Letter Writing 101

Speak words of hope to a child in poverty. Write your sponsored child today!

letter writing 101

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  1. Sue Swerdfeger April 24, 2015

    I am hosting a letter writing weekend at our church to encourage sponsors to write to their children. I would love to have this info graphic at our booth. Is there a way to get a poster of this or a way to print it out?

    1. Susan Sayler April 27, 2015

      Hi Sue! Regrettably, we are not able to offer a poster of this, but you are welcome to save and print the image. Just right click on the image to save it. Please don’t make any changes to the image. Otherwise, you are welcome to print and use it. :)

  2. Andrew April 3, 2015

    I am sponsoring a child who is only 1 yr old. I am not sure how to write a letter for this situation. Should I write them with the mindset of them reading the later later in life, or should I address the letter more toward the parents who will probably be the ones reading my letter? Any advice would be helpful, Thanks in advance!!

    1. Susan Sayler April 6, 2015

      Hi Andrew! Much of our programming for children under the age of five is focused on the guardians. We teach things like vocational skills, literacy, and parenting. In many cases, a guardian will be writing the letters with the child. This means that you are more than welcome to address your letters to your child’s guardian. As the child grows, the parent or guardian will likely read the letters to your child and they will gradually be able to write their own letters to you. Another tip that I have is to send mostly goodies like stickers or textured papers that they can touch and play with. You can send short notes to your child along with your paper gifts. This way you can still interact with your letters. I hope this helps! :)

  3. Laura February 6, 2015

    Do online letters with pics get printed for kids?

    1. Emily Vanhoutan February 6, 2015

      Hi Laura! Yes, they sure do :). When you submit an online letter through your My Account, it comes to our office in Colorado Springs, Colorado where it is printed off on high quality colored paper and then mailed to our country offices with the rest of the hand written letters. We want your child to still have a tangible letter that they’re able to take home with them and put in a special place :).

  4. Emma December 14, 2014

    For more tips on writing your child, I started a Facebook page of creative things you can send/letter tips. Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Encouraging-Words/571351182994967?ref=hl

  5. Tracy Holland December 11, 2014

    I threw my return envelope away and need to send my letter to my child. Can you tell me the address we send them to? I’m not seeing that anywhere on this site. My child’s number is EC-412-0612.

    Thanks!
    Tracy

    1. Emily Vanhoutan December 11, 2014

      Hi Tracy! You can send all correspondence for your child to the following address:

      Compassion International
      (No street address necessary)
      Colorado Springs, CO 80997

      This is the full address. Please include your sponsor number and child number on anything you send :). Thank you so much for writing to your kiddo!

  6. Nicole October 13, 2014

    I am trying to upload a picture for my childs letter and I am having trouble. It is a jpeg file and a small size- am I doing something wrong?

    1. Emily Vanhoutan October 13, 2014

      Hi Nicole! I am so sorry that you’re having trouble uploading a photo on your child’s letter! Are you using your phone or the online writing tool through a desktop or laptop? Here are some troubleshooting options that may help you:

      1. Try closing the browser and trying again
      2. Try disabling extra toolbars or plug-ins
      a. These items can cause JavaScript errors that keep a page from working correctly
      3. Try another browser
      a. This is kind of related to #2 because different browsers will have different settings/toolbars/plugins/cookies
      b. In IE, verify that Compatibility View is of
      4. Try clearing cookies and temporary internet files
      5. Try another network (e.g. at home vs. at work) – especially if you are seeing the firewall error
      6. Try another machine
      7. You may need to use a smaller photo. Try making your photo smaller in Photoshop or another photo editing software tool and upload your photo again.

      If these options do not help you, please email us at ciinfo@us.ci.org so that we can further assist you and resolve any issues you may be having. Thank you so much for writing a letter to your child! They love to receive pictures so I know this will be a very exciting letter for your child to open :).

  7. Joy Kilburn August 20, 2014

    Hi, I am wondering how I should sign my letters?

    Thanks!

    1. Emily Vanhoutan August 20, 2014

      Hello Joy! When your child writes to you, he will most likely address you by your first name. Many of our children may call their sponsor mom or dad, aunt or uncle, or another personal name that they relate you to. You are welcome to sign your letters however you are comfortable and signing the name you go by is just fine. If your boy begins calling you Aunt Joy and you are comfortable with this, feel free to sign your letters as, Aunt Joy. :) We do encourage that you sign it the same on all of your letters so he doesn’t get confused on who is writing to him.

