letter writing club Members of the Virtual Child Sponsorship Letter Writing Night group in OurCompassion have committed to write letters to their children on the second Friday of each month. The group provides letter-writing ideas and/or craft projects to use as a theme when writing.

Karla and June, El Salvador 2005

Today’s post is written by June Gauss, the founder of the group. June has been a sponsor since 2002 and an advocate since 2008. She sponsors three girls (Karla in El Salvador, Jeeva in India and Yenny in the Dominican Republic) and corresponds with one boy (Wander in the Dominican Republic).


In 2005, I took my first sponsor tour to El Salvador. During that week, I met many wonderful children but two boys stood out. One was sponsored and one was not. Both boys appeared very sad.

It seemed odd to me that the sponsored boy was sad. I learned that he was happy he was sponsored but was also sad because he had not received any letters from his sponsor.

Through a translator, the boy told me that he just wanted to know about his new family, which made me realize how important our letters are to our children really are. I committed to write my child more frequently and not just respond to her letters.

I returned to El Salvador with Compassion in 2008. During the trip, I visited the home of two teenage sisters, Ruth and Flabia.

When I was in their home, the girls showed me their letters. Ruth, all smiles, proudly showed me her stack of letters and pictures. Flabia had a look of sadness on her face. She had only received one letter from her sponsor.

Flabia was thankful for her sponsor and the extra money the sponsor frequently sent, but she really wanted to hear from her sponsor, to know her and have a relationship with her. It was written all over her face how much she wanted this.

Those young ladies had such beautiful spirits about them. I wished I could tell Flabia’s sponsor how beautiful her child is and how she was missing out on a beautiful relationship with this young lady.

I don’t think that many of us (sponsors) grasp how much our letters really mean to our children. I know I didn’t, until I experienced firsthand the sadness that lack of letters creates.

When I returned home from my second trip, I made myself accountable for my correspondence to my child. I organized all my letters from Karla in a three-ring binder and now any time I write her, I make a copy of the letter and place it in the binder. I also scan each craft I make so I have a record of everything I have sent to Karla.

Through my experiences, the idea of setting a specific day each month to write my child started to take shape. Then I thought that maybe other sponsors would like to join me at my house to sit down together and write our children.

In May 2009, I hosted the first letter-writing night in my home. Months went by with only a small number attending, and I tried to think of other sponsors I could invite to join us.

I remembered a group I had joined on OurCompassion. It was for sponsors who lived in my area. When I posted an invitation to the letter-writing event at my house, I ended up sending it to all my friends on OurCompassion by mistake.

I received responses from those who lived in other states wishing they lived in my area so they could participate. That made me think. What about a virtual group?

So I asked. And in February of this year the Virtual Child Sponsorship Letter Writing group began.

For the past few months, I have been discussing with God my disappointment with the size of the attendance in my home. I wanted to reach more people but it seemed as though my attempts were unsuccessful.

Last month, out of the blue, I received an e-mail from Compassion saying they liked the virtual letter-writing group idea, and they offered me a chance to invite you to join us. This is only by the hand of God!

God has spoken to my heart through this — about how He will do abundantly more than what I ask or imagine, if I am obedient to the desires He puts on my heart.

I had been feeling unused, that I was being wasted. He said to me, “I do not waste anything I create. I will not waste you, June. Do you see!?”

My initial desire was to have a consistent group of five to eight people coming to my home each month. But God made it more — a much larger group of people, from all over the world, coming together every second Friday of the month to write letters to their children.

Will you join us this Friday, Sept. 10? Please leave a comment if you plan to. I’m curious to know where everyone is from.


UPDATE, March 24, 2014: The OurCompassion community is closing its doors on June 30, 2014. New account creation has been disabled, and the Second Friday Letter Writing club activities have been moved to Pinterest.

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  1. Sep 7, 2010
    at 4:00 am

    Loved your article. Encouraged me to write another letter to my child and reinforced the importance of the letters. Thank you

  2. Sep 7, 2010
    at 5:50 am

    I love this blog! I like the idea to write once a month. These children will consider themselves so blessed to receive your letters. Whereas many sponsors tend to look at the sponsorship as a financial commitment, the child looks at the sponsorship as a relationship. The letters are very important to them. When I visit the children, the first thing they want to show me is the letters. They also like to keep them as neat as possible.

  3. Lindy
    Sep 7, 2010
    at 5:55 am

    June, I love your idea, and I plan to join! Thanks for your faithfulness to use your God-given gifts to spur others on to love and good deeds!!!

  4. Sep 7, 2010
    at 6:52 am

    Great article, I found it very inspirational.

    One question I’ve often had is, does my child feel ripped off receiving electronic letters? I can always find a moment to type a letter while I’m on the website giving, but it has been quite some time since I wrote a letter by hand (with actual ink!)

    I know I like to see the actual handwriting of our child, so I can’t imagine why he wouldn’t prefer that from me.

    My question is somewhat rhetorical, as I expect only my child knows the answer, but I welcome everyone’s thoughts.

    • Sep 7, 2010
      at 10:57 am

      Hi, Adrian,

      The children do know that the letters were written by email. Now, I can’t speak of many of the countries, but when the email type letters (letters, written on the Compassion.com) website arive in Bolivia, they are printed on very nice colorful paper. Also, they go so much faster than the letters that are written and send via the regular snail mail. From the moment you sent it on the website, it could take anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks to get to the child. Of course, I am just speaking about Bolivia. I’m not sure how other country offices handle the emails.

      • Sep 7, 2010
        at 1:26 pm

        Thanks Kees, I appreciate your insight.

        I also figure that many emails actually sent are worth many more than handwritten letters I have the good intention to write, but don’t get round to. That is why I like the immediacy of the online letter writing.

  5. Sep 7, 2010
    at 7:37 am

    Can’t manage Friday night this month, so we’re doing a “WYK” Write Your Kid Saturday instead. (My kids call this weekend the WYKend ;-). We’re inviting a couple of sponsor friends to join us. Thanks for this idea, June! You’ve inspired a great way for us to keep our commitment to writing to our kids every month.

  6. Marvin
    Sep 7, 2010
    at 8:03 am

    How does the group work. I live in Taiwan/ China so I’m 14 hours before the USA.

    • June Gauss
      Sep 7, 2010
      at 3:13 pm

      Marvin-This group is committed to writing on the second Friday each month. No need to worry about the time difference. I set the second Friday of the month for the group so that it was easy to remember and the same every month. I’m glad you want to participate from Taiwan/China!!

    • Sep 7, 2010
      at 4:19 pm

      Marvin – You just write a letter to your kid(s) on the second Friday…or in my case, sometime that 2nd weekend of the month. With the time change, you’ll get your letters done before the US folks! ;-) If you want to share about writing, you can join the OurCompassion site for sponsors (www.ourcompassion.org) and post a journal entry. Would love to see you there!

      People post about their letters on Twitter, too. (Look for the OurCompassion post on Friday)

  7. Sep 7, 2010
    at 8:10 am

    I’ll join – Writing my kids letters was on my list of things to do this week so Friday is perfect. I’m in Oregon.

    • Jul 22, 2014
      at 1:31 pm

      Hi Jill,
      I’m a former Oregonian, Portland/Gresham. Retired to Maui. I sponsor 2 children in Burkina Faso. I get excited when I see other Oregonians here. Bless you.

  8. Angela
    Sep 7, 2010
    at 9:08 am

    Yes! I will write my sponsored child the 2nd Friday each month. I am in Fishers, Indiana.

  9. Valerie Long
    Sep 7, 2010
    at 9:15 am

    I’m going to join Sherry W. and write my kids on Saturday. I’m working until 9pm Friday night which will make it a bit difficult to do it Friday, but I’m off on Saturday so I’m thinking I’ll do it then! :) What a great idea though! Thanks for sharing. :)

    Valerie

  10. Denise Jones
    Sep 7, 2010
    at 9:15 am

    Thank you June. I will be writing. I am in Oklahoma.

  11. Michele Therrien
    Sep 7, 2010
    at 9:23 am

    This is a great idea. I’m getting stuck with ideas for letters and especially little gifts to send to my child.

  12. Sep 7, 2010
    at 9:48 am

    Yes, yes I want to join! How does this work? I am from North Carolina. Do we all somehow write/type at the same time? Do we all write about the same designated topic? Bless you for doing this, June!

    • June Gauss
      Sep 7, 2010
      at 3:17 pm

      Hi Susan-The concept is to simply write your child every second Friday of the month. It doesn’t matter in what manner you write, whether it be a handwritten letter or online. The topic for the month is found in the Events area in the Virtual Letter Writing Night group. Note: The topic/theme for each month is merely a suggestion.

  13. Melissa P.
    Sep 7, 2010
    at 10:46 am

    I will write on Friday from Colorado! I love theme ideas and accountability. Thank you!

  14. Wendy
    Sep 7, 2010
    at 10:55 am

    What a great way to start the weekend. I will be writing from TN. I will also join your group on OC.

  15. Sep 7, 2010
    at 11:03 am

    Oh yeah, baby…I’m in!

  16. Sep 7, 2010
    at 11:05 am

    Count me in! I’m in Frisco, Texas.

    • Anna Pancake
      Sep 7, 2010
      at 9:10 pm

      I’m north of College Station, Tx and am working on Getting a Texas Sponsor’s meet up started…right now there are 2 of us, but we would love to add more!

  17. Stephanie Green
    Sep 7, 2010
    at 11:45 am

    Thanks, June. I will be writing this Friday! I am in Virginia.

    Haven’t checked to see what the theme is yet but since today is the first day of school here, that will likely be my topic. Happy writing, everyone!

  18. Judy
    Sep 7, 2010
    at 11:59 am

    What a great idea for a group. I’m there! :)

  19. Stephanie
    Sep 7, 2010
    at 12:22 pm

    Thanks for the inspiration!! I’m making a commitment to write my sponsor child at least once a month! :)

  20. Sep 7, 2010
    at 1:02 pm

    This is awesome, June! What a great, practical but fun idea! I make it my goal to write my kids once a month. I can’t do Fridays but I will be writing my kids during the second week of every month right along with you. Just wrote to them today, thanks to your post. Thank you for reminding us of how important it is to write!!!

  21. Sarah Sch
    Sep 7, 2010
    at 1:35 pm

    Count me in! I will be handwriting letters to my two sponsored girls and two correspondence boys this weekend from Macon, GA!

  22. Sep 7, 2010
    at 1:53 pm

    Great idea! I’m joining in.

  23. Diane Nichols
    Sep 7, 2010
    at 2:22 pm

    Yes, writing letters on the computer is quicker and easier but I usually hand write for every letter they handwrite to me. I also handwrite when I am sending them something special like stickers, etc, also I handwrite on Christmas cards, Birthday cards, etc. I guess since I am retired have time to handwrite to our 4 sponsored girls and our 5 correspondence children. I can express myself better when I write anyway. I plan to write this Friday as well but I usually try to write all of them at least 2 times a month.

  24. June Gauss
    Sep 7, 2010
    at 3:21 pm

    I’m happy to see so many people committed to writing their child(ren) this month. YEAH!!! If you are unable to commit to Friday, please write your chil(ren) any day this week that works for your schedule. I’d love to see more sponsors committing to writing their child(ren) monthly.

  25. Sarah
    Sep 7, 2010
    at 3:40 pm

    Thank You for being faithful to the Lord’s calling! This has encourageed me tremendously! I have had so much going on since I bagn sponsering my child that I am so sad to say I haven’t written to her. But I am today and will continue you to once a week from now on ! Thank you for the encouragement!

  26. Brianna
    Sep 7, 2010
    at 3:50 pm

    I have not written to my sponsored child very frequently in the past, but I like the idea of having a day each month to sit down and write to him. I am from San Diego, California and I am sponsoring a boy in Ethiopia who just turned 9.

  27. Sep 7, 2010
    at 4:50 pm

    June, I am so happy to see this idea taking off! It will make such a difference for the children! If anyone would like ideas for topics for letters or items you can send along, clicking my name will take you to my blog. I aim to share letter writing ideas monthly! :D
    Thank you to everyone who is pledging to write at least once a month!! :D

  28. Nicole
    Sep 7, 2010
    at 6:18 pm

    Count me in for writing this Friday! This is a great idea and it will hopefully keep me from procrastinating. Thanks for your stories about visiting the children and seeing their letters or lack thereof. That really made an impression on me and I am determined to keep up my correspondence!

  29. Brenda
    Sep 7, 2010
    at 6:42 pm

    I was so excited to find out about this virtual letter writing group. It’s great inspiration to keep us on track with our letters to our Compassion children, and we might get some great ideas from one another to make our letters fresher. Thanks for doing this, June. I’m in California and will be writing away with the rest of you.

  30. Crissy
    Sep 7, 2010
    at 8:08 pm

    This is a great idea! I am a brand new sponsor, haven’t even received my child’s packet yet but I’m expecting it any day now. Can anyone tell me how long it takes for a hand written letter to be delivered to Tanzania, my child’s birthday is in Nov and I’m hoping to get it to him by then. I live on a US Navy base in Sasebo, Japan.

    • Sep 8, 2010
      at 5:48 am

      Crissy – you should expect it to take about 3 months for hand written letters to reach the child and about 2 months if you write it on line. To reach the child by November you should write on line and then you could also mail a card with a note too.

  31. Maggie
    Sep 7, 2010
    at 8:33 pm

    I’ll write on Friday from Chicago! I usually write on Mondays but I’m sure extra letters would be wonderful for my kids! Thanks for sharing your passion and encouraging deeper relationships between us and the kids we sponsor.

  32. Terry Gardezy
    Sep 7, 2010
    at 9:19 pm

    What a great idea! I have been a sponsor since May, and have only written one letter. I did not realize how much they meant to the children until reading your letter. I would love to join your group and be reminded to do this. I will forward this on to some of my other Compassion sponsor friends. Thank you for your loving heart. I will j oin your group today.
    Terry Gardezy, Santa Rosa CA

  33. Linda Wrage
    Sep 7, 2010
    at 10:10 pm

    This was such an inspirational post. I have been struggling to write letters to my kids lately. I have joined your group on OurCompassion and am looking forward to the motivation helping me get on a regular schedule of letter writing. It’s a really great idea. I have been wishing for something like this. Thanks! I’m in Milwaukee, WI.

  34. Sep 8, 2010
    at 5:46 am

    We sponsor 5 kids and I rotate through them writing one each weekend. I will write mine this Friday too. Writing from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

  35. Perry Hughes
    Sep 8, 2010
    at 7:14 am

    My wife and I just began the sponsor relationship through Compassion. We are excitedly awaiting our start up packet. Thanks for your encouragement and challenge to be consistent with writing letters. We will be much more focused on writing once a month because of your blog. Thanks for helping us get started on the right foot!
    -Perry from NC

  36. Jennifer
    Sep 8, 2010
    at 8:29 am

    I will try to remember to do that. I’m in Ramsey, MN. I like the idea of writing once a month.

  37. Marci
    Sep 8, 2010
    at 9:38 am

    Hello, June…and everyone else! I joined in last month’s letter writing and I really liked the idea, so you’ll have me joining in every month from now on. I write to Arthur all the time (sometimes I wonder if I write too much?) but this is a fun idea to make us both part of a world wide writing celebration that shows that he’s extra special and part of something *really big*. I’ll label each letter that is written on the second Friday as “Celebration Letter” so he knows I’ve included us in the world wide sponsorship celebratioin every month! Just another way to help a little one know he’s special and important. :)

    I’m writing from New Smyrna Beach, Florida…so, there is no way I could make it to your house every month! Thank you for putting this out there for everyone in the virtual realm.

  38. Brian Smith
    Sep 8, 2010
    at 10:15 am

    I need all the help I can get, Thank you!

  39. ROSEMARY
    Sep 8, 2010
    at 11:55 am

    I will be glad to join. I think it’s a wonderful idea.
    God Bless you and all those that see God’s face in these children. My husband and I sponsor children in Africa, Bolivia, Chile and Haiti and sometimes wonder what to write or send them.

  40. The Bealls
    Sep 8, 2010
    at 1:43 pm

    I have a question of clarification…I understood that you could only send items that were flat in the envelopes, but maybe I assumed that you could only send items in the small legal sized envelopes. I’ve read a few things lately that make me think you can actually send larger manilla envelopes with your items (coloring books, etc.) in them. Is this correct?

