Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Letter Writing- Week One


As an Advocate for Compassion International, I get opportunities to attend conference calls to expand my knowledge about Compassion's ministries.  Yesterday I attended a call about the correspondence between sponsors and their sponsored children. 

So, I will be posting a four week series about letter writing.  Let me know what you think about it!  I hope that you will learn something useful from it :)

This week, I am going to tell you some tips and ideas on what to write and include in your letters to your sponsored kids. 

Probably the most useful thing I learned on the call was that you should not use contractions in your letters.  Since English is not usually the translators' first language, they may not know contractions.  So, they may not get correctly translated.

Also, slang is not a good thing to use.  For instance, if you wrote "couch potato," the translator probably will not know what you are talking about. 

Short, simple sentences are the easiest to translate.  Long letters take a longer time to translate, so try to keep it to one page or so. 

The person leading the call has had a chance to visit many of his sponsored children.  He said that when he got home from visiting them, he sometimes thought how many things he forgot to ask his sponsored children.  He ended up realizing that his sponsored children told him what they wanted him to know.  I say all that because it is important that we don't make our letters an interrogation.  Although asking a few questions is fine, it is going to mean more to our sponsored children if we tell them about us and that we care for them. 

Onto the ideas...I write a themed letter to each of my sponsored kids each month.  This month I am sending a map I printed showing where their country is in relation to mine.  I am also sending a New York state map that shows where I live and go camping. 

I have also themed letters about school, a Bible verse, a song, a season, or what I have been up to, such as hanging out with a friend or playing soccer.  I like to send photos, stickers and coloring pages along with the letters.  You can also send band aids, post cards, bookmarks, cards, and anything else that is flat paper. 

On Hallmark, you can make personalized music cards.  I sent one to Lucie for her birthday with the lyrics to the song that played.  Many sponsors say that their sponsored children loved them, and I can't wait to hear what she says about it.

Unfortunately, the cost to send something like a toy car or hat would be so high.  So, Compassion does not allow you to send those things.  However, you can send a monetary gift.  Then the staff will take the child shopping to make sure the money is spent well.  Then, you will receive a thank you letter about what your child got. 

Last but not least, you can write your child on your online account.  They have awesome templates to use, and you can attach up to three pictures!

What do you send to your child?  What have you written letters about?

Change a life!

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  1. I just wrote my kids about whales and sent pictures from a recent whale-watching trip. I like doing themed letters too...it is especially helpful if you have several kids to write to! I just always include a paragraph specific to each child somewhere in the themed letter to respond to their letters and ask child-specific questions.

  2. That is awesome!! I write each of my kids twice a month. So once it is a themed letter, the other time it is more personalized. I also write reply letters whenever I receive a letter. Thanks for reading and commenting!!
    Lizzie :)