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Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA)
Founded November 20, 1981
Founder Bob Hentzen, Jim Hentzen, Nadine Pearce and Jerry Tolle
Type Charitable organization, Non-governmental organization, Child sponsorship organization
Focus Sponsorship
Area served
22 countries
Slogan "Offering hope. Restoring dignity. Worldwide."

Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA) is a nonprofit sponsorship organization headquartered in Kansas City, Kan. CFCA was founded by lay Catholic workers acting on the Gospel call to serve the poor. Its Hope for a Family sponsorship program provides basic necessities like food, education, clothing and access to medical care in order to help families find paths out of poverty. Today, CFCA has grown into a movement of more than 250,000 sponsors supporting more than 300,000 children, youth and aging in 22 countries. [1]


CFCA’s primary mission is to walk with the poor and marginalized of the world. CFCA seeks to provide personal attention and direct benefits to children, youth, aging and their families so they may live with dignity, achieve their desired potential and participate fully in society. CFCA seeks to build community by fostering relationships of mutual respect, understanding and support that are culturally diverse, empowering and without religious or other prejudice. [2]


On November 20, 1981, CFCA was founded by siblings Bob Hentzen, Bud Hentzen, Jim Hentzen, Nadine Pearce and their friend Jerry Tolle. The siblings wanted to start a nonprofit to honor their late parents. Bob and Jerry were both missionaries who had witnessed firsthand the effects of poverty in developing countries, so they formed a sponsorship organization based on Catholic social teaching.

CFCA’s first headquarters was in Bob’s basement in Kansas City, Mo. Around 1982, the foundation relocated its office to a farmhouse. In 1991, CFCA converted an abandoned warehouse into the office that remains the current headquarters.

In 1992, CFCA began using church outreach to seek out new sponsors. [3]

In 1996, Bob walked 4,000 miles from the Kansas City headquarters to Antigua, Guatemala. This “Pilgrimage of Faith” lasted eight and a half months. Bob completed the walk to show his gratitude and love for the poor and all that they have taught him. [4]

From December 29, 2009, to June 6, 2011, Bob walked nearly 8,000 miles from Guatemala to Chile in an initiative called Walk2gether. The purpose of the walk through 12 countries was to show sponsored friends that someone cares. Bob’s goal was to find a sponsor for one child for each mile he walked – 8,000 miles for 8,000 kids. [5] [6]

Over the years, more than 625,000 children, youth and aging persons and their families have been served through the sponsorship program.


Sponsorship Program

CFCA uses a sponsorship model of direct support. Its Hope for a Family sponsorship program helps families living in extreme poverty by connecting them with sponsors in the U.S. Sponsorship requires a $30 monthly commitment to help fund basic necessities and, in some instances, livelihood programs to help families become self-sustaining.[7]

Benefits and services provided through sponsorship are personalized according to the needs of the family and may include: food, school uniforms, school supplies, tuition or other school fees, clothing, housing repairs, medical and dental care, livelihood initiatives, literacy training for adults, Christmas and birthday celebrations and social outings and assistance for the elderly. [8]

Sponsors have the opportunity to offer encouragement and support for their sponsored friends through the exchange of letters and photos. They also may choose to travel on CFCA mission awareness trips to meet their sponsored friends, learn about their lives and see how contributions are used.[9]

Scholarship Program

The CFCA Scholarship Program provides educational scholarships to students pursuing secondary, post-secondary and vocational school. Scholarships are used for tuition, transportation, school supplies and books. Recipients are selected by projects based on economic need, commitment to completing their education, demonstrated leadership potential and interest in community service. Recipients perform service projects as a requirement of the program.

Scholarships are intended as supplemental assistance, and families contribute what they can toward the student's education. CFCA sends 100 percent of scholarship contributions to projects for scholarship assistance. [10]

Financials and ratings[edit]

More than 94% of CFCA’s expenses go toward program support. In 2010, 3% of expenses were for administration and fundraising accounted for 2.7% of total expenses. [11]

The American Institute of Philanthropy gives CFCA an A+ rating in its Charity Rating Guide. CFCA is the only child sponsorship organization to hold this rating from AIP. [12]. Charity Navigator gives CFCA a 3-star rating based on program expenses, administrative expenses, fundraising expenses and operating efficiency. [13]. CFCA meets all 20 standards established by the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance. [14]

Countries served[edit]

CFCA currently works in 22 countries around the world. [15]

Mexico and the Caribbean Central America South America Africa Asia
Mexico Costa Rica Bolivia Kenya India
Dominican Republic El Salvador Brazil Liberia Philippines
Haiti Guatemala Chile Madagascar
Honduras Colombia Tanzania
Nicaragua Ecuador Uganda


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  4. ^ Gibeau, Dawn. “Foundation links sponsors with children, elders in distant lands”. January 24, 1997. National Catholic Reporter.
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  6. ^ Shahriari, Sara. "Bob Hentzen walks to help poor children across Latin America". The Christian Science Monitor. May 22, 2011. Retrieved August 25, 2011.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Understanding child sponsorship" Marketwire. February 28, 2011. Retrieved August 25, 2011.
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  12. ^ "Top Rated Charities". American Institute of Philanthropy. August 19, 2011.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "BBB Wise Giving Report for Christian Foundation for Children and Aging". Issued March 2011. Expires March 2013.
  15. ^

External links[edit]

Category:Charities based in the United States Category:Children's charities Category:Catholic social teaching Category:Christian charities Category:Development charities Category:Religion in Kansas Category:Non-governmental organizations based in the United States Category:Christianity in Kansas Category:Organizations based in Kansas Category:Non-profit organizations Category:Companies based in Kansas City, Kansas Category:International charities Category:Christian organizations established in the 20th century