Kids Pen Pals FAQ - Answers to all your pen pal questions on this site!
Is this a safe way to get pen pals? We believe it is... let me explain how we do Kids Pen Pals.
First, at Friendship-By-Mail, we only provide snail mail pen pals... that's our method to keep the kids safe. Snail Mail works as the the parents (on both ends) can supervise the letters coming into the home.
Second, All the kids pen pal ads used were parent-approved first. The applications are kept in a file that only Wendy and Chantal have access to.
We do not include any information that is too personal in the child's application: physical descriptions, for example. If the child includes things of this nature in their application they are deleted to ensure privacy. Also, any applications that are inappropriate or even remotely suggestive are immediately deleted.
We try our best to make Friendship-By-Mail a safe environment for children to enjoy the wonderful hobby of correspondence. We feel that by keeping correspondence limited to snail mail, the parents can monitor the mail their child is getting.
Where is my ad posted? We don't post ads on the web site. After we get permission from the parents, to get a pen pal for a child, we put that child's application into our file and we match them with others kids pen pal requests.
Will I get email or snail mail pen pals? We only supply snail mail pen pals at Friendship-By-Mail.
Why didn't I get any pen pals? The most common reasons for this are that the form is not filled out correctly or we never get approval from the parent's...if the parent doesn't approve the pen pal application, we must delete.
Another reason is simply that another kid hasn't written to you. We send ten pen pals to each kid who pays for a list. They can choose to write to any or all the pen pals listed... but they don't tell us who they choose. We might send out your pen pal ad six times to six different kids - you might get SIX letters, one from each kid, or none. It just depends on whether your pen pal ad appeals to that kid... right?
There are also some applications submitted that don't give any information other than name and address. If we don't know how old you are or what your hobbies are, we can't find someone for you to write to who is compatible or even the same age.
Why do I have to give my email if I only get snail mail pals? Sometimes we have questions about the address supplied as there are times when things like the town or state a child lives in is omitted and we use the email address to confirm their snail mail address. We have two kids, right now, who paid for pen pal lists -- and yet we can't mail them to their postal address as it's incomplete and they also didn't include the parents email address on the form... what a shame!
Do I have to pay? There are two ways that you can get a pen pal from Friendship-By-Mail.
(1) Pen Pal ads: First, any child can simply fill in the on-line form and get parental approval - then we'd put the application info in our file to be matched up with other kids who are the same age, and have similar interests. Once we find a match, the child's info is provided in a pen pal match list, and you might get a letter in the post from your new pen pal. This can sometimes take a little time as the applications that come in are very random in age and hobbies, so there is another way you can get pen pals... plus the kid gets to choose who to write to and they may not write to your child, just a kids personal decision.
(2) Pen Pal Matches: On the web site, there is a form you can print out, fill in, parent signs their approval, and then you mail it to Wendy.
This pen pal matching service costs $7.50, and you can either pay on line or send the money with your form. Once we get the form, we make a list of ten kids pen pals for you to choose from - you can write to any or all of them.
These children will be within one year of your age and have similar interests, and you can decide if you just want pen pals from the United States or from around the world, or if you want all girl pen pals, just boys or boys and girls.
It's a personalized pen pal match letter just for that one child, based on what they requested on the mailed in form. This list is sent through the mail and you will also get a Pen Pal Guide to help you get started.
Why do you ask for my age and my birth date? Your year of birth is how we file the kids pen pal applications so that they stay current. By using the year of birth, we can do the pen pal matching easily by consulting one birth year to find pen pals of the same age and interests.
Will my pen pal speak English? English is the international language so even if your pal's native language is not English, they still learn English in school. All the children who apply for pen pals use English when filling out their forms, so you shouldn't have any problems writing to them.
Why do I have to get my parent's permission? In the United States, there are child safety laws that require anyone under the age of 17 to have a parent's permission before we can use their application. So, if you don't get your parent's approval, your ad will be deleted and there are no exceptions to this, as it is the law.
I hope this Kids Pen Pals FAQ page was helpful to you!