      1. Joy Kilburn August 20, 2014

        Thank you, Emily, for your help and your quick response!

        1. Emily Vanhoutan August 20, 2014

          You’re welcome, Joy! Have a blessed rest of your week and thank you for the difference you are making in your sweet child’s life!

  8. Jane Joung July 13, 2014

    Agree. It’s a good reminder too that kids who receive letters excel.

  9. Mary Courser July 1, 2014

    I have a question I haven’t seen answered anywhere else: when sending time-sensitive letters, like holiday cards, I send them several months in advance to make sure there is plenty of processing time. Does the local facility hold them until the appropriate time so my child doesn’t get a birthday card 6 weeks early?

    1. Susan Sayler July 2, 2014

      Hi Mary! We will send your letters and cards as soon as we can. Regrettably, we do not have a way of holding, or knowing which letters need to be held, until a certain event.

  10. Amanda June 19, 2014

    Thank you for this encouragement. I have recently started sponsoring a child and for speed of communication send letters online. I have not received a response yet, but am curious. Does my sponsor child have the opportunity to take printed letters home to reread and show his family?

    1. Susan Sayler June 19, 2014

      Hi Amanda! Yes, your sponsored child has the opportunity to take each letter home with him and likely has a special place at home where he keeps each cherished letter.

  11. karan Stewart June 19, 2014

    I write my Child every week but I have only received one letter from him. I wish I would get more.

  12. PaperGiftsForEstefany June 2, 2014

    Fascinating. It’s a good reminder too that kids who receive letters excel.

  13. Rachel May 15, 2014

    I really enjoy sending my sponsor children letters. I probably send a couple more than I receive. I’ll reply to letters and then send an extra for special occasions and such. What’s a good amount to write per year? I want to make sure I’m not going overboard…

    1. Samantha May 18, 2014

      I’m not so sure you can go overboard. I’ve heard of sponsors who write every week.

    2. Susan Sayler May 16, 2014

      Hi Rachel! I love your heart to write loving letters to your children! There is a group of sponsors that writes to their children on the second Friday of every month. Once a month is great! Every two months is pretty good too. The children are required to write between two and six letters a year depending on how often their sponsor writes to them. I’d say somewhere in that range is a good amount to write.

  14. Jennifer Baulch May 2, 2014

    To all loving Sponsors and Compassion International team,

    I came across this interesting infographic that caught my attention when I was curating and selecting topics online. I’d like to take this opportunity to support the importance of personalized letters.

    I was once sponsored by a couple in Australia when I was living in the Philippines. One of my brief personal stories is on my link with this comment. Going back to the infographic, yes I do agree 100% that personal handwriting letters are very vital to someone like me as a sponsored child. I love personal letters, customize cards and even now living in the digital age. Not all children in the “developing countries” can access internet or even have their own computers, mobiles phones, or even TV in some remote places so sharing some details of your every day chores, your work, your family, your pet family, your faith, testimonies, etc. are all interesting to know! It’s like reading pieces of book pages awaiting for the next page chapters in a personal way! For your information, I still kept all my former sponsor letters in the Philippines. Unfortunately I did not bring them with me here in Australia where I currently live with my Aussie husband.

    I would blog this infographic on my hobby website especially when I could take photos of those precious letters I archived. I am a sentimental person.

    Cheerios,
    Jennifer

    1. Brooke August 19, 2014

      Thanks, Mrs. Jennifer!! I’m sponsoring a child right now and she’s going to be 9 here shortly. I’m 19 and I’m kind of clueless as to what to write an 8 year old. You gave me a lot of helpful starter topics, and I just want to say thanks :)

  15. Heather April 28, 2014

    Thank you for sharing this! For the past few days, I have researched all over your site and also the internet to find the statistic for sponsored children who do not receive letters. It is as if you have read my mind today! Love this blog and check it daily. Keeps me writing those letters! Thank you again!

  16. Yvonne Reynolds April 28, 2014

    Love this inforgraphic!! I hope that many sponsors see it and realize the importance of writing to their sponsored child.

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