    • Sep 8, 2010
      at 4:28 pm

      We send our letters in a larger manilla envelope.

    • June Gauss
      Sep 9, 2010
      at 3:42 pm

      Here is a link to a suggestion of items you can send from Compassion’s website.

      http://www.compassion.com/sponsordonor/connecting/tips-for-mailing-small-gifts.htm

      I have sent coloring books, photos pasted on 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock, as well as crafts the same size. I’ve sent them in manilla envelopes just larger than 8 1/2 x 11 paper. Plus I have 4 kids which I send everything together at one time to Compassion. I hope this information is helpful!

  41. Valerie D.
    Sep 8, 2010
    at 4:52 pm

    I’m from Virginia. I’ve been a sponsor since the first part of the year, but this is the first I’ve done anything online. I like the idea of writing with everyone on the 2nd Friday. I’ll be there!

  42. Carol Hallifax
    Sep 8, 2010
    at 5:32 pm

    Count me in on Friday. This is a great idea. I am an advocate from Kansas City. God is surely doing more than you could ask or imagine,

  43. April B.
    Sep 8, 2010
    at 5:46 pm

    Great idea..and great incentive to find something “special” to mail once a month. Oh and thanks for the link for the stationary..I wasn’t even aware until today that there was any available..cool!

  44. Sep 8, 2010
    at 6:26 pm

    I will write three letters this Friday – on to our sponsored child in Brazil, one to our previously sponsored child who has left the program (I’m sad about that) and one to a young woman in Ethiopia to whom I send letters. I’m glad to be encouraged and held accountable by the group.

  45. Doug West
    Sep 8, 2010
    at 6:29 pm

    Love the idea! I’m in Greensboro NC. Ever think of changing the name from the Virtual Child Sponsorship Letter Writing Group to something like the 2nd Friday’s (club or group)? It may make people look into what it is and draw them in and I am all for anything that will increase the letters to th kids. I’ve sent time with too many who don’t get any letters!

  46. Patricia
    Sep 8, 2010
    at 8:24 pm

    I live in Houston and would like to be more consistent in writing my sponsored children, too.

  47. Jeannette Peterson
    Sep 8, 2010
    at 10:47 pm

    Thanks for this, I wrote to my kids a few weeks ago, but it is a good reminder to write.
    If I have time I’ll write again.

  48. Sep 9, 2010
    at 6:58 am

    This is a great idea–consider me in!

  49. Sep 9, 2010
    at 12:34 pm

    Love this! I can’t write to six kids–or, occasionally, to the two boys my husband sponsors–all in one night, but I keep trying to find a kind of schedule I can stick to, so I write to everybody, every month. I even started a spreadsheet to keep track of when I wrote to each one.

    I’m also starting a Compassion Life Group at my church, with the idea of a quarterly or monthly (depending on demand) letter-writing event. A quarterly get-together would be a good adjunct to a monthly, virtual experience for those who can and are interested in joining.

    Wouldn’t it be neat, if everyone who joins the virtual group would eventually branch out to meet with other local sponsors for the same purpose? ;-)

  50. Michaela Anderson
    Sep 9, 2010
    at 3:46 pm

    Hi there! We’ve been sponsoring a young lady in Colombia several years and are from Grand Rapids, MN. I think this is a wonderful idea and hope someone will remind everyone tomorrow via facebook!

  51. Donna
    Sep 9, 2010
    at 6:00 pm

    I’m writing. I’m in Eastland Texas

    • Anna Pancake
      Sep 11, 2010
      at 4:44 pm

      Donna, I am not sure where Eastland is exactly…I am in the College station area, and we are trying to get together a Sponsor’s group to encourage one another and write/shop together. feel free to email me if you are interested mrspancake (at) live (dot) com

      • Susan Martin
        Sep 15, 2010
        at 12:52 pm

        Hey Anna, just thought you might be interested in a Sponsor’s Round-Up that is being planned on OC. All sponsors from everywhere are welcome. We have a lot already very interested and said We’d love to have you too. there have been several journals on this so you might want to check them out. We are friends on OC, so, if you can’t find the journals, let me know.

        • Anna Pancake
          Sep 15, 2010
          at 3:50 pm

          That’s actually what encouraged me to try to set up an East Texas group…figure if we all gather yearly, and the smaller local groups meet monthly/bimonthly/quarterly we can work together to spead the contagion called “Sponsoritis” LOL…speaking of, got an opportunity to do a mini-presentation to one of the local Church Choirs today!

      • Donna
        Oct 4, 2010
        at 6:21 pm

        Hi Anna, just noticed your post today. Eastland is between Abilene and Fort Worth on I 20. I lived in College Station earlier- such a pretty town!

  52. Holly
    Sep 9, 2010
    at 6:23 pm

    I needed to hear this June. I have good intentions, but have had very poor follow through. Every other Friday night works perfectly as I alternate Bible study on the other Friday nights. Now Asmaow will get the encouragement she needs and deserves. Thank you and may God bless this idea.

  53. Jen
    Sep 9, 2010
    at 10:00 pm

    I just wrote my 2 girls a few days ago… but i will be happy to write again tomorrow

    I’m from Connecticut

  54. The Bealls
    Sep 10, 2010
    at 6:57 am

    June,

    Thank you for the link to all the information on what small items can be sent! I can’t wait to tell my boys they can send “gifts” with their letters as they have been begging to do!

    Also, I am unfamiliar with what others have been describing as children they correspond with versus children they sponsor. I would love to take on another child if it is specifically for sending them love and encouragement through letters. Can you tell me where to go to find out more about that?

    Sorry for all the questions, but you have been a tremendous resource and encouragement for me!

    Thanks,
    Michaelene in GA

    • June Gauss
      Sep 11, 2010
      at 10:58 am

      Michaelene-I’m not sure where you can find it on Compassion’s website but I know that I called and asked if I could correspond with a child (after I heard about it from another sponsor). I had to go on a waiting list but it didn’t take long. My suggestion is to call the 1-800 phone number and the representative can tell you more about it.

    • June Gauss
      Sep 11, 2010
      at 11:21 am

      Michaelene-I just found this blog post about being a correspondence sponsor. Here’s some additional information: http://blog.compassion.com/write-to-a-child/

  55. Doreen
    Sep 10, 2010
    at 7:14 am

    I’ve been feeling pretty bad that I don’t write my sponsored children as often as I should. It’s kind of hard I have 12. I always try to write different things to each so that they don’t think it’s a “generic” letter to all of them (some are siblings and friends). It’s hard to make each different, but I will with God’s help make sure my kids get regular encouragement from me! I believe God spoke to my heart through you. Thank you June.

  56. Sep 10, 2010
    at 8:03 am

    I’m in! We just started sponsoring 2 precious children from Nicaragua and Bolivia. So these will be our first letters…and we’re so excited! We were planning on writing this weekend anyway, but now I know we’ll be jointing lots of other sponsors in loving on these children today! Very cool….God is like that! :-)
    Oh, and we’re in Texas.

    • Anna Pancake
      Sep 11, 2010
      at 4:42 pm

      Amy, what part of Tx? I am in the College Station area, and we are getting a Sponsor’s group started (so far 3 of us) I also go to Temple at least 2x a month, so I would participate in one there as well, if someone else handled setting it up…one is all I can organise at this point in my life. Email me if you are interested mrspancake (at) live (dot) com

  57. Lea
    Sep 10, 2010
    at 8:58 am

    This is a great idea and I hope it encourages others to write. I found that when I do my bill the first of every month that is a good time while I am at the computer to write my child. It is such a blessing to get letters in return and to watch our child grow up in Christ.

  58. Danielle
    Sep 10, 2010
    at 9:41 am

    What a wonderful idea for the letter writing group to go virtual. My children and I try to write out child at least 2 times a month. We have only received 2 letters from our child in Rwanda since sponsoring him. (6 months). I know how exited my children, ages 12, 9 and 7 get when a letter from Kevin arrives. I can only imagine the joy that Kevin is filled with when a letter from our family comes to him! I thank God for Compassion and this INCREDIBLE ministry!
    I am thrilled to be able to write online to our young man today. This will be our first time!
    Danielle
    Corona, CA

  59. ANNETTE
    Sep 10, 2010
    at 10:30 am

    I LOVE THE LETTER WRITING IDEA. I WOULD LOVE TO JOIN IN. THANKS

  60. Linda
    Sep 10, 2010
    at 11:28 am

    This is truly a Spirit-inspired idea and I am so thankful to be able to join-in with all of you to REGULARLY shine a tiny bit of light and love into the life of a child. It’s on my calendar and Linda (from Michigan) is so thrilled to join this awesome group!

  61. Bonny
    Sep 10, 2010
    at 11:56 am

    This is a great idea, and will help with ‘accountability’. I am glad to hear about the 8 x 11 envelopes, I too thought everything had to fit in the letter envelope. My former child left the program, and I now have a ‘new child’ from Ethiopia, Age 8. My name is Bonny, from Sunrise, FL. June, you may have thought this was a ‘small’ idea, but you are doing His good work. God bless you all.

  62. Christi
    Sep 10, 2010
    at 12:38 pm

    I just wrote my little boy. Thank you SO much for the encouragement. I have been probably the worst communicator ever with poor sweet Fernando over the last 5 years. This was an excellent idea!! Thank you, June!
    -Christi
    Irving, TX

  63. Dawn
    Sep 10, 2010
    at 12:51 pm

    I will certainly try this great idea! I’m in New York.

  64. Octavia
    Sep 10, 2010
    at 2:16 pm

    I have three children that I sponsor and three correspondent children that I write to. My initial letter to each of the children included a photo of myself along with a postcard of my city. I usually write to them once a month the longest I have gone without writing them is two months. I usually send bandaids, stickers, coloring pages etc… I always make a note in my letter to share those items with others who have not received correspondence from their sponsors or other siblings in their household. I have received a great response to my letters and small gifts included from all of the kids with the exception of one. Most of my letters are now in response to a letter received and I try to mail them off at least a day or two after I have received them.

  65. Sep 10, 2010
    at 2:57 pm

    I’m in. Are you planning this for snail mail or for online sending. We write our little boy from Indonesia… about every month or 3 wks or so…..

    I didn’t know we could send items??

    thanks so much

    Teena
    in Georgia

  66. melissa
    Sep 10, 2010
    at 3:07 pm

    I am writing right now!

  67. Emily
    Sep 10, 2010
    at 4:18 pm

    I am a new sponsor, and I now I’m even more excited to get to know the girl I am sponsoring. I will write my first letter to her tonight, and will be marking my calendar every secnd Friday! Thank you for starting this, I think it will be a great way to hold myself accountable!

  68. Katie
    Sep 10, 2010
    at 4:28 pm

    Writing tonight with my daughter!

  69. Deanna Wine
    Sep 10, 2010
    at 4:57 pm

    This is such an awesome (God) idea! I’m writing to both of my sponsored kids tonight – thanks!

  70. Deanna
    Sep 10, 2010
    at 5:10 pm

    BTW – I’m in Colorado

  71. Jill
    Sep 10, 2010
    at 6:34 pm

    June,

    Thank you so much for your encouraging words. We just sponsored our first little girl a couple months ago. We have written to her but have not heard anything back. I am so worried that our letter did not arrive to her.

    We pray for her and have adopted her as our new little sister as well as a new older sister.

    Thank you again for your words of encouragement and I will continue to write to her and send her pictures. My 8 year old drew and colored a picture for her.

    God Bless,
    Jill
    in Tuscaloosa, AL

  72. Sep 10, 2010
    at 7:13 pm

    We are new sponsors to a little boy in Guatemala, and this was our first time signing on to CI to try and send him an e-mail. Love this idea of regular writing. I was assuming before that we had to wait months to hear back before writing again. We hail from Terre Haute, Indiana and look forward to being a part of this virtual group committed to regular communication with our sponsored child. What a great idea :)

  73. The Bealls
    Sep 10, 2010
    at 8:07 pm

    I was also just thinking tonight that by next month we need to be sending Christmas themed greetings since a minimum journey of 2 months of the letter getting to the kids will be just about Christmas time! : )

  74. Christine
    Sep 10, 2010
    at 9:26 pm

    What a great idea! We “just happened” to write to our child today. My 18 mo. old was climbing furniture determined to get to something! That something was our child’s photograph album. So, I realized, what a great opportunity to talk about her and have the girls write to her along with me. We also uploaded photos to print out and pick up this afternoon and added some recent artwork. I need to do it all in one day or I let the whole project slide! Thanks for the inspiration to make this a monthly activity and join with others who do the same.

  75. Melissa Stephens
    Sep 10, 2010
    at 9:39 pm

    I wrote my child tonight! He is in Rwanda and I am in Dallas, TX. His birthday is coming up, so I mostly wrote about his birthday and my son’s birthday (also coming soon). In addition to that, I wrote about sports. He likes soccer and my son just started playing soccer. I also told him a bit about American football. Thanks so much for this wonderful idea!

  76. Melissa Stephens
    Sep 10, 2010
    at 10:14 pm

    What is this I’m reading about craft ideas? I seem to recall seeing a link somewhere but now I can’t find it. Thanks!

    • June Gauss
      Sep 11, 2010
      at 11:01 am

      Click on the blue words above in the blog post that say “stop by the group in OurCompassion” and it will take you to the group which has pictures of the past craft projects. You can also look through the events section for the past months and find the description/directions for the crafts.

  77. Barbara
    Sep 10, 2010
    at 10:22 pm

    Thank you for letting the Lord use you to help others share the love of Christ! What a great idea, and I am thankful for it will keep me accountable also! I write from Louisiana

  78. Sep 10, 2010
    at 10:40 pm

    I missed out by one day, but I love the idea and will be writing this weekend AND joining your group. I’m sad to say that I’m not so great at keeping up on letters to my two girls. I want to be better at it and setting aside a certain day/month to write is perfect! And having a group to remind me is even better LOL

  79. Sep 11, 2010
    at 6:17 am

    Great idea! I’ve just been reading how important letters are to these kids – I will joint you all, as soon as I’m able. I just sponsored 5 year old Fatima yesterday – I can’t wait for this new relationship to begin!!!

  80. Tommy D
    Sep 11, 2010
    at 7:19 am

    Very cool Idea!
    I write my Child Bruno in Brasil from Charleston, Sc!

  81. Sandy F
    Sep 11, 2010
    at 11:48 am

    June, you have encouraged me tremendously. How do I join the virtual group and how does it work? I think if I got an email reminder every second friday telling me it’s time to write, that would be great. Anyway to set that up? Maybe the virtual group already has something like that. Thanks for making yourself available to God and encouraging us in the right direction. You are living out Hebrews 10:24

  82. Steve Ray
    Sep 11, 2010
    at 12:44 pm

    Thank you for the idea! I just marked every 2nd Friday on my Google Calendar “forever”. I’m writing from Waller TX!

    • Anna Pancake
      Sep 11, 2010
      at 4:38 pm

      We are starting a Sponsor’s group in College Station, my email is mrspancake (at) live (dot) com if you want more information. I live in Madison County, Tx so we are almost neighbors

  83. Monica
    Sep 11, 2010
    at 12:48 pm

    I wrote today! I am in Arizona and I will take this on!

  84. Sep 11, 2010
    at 8:02 pm

    I just found out about this group today and wrote my letter. I plan on joining you all each month!

  85. Suzanne
    Sep 13, 2010
    at 9:07 am

    I would love to join you all. I am in Plano, TX and I sponsor a little girl in Kenya and just signed up to sponsor a little boy in Guatemala. I need some structure to get me to actually write these letters. Would love some ideas. Thanks.

  86. Barbara Welsh
    Sep 14, 2010
    at 8:52 am

    June,
    Thank you so much for sharing. Your post deeply touched me because I find little time to hand-write any notes or letters; though, I am an advocate of hand-written letters. I am quite busy and do still have children at home, so I usually email a letter to my sponsored child. Mind you, this is not as frequently as I’d like. I often reflect upon how I enjoy receiving a letter or card in the mail, along with photos, and so long to do this for my child! Consequently, your idea of writing to your sponsored child once per month will definitely increase my hand-written letters to my child. I have put the second Friday in my planner and plan on writing my hand-written letter to my child with you on that day. Thank you for your idea.
    Happy Writing,
    Barb Welsh

  87. Steph
    Sep 16, 2010
    at 10:27 am

    I just joined Compassion by allowing God to choose a child for me. I love her already and have not even spoken a word yet. I will be joining you every second Friday to write her. I sponsored another child before through another organization and never wrote a letter or received one. I was always concerned with that agency that they just sent a picture of a child the money could potentially help. After reading your message above I hope that was an accurate assumption because if I broke that child’s heart I would be devastated. I will not let down my little sweet princess Tewabech though. I will commit to writing her consistently. Bless your heart for this awareness. May God keep all our sweet angels safe.

