One of the greatest joys a child receives is a letter from his or her sponsor. Sponsored children usually save all of the letters they receive and read them over and over again, they are such a source of encouragement and love for them.
Writing to your sponsored child is so important, but it might sometimes be a little difficult to think of things to write–especially at first, when you’re just getting to know them. The following are some letter-writing tips that might help. You can also use this GREAT acronym to guide you.
G — Greeting
R — Remember something your sponsored child has said in his/her last letter and build on it.
E — Explain something about yourself or your world.
A — Ask your sponsored child questions about his/her life.
T — Ta Ta! Say your goodbyes. This is a great place to share a Bible verse and a word of encouragement.
Sample questions for your child:
- How did you get your name? What does it mean?
- What is your favorite part of school? What are you learning right now?
- What happens during a typical day for you, i.e. school, work, play? What do you like to do in your free time?
- What’s your favorite holiday and why? What’s your favorite holiday food/special food?
- What’s one of your favorite Bible stories or passages? Why? How has God recently answered your prayers?
- What do you like about your church? Do you use your talents and skills to serve in your church?
- What’s your favorite thing about your family? What are your closest family members like?
- Who is your best friend and how did you become friends? Does your best friend attend the sponsorship program with you?
- How would you describe one of your favorite meals? Do you like to cook?
- What’s something significant occurring in your town or country right now?
- What goals have you set for yourself?
- What has recently made you happy?
- What is your biggest challenge right now? How can I pray for you?
Sample Letter-Writing Prompts for You
In addition to telling your child about your family, church, work, spiritual life, interests, hobbies, pets, etc., consider talking to your child about the following things:
- What is your prayer for your sponsored child?
- How do you remember the child throughout the week or month?
- Why does this child matter to you?
- What have you recently learned about the child’s country?
- What do you hope the child will learn about God or spiritual life? (This could be a truth or skill.)
- What do you appreciate about this child? (Comment on a recent letter, the child’s prayers for you, artwork in a letter, smile in the photo, or something else.)
- What do you want your sponsored child to remember when facing discouragement?
- What concern of yours would you like your sponsored child to pray about?
- What do you think about the child’s latest letter or picture you received?
- How has being a Child Sponsor changed you?
- Have you ever eaten a dish from your child’s country? What did you think?
Send Something Special with Your Letters
- Include small items that can fit in a first-class mailing envelope such as photos, poetry, stickers, etc.
- Share photos of anything you have told your child about; you family, friends, work, the area you live in, etc.
- Include some artwork.
Note: Please be conscientious and sensitive about sharing information, stories, or pictures that would show or describe the stark economic contrast between your living situation and your child’s.
Sending your letter
To get your letter to your child quicker, simply type out or hand-write and scan your letter then email it to our Child Sponsorship Coordinator, TyAnn Hunt, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More from the Forward Edge Blog
Restavek is a form of modern-day child slavery in Haiti affecting more than 400,000 children (one in every 15 children). Typically born into poor, rural families, restavek children are often given to relatives or strangers in an effort to ensure they survive. Most of these children become domestic slaves assigned to menial tasks, are not allowed to attend school, and are often abused, neglected and malnourished.