Compassion also has a Prayer Network, a community of people like you who pray regularly for children living in poverty. You can sign up for free to become a Prayer Partner and receive a monthly prayer calendar via email or mail. It lists specific requests that our church partners around the world send us so we can pray for children in the program, their families and staff and volunteers who serve them.
6. Give a Center Gift
This is one of our newer opportunities to show up for your sponsored child. You can give to help your child’s entire child development center, providing much-needed items that will benefit all the kids who go there for Compassion program activities. You can give anywhere from a one-time gift of $50 to a maximum of four gifts up to $15,000 per center each year.
When you give a center gift, staff will decide how best to use the gift to help the children. For example, your gift could be used to:
- Build a playground.
- Stock a kitchen with food and supplies.
- Equip a library with new textbooks.
- Repair washrooms.
- Fill a classroom with more learning supplies and toys.
For a child living in poverty, a Compassion center is a place of refuge. In some cases, the playground might be the only safe place to play in their whole community. And with some centers that serve more than 200 children, classroom and hygienic supplies are always much appreciated.
7. Host a Compassion Sunday Event
Hosting a Compassion Sunday event at your church is a powerful way to show up for the child you sponsor. It’s a day when you tell your church family about the child you sponsor and give them the chance to sponsor a child too. This year, April 30 is the date most churches will participate, but you can choose any date that works best for you.
Here’s how Compassion Sunday events work:
- You order a free Planning Guide, and we’ll mail it to you. It doesn’t obligate you to anything; it just gives you all the information you need to decide whether to host an event at your church. It has a booklet to give to your pastor, a sample presentation and other resources.
- After setting a date with your pastor, you register your event. Compassion will then send an Event Kit, including display decorations for a table you’ll set up in your church lobby and a T-shirt to wear. The week before your event, you’ll receive packets of children needing sponsors, which you put out on your table the day of your event.
- At your Compassion Sunday event, you tell your church about your sponsored child and why you have a heart for people in poverty. It can be a short talk during announcements, or you can work it into the whole service.
- After the service, people visit your table to learn more and see the children available for sponsorship. They can sponsor a child right from your table!
After your event, you can write to the child you sponsor and say you told your whole church family about them. Imagine how special that would make a child feel!
8. Get Your Kids Involved
We all want to inspire the kids in our lives to have hearts for people in poverty. Having your own children write letters or draw pictures for the child your family sponsors is a great way to get them thinking beyond themselves. With your sponsored child as a pen pal, your own child can gain a broader perspective, cultivate gratitude and practice writing or drawing. And children in the program love getting letters or drawings from kids around their age!
Maybe you even develop a family letter writing plan for the new year, marking on the calendar whose turn it is to write to the child you sponsor that month. Or the family could gather around the table every time you write and everyone add their own special touch.
If you do have school-age children in the home, you’ll find lots of fun family resources — activities, crafts, devotionals, stories and recipes — in Compassion Explorer for children. And if you’re a sponsor or donor living in the U.S., you can sign up to receive the print edition of Compassion Explorer Magazine in the mail four times a year for free. We are currently only able to send the magazine to households of sponsors.
9. Continue to Sponsor
Just a little reminder that even if you take none of the above actions, you are still making an enormous difference simply by sponsoring! Your monthly act of faith shows the child you sponsor how much you care. Your support connects them with a local church that knows their unique needs and works tirelessly to meet them with the resources you provide.
Compassion supporters are some of my favorite people. You inspire me every day, and I’m so glad I get to share these ideas and resources with you so you start off 2023 with your sponsored child at the front of your mind. Happy New Year!