  88. Erin
    Sep 16, 2010
    at 7:25 pm

    I am still new to Compassion but, already one of my greatest joys about it is writing letters to my child. Because I know that most people in the world now don’t care about letters or hearing from someone but to this child my letters are special and appreciated. I intend to keep writing my child at least twice a month.

  89. James
    Sep 16, 2010
    at 9:35 pm

    I just did the e-mail letter to my kids last night. What a great idea, maybe I could get more letters from my kids than once every quarter of the year. I am sitting here in tears because one of sponsored childrens Aunt included her picture of my little Joan smiling and showing off the clothes she was able to acquire through my birthday gift.. May the Lord continue to bless your efforts.

  90. Sep 26, 2010
    at 1:35 pm

    I would so LOVE to do this! Sign me up & help me out (whoever has the time or can direct me to the best contact)…I’m new to this group & arrived at Compassion International’s website via recommendation from Amy Grant’s “Friends of Amy” website…after watching Amy’s personal video about the impact it made on her own life (of seeing a young boy grow in mind/body/spirit and become a true leader himself), I was totally inspired. Then, after reading through a few of the posts on the Compassion International website, I’m REALLY excited! I have been praying for months about what God wanted me to do with my love/prayers & heart for writing, and I think this may be it…I had tentatively been doing rough drafts on various topics that God had impressed upon my heart over the years, thinking I’d eventually put them in book form, but this would be spiritually effective SOONER and with a much better chance of being eternally beneficial to souls in need …and also there’s the bonus of skipping the hassels of finding a good publisher and writing endless manuscripts… The Holy Spirit only believes in lifelines vs. deadlines, allows mistakes in grammar & punctuation, and the only payment I make up-front is that my heart is in His hands! PERFECT! …So, I’m standing at the door of Compassion International…asking/seeking/knocking…does anyone hear my voice & want to open the door in His Name? Thank you in advance to whoever chooses to answer the door…Ramona :-)

    • Sep 26, 2010
      at 5:01 pm

      Hi, Ramona! That is so awesome. Are you saying that you are looking to sponsor a child? The reason being is that I was in Bolivia a few months ago, and I met a child there that got registered and now I am looking for a sponsor for her. Her name is Camila Churata, BO-561-0765. Her birthday is June 30, 2005. She is 5 years old. Camila makes her home with her father and her mother. Running errands and cleaning are her household duties. Her father is sometimes employed as a laborer and her mother maintains the home. There are 4 children in the family.
      Camila is not presently attending school. Playing with dolls is her favorite activity. She also attends church activities regularly.

      If you are interested in sponsoring her, let me know or if you know someone. You can email me at: keescorgi@yahoo.com

    • Anna Pancake
      Sep 26, 2010
      at 5:05 pm

      Ramona, I’m not real clear from your post if you have a sponsored child yet? If not, that’s definately the starting point. If you already have sponsored a child, then the writing is the fun part. I love to write to my kids, although I feel bad for the poor translators who have to translate for me so often. If no one has introduced you to it yet, let me invite you to join OurCompassion (www,OurCompassion.org) , as that is where the Virtual Group is hosted. If I say so myself, OC is the greatest group of people! I have made so many wonderful friends on OC, and I know you will too.
      I’ll be more than happy to help you with any questions you have, and if i don’t know the answer, I am sure someone on OC does. It has been a wonderful place to have my questions about sponsorship and writing answered, and to share my joy in hearing from my kids.

  91. Annika
    Sep 30, 2010
    at 12:37 am

    Hi!
    I am about to send my first letter! But I have been trying to find information about the tiny gifts.
    I am confused since it looks like all the mail is opened, checks taken out but what happens to the (sponsor and child number marked) paper gift?
    Is the gift and letter later put in an envelope for the child? Or is it separated?
    Am I supposed to put the gift and letter in a separate envelope for the child inside of the main “Colorado” envelope?
    Hope you understand the question! I’m just a bit confused how it works!
    Smiles,
    Annika

  92. Jamie Fox
    Oct 6, 2010
    at 8:13 am

    I really like this idea! I have had trouble staying consistent with my letter writing. I sponsor a little boy in Nicaragua and want to correspond more. I am in Marietta, Ohio.

  93. Nicole
    Oct 6, 2010
    at 8:18 am

    This is a great idea! I’m in. :) I’d love to find out what I can send besides bookmarks and stickers.

  94. Lynette Smith
    Oct 6, 2010
    at 8:21 am

    Hi, I have found it works great for me, to write my letters the day I pay my bill to Compassion. That helps me stay on track!

  95. Maria Momojara
    Oct 6, 2010
    at 8:35 am

    I love the idea of setting a day… I´ve been trying to do that but having a group will be so helpful.
    I am in Lima, Peru; and I sponsor 2 beautiful kids, one in Haiti and one in Guatemala.
    Looking forward to Friday!!!

  96. kimi
    Oct 6, 2010
    at 8:38 am

    Thank you for this post and Thank God for you! I sponsor 2 children. My second child I have not written too because I lost a child and have been depressed and unable to write…was even going to stop sponsoring due to my lack of unresponsiveness. (Which I know is only the devil). Your letter and group have convinced me to do otherwise. I thank God for you and for your faithfulness. I will begin to write my children this Friday and every second Friday of each month. This has truly been a Godsend! Thanking you in His name, Kimi

    • Oct 6, 2010
      at 11:44 am

      I am sorry for your loss, Kimi!

    • June Gauss
      Oct 7, 2010
      at 5:29 am

      Oh Kimi, I am so sorry to hear that you have lost a child. I’m praying for you. I pray that starting to write your sponsor children again will help you regain yourself and release your pain. I will be praying for you as you grieve and heal. I appreciate your honesty. God be with you and your family!

  97. Teresa
    Oct 6, 2010
    at 11:03 am

    I’m in on the letter-writing night. Great idea & I’m looking forward to it. Teresa in Homosassa, Florida

  98. Oct 6, 2010
    at 11:45 am

    June, I am so glad that this has spread like wildfire! I will have to share it on my blog, where I also share lots of ideas for letter writing and sending gifts. I get so excited thinking about all of the kids that will be overjoyed at these monthly letters!!

  99. Laura
    Oct 6, 2010
    at 3:49 pm

    I love this idea and have added a reminder to my calendar to begin participating. I have written my sponsored child probably once a quarter but your post makes me realize how important the letters are. Now I’m anxious to write more frequently and be more diligent. I love the craft ideas as well. Thank you!

  100. Shannon Perry
    Oct 6, 2010
    at 6:35 pm

    I’m writing to my child, Goodluck. I live in West Virginia =]

  101. Nancy
    Oct 6, 2010
    at 7:50 pm

    Count me in. Writing from North Carolina to my little sweetie in Peru!

  102. Oct 7, 2010
    at 10:17 am

    Oh Kimi, I am so sorry for your loss. I am proud of you for seeing, through tears I’m sure, the need your sponsor child has. I believe in my heart this will only become a huge blessing during a hard time. Hugs

    My family will be writing our letter today in northern Oklahoma. This is such a great idea & a great reminder. Thanks.

  103. Oct 7, 2010
    at 2:49 pm

    Remember to add your Christmas greetings to your letters this month! If you’re looking for ideas for goodies you can send as gifts, check out my blog or the Christmas post on Our Compassion!

  104. Oct 8, 2010
    at 9:15 am

    Just finished writing in California!
    So thankful for how you have organized us!

  105. Melli
    Oct 8, 2010
    at 9:43 am

    I just heard about this! I am IN for tonight! I’m writing my sweet girl in Guatemala from Maryland. And I LOVE this idea!

  106. Jo Ballew
    Oct 8, 2010
    at 11:28 am

    Dear Rosemica.

    Thank you for your last letter. I am glad that you did on your school
    Test. I am relay proud of you. Its good that your family are doing well.

    I pray for you all everyday, your family , your country.

    We are all doing well here. My husband and I are going on trip to
    Mexico for a week end soon.

    My Grand children are get big. Rebecca is now 2 years old. Joey
    is going to be 6 in Dec. And Timothy was 8 this year.

    Take good care and keep on praying.

    Love and payers

    Jo Ballew,

    • Oct 10, 2010
      at 1:19 pm

      That is a great letter! Did you send it to her? (Not sure if you realized you posted it as a response to the blog post and not actually on the Compassion site.)

  107. Kim Kuzmkowski
    Oct 8, 2010
    at 12:19 pm

    YAY! I just wrote a letter and a Christmas card to my sweet boy in Peru. I’m off to the post office to mail them out. I hope he gets them before Christmas. Thanks for this wonderful idea!

  108. Bill
    Oct 8, 2010
    at 2:59 pm

    From Virginia to Colombia. Great idea. How little can mean so much. The Lord takes little things and makes them beatiful. This little angel in Colombia needs prayer, letters, the message of the Lord, and anything that will make her happy. She is so much of a blessing to me. She does more for me than I do for her. Thanks again. Wow today is the second one—-I will start now.

  109. KB
    Oct 8, 2010
    at 3:13 pm

    I’ll be joining you tonight in Oregon – I’m posting this info on my facebook page as well so my friends who sponsor children will remember to write!

  110. Suzanne
    Oct 8, 2010
    at 6:42 pm

    I just wrote my 2 – Irene and Josue from Kenya and Guatemala. I am writing from Plano, TX. I decided to send some pictures from a calendar of landscapes in America.

  111. Pam
    Oct 8, 2010
    at 8:20 pm

    Great idea!!!! Count me in and thank-you for the ideas!!! I will write tomorrow after I pick out a Christmas card, buy the supplies to include a craft and print a new picture. We are going to take a picture of his latest letter posted on our refridgerator with our grandson pointing to it.

  112. Trina
    Oct 9, 2010
    at 10:00 am

    Count me in! I will write to my sponsor – one of God’s children, in Indonesia.

  113. Barbara Welsh
    Oct 9, 2010
    at 6:59 pm

    Just wrote a long letter to my child, Ester, in Kenya. I didn’t mean for it to be so lengthy, but I guess there was a lot I wanted to tell her. I love to sew and am wondering if I can send some gifts to her. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what would be the best way to do this. I know that sending gifts is tricky. Would appreciate any help. Thanks and blessings!
    Barb

    • Oct 10, 2010
      at 1:22 pm

      The items we send have to be classified as documents (paper, thin cardstock etc) so make sure the gifts you send would fit those requirements. I have lots of ideas on my blog. You can also send a financial gift which will allow the family to buy items they need.

  114. Amy
    Oct 29, 2010
    at 5:33 pm

    I love this idea! It’s scary how quickly months can go by and I realize I haven’t written a letter to my two sponsor children, one in Colombia and one in El Salvador. I want to write more frequently because I know how much it means to them. Definitely count me in!

  115. Julie Propst
    Nov 1, 2010
    at 4:28 pm

    I have been very lax in writing to my child. I will think about it at work and forget it by the time I get home. Having a group like this will help me more ways than you know. Thank you for listening to God and starting something like this. I am not very computer savvy, but I will do my best to meet with you on Friday night. I will read more on the website on how to do this.

  116. Julie Propst
    Nov 1, 2010
    at 4:44 pm

    I want to join also. Julie Propst in North Carolina. Daughter Emelin in El Salvador.

  117. Nov 8, 2010
    at 1:46 pm

    I urge you all to send some photos this month! The kids love seeing you! We upload our pictures to walgreens.com and they print them out and have them ready to pick up in less than 15 minutes.
    Also, feel free to check out my blog by clicking my name in blue. I share a lot of letter writing tips and ideas!

  118. Nov 8, 2010
    at 2:02 pm

    I would love to join. My child is in Indonesia; is there anything that can be sent to help?

  119. Kristin Smith
    Nov 8, 2010
    at 3:32 pm

    Writing to Estefany in Guatemala from Chattanooga TN. We LOVE sending her letters and pictures– she always comments on them too!

  120. Beth
    Nov 8, 2010
    at 4:26 pm

    This is wonderful! I will be writing to my 2 girls in Ghana and Ethiopia this Friday. :)

  121. David Connelly
    Nov 8, 2010
    at 8:42 pm

    Hi June:

    What a great idea! I logged in to write to my sponsored child and to send birthday $ for her birthday in January. Her name is Monica Elizabeth Hernandez and she is from El Salvador, I missed writing in September, per your invitation, but will start participating every 2nd Friday starting in November. David

    • June Gauss
      Nov 10, 2010
      at 3:11 pm

      David-
      Thank you for your comment and that you will be joining us on Friday. I know your relationship with Monica will flourish from this committment to write her every month. I loved my time in El Salvador and hugging and loving on the precious children.

  122. Brenna
    Nov 8, 2010
    at 10:07 pm

    I would love to do this!

    I am from OH and I will be writing to the Philippines.

  123. Judy Webste
    Nov 9, 2010
    at 3:55 am

    I would really like to do this.

  124. Noel
    Nov 9, 2010
    at 4:59 am

    What a great idea! I’m doing it!

  125. Julie
    Nov 9, 2010
    at 6:20 am

    What a lovely reminder! I’m in! I live in Belgium, and I am writing to Theresia in Tanzania! Thanks!

  126. Kathy Dickens
    Nov 9, 2010
    at 8:20 am

    count me in! I love writing my child but never realized that I could send so many things to her! Can I send the paper highlight books? My daughter has some that she has already read. Would be great to send them to Zulma.

    • Tina
      Nov 9, 2010
      at 1:05 pm

      I would love ideas of things we can send. So far I’ve sent photos, handmade cards, a coloring book and handmade bookmarks.

  127. Alexandr
    Nov 9, 2010
    at 9:51 am

    Oh, it’s a great idea, I will also take part in this!

  128. Cheryl Curtis
    Nov 9, 2010
    at 11:16 am

    This is a great idea..I had only been sending lettters sporadically…thank you for your encouragement to do so every month…. We are from Maine and our girl is in Equador.

  129. samuel ferrell
    Nov 9, 2010
    at 11:59 am

    I am looking forward to writing and hearing from my sponsored friend, Iran.

  130. Shelly Duffey
    Nov 9, 2010
    at 12:29 pm

    I am definitely in!!! I’m writing from Edinburg, Texas to Thailand.

  131. Tina
    Nov 9, 2010
    at 1:02 pm

    Count me in for Friday! I love being part of this program and we have been so blessed to be able to correspond with Vivi – her letters are beautiful and they always brighten my day! : )

  132. Tina
    Nov 9, 2010
    at 1:03 pm

    Oops, I forgot to mention . . . I am in San Diego and Vivi is in Togo, Africa.

  133. Nov 9, 2010
    at 2:31 pm

    This is AWESOME! So excited to have fresh ideas and monthly themes to help me with my “for real” letters (those NOT sent via e-mail)!

  134. Dawn Stephens
    Nov 9, 2010
    at 2:32 pm

    I plan on writing my child this Friday and love this month’s theme. Thanks for setting this up!

  135. Dawn Stephens
    Nov 9, 2010
    at 2:32 pm

    By the way, I’m in Dallas and Mariam is in Tanzania!

  136. Carolyn Townley
    Nov 9, 2010
    at 4:11 pm

    What a wonderful idea! I needed this push. I have been writing for my child’s birthday in July and for Christmas, but I see that is really not enough. Thank you! I wish there was some way for you to kick me when I forget!!

    • Nov 10, 2010
      at 6:53 am

      I am so glad to read that you will be writing more often because of this. Your child is eagerly awaiting their name to be called on mail day! What joy there will be when your child receives more letters from you!

  137. Carolyn Townley
    Nov 9, 2010
    at 4:13 pm

    Forgot. I live in The Woodlands, Texas, and Luis is in Colombia – now 12 years old.

  138. Gloria Reddick
    Nov 9, 2010
    at 6:29 pm

    I think it’s a great idea, I’m excited.

