I have sponsored a child through Compassion International for over eight years. I truly believe that Compassion International is the best child sponsorship program out there. (You can read a little bit more about why I love Compassion International here).
Being able to watch our Compassion children grow and change over the years has been such a gift – and my family and I MOST look forward to receiving letters! Every time we get a new letter from one of our sponsored children in the mail, my kids get SO excited to open it up and see what it says. Letter writing is one of the biggest components of sponsoring a child because it really does help to further connect you across the globe!
I’ll be honest, early on in my years of sponsoring a child, when it came time for ME to send a letter to our child across the globe… I struggled with what to write. I kept running out of ideas or I would way overthink my letter. I take very seriously the privilege and honor, really, of being able to write a letter to a beautiful child that I love all the way across the world!
Since I’ve written many a letter to a sponsored child over the past eight years, I thought I would just share a few tips on letter writing and a few ideas and suggestions of what to write YOUR sponsored child! And, if you don’t sponsor a child through Compassion International – NOW is the time. You can click here to sponsor a child TODAY!
Also, I feel it’s important to note… it is literally the easiest thing to actually send the letter. There’s an APP that you can send your letter through, you can write and send a letter through the Compassion website, you can upload pictures, and even a few times a year you’ll receive a blank letter form in the mail with a PRE-PAID ENVELOPE to reply. It. Could. Not. Be. Easier. You can do this!!
My tips when it comes to writing a letter to a child you sponsor through Compassion International:
- Keep your letter short! This is not your annual family Christmas newsletter. This is a short paragraph or two touching base, checking in, and creating a point of connection. Also, keep in mind that your letter will probably have to be translated, so make it easy on the translator!
- Try to avoid talking about material possessions. This should probably go without saying, but this is not the time to talk about your home or the car you drive or the expensive thing your family just did.
- Be honest and real! Don’t feel like you have to hide anything or don’t feel like you need to force the letter… just be yourself!
- Be specific in your reply. Mention something that your child wrote about in a previous letter or comment on the picture he/she drew.
- Include pictures!!! Our sponsored children love receiving pictures from us just like we love receiving pictures from them! We always try to include an updated picture of our kids, a recent family picture, a picture of us doing something fun, or a picture of an activity we enjoy doing. Pictures are wonderful ways to connect! I love that Compassion makes it so easy for me to upload pictures directly through the website.
- Avoid making promises you know you can’t keep. Don’t say you’re definitely coming to visit when you haven’t booked a trip. Don’t invite them to your house (obviously). Don’t promise a gift. Just keep it simple!
- DO exude love in every letter you write. Let all that you write be done with love!
14 Ideas for what to write a child you sponsor through Compassion International:
- Ask questions! Sometimes I will send a quick letter to our sponsored child just asking a lot of questions! I try to ask questions about their family, what they’re learning in school, what games they like to play, what they like to do with their friends, what they want to be when they grow up, etc. Questions are a great way to learn more about your child and get them sharing!
- Write out a prayer! I love using letters as an opportunity to just write out a short prayer. I’ll pray for health, safety, their experience at school, their physical and spiritual growth and development, their family, etc. Prayer is powerful.
- Share a verse of scripture that’s been on your heart lately. This is another letter I love to write is simply including a verse of scripture that I’ve been memorizing or maybe has been speaking to me lately. I share why I love the verse and then I pray that verse over them.
- Share about your family! I love sending a letter that just updates on what the kids are doing lately. I share what Lilly is learning in school or how Amos loves to play basketball and baseball. We find ways to connect through the similarities and differences in our families!
- Do some research on their country and ask them something culturally specific. Learn more about the culture your child comes from – are there any country holidays coming up, what’s the weather like, etc. and ask them about it! Ask them how they’re planning to celebrate the upcoming holiday or how they are handling the change in weather. Keep it light and keep it simple, but it’s a great way to learn!
- Share about your own holiday / cultural experiences or plans. If Thanksgiving is coming up, talk about something you love to do for Thanksgiving. Use it as an opportunity to share more about what your life is like here in the United States!
- If you have older kids, have them draw or color a picture to send to your sponsored child! Lilly and Amos love creating something specifically for our sponsored child and it always means so much to them to receive something unique and creative.
- Talk about your own faith journey or something that Jesus has done for you lately! What is Jesus doing in your life right now? Share how He has been working and how He has been so faithful!
- Talk about your favorite pastimes / hobbies / places to visit. I love sharing pictures from a recent vacation (obviously do not include anything that would be considered “expensive” or elaborate. Just a simple picture in a place you visited it perfect!) If you’ve taken up a hobby of knitting or hand lettering or art or running or you just love to read, share that!
- Share a funny story! At Lilly’s birthday party this year, our dog snuck on top of the table and literally ate half of Lilly’s birthday cake while we all weren’t looking. It became such a hilarious story that we shared that in a recent letter to our child! So, tell a funny family story or favorite memory in a letter.
- Use the letter as an opportunity to just encourage your child. Odds are, your sponsored child is facing a lot of really difficult things. Encourage them to work hard in school, encourage them to cling to their faith, encourage them that you are praying for their health, safety, wellbeing, etc. Tell them you LOVE THEM! This is so huge, friend.
- ALWAYS WRITE A LETTER ON THEIR BIRTHDAY! Send a birthday card to your sponsored child. Compassion makes it really easy and reminds you when your child’s birthday rolls around!
- Include a coloring page! Compassion provides coloring pages or you could print some out and send them yourself! Coloring pages are a great way to provide a special activity for your child!!
- Send a Christmas card! I always make sure to send our family’s Christmas card to our sponsored child. It’s great because it has a recent picture of our family on it and also just wishes them a Merry Christmas!
And when all else fails, check out the Compassion International Letter Writing Ideas Pinterest board! They have tons of ideas there, too!
What about you? Have you written a letter to your sponsored child lately? What ideas do you have? Do you sponsor a child through Compassion International? If not, what are you waiting for? Click here to sponsor a child today!