Sometimes it’s tricky to discern what you should or should not share with your sponsored child. These topics will help guide your conversations when you write.

What should I write about?

Your Family

What Can and Can't I Share in Letters with My Sponsored Child?

You can share everything you are comfortable with, as long it is age-appropriate for the child you sponsor.

You could write about your own children, parents, extended family members and friends. You could tell stories about them and let your sponsored child why you’re thankful for them.

Your Pets

What Can and Can't I Share in Letters to My Sponsored Child?

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. 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

What Can and Can't I Share in Letters to My Sponsored Child?

Children love learning about their sponsors and comparing differences between their country and yours. Share educational and fun information about where you live. 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!

Encouragement

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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 champion 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

What Can and Can't I Share in Letters to My Sponsored Child?

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!

Ask Questions

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

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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

Money

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.

Food

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:

Words by Shaina Moats

A version of this article originally appeared on the Compassion International blog.

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