  139. Kathryn
    Nov 9, 2010
    at 6:58 pm

    I will be writing to my Bridget in Uganda (5), Igor in Brazil (6), Eko in Indonesia(12) and my newest addition: Johana in Nicaragua(10), all the way from ‘Down Under”- Australia!!

  140. James
    Nov 9, 2010
    at 9:36 pm

    What a great Idea, sounds like a great time for me and my daughters.

  141. Heidi Morgan
    Nov 10, 2010
    at 8:27 am

    Count me in! I’m from North Carolina, and I just became a sponsor to Nellys in Colombia.

  142. Sarah Kaye Ybanez
    Nov 10, 2010
    at 9:19 am

    Hi there! I’m a Christian living in the middle east, I’ve seen Compassion website through a Christian show (how amazing God infiltrates in a muslim country!!) & I’ve just newly sponsored a darling little boy from Brazil just last week I’ve stumbled this post & this really helped a lot. :-) God Bless you this is really exciting.

    Love and Prayers,
    Sarah
    Doha, Qatar

    • June Gauss
      Nov 10, 2010
      at 3:09 pm

      Sarah-This is amazing how God has led you to Compassion and to sponsor your little boy in Brazil. I am so excited that you are joining us in writing on Friday! Congratulations on your new sponsorship. I know it will be an amazing relationship that God is going to use in great ways!!! Blessings to you my sister!

  143. j
    Nov 10, 2010
    at 3:19 pm

    Great idea – we will be glad to plan on letter writing every second friday of every month – thanks for the inspiration!

  144. Ryan
    Nov 10, 2010
    at 4:54 pm

    I plan on doing this, this is an awesome idea. Gracias June

  145. Rebecca
    Nov 10, 2010
    at 5:52 pm

    I am so ashamed of myself for not writing more often to my little girls!! count me in for this friday – and right now!!

  146. Kevin Dochterman
    Nov 10, 2010
    at 8:38 pm

    Love writting to my 43 children. I always write to all 43 once a month. this month I’am turning it up a notch. I set a goal to write 100 letters this month. Through today ( November 10) I have 34 done. I’am writting letters everyday this month so YES I will for sure be writting a few friday.

    • David Connelly
      Nov 11, 2010
      at 12:03 pm

      Kevin:

      43 Children! WOW! God sure has blessed you and through you the children you sponsore.

      Fairport, NY

  147. David Connelly
    Nov 11, 2010
    at 12:06 pm

    To all the veterans out there, Happy Veterans Day. I appreciate all that you do and did. I served 10 years in the U.S. Army and proud of my service.

    David

  148. Nov 11, 2010
    at 12:55 pm

    I will be writing to my boy in Ethiopia. I live in England!

  149. Linda
    Nov 11, 2010
    at 1:13 pm

    I love the idea! I will be writing from New Jersey. I just sponsored my first two children ~ a girl and a boy from Bolivia, so these will be my first letters to them!

    Thank you for creating this group!

  150. Whitney
    Nov 11, 2010
    at 1:31 pm

    I’ll be joining from California (although I may not be able to write until Saturday!)

  151. Kathryn
    Nov 11, 2010
    at 3:43 pm

    I will join you tomorrow (in WA). Thanks for the reminder of how much it means to the children. Your story brings this reality to life for me.

  152. Noelle
    Nov 11, 2010
    at 8:15 pm

    Just sent ours an e-mail message but will send a hand written one Friday night!! From NC to El Salvador and the Philippines!!

  153. Nov 11, 2010
    at 10:45 pm

    I LOVE the idea of having a set time – along with online fellowship – for writing letters each month! I’m from Colorado Springs and will be writing to our three sponsored children in Bolivia, Indonesia, and Nicaragua.

  154. Steven Lumonya
    Nov 12, 2010
    at 12:25 am

    It is indeed great being part of the wide family of Compassion sponsors. I sponsor a pretty child that lives in India. My desire is to see her grow and support herself, family and community. She has been a blessing to us since we start sponsoring her. I want to express my commitment to be part of this letter writing group. I am based in Africa – Uganda where I live and work though registered as a US sponsor.

  155. Tarasia
    Nov 12, 2010
    at 5:08 pm

    I sponsor a girl from Kenya. It has been a blessing to our children to learn about another country. Our family will be taking part in the writing tonight from Salmon Idaho.

  156. Michelle
    Dec 6, 2010
    at 1:27 pm

    This is an awesome idea! I just sent out a letter and a couple pictures today. As I look back I am ashamed with how little I have written or how long it has taken me to send our little guy a picture. Breaks my heart to think that he is sad we haven’t been in contact more so I am planning to write him each month!

  157. Kathy Robinson
    Dec 6, 2010
    at 9:29 pm

    I commit ! I think it will help us all remember to actually DO it if we have a target date to write the kids. Count me in!

  158. Dec 7, 2010
    at 9:05 am

    I plan, also, to write my two sponsored children at least once a month. If anyone could please help me with a ministry that I started in 2008, I would appreciate it. I have a small handmade jewelry business from which I donate all of my profits to Compassion. Most of it goes to my two sponsored children, but I would love to sell more jewelry so that I can sponsor more children. Please stop by my blogsite if you would like to see my jewelry and enable my business to help Compassion. I have already cleared this idea with Compassion International and they have agreed to letting me post their info and logo to my blogspot. http://www.cris-white.blogspot.com Thanks. Cris

    • Dec 7, 2010
      at 11:30 am

      Hi, Cris,

      That is awesome. I’m actually thinking about this idea and was talking with Compassion about it. I tutor students in Mathematics. I would love to tutor students and give all the proceeds to pay for Compassion sponsorships and if I get enough to sponsor additional children.

  159. Char Bell
    Dec 7, 2010
    at 2:47 pm

    AMEN Ladies!! I teach school and I usually have NO time to call my own because of grading papers etc…. UNTIL this year!! I was asked to go to Kindergarten to fill an unexpected need at the last minute. I have taught 26 years upper grades and have AVOIDED Kindergarten– I found out that I LOVE teaching Kindergarten and the evenings are now mine!! I have been so bad about writing as often as I should. I commit myself to the 2nd Friday of each month. AMEN. What wasn’t a GOOD THING will now be a BLESSING!! Just like Christ to do that!!

  160. christy inman
    Dec 7, 2010
    at 9:07 pm

    Thank you for the reminder of how important it is to write to our kids, this post was just the slap in the face I needed to be inspired to write more often. I will defenitly be joining everyone every second friday of the month to write! :) Thank you for listening to God’s will and organizing this.

  161. Shalea
    Dec 7, 2010
    at 10:04 pm

    Yes, I will join you in writing a letter to my sponsored child, this Friday, the 10th. I live in Wisconsin, and sponsor a little boy in Nicaragua. Thank you so much for being faithful and obedient to the call God placed on your heart, for starting this! It’s wonderful. I will definitely be writing to my child the second Friday of every month.
    The Lord bless you!!

  162. Dec 8, 2010
    at 8:10 am

    I can’t even explain how HAPPY it makes me to see so many sponsors commit to writing to their kids! Ah, it just lifts me right up! I just posted a blog about the letters and neat boxes we’re sending out on Friday. Click my name in blue to check it out!
    These letters will bring smiles and joy to your children. What an amazing thing you’ve started, June!

  163. Philip
    Dec 8, 2010
    at 5:01 pm

    That is a great idea! I will join you and see if the other sponsors at my church would like to join you as well! Thanks for everything you do! The impact we are making by showing these kids the living examples of God’s love is incredible! =) I will now write at least a letter every second friday to my little girl in Ethiopia all because of the work you have done.

  164. Amy
    Dec 9, 2010
    at 11:57 am

    Thank you so much for the reminder. I will be joining you tomorrow and writing a letter in Texas.

  165. Melissa Martin
    Dec 9, 2010
    at 12:13 pm

    I believe this is a wonderful idea! The children need to know that they are loved and thought of! I am so thankful for the child God placed in my life! I only hope that through my love for her and my spnsorship she will grow closer to God, letting him guide her life! I will be participating in this! Thank you for this opportunity! Bless You all!!

  166. Lori
    Dec 9, 2010
    at 1:02 pm

    I just finished my 1st letter to our brand new sponsored child Karla in El Salvador. We are 1st time sponsors. We live in Alaska and our family is already so blessed by Karla. We have had no correspondence yet but have spent time each day in prayer for this precious child and her family.

  167. Debra Hreniuc
    Dec 10, 2010
    at 6:46 am

    I just sponsored a 5 year old boy from Ecuador. I’m glad to have found this virtual letter writing and to know from others how important it is to send frequent letters to establish and maintain the relationship with my child. I am writing my first hand written letter today for introduction and then after will also use this virtual letter writing for contacts. Thank-you!!!

  168. Audrey
    Dec 10, 2010
    at 9:32 am

    For the past year or so, I have been trying to send a letter every month to my child. I have been quite successful up until this month. I have not sent a letter in 2 months. I started writing one this week, and when I came across this article, I became excited about what you are doing, and (it being the second Friday of the month) I am going to finish and send my letter today. I hope to continue this every month!

  169. Donna
    Dec 10, 2010
    at 1:26 pm

    I finally wrote a letter today and looked on the website too. Had been trying to get around to writing for a few months. What a confirmation as this is the “second Friday” afternoon and my letter is written and ready to mail! Great idea to give us a specific date each month.

  170. Dec 10, 2010
    at 2:36 pm

    I am excited to join this group! Our sponsered child is in Tanzania.

  171. Paress Bynoe
    Jan 7, 2011
    at 7:00 am

    such a great idea. would love to connect with sponsors in the caribbean

  172. Harriet Clark
    Jan 7, 2011
    at 10:03 am

    what a great idea! I pray for my ‘little man’ in Thailand, but writing to him has not been a priority.
    I know I need structure, and written reminders, so thank you, thank you!

  173. Jan 7, 2011
    at 5:20 pm

    It always brings JOY to my heart to see sponsors taking the letter writing part of this ministry and making it a priority. The sponsorship payment is what funds the programs, but it is your LETTERS filled with love and encouragement that start to change the heart of these young people. Poverty tells them they are worhtless and unimportant. YOU have the power and the proveledge to tell them otherwise. Please, make a commitment to write regularly, at LEAST once a month. It really makes all of the difference.

  174. Jan 10, 2011
    at 3:03 pm

    I’m in! This will help me to write to my two boys regularly. Thank you!

  175. Meghan
    Jan 12, 2011
    at 3:40 pm

    I’ll be joining you on Friday from Oklahoma! I love the idea of setting aside a special day each month to write my kids. I sponsor children in Ethiopia, Togo, and Haiti.

  176. Kelly
    Jan 13, 2011
    at 4:31 pm

    This is a great idea! I need a way to stay accountable with writing my child. I never want to think of him being sad because we have not sent a letter recently. Thanks!

  177. Karen Cartlidge
    Jan 14, 2011
    at 11:21 am

    What a great idea! I’ve been telling myself I needed to get more organized with my letter writing to my beautiful little girl in Peru! Thanks for the motivation! I’ll be writing tonight from chilly North Carolina! Glad bless you for bringing the 2nd Friday of the month idea!

  178. sue
    Jan 14, 2011
    at 2:05 pm

    Wow! I never go to the blog tab on the home page and today i did and i am thankful that i did so. i DO write my little girl and i often wonder, does she like receiving these from me? now i know that she does as i have read this blog article. i am going to continue to write, and write even more frequently thanks!

  179. David Connelly
    Jan 14, 2011
    at 3:42 pm

    Karen:

    Chilly North Carolina? Try fridget Western New York (Rochester) ;-) We have a wonderful young lady (just turned 14) that we sponor from El Salvador. We started sponsoring her when she was 7. It is amazing to watch them grow through letter writing. In the beginning, their letters are simple, often assisted by staff. As they grow and mature, you can see the impact you have on their lives by how they respond to specific questions. When they are so young, it is sometimes difficult to write because you don’t know how much they understand. But is is important to lay that foundation so that when they do get older, they can appreciate you and the process. And more importantly, the love of God…

  180. Jenn L
    Jan 14, 2011
    at 7:39 pm

    I just sent off my e-mail letters moments ago. Happy to join you all this time around as the second Friday falls close to the 15th, when I send the e-mail letters. My goal is to write actual physical letters on/around the first of each month and then send e-mail notes on/around the 15th. God bless.

  181. Feb 7, 2011
    at 10:52 am

    Please, please, remember to write often! Many of us aim to write twice a month so that our children never go through Mail Call with the disappointment of not having their name called. Make those kids feel special and loved by sending encouragement. You don’t have to wait until Friday! If you need inspiration, check out my blog: http://meeshimama.blogspot.com/

  182. Feb 7, 2011
    at 11:23 am

    I used to write twice a month to all of my children, but just recently I found out that some young children, under the age of 10 can take quite a long time to answer the letters (Of course this is only with the reciprocal countries) It can take them 4 hours to answer a letter. So, I’ve changed them to once a month.
    Also, I found in the centers that they don’t really do a mailcall perse. The child, when they go to the project, someone will tell them that there is a letter for them. So, many times, the other children don’t know necessarily. Remember that about 10% of the children get a letter any given month. So, an average project of about 200, will get about 20 letters each month or 5 a week. Many times, they arrive weekly. So, only 2 1/2 % of a project will get a letter that week.

  183. Feb 7, 2011
    at 11:53 am

    Sad! I used to be really good about writing my little girl, but I’ve slacked off the past few months. I just sent out a letter, but I’m going to make sure I write more often!

  184. Leesa
    Feb 7, 2011
    at 4:56 pm

    What a great idea. I like the idea of a set time. I have good intentions but if I don’t have an appointment I often push aside things I should do for things I need to do. I’ll put in on my calendar now.

  185. Molly Elizabeth
    Feb 7, 2011
    at 5:05 pm

    I’ve slacked off on writing and don’t do it as often as i would like. I wrote my two boys a letter last week and i’m going to write my little girl a letter this week! I just wrote it on my calendar for every second Friday to write letters!!! This is a great idea. I know the letters from my kids are full of questions. I feel so bad for the ones who don’t get letters. That just goes to show that sponsoring a child is great but it’s so much more than just giving money every month.

    • Bonny from FL
      Feb 8, 2011
      at 11:56 am

      Hello Molly Elizabeth,
      I have also noted my calendar with a ‘reminder’ on the 2nd Friday of each month. I learned in this group, that in Ethiopia (where my girl is from) they have 13mo. in a year. This Friday, 2/11/11 to us, is the 4th of Yekatit (English pronunciation), 2003 there!
      And thank you, everyone, for the great ideas on the little things we can enclose with our letters.

  186. Linda Chang
    Feb 7, 2011
    at 7:33 pm

    I’m embarrassed to admit that I have not written my sponsored
    child Rica in the Philippines regularly.Thank you for your idea of
    setting aside the last Friday of each month as a reminder to write
    Rica.

  187. Derel & Abbey
    Feb 7, 2011
    at 11:21 pm

    My wife is much better at writing Gemma than I am at writing Moises, having three children of our own it hurts me to think how much I have been letting this little boy down. Thank you for putting this back in prospective. I know I desire a realtionship with God more than the things he blesses us with and that is what these kids want, to know someone out there loves them not just money every month. Thank you again from Hawaii

  188. Char Wilcox
    Feb 8, 2011
    at 11:43 am

    I, like others, had no idea that my not writing to my Sponsored child could have such an adverse effect. I would like to commit to write to Erick once a month on the second Friday. Thank you for the opportunity to walk with God as I draw closer to him and to Alex.

  189. Melissa
    Feb 8, 2011
    at 12:17 pm

    I mailed one yesterday!

  190. Feb 8, 2011
    at 12:49 pm

    I’ve written to 3 of my kids this week and will write to the other four by Friday. Thanks for the reminder!

    (checking in from California, since you wanted to know where we were all from)

  191. Alex
    Feb 8, 2011
    at 2:11 pm

    I will send a hand written letter (so far all i do is electronic) and send some photo’s

  192. Feb 8, 2011
    at 3:57 pm

    I’ll be writing this Friday! What a great idea, June!

  193. Helene
    Feb 8, 2011
    at 4:28 pm

    Boy! This e-mail letter writing is quick and easy. I just sent off 3 letters to my boys in Uganda, Tanzania and the Philippines. Too bad we can’t send virtual gifts. :) I, too, commit to writing my children at least once a month. Thanks for the great idea. Watched the video on how much letters mean to the children. I don’t want them to be sad when the mail arrives.

