5 super easy tips for writing an awesome letter to your sponsored child

5 super easy tips for writing an awesome letter to your sponsored child

It's happened again, hasn't it?

You've gone to your letterbox and found an envelope from ChildFund, with a greeting card for your sponsored child in it. You might have read the letter, and you may have even sat down to write something meaningful in the card... but the words didn't come.

...so why is it so tricky to write a letter to your sponsored child?

At ChildFund, one thing we hear over-and-over is how challenging it is to know what to say to someone who lives so far away. In some cases, sponsored children are very young -- too young to even read -- so what do you do then? And what about translation? The roadblocks can be endless. 

And then, when you haven't written for a while, you can start feeling a little bit guilty. We've heard some of our supporters say, "I'm a bad sponsor... I never write to my child!" So then, after some time passes, they lose connection with their sponsored child, and it just becomes even more difficult. 

But what if letter-writing didn't have to be so daunting? 

In the following video, ChildFund team member, Bonar Bell shares his personal tips for writing to his sponsored children. Or scroll down to read the tips.

Bonar's 5 super-easy tips for writing awesome letters to sponsored children:

If you've never met your sponsored child, you may not know what they'd be interested in, and how you should even begin.

1. Start out very simple...

If this is your first time writing to your sponsored child, start simple. Introduce yourself and your family. Maybe even include a photo. In my last letter to my sponsored child, I included a photo of my new puppy, Pogo. You don't have to write an entire paragraph. Even just a couple of lines is more than enough to let your sponsored child know you care. 

2. Tell them what you hope for them...
I like to start out my letters by stating what I'm hoping for them. In my recent letter, I wrote "I hope you had a nice Christmas." Yes, it's simple, but it's a nice sentiment to let him know I'm thinking about him. 
3. Give them one update about your life or your family...
Now this can be challenging for many of our sponsors... "how do I know what I should share, and what I shouldn't?" For me, I like to relate it to my life in New Zealand, to give him an understanding of what my life is like. I might relate it to my favourite treat, like ice cream or chocolate... or perhaps, what I like to do for fun. In my recent letter, I included "In New Zealand, the weather is warm and we like to go swimming at the beach." 
4. Ask them a single question... 
This part is really important, because it gives them a chance to respond to you. I like to relate my question to the update I've given - so when I said I like to go swimming at the beach, I asked him "What do you like to do for fun?"  
5. Give it a personal touch...
You may want to add in stickers, or photos of your family. I think it's fun to include a drawing, because often times, my sponsored child draws for me. In my last letter, I drew a picture of a kea bird. It wasn't very good, but at least I tried. I also included a certificate that I made out to my sponsored child for being awesome. 
No matter what you write, or how much you write, the most important part is that you write to your sponsored child. It may be a while before we get the chance to travel to visit our sponsored children, so why not take every opportunity you can to get to know your sponsored child? 

Did you know? If you'd rather not write letters or build a relationship with a child overseas, there are other valuable ways to help their community? 

Sure, child sponsorship has been around for 80+ years, but what if I don't want to build a relationship with a child. What if I just want to help? 
If that sounds like you, maybe you'd be a better fit for our Change CreatorsCommunity Sponsorship, or Child Essentials programmes. Like child sponsorship, they are regular giving options that help communities reach self-reliance. But, for many, they make more sense because there isn't any direct connection with a child or their family. If that sounds like you, don't hesitate to contact us today on 0800 808 822 or email info@childfund.org.nz

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