depends on a lot of circumstances. Once a year, you will receive a Thank you card from your child. Beyond that we do not require the children to write, but most will. Even though the children are taught in English, the younger children may need your letters translated and their responses to be translated into English. This may take some time.

Is it possible to visit my sponsored child?
Yes, but it will only be possible at times set by Gokulam. If you would like to arrange a visit we will try and work with you to accommodate the most practical schedule for you and the Home.

Is my sponsored child a tsunami orphan? 
He/she may be. Approximately half of the orphans at Gokulam are tsunami orphans. You will find out when you receive your child’s biographical information. Whether your child was orphaned by the tsunami or not, all the children are in desperate need of your assistance.

Will I receive a monthly statement?
If your sponsorship is set up via electronic payment through our Web site; you will automatically receive a statement via email. Otherwise, sponsorships paid for using check will receive an annual statement only.

How do I sign up to sponsor a child? 
You can register online using a credit card payment, or print out the Child Sponsorship form (PSD version) from our Web site, and then mail in your payment by check.

What type of help does Gokulam – Bhaktivedanta Children’s Home provide for the children? 
Because of your generous contribution, your child will have full access to a comprehensive education, the care and attention of a new family, complete health services, new clothing and three nutritious meals daily. Your sponsored child will once again have hope for a healthy, happy and prosperous future.

If I’m not ready to sponsor a child, are there other ways in which I can help?
Yes! You are welcome to give a one time donation or a donation in kind. Also please refer to our Advocacy and Fundraising page to learn more about other creative ways you can help.

Can you provide me with more detailed information about gift sponsorships? 
What better way to share your dedication to helping the world’s needy children then by making a contribution in the name of another individual? It is a great way to make any occasion more meaningful. The Gift Sponsorship is a wonderful way to create a unique bond and friendship between that special person that you wish to honor and a needy child. If you would like to give a sponsorship to a friend or relative, you are considered to be the “Gift Giver.” As the giver, you are financially responsible for the sponsorship of the child. Our sponsorships are $35 per month or $420 per year, payable in advance or monthly. All materials about the financial details will be sent to you. The recipient of the gift sponsorship is considered to be the “Gift Recipient.” It is important that you have the full name and mailing address of the recipient before you create the Gift Sponsorship. Please be aware that all correspondence from or about your child will be sent to the Gift Recipient only. This also includes the original information, welcome package, and the photo of the child.

How will I learn about my child’s progress? 
Expect a yearly progress report and Thank you card telling you about the child’s health, living circumstances, educational progress and update on the program activities. Your personal correspondence will also give you an idea of your child’s hobbies, interests, schoolwork and ambitions.

Does Bhaktivedanta Children’s Home share or sell information about donors?
Absolutely not! All information about our donors is kept in strict confidence.

What if I have specific questions about my child? 
Please feel free to email us with any questions about your child or the sponsorship program and we will do our best to answer them as completely as we can.

I can see from the photos that the children appear to be participating in some form of religious practice. What religion is taught at Gokulam? 
The children come from many religious backgrounds, Gokulam – Bhaktivedanta Children’s Home believes in a nonsectarian approach to spiritual education. As a result, the children acquire their spiritual foundation through an ecumenical approach of drawing from the teachings and cultures of many religions and their sacred texts. 

What will I get as a sponsor? 
Within three to six weeks you will receive a welcome package, which includes a photo and brief bio of your child, comprehensive information about the orphanage, and a fact sheet about Sri Lanka. You will have the privileged opportunity to create a special relationship with an orphan in a developing country. Once a year you will receive an update from the orphanage about your child’s progress.

What is your contact information?
Please visit our Contact page.

Am I the only sponsor for my child? 
You may, or may not be. We want to ensure that the children have the best care and services as possible. We will not turn any sponsor away, so eventually a child may have multiple sponsors. 

Is my donation tax deductible, and what is the tax exemption ID number?
Yes, Gokulam – Bhaktivedanta Children’s Home has a registered office in Maryland, USA, so all donations are tax deductible. Our Tax ID is:

When do the children leave the care of Gokulam – Bhaktivedanta Children’s Home, and what happens to them? Do they go to university, start a job, or get vocational training?
From the very beginning of a child’s life at Gokulam, we begin planning for the child’s future. All children are given their own bank account and funds are evenly distributed to each child’s account to provide support for their college education, marriage or career. The Bhaktivedanta International School grooms the children for their independent life outside the Home by providing in-house vocational guidance, marriage planning, business experience through the Home’s own business ventures, as well as financial planning.

Are all the children true orphans (lost both parents)?
Not all the children at Gokulam – Bhaktivedanta Children’s Home have lost both parents. Some children at the home may have one parent living; however they are unable to care for the child because of disease, extreme poverty, or mental instability.

If a child is not a true orphan, then can his/her parent take them back?
Occasionally if a parent who was unable to care for the child becomes well and able to care for their child again, then legally we must give the child back to the parent. If this happens to your sponsored child, we will notify and give you the option to sponsor another needy child, or if you so choose, you may discontinue your sponsorship.

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