  194. ~ Sylvia ~
    Feb 8, 2011
    at 7:51 pm

    Is there a specific time for letter writing? I’m new to this but very interested in participating.

    Thank you, and God Bless!!

    • Feb 10, 2011
      at 6:12 am

      Sylvia,
      There isn’t a specific time that you have to write. You can write anytime on Friday, and if you happen to write on Thursday or Saturday or Sunday, that’s great too. It’s more of a occasion knowing that you’re sharing the experience with others who are doing the same thing as you on that day.

      Have you had a chance to join the OurCompassion letter-writing group? June posts a suggested theme to incorporate into each month’s letter.

  195. Noelle
    Feb 8, 2011
    at 9:13 pm

    Thanks for the encouragement! Your thoughts really inspired me to reach out to my compassion child more. I will be joining your goal to write every second Friday of the month.

  196. Steven Lumonya
    Feb 8, 2011
    at 11:09 pm

    This letter writing is so quick and it keeps going and going but I have been wondering why my sponsored lovely girl in India does not write as often as I do.

    • Nicole
      Feb 17, 2011
      at 4:53 pm

      Steven, most compassion projects have the kids write letters to their sponsor only three or four times a year. You child is definitely getting your letters and they mean the world to her so please don’t let this discourage you from writing frequently. Having sponsor children write a reply for every letter received when there are 200+ children in the project is impractical (though some projects are able to do this). May God bless the relationship you have with your sponsor child.

      • Feb 17, 2011
        at 8:18 pm

        In the next few years, each country will implement the reciprocal program. What that means is that when your child receives a letter, they will answer each letter. But they will lower the number of programletters (required letters that each Compassion child writes) that the child will write from 3 to 2 letters. Thus if you write a lot, you will get a lot of letters. I went to Bolivia and then to Holland for a total of 4 1/2 months. When I returned back, there were around 300 letters that I had gotten in that period of time. (The vast majority of them from Bolivia)

  197. Jessica
    Feb 9, 2011
    at 11:32 am

    I teared up when i read this, thanks for listening to HIM!! This is extremely helpful to me, i just became a sponsor last month, & I havent wrote her yet. I’m a young single mother of 3 & have a completely full plate! But I will most definately use this to hold me accountable for my new liitle girl!!! Thank you!!

  198. Danielle Casilac
    Feb 9, 2011
    at 5:17 pm

    I will most definately be joining you tomarrow. We are located in Spokane, WA and just sponsored a child last month. My husband and i have 1 little girl and won’t be having any more children even though I wanted more, so we decided to sponsor one instead. I already feel as though i have two children. The little girl that we sponsored lives in Haiti and is one year older than my 5 yr old. In fact her birthday was 3 days after I sposored her. It sure is amazing what God can do. I love this idea and will be joining you every 2nd friday. Thank you!!!

  199. Feb 10, 2011
    at 9:03 am

    What a great idea. I just read this today so I made it in time for the Feb.11th date. My little boy is from Honduras and is 6 yrs old. He has the face on an angel. I am going on a mission trip there in March and will have a chance to meet him. What a wonderful Gift God has giving to me. I am from Hazel Park Michigan. see you this Friday thanks and God bless.

  200. Shannon McDade
    Feb 10, 2011
    at 4:54 pm

    I want to be a part of writing my two children that I sponsor. They both live in Haiti. I live in Somerville,Tn. We are also adopting a little boy from Ethiopia. Here is my blog if you want to follow it.
    http://ourjourneytomia-mcdades.blogspot.com
    Thanks,
    Shannon

  201. Anne
    Feb 11, 2011
    at 9:53 am

    This is a great idea. I have just done my ’2nd Friday’ on-line letter to our little boy in Kenya. I look forward to receiving ideas on what to include in the monthly letter. Sometimes it can be quite difficult as we no longer have children of our own at home.

  202. Feb 11, 2011
    at 8:57 pm

    I wrote my letter today! I like the reminder, as so many of us have a hard time remembering how long it has been since we have written. Thanks!

  203. Jennifer
    Feb 13, 2011
    at 5:51 am

    This is so fabulous and motivating! I have thought about being more intentional about writing the letters – to the point of thinking I will set aside a date each month and write letters to our two sponsored children, but it hasn’t come to fruition. Knowing that there is this group is such motivation and accountability – two things that were lacking for me. I’m excited to join and be part of this!

  204. Victoria
    Feb 13, 2011
    at 10:24 pm

    This has opened my eyes to how important writing my sponsor child is. I have only recently begun sponsoring through Compassion and have yet to send my first letter. I tried to start writing it and suddenly hit writers block. Do you have tips for a first time sponsor trying to write her first letter?

    • Feb 16, 2011
      at 7:25 am

      First, it’s great that you want to write to your sponsored child! If you go to the top of this blog and click on the ‘about letter writing’ tab, that the amazing Compassion staff set up when they redesigned the blog, then you will find lots of posts about things kids love to hear in letters. One of those posts includes a video from a former child development center director who now is a student at Moody Bible Institute. In a quick sentence or two those posts say that kids love to know your name, where you are from (something as simply as California or specific as San Fransisco is fine, but no street address), your age (don’t feel obligated to put it, you could just say your birthday), if you are married, if you have kids (I am single and mention my parents and siblings), what you do for a job or go to school for as a student, and some of your favorite things (Bible verse, color, food, activity). It may seem really strange writing it at first, but the children will love to receive it. Also, kids LOVE pictures, so a picture of you and if possible postcard/picture of your hometown (scenery is better than pictures of your house that emphasize differences between you and them). Happy letter writing!

      There also are other groups on OurCompassion.org that include topics of things to send your kids as well as lots of journals (aka posts) from other sponsors about what they have written and/or made to send their kids along with what their kids have told them. I strongly recommend joining there. If you have any other specific questions, I’d recommend posting a journal there as you would get lots of answers from sponsors quite quickly, whereas here on the blog not all sponsors, who would love to answer questions like this, will see it to respond.

    • Melissa
      Apr 6, 2011
      at 9:55 pm

      My name is _______. I am _____ years old….
      Share:
      What you do for work, for fun, favorite color, animals, etc. Talk about something you saw that was funny… (pets wear clothes here in the U.S.), prayer requests (your child prays for you!), etc. There is a link on the Compassion website that actually tells ideas for writing. Be encouraged! You’ll love it!!!

  205. ~ Sylvia ~
    Feb 15, 2011
    at 9:15 pm

    I’m late but both of my kids received a letter. I was worried because I hadn’t heard from my Edwin but im sure I’ll hear from him soon.

    See you all next month – God bless Compassion International, all the children, and all of you.

  206. Debbie Beghetto
    Mar 8, 2011
    at 5:42 pm

    I just mailed mine today :))… Planning to do another letter soon . I receive about 6-7 letters from my beautiful sponsor boy per year. I sent him 7-9 because I love him soooo much.

  207. Emma
    Mar 8, 2011
    at 6:53 pm

    How long does it take for a letter to be translated and given to the sponsor child? In particular a letter in English translated to Swahili and sent to Tanzania.

    • Mar 9, 2011
      at 9:18 am

      It takes about 2-3 months. The letters have many stops along the way and packages can be held up in customs for weeks sometimes.
      I explained the process on my blog (click my name in blue) in a post called Letter Writing 101.

      • Emma
        Mar 9, 2011
        at 8:04 pm

        Wow thats a long time! Thanks for letting me know!

        • Melissa
          Apr 6, 2011
          at 9:57 pm

          That’s why it’s a good idea to send birthday and other cards at least 2 months before the official date to ensure timely delivery!

  208. Mariah
    Mar 8, 2011
    at 7:00 pm

    hi!! I didnt even know this existed!! i live in Texas and recently attended a concert in which i heard about Compassion. At the end of the concert i sponsored my first child. I consider him my first, and for now, only son. :)

  209. Mar 9, 2011
    at 9:21 am

    Remember that it is a good time to send in Easter cards and packages! What are you all sending your sponsored child(ren) for Easter?

    We’re sending a Jesus is Alive coloring book (ordered from CBD) and handmade cards to all nine of our CI kids.

    I have a lot of ideas for goodies you can send along to your CI children on my blog. Click my name in blue and look for “Sending Goodies to Your Sponsored Child” on the right hand side of the page!

  210. Mar 9, 2011
    at 9:28 pm

    May Jesus be with you always….

    Jesus Bless You

  211. Sue
    Mar 9, 2011
    at 10:18 pm

    Such a simple idea.. and so brilliant. Thank you so much!!!!

  212. Mar 10, 2011
    at 10:39 am

    Wonderful idea to invite friends. Is it possible to get a list of sponsors in my area?

    209 E Alexa Court
    Spokane, WA 99207
    509 443-5566

    Or might there be a group already formed?

    Thanks, Mary

    • Linda T.
      Mar 11, 2011
      at 11:13 pm

      Mary, if you join ourcompassion.org, you will probably find at least one group devoted to WA sponsors and if there are some in your area, you will be able to find them.

  213. Kim
    Mar 10, 2011
    at 8:01 pm

    I was wondering if the children write their own letters or do they write them as a group with the rest of the Compassion children? The reason I ask this is that I sponsor numerous children and have received the identical letter from several of the children.

    • Mar 11, 2011
      at 11:41 am

      Are they all in the same project? We have 9 CI kids and we’ve never experienced anything like this at all. For some children, if they are in the same project, they may follow certain writing prompts but they shouldn’t all be identical. Call Compassion at 1-800-336-7676 and they may ask for a scan of the letters so they can investigate.

      • Kim
        Mar 11, 2011
        at 7:33 pm

        Thanks for the suggestion. Yes, 3 of the 11 children are in the same project (and they are the ones with the identical letters).

        • Denise Arnold
          Apr 17, 2011
          at 9:28 pm

          We received almost identical letters from one time to the next from both of our sponsored children….over the course of YEARS. The drawings were even the same. One in Haiti, one in Ethiopia. There was never acknowledgement or comments about special things we would send them and they never answered our specific questions….ever, not once. So…I am ashamed to say, we quit writing because we assumed adult translators were writing generic (which is what they ALWAYS sounded like) en masse letters. Today however, we got a letter from one of the boys who is in highschool and is now writing his own letters…at least it appears as such. He asked for a picture of us. I feel so heartbroken and guilty for losing “years” if in fact the boys were receving what we sent. I wish I knew. Stupid….we should have written anyway. We have a new sponsored child now and plan to write and send gifts often. As a side note, all monetary gifts we sent have always been acknowledged and we have been told what was purchased with them.

          • Mariah
            Apr 21, 2011
            at 9:13 pm

            i was wondering much the same thing. since i just began writing i just got my first letter. it seemed pretty generic to me as well…Thank You for getting me writing again.

  214. Jyll
    Mar 10, 2011
    at 10:30 pm

    Thanks for the reminder! I am planning on taking time to write tomorrow :) What a great idea June!

  215. Jamie Rindt
    Mar 11, 2011
    at 8:10 pm

    Great article. I wrote a letter today and mailed it! But, I got to write more!!!

  216. Paige Szajnuk
    Apr 4, 2011
    at 2:17 pm

    This is a great idea! Thank you for this post. I will write to my two sponsored children on Friday, April 8 – my wedding anniversary!

  217. Clarice Seipp
    Apr 6, 2011
    at 10:53 am

    Hi I am all new to this, so yes I would luv to join and wrote my sponsor child this friday..

  218. Anne
    Apr 6, 2011
    at 2:37 pm

    I have written early this month as I won’t be able to write on Friday. I have written online but I have a postcard I want to send so will post that to CI UK separately. I have never received a letter in my boy’s own hand. I am not sure at what age he is likely to be able to write. He draws small pictures but he is 11 years old so should I expect a short letter from him (translated by someone else, of course)?

    • Melissa
      Apr 6, 2011
      at 9:50 pm

      He may not be interested in the writing aspect…the busyness of boys! Or perhaps he is not developmentally able to write? Just let him know that you are excited to receive the next letter from him. At some point, writing might get easier than explaining what he wants to say to another person. I’m sure he is thrilled when he hears from you. Be of good cheer, knowing you encourage him despite his poverty!

  219. june
    Apr 6, 2011
    at 5:02 pm

    Anne- Even though he is 11, he may not know how to write yet. One thing to check would be what grade level his profile information says he’s at. This may confirm this theory.

  220. Melissa
    Apr 6, 2011
    at 9:43 pm

    I am excited to be a part of this, this Friday. We just lost of one our sponsored children from the program because she moved away. I have just chosen another older child to sponsor since they do not find sponsors as easily, and I hope to be writing to her for the first time Friday! Melissa in Vancouver, WA

  221. Christina
    Apr 7, 2011
    at 4:49 pm

    I’m going to write my letter right now! this is such a good idea/ and no, I don’t fully understand how much the letters I write my child mean to him. It was good to read this article. Thanks

  222. Tanya Knaub
    Apr 7, 2011
    at 9:01 pm

    Thank you so very much for sharing your story. You are so right, I think we do forgot just how important our sponsor children like to receive our letters. I know I’m guilty of not writing as much as I should. I end up getting overwhelmed with all of the stuff on this side and then I’ll say I’ll do it the following day; however the following day comes and goes and I still didn’t write my letter. This will help hold us accountable. After reading your post, I just did my letter (online) Thurs. night. My family lives in Tennessee and our compassion daughter is from India.

  223. Nancy Hafner
    Apr 8, 2011
    at 6:29 am

    I just finished writing my letter to Eduardo. Thank you for this sight.
    Lord thank you for blessing me with this child.

  224. Tammy Mattox
    Apr 8, 2011
    at 8:08 am

    Thank you for following your heart. In the beginning, I didn’t write my child very often. She moved away. Then I chose another girl. I’ve tried to write her at least once every 2 months. This has made me more determined to write every month. Thanks! I am from Coweta, Oklahoma. My child lives in Brazil. I would love to go & meet her someday soon!

  225. Apr 8, 2011
    at 4:16 pm

    What a wonderful idea to encourage others to take time each month to write to those precious kids! This month we are sending special letters about Jesus, as well as stained-glass crosses & special cross pictures our children made for our sponsor kids. Here’s where you can see more… http://ourfamilyforhisglory.blogspot.com/2011/04/children-in-need-of-jesus.html
    Blessings,
    Jessica

    • Kim
      Jun 24, 2011
      at 1:59 pm

      PLEASE don’t send stained glass crosses to the sponsored children! When ANYTHING is found in a package, (OTHER THAN PAPER), not only is that particular envelope held up (to be charged enormous $ for duty and taxes and…), But the ENTIRE BOX of mail marked for that particular Development Center is held up – sometimes for 6 months! (That means ALL the letters for ALL the kids are NOT getting to the kids!!!)

      I found this out when a friend sent a very thin bracelet made out of tiny beads in one of her letters to her sponsored child. It was actually CI that found the bracelet during spot checks BEFORE the box arrived at the destination country. They mailed the bracelet back to my friend, with a letter saying what I’ve said here. It’s just NOT worth the heartache that can effect so many children and their sponsors by trying to “work around” the clear rules that ONLY PAPER may be sent, and then ONLY one forth inch thick MAX, and ONLY 8 1/2 inches x 11 inches MAX.

      It’s probably too late at this point, but the next time, please just send the “special cross pictures” and give the “stained glass crosses” to a local organization, such as a homeless shelter, or something like that. You’ll be doing us ALL a favor! THANKS!!!

  226. [...] is actually the day that is set aside for letter writing. So, guess what I’m doing [...]

  227. Kendra
    May 9, 2011
    at 9:32 am

    This is a great idea! I just tried to sign up though and they could not find my information, even though my email address is on my profile :( Bummer! I was hoping to use it!

  228. Jo Armentrout
    May 11, 2011
    at 9:39 pm

    I love this idea! I am in Taiwan, and plan to send my kids letters ~ I am not full sure ow the virtual group works, but I’ll read more on it and be informed :) God’s using you all in a grand way and I’m excited about it!

  229. May 12, 2011
    at 7:13 am

    I just shared some Spring ideas for letter writing topics! http://www.bloggingfromtheboonies.com/2011/05/finally-spring.html I hope these help to inspire you, if you’re struggling with what to write about!

