Sometimes it’s tricky to discern what you should or should not share with your sponsored child. For example, discussing things like political or global issues or natural disasters isn’t appropriate. These topics will help guide your conversations when you write.
12 Jul, 2019
What should I write about?
You can share anything you are comfortable with, as long as it is age-appropriate for the child you sponsor and accounts for cultural differences as best as you can
You could write to your sponsored child about your own children, parents, extended family members and friends. You could share stories about them and tell your sponsored child why you’re thankful for them.
Let’s be honest—pets are practically family! You could share pictures of your pets, write about things they like to do (like going to the park or playing fetch), and include your favourite memories of having your pet as part of your household. Whether you have a dog, cat, chicken or goat, let your sponsored child know! You could even tell your sponsored child those funny stories about what mischief your pet has been into (we’ve all been there!).
Your Favourite Things
Do you have a favourite memory of growing up or a favourite Bible verse? Share this with your sponsored child and explain why it means so much to you.
Your Community, State and Country
Children love learning about their sponsors and comparing differences between their country and yours. Maybe include some fun facts about Australia—did you know Kangaroos can’t move backwards? Be descriptive and send photos if you have some.
Tip: Send images of Australia’s native animals, like kangaroos, platypus and echidnas. They’ll love them!
Your words of encouragement provide hope and fill your sponsored child with love. Do you remember a time someone spoke into your life when you most needed it? That’s YOU to the special child you’re investing into! You have the ability to speak life and empower a child.
School and Work
As you want to know what your sponsored child is learning at school, they want to know the same thing! Share about your studies or workplace. In doing so, you might even find you share a common interest, or can give some helpful tips about studying or working.
Holidays and Traditions
Let your sponsored child know how you celebrate Christmas or why Easter is such a big deal to your family.
Just as you are interested to know about your child and his or her family, your child is delighted to hear details about you!
Asking questions shows your sponsored child that you truly want to get to know him or her. Try highlighting your questions to make them stand out in your letter so your sponsored child or their tutor knows you’d really love an answer.
Share Your Pictures
Children LOVE photos. Send them often but do be wise in ensuring they are culturally sensitive (for example be aware of wearing modest clothing). Children will treasure them and share them with family and friends. Plus, it’s always nice to be able to put a face to the name.
Topics that May Be Sensitive
Please don’t talk to the child you sponsor about money. You both come from very different places. This topic won’t bring children joy. Instead it could promote jealousy and, possibly, anger.
If you’d like to write about food, think of describing the type of food or family traditions around it instead of how much, how often or what restaurants you eat at. You can find out what your sponsored child typically eats in by checking their profile on My Account.
Of course, if your sponsored child shares what their favourite meal is with you, and wants to know what yours is, you don’t need to ignore the question. Just be sensitive in your response.
Your Home or Other Belongings
Go ahead and talk all you want about memories that were made in your home—but don’t talk about the size of your home or discuss if you have a car. Be cautious when talking about the things you own—you don’t want to highlight the material differences between yourself and your sponsored child.
Photos that May Be Culturally Inappropriate
Your sponsored child lives in a completely different country and culture. A photo that may be completely normal and acceptable here may be considered inappropriate in their culture. For example, while that family snap at the beach might be the best one you’ve taken in years, posing in swimmers, however modest, may cause offense.
As mentioned, try to avoid sending pictures of your home or belongings. At the end of the day use your best judgment, and if you’re not sure, contact our staff—they’ll be glad to help you out!
Resources to help you get started:
- 7 Curious Questions That Will Encourage Conversation
- Easy Sample Letter Templates for Your Sponsored Child
- Why Do My Sponsored Child's Letters Sound the Same?
- How to Write a Great Christmas Letter to Your Sponsored Child
- 10 Simple Tips to Writing Great Letters
If you would prefer to give a one-time donation to support children living in poverty, you can give to Critical Needs. When you give a donation to a Critical Need, your gift gives a child living in poverty life-saving support and is also tax deductible. 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 Shaina Moats
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