By: Eryn Carman with Juana Ordoñez Martinez   |   Posted: December 01, 2023

Writing letters can be challenging for kids — but they have help. Meet the dedicated tutors who ensure children can send heartfelt messages to their sponsors.

Who Helps the Children Write Letters to You?

Writing letters can be challenging for kids — but they have help. Meet the dedicated tutors who ensure children can send heartfelt messages to their sponsors.

Written by Eryn Carman with Juana Ordoñez Martinez
Photography by Juana Ordoñez Martinez
lady helps children write letters

Letters from a sponsor to a child and from a child to a sponsor pass through the hands of some pretty amazing people. First there are the people who receive your letters when you send them to us. Then there are the folks who translate your loving words. Today, we’re excited to introduce you to some of the tutors who help the children and teens write their letters to you!

The tutors at each child development center are the final link in the chain connecting you to the child you sponsor. These are the folks who work with every child and teen so they can express themselves on paper — something most of them aren’t used to doing.

We sat down with a few tutors and asked them to share how they help children write letters to you. Since letter writing looks different at each center, the process may vary a bit for your sponsored child. But you’ll still get a good idea of what it’s like for them too!

So let’s meet the dedicated ladies at a Compassion center in Honduras, who take immense joy in helping connect two unique people across the globe.


Osiris smiles at camera

Osiris is a center tutor who teaches children ages 6 to 8 and 9 to 11 years old.

Question: What’s it like when the children receive letters at your center?

Answer: The day that we deliver letters from the sponsors is the happiest day in the children’s lives. We make it once a month, and we put all the letters inside a decorated and special box. The children know that special box and start screaming eagerly for it to be opened. We start calling the names of those who receive letters, but we encourage those who didn’t. Delivering letters is kind of bittersweet to us because some children get letters and others don’t.

Q: How often do the students write letters?

A: Throughout the year, the children write two scheduled letters. But those are not the only letters that the children will send to the sponsors. Children from 1 to 9 years fill out colorful and informative templates that allow sponsors to get to know them better. Some examples of the templates include My First Letter, My Favorites, My Christian Learning and My Family.

Osiris prays with children
Osiris prays with the children before they write their letters.
Q: How do you coach a child in letter writing?

A: First of all, we raise awareness among the children on the impact of writing meaningful letters to sponsors. As a tutor, I explain to them about the financial commitment that sponsors make every month so children can receive all the benefits at the center. With that explanation on their minds, they’re always moved to write appreciation or thank-you lines.

Sometimes the children get lost and do not know what to write. When they feel that way, we sit down with the children and pray together, and then we start discussing how to let the ideas flow.

Q: What is your favorite part of your work with the children?

A: I like to see how children include prayer requests in their letters. Their faith is so powerful. They’re convinced and affirmed that their sponsors will pray along with them.


Debora smiles at camera

Débora is an alumna of Compassion’s sponsorship program. As someone who has written to her own sponsor, she has a unique perspective in helping the children with letters to their sponsors. At the center in Honduras, she teaches children ages 3 to 5 and 9 to 11.

Q: What’s it like when the children receive the letters?

A: The classroom is filled with pure joy. Children start sharing with one another about what the sponsors sent to them, like stickers or photos. They read the letters in the classroom, but when they leave the center, they read them again with their family members. Children treasure the sponsors’ letters so much that they keep them inside a special box.

Q: Is the letter-writing process different for different age groups?

A: As the little children cannot write and read yet, they’re [often] helped by their parents. The parents enjoy thinking about the sponsors because they consider them family, and they also enjoy writing about their children’s adventures and holistic progress. Parents do not hesitate to include lines of gratitude to the sponsors in the letters because of the benefits that their children receive.

Débora with class
Débora works with her class on letter writing day.
Q: How do you coach a child in letter writing?

A: Registered children go through letter laboratories. Before they get sponsored, they start making rehearsal letters to their relatives. This helps them to practice how to express themselves and to start getting used to writing to someone they love like a parent or a sponsor.

