Unfortunately it is getting more and more expensive for Eddy to receive packages for the kids because of the outrageous taxes/customs fees he has to pay. (In some cases the amount of tax he has to pay exceeds the value of the items!) It is also becoming more expensive for world friends to ship packages. In the U.S., the cost for shipping packages from 8 oz - 2 lbs is $23.25! So it's time for all of us to start being smarter about the packages we ship. No one wants Eddy to LOSE money by receiving supplies, and no one wants supporters to pay expensive shipping costs either.
So we are now asking penpals and all RRAChild world friends to be more selective about sending supplies. If you wish to send basic supplies, first check if Eddy can purchase these items locally. If he can, please just make a donation to cover the cost and he will buy the items there. It just makes more sense financially for everyone. You can donate to buy any of these items as general supplies for the children or as a gift for any specific child. You can even buy chickens and goats as a gift for the school or your pen pal's family! And if a mattress or a pair of shoes doesn't sound like a "fun" gift for a child, believe me that it is very much needed and appreciated! A good night's sleep and a comfortable pair of shoes for walking and playing are tremendous gifts for these kids! Also imagine if you had painful dental problems like some of our kids. A trip to the dentist to make that pain go away (and save your teeth) would be the best gift in the world!! And just the same as if you sent it yourself, your child will always be told that the gift came from YOU!
Here are the items/services you can purchase for the children and their costs in USD:
School Uniform: $10
Underwear: $7 (Pack of 12)
Socks: $9 (Pack of 12)
Black Leather School Shoes: $15
Athletic Shoes: $20
Box of 50 Pens: $6
Box of 50 Pencils: $6
Crayons: $6 (Pack of 10 Boxes)
Sanitary Pads: $1 (Single Pad)
Toothbrushes: $6 (Set of 10)
Toothpaste: $1.50 Per Tube
Live Chicken: $8
Live Goat: $75
Birthday Cake: $6 (small, basic cake)
Soccer Ball: $31
Soap: $1.20 per bar
Dental Cleaning Visit: $30
Medical Check-up Visit: $15
If you want to send personal gifts for your pen pal such as homemade items, special outfits, dolls/toys, and inexpensive jewelry, please feel free to still do so! Other items you can send that are difficult or expensive to obtain in Uganda include:
Books in English (textbooks, reference books, storybooks, etc.)
Vitamins (new, still sealed in bottle)
Seeds (new, sealed in packets)
Laptops and Tablets
Unfortunately the Ugandan postal system is corrupt, so sometimes Eddy will be charged fees arbitrarily, but there are guidelines you can use to minimize the taxes he has to pay. When sending packages, please follow these tips:
- Keep packages light, under 4 lbs / 2 kilos. In the U.S., packages will be $23.25 from 8 oz to 2 lbs, so if you have small, inexpensive extras such as pencils, balloons, bracelets, band-aids, and toothbrushes you can add these to "fill up" and make the most of the $23.25 for a 2lb package rate. Please try to avoid heavy, bulky items such as shoes and backpacks as they are frequently flagged for high taxes by customs. Please donate to buy these items instead.
- Remove all tags, boxes, and packaging from new items and mark them as "used" on the customs form, except for laptops and tablets. If you include clothing marked as used, indicate that it is not for resale.
- Underdeclare value. Always declare less than $50 in value. Always mark electronics as "used" so they will not be flagged as high value items.
Also, if you are a penpal, please NEVER FEEL OBLIGATED TO SEND ANYTHING other than a letter! (You can also include extra flat paper items in your letters that won't add to shipping costs but can be sweet little gifts such as printed-out photos, drawings, poems, and stickers.) Remember, the penpal program is free! The only situation where we would ask a penpal to send money is if you want a child's letter mailed to you "snail mail" instead of scanned and E-mailed to you. This small fee would just be to cover return postage. We want everyone to know that your letters themselves are incredible gifts for the children and genuine treasures to them. Your words mean the world to them. Learning about interesting people in different parts of the world is fascinating to them and an incredible source of knowledge. Even more so, your praise, encouragement, and support make our children feel special and loved!
The official Paypal address for all donations is:
You may also contribute to our GoFundMe account here.
If you are donating to buy a specific item/service for a child, please state the item and the child's name in the "note" section of the Paypal payment. Please use the "friends and family" option on Paypal for donations whenever possible. This saves us precious funds on fees!
Thank you for reading and if you have any questions, please ask!
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