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Frequently Asked Questions

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What is PeacePal?

As war, civil unrest and environmental challenges continue to increase globally; the need for responsive leadership grows. Today’s youth are unprepared to effectively meet the unprecedented challenges of tomorrow. PeacePal prepares youth to be more effective members of society by cultivating essential skills such as enhanced literacy, communication, critical thinking, confidence, conflict management, and intercultural understanding.

Based in school classrooms, we connect students in the U.S. and around the world through pen pal letter writing and service learning projects, creating new friendships, promoting a common understanding of humanity and laying the foundation for a more peaceful world. 

How do I join PeacePal?

Project PeacePal is a school-based peace through education pen pal program. Schools and teachers are asked to contact our office by writing to info@peacepal.org. If you are a student, ask your teacher to contact us. Please note that the deadline for new enrollment is July 30 of each year.

If you are a teacher, please write to us with your name and contact information, a brief description of your school location and classroom size, and the age of your students.  We recommend that you contact us the spring or summer prior to the start of each new school year.

 
PLEASE NOTE: As of April 2014 the PeacePal program is accepting participants for the 2014-2015 school year.  Please contact us by June 30, 2014 if you are interested in starting a PeacePal group in your area.

Is there an application form?

Yes, please click here to download current application form.

Is PeacePal available to all aged students?

No, our program is available to students in middle school and high school only at this time. We currently accept students in grades 6 through 12.

How much does it cost to become a member of PeacePal?

There is no required membership fee to become a PeacePal. Because we pay for program expenses such as postage and supplies for most of our international partners, your financial support is greatly appreciated, however.

A participation fee of $10 per student covers the costs of postage for both the international and U.S. PeacePals, as well as supplies and program costs for the international PeacePal. Students wishing to pay the suggested membership fee may donate online, or send their check made to PeacePal, P.O. Box 6691, Albuquerque, NM 87197.

Where are PeacePal students located?

Each year there are an average of 1,500 student particpants in the US and around the world.  Program locations have ranged from Afghanistan to Uganda.

How do people get involved with Project PeacePal?

Youth:

By participating in the letter writing program and/or a service leaning project, youth are the focus and impetus for everything PeacePal does. Students are encouraged to initiate letter writing and service projects within their classes and schools, with PeacePal providing all the necessary logistics, coordination, and support.

Educators:

PeacePal provides our standards-based Peace Begins in Me curriculum to middle and high school educators. The curriculum is matched to Common Core Standards and assists teachers with teaching everything from basic literacy skills to conveying concepts of cultural competence, diversity and privilege to non-violent communication and peaceful conflict resolution. Our organization helps teachers at every step along the way in implementing letter writing and/or service learning projects for their classes.

General Public:

The general public can be involved with PeacePal in multiple capacities including: providing donations to support organizational operations, assisting with fundraising, bringing individual talents to a variety of volunteer opportunities, or sitting on our Board of Directors.

How can I become involved as a fundraiser or volunteer?

Looking for a meaningful volunteer opportunity? Volunteering with PeacePal  supports our work and gives you the great feeling that you are helping make a difference in the world.  We have a wide range of opportunities including assisting with fundraising, marketing, special events, community outreach, publicity, video projects, web design, processing pen pal letters, and more.  Because volunteering with our organization requires training, we ask that volunteers make a minimum commitment of three hours per week for at least three months.  We also have opportunities to serve on our Board of Directors, which requires a commitment of at least 10 hours per month, including attending monthly Board meetings. 

If you are interested in any of these volunteer opportunities, please fill out our volunteer application here.

How much does it cost to run these programs?

The majority of our expenses are for program costs such as international postage and subsidies for partner schools abroad, including basic supplies such as pens and paper. It currently costs about $10 per student per year for the letter writing program. Please see our 2012-2013 Annual Impact Report for more detailed financial information.

How does PeacePal get its funding?

PeacePal operates internationally on a shoestring budget. Donor support, grants, and special events each comprise about a third of the organization's funding. 

How can I donate?

Project PeacePal is an international peace through education, IRS approved 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Our Federal EIN is 74-3220465.

1. Use your credit or debit card to make a secure gift through Givlet. It's fast and easy!

2. Online bill pay through your bank. It's free and avoids processing charges which allows more of your donation dollar to be used for our programs.

3. Send your check to us directly: P.O. Box 6691, Albuquerque, NM  87197

Find out about more ways you can support PeacePal.

How did PeacePal start?

Project PeacePal was created in the spring of 2007 by founder and Executive Director Sarah Wilkinson based on her experience volunteering at her son’s Albuquerque elementary school. Sarah noticed the curiosity students have about their peers living in other parts of the world and dreamed of establishing a program to directly connect students internationally. Why not create a program where students of all ages could directly communicate and learn from peers across the world as pen pals? The organization began with only a few dozen students in New Mexico and northern Togo and Sarah working from her house. This quickly grew to include thousands of participants in over a dozen countries and numerous volunteers. To accommodate rapid growth over just a few years, the organization moved into an office space in 2010.

Where is the organization headquartered?

PeacePal is based in Albuquerque, NM. All letters are processed at this location and the office also serves as the center for all program coordination.