By: Brooke Hamilton   |   Posted: December 15, 2022

A sponsor shares how letter writing not only builds your relationship with the child you sponsor, but it can also strengthen their relationship with God. Enjoy her fun ideas for what to include in your next letter to your sponsored child.

Do Our Letters REALLY Matter?

A sponsor shares how letter writing not only builds your relationship with the child you sponsor, but it can also strengthen their relationship with God. Enjoy her fun ideas for what to include in your next letter to your sponsored child.

Written by Brooke Hamilton
Photography by Tigist Gizachew, Hutama Limarta and Rachael Cudjoe-Yevu
girl holds a letter from her sponsor

There were hundreds of photos. My heart broke as I scrolled, seeing so many children in need of sponsors. But when I came across her picture, I knew she was the one.

When children join Compassion’s Child Sponsorship Program, their lives change. They have the chance to go to school, get new clothes, eat meals and learn about Jesus! However, I didn’t realize the impact sponsorship would have on me. One of the greatest honors and blessings in my life is sponsoring and writing to my Compassion children.

I have been with Compassion International since March 2020. I am a sponsor to four children and a child correspondent to five more.

The Impact of Letter Writing

I have a deep love for the kids I support and write to. But how can you love someone you have never met? you may be wondering. This deep-rooted love I have for them has been created through letter writing.

When we send a letter to our sponsored or correspondent child, that letter shows them that there is someone thousands of miles away who not only loves them but also knows and cares for them. It means that they are not forgotten. Letter writing also impacts more than just your child because that letter can reach their family, their friends and their community! That’s why receiving letters is cause for huge celebration at Compassion centers.

As sponsors and child correspondents, we have the opportunity to make a real difference in children’s lives when poverty tells them that they are worthless. We can be the hands and feet of Jesus by showing them compassion and love!

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8-9

Your impact is immeasurable. Letter writing not only deepens your relationship with your child, but it can also strengthen their relationship with God. Your letter is a gift to your child, and it certainly doesn’t need to be long — it can just be a few sentences telling them how proud and happy you are that you’re their sponsor.

a boy writes a letter

Letter Ideas and Topics

No matter if you are sponsoring one child or 10, writing can be stressful and intimidating! Where do I start? What should I say? What can I include in my letters? As someone who has asked these questions, hopefully I can help!

What should I write about?

There are so many things you can write about! One of my strategies is creating ONE topic or idea each time I write. Whether that is about holidays you celebrate, places you’ve been or even your favorite food, your child will love anything you write! For example, if my topic is about my best friend, Grace, I can mention where she lives, what she loves to do and fun memories we have had together. I can then ask my sponsored child about their best friend!

Or if I am writing about an event, such as a wedding I went to, I can tell my child about the bride and groom, the foods we ate and how the cake was decorated. I could then ask my child about any wedding traditions their culture has. (If you want your sponsored child to answer a specific question of yours, you can highlight or number it in your letter.)

Here are some letter writing topic ideas!

  • Members of your family — Who lives with you in your house? Are you married? Do you have siblings? Ask them about their family.
  • Sports you like to play/watch — You can ask them what sports they like.
  • Favorite family traditions — What do you do for birthdays/Thanksgiving/Easter? Ask them what they do on holidays in their country.
  • What you are learning at school/your job — Ask them their favorite subject.
  • The weather/seasons where you live — Ask them about their favorite/least favorite seasons/weather.
  • Your favorite food — You can describe it and send a picture! And then ask them what their favorite is.
  • Your hobbies — What do you like to do? Ask them what they like to do when they are not at school or doing chores.
  • Bible stories — What is your favorite? Ask them theirs. (You can find coloring sheets online!)
  • Scripture — What is your favorite Bible verse? Ask them theirs.
  • Pets — If you don’t have a pet, what is your favorite animal? And you can ask them theirs.
  • Your friends — You can describe them and how you met them! Ask them who their friends are.
  • Events — Weddings, parties, sports games, church services, baby showers! You can ask them their favorite related traditions.
  • Your favorite places — The beach, mountains or a vacation spot! Maybe it is a room in your house. You can ask them their favorite place.
  • Birthdays! When is your birthday, and what do you do to celebrate? Ask them what they do!
  • Christmas! What do you do for Christmas? Ask them what their family does.

Besides Christmas and Easter, I wanted to include a few more holidays you can use as ideas to write to your children:

  • February is Valentine's Day! I will talk about God’s love for us and send them paper heart Valentines.
  • In July, I will talk about the United States’ Independence Day and include a firework coloring sheet. I ask them about holidays specific to their countries too.
  • September is back to school, so I can ask them about their school and what they are learning!
  • November is Thanksgiving in the U.S., so I will talk about my family traditions and describe pumpkin pie.

Bonus Tip: You can research holidays in their country and ask about their traditions!

How often should I write?

Everyone has different time commitments, which can make finding a time to write difficult! I have found that designating a day each month helps me write more consistently. Or for others, responding instantly after receiving a letter helps them remember to always reply. I try to write every month. Maybe you write every two weeks or every two months. Just know, the more you write, the more letters you will receive.

(Remember, if you want your letter to arrive on time, you should send it a couple of months in advance.)

What to Include With Your Letter?

a group of girls hold letters from their sponsors

All right, so you wrote your letter. Now, before you press send or mail the envelope, is there anything else you might want to include? YES!

For me, part of the fun in letter writing is not only writing the letters but sending something else my children might love!

Here are Compassion’s guidelines for sending items in addition to your letter:

  • Items must be sent along with a personal letter, or they won’t be delivered to your child.
  • The maximum number of items (including stationery and the letter to your child) is six sheets.
  • If you send letters, photos, postcards, greeting cards, coloring pages or paper crafts, these items will be scanned and sent electronically only.
  • Each paper gift item must be no larger than 8.5 inches by 11 inches.
  • Write your sponsor number and your sponsored child’s name and number on each small item you send.

Here are the other small items you can mail to the child you sponsor:

Please note: If there is any writing on these items, they will be scanned for translation purposes first, and then physically delivered to your child.

  • Pictures — Children love receiving pictures of you or where you live! Do you live by the beach, desert or mountains? You can send all three if you live in California (haha!).
    • Even better idea: Take a selfie with you holding up their photo in different places if you’re travelling!
  • Stickers — These are so fun! I buy mine at dollar stores.
  • Bookmarks — This can encourage them to read, and it is another physical reminder of you.
  • Coloring sheets — I love sending these, especially around Easter and Christmas. If your child likes soccer, send a soccer coloring sheet! (You can basically find any coloring sheet, download it as a photo, and then upload it as one photo sheet!) All Child Development Centers have crayons, so this is a fun way for children to color something from you!
  • Pop-Up or Musical Cards — My favorite item I have ever sent is a self-recordable musical card! Your sponsored child can hear your recorded voice when they open the card. I send this to my sponsored children on their birthdays and on Christmas! You can find these on Amazon. (Tip: Just be sure you can lock your card’s recording so that, if it gets bumped in the mail, your recording won’t be rerecorded over).
the author

Brooke is a senior in college studying speech therapy. She also loves the beach and spending time with her friends and family.

Send a letter to the child you sponsor.

Even a few words can make an enormous impact in a child’s life!