how to save time In the first two years of sponsoring my child, I mailed two letters.

I felt terrible about sending so few, especially because I had received six or seven.

So why didn’t I write more letters? The answer is simple: It wasn’t convenient.

I know that is a bad excuse. The truth is, it was more convenient to sleep or hang out with friends or watch TV. I knew letter writing was important, I just never gave it my time.

Then I found out I could write my sponsored child online. Knowing I needed to step up my letter-writing game, I decided to give the online letter-writing tool a try. I am so glad I did. It was a game-changer.

If you are having a hard time writing to your sponsored child, here are four reasons to try writing online:

  1. It’s easier to include pictures. All my pictures are on my computer. Online, you don’t need to go to the store to print pictures. You just press upload. It takes about 30 seconds to upload and crop a picture, as opposed to the 30+ minutes you might spend going somewhere to print it.
  2. You can write more in less time. It takes me a long time to handwrite legibly. I can type probably four times as fast. It’s much easier to fit 15 minutes into my schedule than it is an hour.
  3. You have more control over your content. When I wrote my two handwritten letters, sometimes I would finish my letter and then want to change what I had written. That meant either starting over or creating ugly eraser marks. With the online letter-writing tool, you just delete and rewrite. Or, if you want to switch sections around, you can copy and paste. It’s now much easier to craft my letter exactly how I want it.
  4. It’s only a click away. Bookmark the Compassion website, and make sure it is next to your Facebook bookmark (or whatever website you spend the most time on). That way, when you go to spend time on your favorite site, you will see the Compassion bookmark. Then you just need to click it, log in, and start writing. Seriously, it takes only 10 seconds to get started.

Since I started using the online tool, I send a letter every one to two months. I am much more pleased with that rate. The increase in letters has also positively affected my relationship with my sponsored child.

Now my relationship with him is more personal, meaningful and fun. It feels more like an actual relationship and less like a sponsorship.

So if you’re struggling to write letters, try writing online. Letters are the primary way to let your sponsored children know you love them, and online is an easy way to do it.

To get started, log in to your Compassion account. In the Account Summary section, beneath My Messages, there is a list of the children you sponsor. Just click the name of the child you want to write to and away you go.

If you don’t have a Compassion account, you can easily create one using your donor number and email address.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joshua Lancette is the managing editor of an international academic journal and lives in Denver, Colo. You can read his blog on life and language or follow him on Twitter.

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  1. Suzanne
    Jul 9, 2013
    at 3:18 am

    Would love for the UK to get some more online templates. We have just four at the moment.

  2. Jacqueline
    Jul 9, 2013
    at 10:56 am

    Thank you for the suggestion. I never thought about sending pictures that way. I wonder, is it very complicated for the Compassion staff to print the photos and forward them to the child? And is there a limit to how many you can send?

    • Jul 10, 2013
      at 6:03 pm

      Hi Jacqueline,
      I am not sure if it is difficult for the staff. Good question. You can send three pictures at a time.
      Joshua

    • Julie
      Jul 13, 2013
      at 1:39 pm

      The photos are part of the online template so there is no extra printing for the Compassion staff. They are printed right on the letter you send. You can send up to 3 photos per letter and I think it’s 2 horizontal and 1 vertical picture.

  3. rodney
    Jul 9, 2013
    at 3:53 pm

    I love the online writing tools, I am new-ish to sponsoring and have only ever written online.

    Can I nit-pick just a *little*? This is not 4 WAYS to save time, this is 4 REASONS to write using 1 WAY. But it is a great way. :)

  4. Peggy peters
    Jul 10, 2013
    at 3:31 am

    I still believe young children would rather hold something in their hand to keep and look at anytime they choose.

    • Rebecca
      Jul 10, 2013
      at 2:43 pm

      I believe they print your online letter and give it to the child after they translate it.

    • Jul 10, 2013
      at 6:06 pm

      Hi Peggy,
      Compassion does print out the pictures (and the letter), so the child still does have physical pictures and a physical letter! I am glad they do this, otherwise I would want to send physical pictures, too.
      Josh

  5. Denise
    Jul 10, 2013
    at 7:18 am

    I love the online writing tool. I have several sponsored children and this way it is easy to write them every other month, and since my pictures are on the computer I can easily add them to all my letters.

  6. Rebecca
    Jul 10, 2013
    at 2:46 pm

    It was quick and easy to write a letter and put a couple photos as well. Thank you for this tool. I wrote as soon as I began sponsorship.

  7. Ed Gillan
    Jul 14, 2013
    at 10:41 pm

    So the pictures are printed right on the stationary itself? If so, that probably wouldn’t be very good quality at all. But I can see the ease of use with the online way, but then it wouldn’t allow you to send bookmarks, stickers, actual photos etc. this way right?

  8. Beth L
    Jul 16, 2013
    at 10:54 pm

    I was in Kenya in March 2012 and talked with a sponsored Compassion child of a friend. She was 18 or 19 and we had a great talk. She went to get her letters from her sponsor and they were printed on the letter in beautiful color. When you look at your draft, you will see how it will look to your child. Because of one of the pictures, we talked about what it is like to have dogs – a pet that really isn’t kept in Kenya at all! (at least not that part)

    Of course, feel free to still send pictures, bookmarks, stickers the snail mail route as kids love this!

  9. Joy
    Jul 24, 2013
    at 1:01 pm

    How long does it take for your child to receive the letter when you use the online method? Is it much quicker than snail mail? Thanks!

    • Jacquie Parella
      Jul 24, 2013
      at 3:19 pm

      Hi Joy! It’s quicker by about two weeks when you send a letter online.

      • Joy
        Jul 24, 2013
        at 7:37 pm

        Thank you.

  10. Mark
    Aug 2, 2013
    at 6:54 pm

    I think it’s a good idea to send letters pretty often, even if they are short. They don’t have to be profound or perfect. Just knowing that someone was thinking about you and cared enough to write can be an encouragement. And everybody, especially kids, needs regular encouragement. It’s really quick and easy to write a letter online – the toughest part is just sitting down to do it!

  11. Alice Perry
    Aug 23, 2013
    at 7:24 am

    My new compassion child’s birthday is September 1. I was very thankful for the opportunity to send her an online birthday greeting and know it would get to her by her birthday.

  12. Sep 17, 2013
    at 4:49 pm

    My letters do not get me answers to know if she is receiving and writing me or is someone else doing. I sent pictures in April I got another generic letter, I’m very tired of these type of letters, no matter the questions I get generic answers.

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