I must confess, when I first started looking at blogs about Compassion International, my main goal was to get some sort of idea on what I should be writing to my sponsored children.
I read Lisa Jo’s call to lame sponsors. I knew I needed to write more, I just didn’t know where to begin. Michelle had a great list of ideas and devotionals; but really, I was looking for someone to tell me what to say…
or at least get me started...no, I’ll admit, I wanted a letter I could copy. What can I say, trying to think of what to write in those first few letters made my brain hurt. Anyway, I wanted something I could use and change just a bit to fit my needs. I wanted a cheat sheet to getting my relationship with these kiddos started.
I never really found what I was looking for. Instead, I took bits and pieces from several blogs and tried to make them work in my letters. That almost became as brain-hurting as trying to think of the words on my own. I’d take an introduction from JD, a theme from Michelle, and a closing from my own Helen Angela, and try to mesh them together in some sort of cohesive way. Had I not been so resolved to write these letters, the process could have easily prevented me from sending anything at all.
I can totally see why sponsors do not write as much as we should – writing’s hard work. Especially those first letters where you don’t really know who you’re writing to, much less what you should write about.
Then, just a couple of weeks ago, the Compassion Blog featured a post with some example letters, and I realized, I wasn’t the only one looking for letters to copy. And, I wasn’t the only one that experienced letter block.
So, I’m going to do something about that. In keeping with the Compassion Blog post, I’m going to write and share several example letters that you can copy without fearing the copyright police or plagiarism patrol. Some of these are letters that I have sent, and some of them are going to be letters that I wish I had sent earlier.
Use these as your cheat sheet if you will. A beginners guide to starting a meaningful relationship with your sponsored child. I’m hoping to make this an on-going series, with sample letters for lots and lots of topics – from first letters, to seasonal letters, letters of joy and letters of support. If you’ve got a letter that you’re having trouble with, I’d love for you to post about it in the comments – maybe between all of us, we can help banish letter block for good!
Everybody on board? Great! Here we go with the first copy-able letter!
What to write to your newly sponsored child: A First Letter
My Dear Friend ______,
Hello! I am so glad to be writing you, and I greet you and your family with a big smile and lots of love. I am excited to get to know you through the letters we will exchange, and cannot wait to learn about your life. I’d like to tell you a little bit about me. I am ____ years old. I do not have any children of my own, nor am I married. My birthday is _________. I write grants for a living. Basically, this means that I write requests and reports for various organizations in my area to ask different government agencies and foundations to provide funding for the organizations’ programs. In my free time, I like to sew, draw, and read. I also enjoy traveling and seeing new places. What do you like to do in your spare time?
I want to leave you with one of my favorite Bible verses:
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
This verse tells us that God has a plan for our lives. God has a special purpose for you, a plan for good. You are important to God. You are important to me.
I pray for you and your family and leave you with lots of love and hugs.
(I would enclose or attach a photo of myself with this letter. If you are mailing this letter with a photo through the post be sure to label the photo with your sponsor # and your child’s #.)
I hope this sample letter helps you as you write to your child(ren).
Keep an eye out for more examples to come soon 🙂