  230. Cindy
    May 12, 2011
    at 12:14 pm

    I just sat down and wrote out 15 letters (no, not all to the same child!) and once I got the format for one, used a lot of the same for the others, adding personal touches to each. I made sure I had a Bible verse, the springtime/seasonal information, flowers coming up, etc. I told them that next time they all get an updated picture. No matter how many times I send one, they always want more so I give it to them. I also included a coloring page for each – even the oldest one – he is an artist so he might like it too. I get my inspiration from the letters I get and share among all but do not let the others know that is anyone besides them. :) I just love these children!!

    • Jacquie Parella
      May 12, 2011
      at 2:13 pm

      That’s amazing Cindy. You are my new hero!! :-)

  231. Jim & Kayla
    May 12, 2011
    at 5:50 pm

    It’s in my planner to join the virtual writing party. Our daughter is the same age as our sponsor girl and she asks for pics and updates every time she writes. We keep a scrap book w received letters but we also copy the letters we write so we remember what we’ve already told her. Love this experience!

  232. May 14, 2011
    at 9:27 am

    My husband just recently found out about these opportunities here and gave me the link. I am ashamed to say that we were for so long very loyal about keeping up with our CompassionKids (that’s what we have always called them). I sat last night and went through the thigns they have made us and read old letters, and ran across one that the sponsor put a note in. She said this: Miqueis loves you very much and loves your letters and the things you send him. His mother said that you were the most important thing that has happened in his life.
    Tears rolled down my face as I thought of him not hearing from us like he used to…. What happened? Things happened in my life and I have gotten so into feeling sorry for myself, that I have not given the attention to my children in Compassion that I should have.

    I am no longer working but told my husband that I would never give up the sponsorship as long as I have a dime in mypocket. But, in my feeling sorry for myself state, the letters and little trinkets I sent them trickled off.

    I am making a commitment to once again being the Sponsor I once was (that WE once were..my husband and I), so I would like to come here and share iwth you, hear your stories and be reminded of that second Friday in the month to dedicate some time to my CompassionKids again.

    We have two now. We have sponsored four so far. ONe girl aged out… and is going to school to get a career in hair dressing and later to become a teacher. She is really SPECIAL, but we will never get to hear from her again.

    One we lost because Compassion pulled away from the church that was doing this and so we were notified that we lost Elbis. We never got to tell him goodbye and this has been a heartbreak for me then and still is today. I pray for him and wish I knew that he is ok.

    I now have Rosa who is new, and Miqueias who is now 13 and we have had him since he was 5. WONDERFUL and gifted young man.

    I want to get back to being as close to them as we once were and I thank God for the priviledge of doing so.

    Thank you and I hope you will allow me to become a part of your group. I have always had a passion for Compassion and all they do.

    Mary

  233. Jun 9, 2011
    at 10:59 am

    I have decided to write letters to my kids after reading the post. God bless you !

  234. Michelle
    Jun 10, 2011
    at 11:50 am

    i just started sponsering my first child with compassion and i want to send her a birthday present. Does anyone know if compassion only takes monetary gifts or do they let you send more personal presents?

    • Jun 10, 2011
      at 5:25 pm

      Congrats on becoming a sponsor! I’ve found the relationship benefits me just as much if not more than my sponsored boy. I actually just mailed my soon to be 12 year old boy a birthday card with presents yesterday. I mailed him a birthday card with some paperboard tangrams to make shapes out of along with a Bible verse from a calendar I have. Compassion will accept any presents that meet their stipulations (designed to prevent items being held up in customs or taxed at a high rate), which quite simply is anything flat less than 1/4 that is made out of paper (or laminated paper). Michelle has a more detailed list on her blog, which is copied from CI’s website, of what you can send. I also encourage you to check out her ‘Letter Writing 101′ posts as well as the tabs at the top on the blog about letter writing.

      http://www.bloggingfromtheboonies.com/2010/05/sending-goodies-to-compassion.html

      You can send a monetary gift that would be used to buy your kid something also. In the past my kid has gotten (not all the same year, but over many years) clothes, food and toys with the money sent. To save transfer costs, CI transfers money once a month from their offices in the US to the foreign countries, so make sure to send the money 2-3 months in advance. If you don’t, your kid will still enjoy it when the money arrives to buy a present though. Letters also take 1-3 months to get to your kid depending on the remoteness of the project.

      Excellent blog about gift giving:
      http://blog.compassion.com/give-a-gift-to-your-sponsored-child-how-what-why/

      I also encourage you to join OC (OurCompassion.org) if you haven’t, as it is a great group of sponsors and there are lots of people who would be happy to answer questions about sponsorship, pray with you, and share with you about their kids.

      Hm, that response was a bit long, but I wanted to point you in other places to get information if you had more questions :)

    • Kim
      Jun 24, 2011
      at 2:31 pm

      Only monetary gifts, but usually, you’ll receive a picture of your child posing with the gift if you send $60 or more. (The developmental center takes the picture, gives it to CI, then CI sends it to you. Sometimes, they give the child the picture to send to you.) It would be nice if we were able to send more personalized gifts, but remember two thing; 1. The duty and taxes and penalties and mail theft is unbelievably HIGH in most places where poverty is high and …2. Our sponsored children would most likely be SADDENED by our gift choices! ie: Receiving a doll when you are starving can seem like a “waste”. A bag of dried beans is often MUCH more valuable to a child. Better yet, a gift of a chicken or two or three can provide eggs for a family for many years and/or provide “a job and income” from selling some of the eggs…far more valuable to my child in Rwanda. In fact, of the 3 gifts I’ve sent her, she decided to buy 2 or 3 chickens each time! Now, she sells any eggs that her family doesn’t eat. Remember that these kids are much more practical and at a much younger age than Americans/Westerners. Also, the money usually goes a lot further in their country than it does in ours. It helps to get over the fact that we aren’t able to send a particular toy or dress to our child when we’re aware of these things. I wish CI would make all this clear on their website!!!! I didn’t know this for many YEARS!!!! Not all of us care to Facebook, Twitter, or any of the social networking. Thanks goodness many wonderful sponsors have taken the time to write articles to educate us. I honestly believe there would be many more sponsors if CI wouldn’t be so “vague” about how things work! It’s that “vagueness/lack of clarity” that causes much skepticism and distrust. ie: SPELL IT OUT CLEARLY, CI! When you AVOID spelling it out clearly, you tend to cause much doubt as to what “really happens” when we send money and/or sponsor a child! Spell it out on your MAIN website…don’t make sponsors have to research to get answers you should state clearly and we should be able to access EASILY. It’s not only frustrating, but tends to rustle up fear, doubt and worry. Not the message that’s intended, I’m sure.

      • Aug 24, 2011
        at 9:06 am

        Kim, one of the main reasons why CI doesn’t probably spell all of these things out is that they work with thousands of church partners in 26 different countries. Each of these church partners has a certain amount of liberty and how they implement the programs and each country has liberties too as to how they implement the programs. The needs of each country and within that country, each region can be different. Also, the cultures are different. So, maybe in one region, there is a huge problem with just basic food but the area is fairly safe. In another area, the food problem might not be that big, but they have a huge problem with gangs. So, the approaches are going to be different. Thus poverty rears its ugly head in different manifestations. Thus the solution will be different.

        • Kim
          Aug 24, 2011
          at 9:49 pm

          Thanks so much for the reply, Kees. You’ve made some great points and (as usual!) clarified things for me. Though I did understand that the cultures might vary greatly, I did not know that different countries and regions were permitted to vary the basic program, until I discovered that children allowed in the program varied by country. For example, I learned that in some countries, ALL the children in a family could receive services, while in other countries, the limit may be only 1 or 2 children per family – regardless of how many children are in a particular family. (In my particular case, I’ve been told that only 1 child per family in most parts of Africa can be sponsored and attend the programs, regardless of whether the family has only 1 child or 6 children.) Maybe it’s just me, but now that I understand this, it makes a huge difference to me as to where my sponsored children live – even though it may mean I never have the opportunity to visit them because they live so far away. Thanks so much Kees, for your explanation. Maybe what you’ve stated is all CI would need to say…that “the program rules” are just “guidelines” and that they may vary tremendously from country to country and/or region to region and to contact CI for more information. I did just that (contacted CI) to ask if what I was hearing was true and the first person I spoke to said that it was NOT true…that ALL children in ALL families were welcome to attend a program. When I called a second time after reading differently, I was told by CI that it’s TRUE that ESPECIALLY IN AFRICA, children are limited to ONE child per family in most areas, but that other siblings and parents were invited to “family events” for “special occasions”. To be clear, my reason for wanting to be informed of such information is this: If one of my sponsored children has five siblings in Africa that are not permitted to join the program (and get a meal along with the other benefits of students), then I want to send substantial family gifts to that family – much more than I send to the family in another country that has four children and three of them are allowed to participate as students in the program. Now that I have a clear understanding, I send only birthday and Christmas gifts to the child with more fortunate siblings and all family gifts are now doubled for the African family with only one child receiving a meal through the program. I get why CI cannot spell out every detail…but it would have been nice to know (just like they let us know which children have been waiting the longest), to tell us to contact them to find out which countries have the strictest or “most difficult/limited to get into” programs. Does this make any sense? Maybe it’s just me. Maybe (like me) most sponsors have no clue that this may be the case. I love you, Kees! You’ve taught me so much about Compassion! One night (after I found one of your blogs) I read everything I could find that you’ve written and I was up for 18 hours! Bless you!!! I love CI, too! I just wish I’d known these things early on and will certainly keep them in mind as I sponsor more and more children. I didn’t intend to sound so critical, it was just my disappointment showing.

          • Aug 24, 2011
            at 11:10 pm

            I did not know this. I know in Bolivia for the first 3 children, they can register one child. Then they can register another child for the next two children, I believe. Then they can register a third child, but that will be the total. Sometimes, some families are sneaky. They will register a child in one project and then go to another project with the other child and try to register the child there. They are not supposed to be doing that, but it happens at times. The centers are many times close as far as relationships is concerned. So, they do interact.

      • Shaina Moats
        Aug 24, 2011
        at 1:49 pm

        Kim, it definitely isn’t our intention to be vague or not communicate things clearly. Compassion’s ministry is incredibly complex- like Kees commented, we work in many countries and each one looks a little different. It can be difficult to communicate all of this information clearly and without it becoming overwhelming. We try to use different platforms (blog, Facebook, Twitter, OurCompassion, etc.) to provide information, but the information is the same across all of them. You can view the letter writing (http://www.compassion.com/letter-writing/letter-writing-topics-faq.htm) and gift giving faq (https://www.compassion.com/give-a-gift/faq.htm) on our website. Our goal is to be full of integrity and transparent. If you have any suggestions of how we can do this better, I’d be happy to pass them on to the correct people.

        • Kim
          Aug 24, 2011
          at 10:17 pm

          Thank you for your reply, Shaina! Yes, I’m slowly learning how it could be overwhelming to give all the details. And please accept my apology for sounding so critical. I went back and read what I wrote and see that I wasn’t clear in my communication. (Words are only 7% of communication.) Please know that I have never for a moment thought CI was deliberately vague or misleading – I LOVE CI and what CI does. Rather, I simply didn’t realize the vast differences between countries and centers. My only suggestion would be for CI to note that there ARE differences (some quite large) between countries. And like CI has a symbol to note the children who have waited the longest, perhaps CI could designate which countries have the biggest limitations on how many children are permitted to “receive benefits”. Had I known, for example, that most African families are limited to ONE child per family, I would have chosen children from larger families. Just as I chose children from families within the same country and area where the families average income in lowest, (which CI does indicate). Now that I know, I’ll chose my next child differently, but I wouldn’t consider dropping my sponsorship with the children I already sponsor, as I love them so much. Now I have more factors to consider in my next decision, though. Thank you for asking, Shaina!

        • Kim
          Aug 25, 2011
          at 5:13 pm

          Like Kees is teaching me, apparently the article you wrote about gift giving amounts and pictures must be unique to the center your child(ren) are at. When I read articles and blogs from CI folks, I’ve always assumed these things applied to all centers unless otherwise clearly stated. I don’t doubt for a moment that the intention is to be clear, but sometimes it isn’t.

          Your excellent article on gift giving does provide a disclaimer, but it would lead one to expect a picture if they sent $200 – providing the center had a camera:

          “If you send a gift of more than $60 you should receive a picture of your sponsored child posing with what was purchased. However, not all child development centers have the capability to send pictures.” You’ll find this just beneath the first picture in the article, but again, as you’ve mentioned, Kees, I think Shaina was referring to Bolivia, though it wasn’t stated, rather, implied in the article below:

          Courtesy of Compassion International: http://blog.compassion.com/give-a-gift-to-your-sponsored-child-how-what-why/#ixzz1W5HL4ZhB

        • Kim
          Aug 25, 2011
          at 5:20 pm
  235. Jun 10, 2011
    at 1:21 pm

    para mi fue un gusto y colaborar en el proyecto 272ya que me graduo y me cancelaron y estoy muy triste pero yo seguiere colaborando en la iglesia…..!!!!

  236. [...] To access the group, either log in or create a My Compassion account at Our Compassion the search for the group. Here is blog post explaining more at the Compassion International Blog. [...]

  237. pamela
    Jun 24, 2011
    at 3:48 pm

    is there a way to correspond with my child online?
    also, besides pictures, is there anything that we can ‘send’ to
    the child we are sponsoring?

    • Aug 24, 2011
      at 9:14 am

      I just noticed your comment. Yes, you can write online. Simply go to Compassion.com and click the ‘My account’ in the upper right hand corner to either login or create an account. You will be able to write your child a letter from your account by scrolling down to the ‘my commitments’ with your child’s name after you login and clicking their name. At the bottom of the second page that appears there is space for you to write a letter online. There is a maximum character limit (it’s really long!) and the page will timeout after 60 minutes. I recommend writing the letter in MS Word or another program and then copying and pasting the letter into the box online.

  238. Linda Bolt
    Jul 5, 2011
    at 1:00 pm

    I often write my sponsored child through e-mail. Do the children value receiving a typed letter (I assume someone prints it out for them?) as much as a handwritten letter?

    • Jul 5, 2011
      at 7:30 pm

      Hi, Linda, yes, they receive the letters typed and if they are in Bolivia, I know that they receive them on very nice stationary. It is also a lot faster, than the regular handwritten letters. About 3 times faster.

  239. Jean Freaney
    Jul 8, 2011
    at 11:03 am

    Thats amazing. I didnt know it was letter writing day . I actually put a letter in the post today for my little boy in Haiti. I always enclose a little something, – photo, little cross etc . and always a prayer.

  240. [...] letter writing “party” on the second Friday of each month with nearly 600 people with letter-writing up an average of [...]

  241. kathryn gironimi
    Aug 8, 2011
    at 7:55 am

    I will be joining! I’m from CT- and the child I sponsor is from Haiti

  242. rebecca warren
    Aug 24, 2011
    at 8:24 am

    It’s been almost a year but I just found this article. It is just what I needed to read. I, too, have been more likely to wait and reply to their letters rather than writing in between times. The replies are also helpful. Although I found the one about taking the picture w/ the birthday gift if it’s over $60 odd. I’ve been a sponsor for 7+ years and that is a new one to me. In addition, my statements indicate NOT to send more than $50.

    • Aug 24, 2011
      at 8:57 am

      I’ve never heard about taking a photo of the child with the gift when the gift is over $60 or any sort of amount. I worked in several centers myself and seen them take the pictures when a gift comes. Also, I worked in the country office in Bolivia and handled those particular photographs. Some gifts were small and they got photos, others were bigger. I don’t know where this is, but it’s not that way in Bolivia for sure and the other countries where I sponsor children in, I’ve sent gifts for $10 and I have received photos of the children with them….. So, I don’t know where that is, that they have that rule. It might be in a country, where $60 might also be a nice number with their currency. For instance I was just in Peru and $35 is about 100 soles….

      • Kim
        Aug 24, 2011
        at 9:58 pm

        I saw that, too, Kees and wondered about the $60 gift means you’ll get a picture. I’ve sent quite a bit more than $60 one a few occasions and have never received a picture, but as you have educated me, different countries or programs obviously don’t go by that. I’m guessing that some programs/centers don’t even have a camera, based on my experiences and I’ve wondered (and have looked for), a place where I could donate the money to buy a camera for the centers my sponsored children attend. Is this a possibility, Kees? I thank you for any insight you may share. Thank you for mentoring me! I appreciate you so very much!