Q: What’s your favorite part of your work with the children?

A: I enjoy helping the children to include a drawing. Some of them might not know how to draw, but they work hard to draw a beautiful picture because they want to put a smile on their sponsors’ faces. Their final pieces included in the letters are often a reflection of what they’re experiencing, or what they dream of. It melts my heart when they draw themselves holding hands with their sponsors, even though they do not know each other face-to-face yet.


Alicia smiles at the camera

Alicia Palma is a tutor and a veteran at letter writing. She’s been teaching at this Compassion center in Honduras for 14 years! She works with the 3- to 5-year-olds and teenagers.

Q: What’s it like for the children to receive a letter from their sponsors?

A: The youths are very sensitive. Most of them come from families where affection is barely seen. But receiving a letter from their sponsors means the world to them. I know for a fact that youths feel encouraged to write more letters when they actually receive them. Some youths keep fragments of the sponsors’ letters in their wallets as a reminder of their encouraging love.

Q: When children write, do they have the sponsors’ letters with them?

A: Every child has a notebook where they keep copies not only of the letters that they write to their sponsor, but also a copy of the latest letter that they received from their sponsor. When they write a letter back, they include the answers to the questions that the sponsor made the last time. They also highlight the sponsor’s main paragraphs so their letters can be cohesive with the ones from the sponsors. [Please note: These details vary by Compassion center. Children don’t always have their sponsors’ letters nearby like those at this Honduras center do.]

Q: What’s your favorite part of your work with the children?

A: I enjoy helping the children include Bible verses for their sponsors. Sometimes they can’t draw, but they love to decorate Bible verses that will impact their sponsors’ lives. Besides, the Word of God is so powerful that it not only touches the children’s lives but the sponsors’ as well.


Glenda smiles at the camera

Glenda has dedicated herself to helping students in the sponsorship program for 14 years! She teaches the 6- to 8-year-olds and 9- to 11-year-olds.

Q: How do you prepare the children for writing their letters?

A: Previous to the letter writing day, we set up what we call The Letter Fair. During The Letter Fair, we take the children on a field trip, provide a special meal, play games and hand out prizes related to the letter writing theme. We make this event twice a year, but this does not mean that children only write two letters. They can write more if their sponsors send more too.

While the children are outdoors, they feel free, motivated and inspired to write letters. They write a draft of their letter in a separate notebook. We don’t tell children what to write; we just provide them with some hints that might be useful while writing. When we get back to the classrooms, they write their letters down on a template. This is really helpful because it helps them avoid making mistakes in their handwriting.

Q: Is it difficult for children to write letters?

A: Sometimes writing letters represents a big challenge to children. Our educational system is not that good, and children are not taught about writing skills. However, as tutors, we walk along with the children and make the writing letters process a joyful ride. For instance, we pray and sing worship songs before the letter writing process, which destresses children and allows them to write freely.

[The younger] children love the templates because they just have to circle the information. Sponsors might receive a total of three or four of these templates per year, and they give a wider picture of the child’s life.

On the other hand, it gets really difficult for a child to write letters when they have not received correspondence from their sponsors.

Q: What is your favorite part of your work with the children?

A: I love to see how children express their feelings on paper. They empty their hearts through letters and let their sponsors know about their most amazing experiences. They know that they have a foreign friend whom they can rely on, and they do not hesitate in sharing insights about their families, center activities, school projects, friends and pets.

In every church, in every child development center, in every country in which we serve, there is a Glenda and an Alicia, an Osiris and a Débora — people dedicated to enriching a child’s relationship with you.

hands holding and pointing to letter
While the letter writing process varies a little at every child development center, the result is the same.

Children are learning about another culture and how to read, write and compose their thoughts. They are learning how to open up and share their lives with someone they have never met — someone they will come to realize has more in common with them than they could possibly imagine.

Send a Love-Filled Letter

child writes a letter while other children watch

Give some joy to the child you sponsor.

child writes a letter while other children watch