Have you ever sat down to write a letter to your sponsored child and battled with the blank page? You’re not alone! We’re here to help you defeat the writer’s block with our top 10 tips.
16 Jan, 2020
Compassion is one of the largest charity organisations in Australia, with over 2 million children being released from poverty around the world. For many children living below the poverty line, the love and support of a sponsor is life-changing. But sponsorship is about more than just financial support, it’s also an opportunity to share words of encouragement and hope.
Even knowing this, it's often difficult to find the right words to say to your sponsored child, especially when their world seems so different. However, the letters of encouragement you send can change their lives in many ways. Here are 10 tips to keep the communication going!
In all your letters, please only use your first name when you write to your sponsored child. Or, if you sponsor as a family, just use the first names of each family member. Your sponsored child will also only use their first name. This is so we can ensure both you and they have an appropriate level of privacy and protection.
Tip 1: Refer to their most recent letter
The easiest place to start is by taking a look at what you received in your last letter. If they drew you a picture in their letter, why not tell them what you liked about it? If they shared with you about their friends and family, you could ask further questions about them.
Tip 2: Answer their questions
If they asked you any questions, answer them! It seems simple, but it can really help you get to know each other and lead to new conversations.
Tip 3: Talk about school
Think back to when you were their age and tell them what you liked about school. Ask them what their favourite subject is or if they have a favourite teacher. If they’re not yet in school, ask them if they are excited about going one day.
Tip 4: Ask about their community and interests
Try to find some common ground. Whether you're a sporty person or stay inside and read type, you can see if you and your sponsored child have any similarities. Ask them if they play sport or games with friends. And why not find out more about their day-to-day life, such as what their house is like and the community they are a part of? The possibilities are endless!
Tip 5: Tell them about your world
Just as you are fascinated to hear what life is like for your sponsored children, they’re just as curious about you. Do you have any pets or hobbies? What do you do in your spare time? They may be curious about Australia so you can tell them that we have koalas as pets and ride kangaroos to work and school (or maybe stick to the truth!). The idea is to invite them into your world and give them an understanding of who you are and how you live.
Tip 6: Send photos
If you’ve ever been to see Compassion’s work overseas and visited the home of a sponsored child, you may have seen photos of their sponsor displayed in pride of place in their home. Just as we love receiving new photos of them, they love to see what we look like.
Being able to visualise their sponsor’s face helps build a connection and strengthens the relationship. You can also send photos of your family and tell them about the time the photo was taken.
Tip 7: Share your favourite Bible verse
It’s always a great idea to look to God’s Word for inspiration. There may be a passage you read recently which really resonated with you or a memory verse from your childhood that you just can’t get out of your head. Whatever it is, share it with your sponsored child and explain why that verse means so much to you.
Tip 8: Draw a picture
Ask your children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews, or pick up the pencils and crayons yourself to draw a picture for your sponsored child. Even if you’re not overly artistic, just say you’re trying to be the next abstract artist! If drawing isn’t your thing, stickers always go down well.
Tip 9: Ask them for prayer
It’s easy to forget we aren’t the only ones who are able to pray; your sponsored children would love to know how they can pray for you. Many of them mention in their letters that they have been praying for their sponsors, so if you have requests for prayer, even for simple things if your sponsored child is quite young, ask away!
Tip 10: Tell them you care and are praying for them
One of the best ways to finish off a letter is to tell your sponsored child that you care about them, love them, and are praying for them. It means so much to them to know that someone in another part of the world cares.
So, there you go—writer’s block, defeated!
Writing a letter to your sponsored child can make all the difference in their lives– and in yours! Why not put these tips into practice by writing a letter to your sponsored child? Use this helpful template if you’d like a place to start.
Want to do more?
You can also make an impact through a one-time donation to support children living in poverty, by giving to Critical Needs. All donations to Critical Needs are tax deductible in Australia and provide a child with life-changing support.
Poverty leaves children without any safety net or protection, so when unforeseen circumstances arise, there is often little hope for recovery. You can give an online donation today and make a significant impact! To claim a tax deduction at the end of the financial year, all you need to do is keep an eye on your email. Your receipt for your tax return will be emailed to you by our friendly team.
Thank you for your generosity—your gifts and donations truly make an impact.
Words by Monique Wallace Photo by Sean Sheridan
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