        • Aug 24, 2011
          at 11:06 pm

          Kim, I do know that if you call the call center in Colorado Springs. (I’m assuming you’re in the USA), you can send money to the center to buy a digital camera. Having said that, my experience in Bolivia has been that the vast majority of centers have digital cameras. The same with what I saw in Peru. I would think that even in Africa, they might have that, but I’m not sure. I do know that I get photos from a lot of centers. It seems to be the most economical way to take photos. And even a lot of the cellphones now have that you can take pictures with them. I’ve even seen some of my children have cellphones with cameras on them. But if the project has a camera already, they can maybe use it for something else. But my experience is really Bolivia based and not so much the other countries.

          • Misty
            Aug 25, 2011
            at 9:12 am

            In regard to the photos, I seem to get them from Central and South America. Mostly, in Asia, I don’t get photos when I send a gift. That’s probably a cultural thing too!
            God bless

          • Kim
            Aug 25, 2011
            at 5:17 pm

            Kees, thank you! I’ll call them! I’m so excited!

      • Kim
        Aug 25, 2011
        at 5:03 pm

        Kees, I just found where Shaina mentioned the “$60/picture/sort of”:

        “If you send a gift of more than $60 you should receive a picture of your sponsored child posing with what was purchased. However, not all child development centers have the capability to send pictures.” You’ll find this just beneath the first picture in the article, but again, as you’ve mentioned, I think Shaina was referring to Bolivia, though it wasn’t stated, rather, implied in the article below:

        Courtesy of Compassion International: http://blog.compassion.com/give-a-gift-to-your-sponsored-child-how-what-why/#ixzz1W5HL4ZhB

        • Aug 25, 2011
          at 9:23 pm

          I was just looking through that picture and yes that picture was of an Aymaran woman and her family, so it was either Bolivia (most likely) or the east side of Peru.

          But yes, it’s very true that with money, the center can buy so much more than you’ll ever be able to buy in the USA. The vast majority of things are so much cheaper in Bolivia than in the USA. The only thing that I found was more expensive were electronics.

          The customs are a very important thing to consider. I ran into this this trip to Bolivia. I had a bunch of little dolls in a suitcase as a gift for the children. Well, when I got to Santa Cruz, and I opened my suitcase, there jumped out all the little dolls (they had been squized together). I ended up spending 7 very stressful hours walking all over the place, trying to pay the imports. I thought next time, I buy everything in Bolivia. It ended up cutting into one of my child visits and I almost didn’t have a child visit with that particular child.

          As far as the $60 is concerned, maybe this is a guideline of Compassion that I’m not aware of. But I do know that many times , the center will sent photos for gifts way under $60. For instance, I had a friend of mine, who went to Bolivia. So, I put together a CD with photos and videos to give to each of the children. In case you want to see what I put on the CD, I also put it on line:

          http://www.keesboer.com/history

          Anyways, I got a bunch of photos from each of the children with that CD. You can see them here:

          You can actually see most of the photos here:

          http://www.keesboer.com/CD2011

          Anyways, I hoped that helped. Maybe Shaina can give some more insight as to where she got the $60 number from.

          He dropped the CD o

    • Aug 24, 2011
      at 9:09 am

      Hi to a fellow Rebecca :-)

      CI updated their gift giving recently-I think it was last year. Their new website lists a FAQ for gift giving here:
      https://www.compassion.com/give-a-gift/faq.htm

      In the ‘How much may I give’ section they have the following information: You can give up to $200 a year to your sponsored child — a $100 birthday gift and a $100 general gift — and an additional $1,000 to the family. You can also give a graduation gift of up to $2,000 in the child’s final year of sponsorship.

      It is a sizeable increase over what it was when I signed up to be a sponsor, and I have stuck to gifts of around $25 for birthdays and special occasions (like improvement in school grades). I would reserve large gifts like that for children who are classified as highly vulnerable (orphans living with relatives among others) or one who experienced a disaster, like a famine, flood or earthquake.

      I’ve given gifts over the amount that normally triggers a photo, but the project my children attend (same project) doesn’t have the resources to send a picture so I do not receive one. There are many other sponsors on Ourcompassion.org (sponsor website to share stories, prayer requests and get ideas) who have never received pictures with gifts either. You are not alone!

  243. Sierra
    Aug 29, 2011
    at 9:03 pm

    I just sponsered my first child. :) I plan on writing her sometime this week and atleast once a month, and I’ll try to on Sept 10. Can’t wait!

  244. Ross
    Sep 7, 2011
    at 9:27 pm

    Great idea! Will tell other sponsors in our church about your 2nd Friday idea. My family sponsors 2 children and we write them the first week of every month (same kind of idea you have) so if we join you on the second Friday it is because we got our letters done the week before! :-)

  245. Marlis
    Sep 8, 2011
    at 10:36 am

    I already have a reminder on my calendar to write our two kids once a month. It is not necessarily the second Friday each month as you are doing, but once a month nonetheless. So I applaud you for encouraging more people to do this. We have sponsored children for years, but its only in the past few I’ve felt compelled like you to make my correspondence more consistent. Blessings!

  246. Clarice Seipp
    Sep 8, 2011
    at 1:36 pm

    would luv to join…but ahhh new to this can u help me out lol…
    i sponsor a girl 5yrs old from india divya…
    i always email her or send her letters and stickers since i cant really send much to her…but i do send her gifts once in while when i know i have extra money to send…:) can someone help me out how to do this ? i luv keeping in touch with my sponsor girl…god has blessed me with her..

  247. Sep 9, 2011
    at 9:40 am

    I’m writing today!

  248. Sep 10, 2011
    at 10:24 am

    I think that it is a good (great) idea that you are doing the second friday of the month thing to write to your sponsored child. I have so far since I started writing once a month to my child. I have recieved 2 letters so far from my child. I think that maybe for next month I might particapte in the online writing. That is if my computer will allow me to do that.

  249. Larissa C
    Sep 21, 2011
    at 10:43 am

    I have also written today. I must say, I ‘haven’t written my child for 2 years. Mainly because someone was writing for him. Now he’s 6 years old and he has written his very own first letter. This really made me want to write him as often as possible.

    Can writing a child often become too much for the child?

    • Sep 21, 2011
      at 3:55 pm

      Hi, Larissa,

      That is a really good question. At the age of 6, that’s an amazing young age to write the first letter. That’s awesome!!!

      I have to say this. I’ve seen many children write their letters. When the child is very young, they can take a long time over the letters. I remember a little girl sitting across the table from me and she must have spent about 2 hours just on the drawing that was on the letter. Then the letter gets written in a book first and then copied over into the actual letter. That’s why the letters are so neat. So, it can be about a 4 hour process for them. Now, if the child is in a country where right now, they write 3 letters/year, called program letters, then it wouldn’t make too much of a difference. But if the child has to write back every letter, then I wouldn’t write more than once/month. Unless you can combine the letters so that they can receive the letters together. This is also something to consider that if the letters come there all together, but get delivered to the student center just once a month, then it might not make that much of a difference. I guess that depends on the country and the location of the project.

      Your letters will be very important to that child and to the family. They listen to you. You’re a very important person in that family’s life and if you ever went to visit them, you’d be amazed.

      Thank you for writing to your child. That’s a very big deal to the child. :-)

  250. Sep 26, 2011
    at 11:31 am

    I write to my child once a month and so far I have gotten 2 letters back from her. I am very thankful that I was able to sponsor the child that I have sposored. I plan to keep the letters that I have gotten from her so that I will be able to show my children when I have children.

  251. kate
    Oct 9, 2011
    at 9:08 pm

    what a wonderful idea to keep me on track and be more consistent with my letters. I know the turn around time is usually 2-3 months from the dates of her letters. I’m new to the compassion website and am just learning to navigate my way around it. Is writing on-line quicker then handwritten ones. I will be going to Europe and will check when I’m back on the 22nd. God bless you

  252. Mariah
    Oct 10, 2011
    at 3:40 pm

    Great Idea :) i’ve used the ‘write on the second friday of every month’ idea myself. except instead of friday my scedule is kinda funky so its different. But Thank You for this IDEA!!! :-)

  253. Jen
    Oct 13, 2011
    at 8:57 am

    I wish I was a correspondence sponsor so I could join you guys, but they haven’t called me back or emailed yet… Hopefully soon though.

  254. Jenna Ward
    Oct 13, 2011
    at 4:54 pm

    I am new…I just want to know if I can write my child a letter??

    • Leslie (Houston, TX)
      Nov 13, 2011
      at 11:22 am

      I’m new too. I recently wrote my sponsored child here online…On your Account Summary page, to the left you’ll see “My Account” & below that in blue, click “Write My Child”. Under “Letter Writing”, you can “Compose Letter”. Hope this helps; blessings to you!

  255. Karen
    Oct 16, 2011
    at 9:18 pm

    This is a great idea! Sometimes I’m so busy but I need to remember my sponsor child wants to hear from me. I made a promise to myself to write my sponsor child on the 2nd Sunday of each month.

    I also love the new stationery – my sponsor child loves soccer!

    Karen

  256. Anna
    Oct 31, 2011
    at 12:02 am

    Oh I love this idea as well!! Your letter reached my heart and spoke to me and I quickly acted on it…I hate to admit it it,… but I am one who dosn’t write as often as I should. So this will help immensely!!! I pray to stay strong with my intentions!!

  257. Teresa
    Nov 1, 2011
    at 8:51 am

    I would like to be part of your online writing, how do I sign up? You know the money is almost the easy part, its the relational part that becomes harder when your busy. Also, I love the idea of having a set time each month and I’m hoping you give ideas so its not the same thing every month. Thank you for doing this! I love serving a God that loves to show his children how much he cares for us!!

  258. Billie Clark
    Nov 7, 2011
    at 9:00 am

    Indead you have been blessed by our God, and now so have we. My husband Richard and I are eager to join you this friday night, for letter writing. We are new sponsers to a little Guatamalan boy as well as being grandparents of an adopted guatamalan grandson for 10 yrs. now. Words can not describe the incredible amount of joy that came into our hearts, when our first packet arrived in the mail a few weeks ago.

  259. Elizabeth White
    Nov 7, 2011
    at 6:34 pm

    Dearest Cristian, my husband John and I are delighted to make you a part of our lives. We have four gownn daughterrs and have always wanted a son! Please know that we look forward to hearing all about your days and are so very blessed that God gave us to each other. We will keep you in our prayers and want you to pray for us. My birrthday is March 4th, the same month as yours! We have two pupppies and a kitty. Write back soon Cristian as we are so excited to have you in our lives. God bless you and your family. we love you, John and Elizabeth White

  260. Amy Vine
    Nov 7, 2011
    at 7:01 pm

    Im so excited to find this opportunity! Ive never “joined” any kind of group in my life “on-line” like this but I KNOW that our letters are so important and I know that the idea of being accountable can only be a good thing! Thank you for being obedient, Good for you June!!

  261. Karen
    Nov 8, 2011
    at 8:59 am

    I just sponsored my first child last night!! I am so excited. I wrote today but will committ to another letter on Friday. :)

    • Nov 8, 2011
      at 10:34 am

      Hi, Karen, I’m so thankful for you!!! Thank you for writing your child. This brings tears to my eyes. You’re off to a great start. Your child will be so thankful that they get the letters from you. Your letters will mean so much to the child and when the child writes you back, this will be a big blessing for them too!!!

  262. Haleigh
    Nov 8, 2011
    at 1:02 pm

    I am planning on doing the letter writing on the 10th!

  263. Nov 8, 2011
    at 6:09 pm

    What a wonderful idea! I am going to make writing my child a priority and I think setting a date each month is a great way to start.

  264. Eleanor Cline
    Nov 9, 2011
    at 2:53 am

    My husband and I committed to sponsoring a child in June this year and knew from the outset that we’d have to be serious about writing to our sponsored child regularly because, when you’re busy, time does have a tendency to disappear quickly! So, we too made a folder and scan our letters before posting so we have a log of what’s been received and sent. We aim to write every month if possible and God is really impressing upon our hearts how important it is to just let our sponsored child know that we’re thinking of her. As we can only send items that are flat, we make a point of collecting postcards wherever we go and send these. We are so privileged to be able to sponsor a child!

  265. Kristin Jacobsen-Zippilli
    Nov 9, 2011
    at 8:35 am

    I sponsored a child in my eight yr-old daughter’s name. We chose a girl in Ethiopia who had been without a sponsor for almost a year and had a birthday a week before my daughter’s. My daughter feels very much a part of this great act of giving-not simply money, but hope and communication. The ;apse in the standard mail was frustrating to both of us, so I hope that email proves speedier to avoid the crossover.

  266. JanMarie
    Nov 9, 2011
    at 8:37 am

    I will join you! I feel strongly about connecting with “our kids” beyond finances.

  267. Nov 9, 2011
    at 10:43 am

    What a beautiful idea!

    Katie

  268. Delores Johnson
    Nov 9, 2011
    at 11:55 am

    This is such a great idea, I never knew how important the letter writing was to the children, i will put a reminder in my phone to write at least once per month, I sponsor two children, and yes it is easy just to send money I see thats only a part of the need, soo looking forward to ideas and encouragement to stay committed. God Bless

  269. Nancy
    Nov 9, 2011
    at 2:48 pm

    I take time to write each time I go online to pay my bill. By not setting up auto pay, I have to actually stop and think about my young man in Guatemala. Now that we can upload stationary and photos, it’s even more fun.

  270. MonaLisa
    Nov 10, 2011
    at 1:22 pm

    I have always written letters to my child after I have received hers but now this idea gives me the chance to be more proactive. ThanksI

  271. Nov 10, 2011
    at 1:42 pm

    I thought I was only allowed to wtite twice a year

    • Nov 10, 2011
      at 10:38 pm

      I thought I was only allowed to wtite twice a year

      Wow, that’s an interesting piece of feedback. I’m glad you mentioned that. I’m curious. How did you come to that conclusion?

    • Roxanne Johnson
      Nov 12, 2011
      at 2:59 pm

      Hi Biba,
      How sad that you thought you could only write your child 2 times a year. Oh my, you can write your child anytime you want to. I write my little girl at least once a month and sometimes more. Now that you know you can write more often, you will be able to encourage your child with more letters. Yay.

  272. Heather
    Nov 10, 2011
    at 7:22 pm

    i write to my little boy every monday. i know how important letters and pictures are to him. he asked me to write every week, and spent half an hour writing that sentence, he’s only 6. i am very excited to write to him again tomorrow and every second friday of every month. thank you for the wonderful idea! God bless!

  273. Nov 11, 2011
    at 6:45 pm

    Awesome! I try to write a least once a month this will help keep me on that. My sponsor child asked if he could call me big brother a few letters back (he’s 11 and I’m 19) It’s such a joy to write my “little brother” God is working big time in his life. So great to be a part of his life.

  274. Clatice Seipp
    Nov 12, 2011
    at 10:34 am

    It’s so great that god has blessed me with my sponsor child from India Divya she is 5 yrs and I feel very blessed that she has asked my husband and I if it’s ok for her to call us aunty and uncle :) makes me so happy ! I enjoy writing her every week and now that they have a new thing of uploading pics makes it even more fun! I can’t wait to visit and meet my sponsor child in the future!

  275. Roxanne Johnson
    Nov 12, 2011
    at 3:02 pm

    I LOVE the new stationary and the ability to upload pictures right into the letter. That is always the hardest part of my letters. I want to share pictures but sometimes my printer just won’t make pretty pictures. Thank you, June, for your wonderful story.

  276. ann becerra
    Nov 19, 2011
    at 3:15 pm

    I try to write my sponsored boys twice a month. The 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month. I visited my sponsor boy in Ethiopia and the case worker showed me all the letters and pictures I’ve sent my little boy. He does receives all my letters/pictures. I love receiving letter as well and the feeling is indescribable. I can imagine what a delight it migh be for my boys to receive letters so I try to write as much as I can. I love receiving/writing letters since I was a little girl (email is great) but nothing can take the place of knowing someone actually took the time to write and mail a letter. I have committed myself to write at least one letter a month (but so far I’m doing better, two letters a month) to my little boys. I want to know more about them and vice versa. I encourage all sponsors to write to their beautiful kids at least once a month. They will be pleased, I am sure about that. Thank you all for being great sponsors!

