Writing a letter to your sponsored child isn’t as hard as you might think – because a great letter isn’t necessarily a long one! Here are 20 things you could tell them…
We know how it is. You want to get to know this child you are sponsoring and you also know how much kids love to get letters. But, that means you actually have to write one?
That sounds hard.
Or is it?
In reality, a few sentences is all you need, because a great letter isn’t necessarily a long one!
And here’s a little extra motivation – independent external research conducted in nine countries where we work showed that children who exchange letters with their sponsors have increased hope, happiness and confidence.
If you don't know what to say or where to start, here are 20 things to tell your sponsored child for a quick and easy letter that lets them know they are loved.
1) I’m really excited to get to know you
Kids are often just as keen as you are to make a good impression! Letting them know that you are looking forward to being friends can be the first step to a great relationship.
2) My family is…
“Me, my partner, our two kids and my grandma.” Introducing your family with their names and ages is a good way to break the ice and find some common ground to talk about – after all, they are part of a family too.
3) Where I live…
“In my city in [Name your Country] it’s tropical with lots of green, leafy plants and a beach where we like to swim nearby.” Describing your area helps your sponsored child to learn about another country’s geography and gives them a window into your world. You might also like to talk about native animals or special attractions in your local area.
4) I’m really interested to learn about your country
No matter where you live, most people are proud of their country! Let your sponsored child know you are interested in where they live. It can also help build their sense of pride in their national culture, rather than focusing on daily realities or challenges.
5) I have a pet named…
“Coco – she is a big black and brown dog.” Most kids love animals, and many will have pets or family animals of their own, so introducing your pets can be a great conversation starter and something they will easily understand and appreciate.
- I’d love to hear about your friends
Friends are important to all of us! Telling your sponsored child that you are interested in the people that are important to them can help them know that you really care about them. Learning about their friends might also give you a feel for what their everyday life is like.
6) You are growing up so much!
If you’ve sponsored for a few months or more, it’s exciting see your sponsored child grow. You might even notice changes in their confidence and well-being over time in the letters and video updates you receive. Talking to your sponsored child about the ways you have seen them develop shows them you care and reminds them of how much they’ve already achieved.
7) My motto for life is…
“Adventure is worthwhile! Amelia Earhart said that, and she was one of the first women to fly a plane.” Inspire your sponsored child with your favourite quotes, verses, poems or stories of people you admire.
8) The funniest thing happened to me this week…
“I found a rock that looked exactly like my cat.” Everyone loves an anecdote! Sharing the everyday moments of your life, not just your profound thoughts, is a good way to keep your letters fun, child-friendly and real.
9) I’m super interested in…
“Maths because I’m studying to be an engineer. The science of aerodynamics is also why I love hang gliding so much!” Talk about your work, study and hobbies. You might even find shared interests with your sponsored child, as well as inspire them to think about a whole range of different career paths, passions and possibilities.
10) I’d love to know what your dreams are for the future
Poverty often tells kids that there’s no point in hoping for the future. But sponsored kids are encouraged and supported to dream big and make plans for a productive and successful future, because you are helping them break free from poverty, for good. Talking about what they are working toward is inspirational – for both of you!
11) I think your drawings are awesome
Kids often put lots of time and effort into their drawings they create, even if they are very basic, and we all love to have our hard work appreciated! Even if your sponsored child’s drawings aren’t quite what you’d expect from someone their age ( and there can be lots of reasons for that) genuine encouragement to any artist can have a powerful impact on them.
12) My favourite food is…
“Lasagne, which is made from layers of pasta, meat, cheese and tomato sauce.” Food is a universal language! Your sponsored child will be interested to hear about the food that is common in your country and keen to talk about their local or national dishes too.
13) The weather right now is…
“Rainy because it’s spring here.” Just like an ice-breaker at work or with a stranger on the bus, weather works with kids too. It can be fun for them to learn about different climates and the concept that there are different seasons in different hemispheres.
14) I’m praying for you
If you pray, tell them. Letting your sponsored child know that you think of them often and include them in your spiritual life tells them that they are important and can provide a deep source of encouragement and hope.
15) I love to celebrate…
“Christmas, which is next month – we will decorate a tree and put it in our living room, and have a big dinner with all of our family.” Kids will love to compare your festivals and celebrations with theirs, and share about their own traditions.
16) I love sport too!
Every country has its favourite sports, and your favourite might even be the same as your sponsored child’s (especially if it’s football!). But even if it’s not – convincing each other about the virtues of each other’s sports will provide you with conversation for many letters to come!
17) Did you know that…
Australian Fitzroy River Turtles can breathe through their bottoms?” Research and share interesting facts about native animals to your area, or anything else that you or your sponsored child are especially interested in – it will be fascinating for your sponsored child and it could be educational for you both!
18) I believe you can achieve whatever you put your mind to
When the community around you has always struggled – few jobs, drought-stunted crops, constant sickness, violence, closed schools – it can be incredibly hard to imagine that things could ever be different. Planting seeds of hope and self-belief can be just as life-changing as the education, health, food security and other support your sponsorship provides.
19) I’m so proud of you
As you watch your sponsored child grow, you’ll see them change in ways you might never have imagined. Having the chance to celebrate their victories is a beautiful part of child sponsorship – and a powerful experience for both of you.
Taking a minute to write a letter could be the most worthwhile thing you do today – and not just for your sponsored child. Our research also found that sponsors who exchange letters with children grow in compassion. It seems that letters are good for all of us!
Good luck on your writing adventures!
Just remember that sponsored children come from all different faiths so always be sensitive in how your talk about yours if you have one.