  277. carol
    Dec 29, 2011
    at 10:22 am

    Thanks so much for creating this group! i just joined – think it went thru!
    i found this page bc it is on my list today to write to our sponsored child, Jane. i haven’t been very regular in doing so and i believe this group will help. Thanks for the ideas!

  278. Sandra
    Jan 5, 2012
    at 6:28 pm

    -Our family began sponsoring a child on Christmas Day 2011. I am the grandma and the official contact. Here I sit full of thoughts but none of them have made it onto paper or my computer screen yet. I’ll be joining you on Friday. We live in Florida, our sponsored child is in the Dominican Republic.

    • Jacquie Parella
      Jan 5, 2012
      at 6:34 pm

      We are happy to have you! This post and the comments section may be helpful in getting you started in your letter writing. Our community of sponsors have a wealth of ideas!

  279. Amanda
    Jan 9, 2012
    at 5:10 pm

    I love writing letters! I started sponsoring a boy in October I think it was and I wrote him but I have yet to hear from him. But I know it takes awhile. What really concerns me is that I had a Correspondent Sponsorship with a little girl and Ive been writing to her for about a month or two now and when I got on here today I couldn’t write to her and now there is a different girl where her name used to be. I love the fact that I get to write to another child but I am upset that I never got to hear from the other child and that I can’t write to her. Did I do something wrong or do they change them a lot?

    • Jan 9, 2012
      at 10:22 pm

      I Amanda, I’m sure you didn’t do anything wrong. There are many reasons why the child could have “disappeared” from your profile. If you did something wrong, I’m sure that they wouldn’t have replaced the child. Most likely the child departed from the program. That could be because they moved to another area of the country, or their economic situation improved drastically or some other reason. If you call the call center 1-800-336-7676, they can tell you why. There is also the possibility that the financial sponsor decided after all to start writing the child. But generally they will assign a new correspondence child to you when you can’t continue to write the child for some reason. So, that’s what the new child is there for. Hopefully, you can continue writing with the new child for many years. I have correspondence children that I’ve had for over 4 years. One of them calls me “daddy” and I’m closer to her than even to many of my sponsored children.

  280. Travis Gregg
    Jan 9, 2012
    at 5:54 pm

    Hello all,
    I have four kids in Africa, and have been convicted to write more frequently as well. Now, there are NO excuses with the online forms! Thanks so much Compassion for doing that! The picture feature is great! God bless everyone for your giving!

  281. Kassia
    Jan 9, 2012
    at 8:09 pm

    I think this is a great idea! I just received a note today that one of my children is expected to graduate the program next January and felt extremely convicted to write her more frequently. So much in my life has gone crazy this last year I have not written either of my children at all. I hope I can write them both more frequently from now on and give them the relationship they long for and the relationship I have not given up till now.

  282. Sheila coito
    Jan 9, 2012
    at 9:34 pm

    Hi! I just received my pkg tonight! So excited to start writing:) where can i find the craft and theme ideas mentioned in the article? Thankyou!!!

    • Sheila coito
      Jan 9, 2012
      at 9:40 pm

      oops! I found it:) thx!!! So very excited!

  283. Terri G.
    Jan 11, 2012
    at 5:03 pm

    Great idea. I’m horrible at letter writing and I’m not sure when she gets them, so I find myself repeating information.

  284. KerryLyn
    Jan 13, 2012
    at 11:01 am

    GREAT IDEA! And thank you for the encouragement to continue writing. I have become lazy and I just ran downstairs to grab a binder, what a great idea! Thank you again.

  285. Stephanie
    Jan 13, 2012
    at 1:34 pm

    Thanks, June! I live in Boulder, Colorado, and the recent stories about how much the letters mean to the children have inspired me. The once a month campaign is a great idea, and I’m going to write my child this very instant. :) Thank you

  286. Linda
    Jan 13, 2012
    at 3:24 pm

    I wrote last week online, but couldn’t download any pictures because they were all too big….they were just regular pictures, but I guess I’ll have to switch to snail mail when I want to send pictures. When I write tonight I’m including a little packet of valentines for my Linda to give to her special friends or family.

  287. Tori Selph
    Feb 6, 2012
    at 11:21 am

    This is a wonderful idea! I hope to be able to attend the virtual letter writing event on Friday, 2/10! Lately, I’ve been encouraged to write more letters of purpose to my sponsored child in Tanzania. As his sponsor, I have a responsibility to introduce him to the love of Christ and how it will change his life. I have a responsibility to provide hope, teach him and share love. This weekend at our church, Compassion sponsored a concert with Robbie Seay Band & John Mark McMillan and they brought Ben, a Compassion child (now adult) from Kenya, to share his story. It was amazing to hear him talk about how his life was changed in 1993 when a sponsor from Austin, TX adopted him. His life was transformed, all from the relationship he shared with his sponsor. This definitely made me see my relationship with my child so much differently, it is a responsibility that God has given us. When our sponsored child is older, I imagine the way he will look back on his life and notice the life-changing moments…. And I hope one of those was getting into the Compassion program & connecting with us as his sponsor.

  288. Monica Schoening
    Feb 8, 2012
    at 7:14 pm

    i am so excited about this. i live in portland, oregon i just started sponsoring a little girl in ecuador. i am so excited to get to know her through letters and to have her get to know my family.

  289. Feb 8, 2012
    at 8:58 pm

    Hello I just signed on to write a letter to our sponsored child and came upon this option of writing every month. Dont know how i missed this the last time i sent a letter through this site. I would like to be included and will put a notation on my calendar for this coming Friday Feb 10th Thank you so much for being the person God used to get this accomplished. God bless

  290. Heidi Lee
    Feb 9, 2012
    at 7:54 am

    Perfect Idea! Count us in. We are from Charlotte, NC :o)

  291. Pamela Fitzner
    Feb 10, 2012
    at 4:54 pm

    I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, but I cannot seem to join this virtual letter writing thing. (I’m a baby boomer and not very tech savvy, but I haven’t had this much trouble with anything on the Compassion website before).
    Can anyone help?

    • Feb 10, 2012
      at 6:55 pm

      Hi Pamela, the virtual letter writing group is part of a sponsor network called ourcompassion.org you can join there and create a profile with your email address (must be the same one you have on file with compassion). Then you scroll your mouse over the ‘connect’ on the top toolbar and select ‘find groups’ from the menu that drops down. You can search for the group ‘Virtual Child Sponsorship Letter Writing Night’ by typing in any portion of the title. There are multiple groups on there designed to give sponsors ideas for letter writing. Ourcompassion.org is a network connecting passionate sponsors, which I have found useful to learn more about CI’s work, where my child is from, met other sponsors who sponsor at the same project, seen pictures of my kid’s project and others in that country, shared prayer requests, given & received advice about how to respond to kid’s questions and letters, etc.

      If joining ourcompassion.org does not interest you at this time, then you are welcome to join the virtual letter writing club by writing your child online at compassion.com or writing a snail mail letter. The group is designed to encourage sponsors to write once a month on the 2nd Friday of the month, and you can participate by writing a letter today, this weekend or whenever you have time as our kids love to hear from us :-)

    • Feb 10, 2012
      at 7:03 pm

      Well, I’ll be happy to help you, but I don’t think that it’s necessarily a “virtual” thing. It’s more like a convenant to write every second Friday of the month. Then how you send it wouldn’t make that much difference. But I’d be happy to help you. Just call me. (310) 933-4284

  292. Britny
    Mar 5, 2012
    at 8:58 pm

    I will definitely be joining in. Just signed up to sponsor a second child and this will definitely help me make sure I write to both of them often. Plus, a theme will help tremendously. I find it hard to figure out what to write. Great idea by the way.

  293. Mary
    Mar 17, 2012
    at 11:05 pm

    I wrote my child two letters when I first started and then didn’t write to her again for at least three months. I haven’t even sent the letter yet. I’m fourteen and am probably too young to be joining any online groups, but do you have any advice? I’m not especially organized.

  294. June
    Mar 18, 2012
    at 7:10 pm

    Mary, Not sure if you are too young to join ourcompassion…but would love for you to join the letter writing group if you can. But a good way to get organized is to set a specific day each month to write to your sponsor child. Some people find it more conveinent to write online under their account on compassion.com. Call compassion if you need help setting this up. I hope this helps.
    June Gauss

  295. Valerie
    Apr 5, 2012
    at 10:07 am

    I was writing pretty faithfully until we built a house last year and the chaos overwhelmed me. I look forward to participating in this to become more faithful.

  296. Nancy Collins
    May 11, 2012
    at 5:46 am

    Thank you for encouraging me to write more. At the beginning I did write more and I am ready to be more consistent in writing again. Like you said it is the little things like letter writing that mean so much. So yes I would love to join and get more involved in developing a personal relationship with my Compassion child. I am from Birminghan Alabama

  297. Maria Chamorro
    May 11, 2012
    at 5:51 am

    Oh I would love to join you in this project! Please count me in!

  298. Holly
    Jun 12, 2012
    at 3:54 pm

    I was wondering if anyone sponsered in Rwanda? I would like to know how long it took them to send and received letters because I read everywhere is different. Also I would like to know if a money gift takes the same time to receive as a letter. I started sponsoring on may 25 or 26th and sent a birthday gift because her birthday was in June and I was hoping she would receive it in time.

    • Kim
      Jun 12, 2012
      at 5:07 pm

      Hi, Holly! Yes, I sponsor three girls in Rwanda. It takes approximately 7 weeks to receive letters either way. I always date my letters and now two of my older girls do, too. The fastest I’ve ever received a letter has been six weeks and the longest was 9 weeks, but the average is 7 weeks and all of my girls live in different areas of Rwanda. So, I seriously doubt that your girl received your money gift by her birthday, but it may surprise you to know that it will mean just as much when she does get it. I just returned from visiting my girls – it was my first trip to Africa – and learned that the gifts I have sent are the only gifts they ever received in their lives! Never a birthday or Christmas gift – and that’s pretty much the norm in their culture when there’s barely enough money just to eat to survive. You might also want to know that for Christmas, every sponsor is asked to contribute $20 for each child they sponsor and the money is pooled and then EVERY SINGLE CHILD in the centers are given a gift – even if they don’t have a sponsor! I just LOVE how Compassion makes sure everyone is included in that way! Also, it may be good to know that in a few countries – Africa is one of them – only ONE child in the family is even ELIGIBLE to be sponsored! In other words, there may be 4 children, but only ONE of them is permitted to attend the center full time – school, church, programs, lunch – the parents and other family members are only permitted for certain programs. For this reason, I try to send the majority of the gift money that I send as a designated FAMILY gift, instead of an individual gift. It’s not the same as in the USA, but it breaks my heart to know that only ONE child gets gifts and all the other children in the family go without, so I only send very small birthday gifts, but I’ll send a big family gift at Christmastime and ask that each child gets a small gift and then the family spends the rest on everyone. Keep in mind that we are talking essentials here – again, NOT like the USA. For example, every birthday gift for seven years has been spent buying a hen! Every family gift has been spent buying a cow, or goat, or cooking oil and flour and beans, or getting a new piece of corrugated tin to replace the leaking “roof” over the 10 x 10 mud hut. Since “my” families don’t have water, or waste facilities, or electricity, or even furniture, other than woven mats on the floor, they girls never wrote that they bought a doll or a book, or even a piece of clothing. I guess a doll has little value when you’re hungry. The most amazing thing I witnessed when visiting them last month was how much they could eat! I’m a hearty eater, but these little girls, ages 7, 12, and 13 ate 4 times as much as I could possibly eat! The translator told me that it was likely that this was a very rare time when they were allowed to eat all they wanted! I was afraid they would pop!

      Back to your question: Money gifts are usually saved and sent with all of the monthly sponsor money (all of the $38 dollars a month) because this reduces money spent on banking charges, etc., so money gifts take the same amount of time as a letter, at best, or another three weeks, at worst, if the “deposit is made” just after the sponsor funds have been distributed to the centers. It was very wise of you to specify Rwanda, as you are correct in thinking that the different countries do NOT work the same way – in many cases, they work VERY DIFFERENTLY, so I, too, would receive such varied answers when I first started sponsoring seven years ago. People mean well, but even Compassion reps at the 800 numbers all tell you different answers because THEY don’t realize how vast the differences! Most noteably is that in AFRICA, almost evey center allows only ONE child to attend!!! That took 3 years for me to learn the answer to and the only reason I found out was because I tried to sponsor the sister of one of my girls for years and I was told such varied stories that all sounded good, but never quite made sense . It’s good to know these things right away, as it can make a big difference in WHERE you sponsor your children! Also, things to think about, such as for me, I wanted all my sponsored girls fairly close together because I can only afford to visit maybe once every five or six years. Keep reading and keep asking questions, Holly! I hope that this new relationship you’ve entered proves to be for you what it became for me: one of the most precious, God centered, deeply loving relationships you’ll ever experience in your life. I receive so much more from my precious girls than anything I could possibly give them. Rwandan people are so full of joy and willing to share the little they have with a stranger. Many of them trust God day to day to meet their needs and they are so thankful for so little.

    • ann
      Jun 12, 2012
      at 7:47 pm

      I sponsor a cute little boy in Rwanda. I started sponsoring him last year August. So far, I have received only 3 letters from him. I was told that it takes at least 3 months for us to receive letters from them and vice versa. CI said that it is best to send your birthday gift 3 months in advance so your sponsor child can receive it in time. I also sponsor a little boy in the Philippines and I always receive his letter 3 months past the date on his letter. If you ever think of visiting your sponsored child in Rwanda, I say, go for it. I just got back from a tour trip and it was worth it, plus Rwanda is beautiful!!!

  299. holly
    Jun 12, 2012
    at 8:45 pm

    Thank you so much Ann and Kim. I do want to visit Rwanda next year. I’ve looked into it but will have to get a hold of Compassion for details or suggestions on flights and where to stay. And thank you for mentioning I can’t sponsor family members. I was wanting to sponsor all of her siblings if I could. God has blessed me and im so excited to be a blessing to others and share my blessings with them. God has been so good. I can’t wait for our relationship to grow between me and her family. And Kim thank you so much. You answered questions I have Googled but couldn’t find.

  300. Jul 18, 2012
    at 7:31 pm

    thank you for helpful guidelines and just very good info

  301. Sep 30, 2012
    at 9:48 pm

    Fabulous idea!
    I must start doing this!
    I write, sporadically, but reasonably often, but this will make them more regular :)

  302. Sondra Lane
    Dec 16, 2012
    at 2:39 pm

    Does this letter writing night hing still exist?

  303. june
    Dec 17, 2012
    at 6:11 pm

    Hi Sondra!
    Although the “group” no longer exists, I still post a monthly letter writing idea prior to the second friday of the month under general discussions. go under sponsor letters and gifts. look for december idea second friday letter writing night and i also posted for january. hope you can find these ideas. june

  304. Mar 26, 2013
    at 5:35 pm

    I enjoy hearing from my sponsored child also…I would like to get more frequent letters…with answers to some things I write…to know that she is understanding them or remembering what I write.

    • Kim
      Mar 27, 2013
      at 10:32 am

      Judy, I find that if I number my questions, they seem much more likely to be answered. Sometimes I’ll highlight the two or three questions.

  305. meme7
    Jun 13, 2013
    at 12:51 pm

    I was so excited to see this idea and I have been trying to write every week even before reading this blog. I am wondering how I can join in, and also I would like craft ideas. I didn’t realize I could send things to our kids. Please inform me on how I can go about doing this. I loved hearing from our sponsored children and their letters are displayed on my bulletin board for everyone to see! Thanks for all everyone is doing for these precious children, GOD bless you

  306. Arif
    Aug 28, 2013
    at 9:25 am

    Thanks for the article and the ideas presented. I just scheduled a calender reminder to remind me every 2nd friday of the month to take care of this.

    Again, thank you,

    Arif

  307. Nov 11, 2013
    at 7:37 pm

    Great commitment to trying to provide a little happiness to unfortunate children that have no control over there fate. Truly exceptional effort!

  308. Terri
    Feb 1, 2014
    at 1:43 pm

    This blog provided an “update” to its page: Due to changes to the Our Compassion community platform, the online letter-writing party group is no longer available. However, letter-writing is a meaningful form of communication and literacy. Ruby Payne states that “the driving forces for people living in poverty are survival, relationships, and entertainment.” The children mentioned in this blog are children of poverty. One of the sponsored boys in El Salvador was happy he was sponsored but was also sad because he had not heard from his sponsor. This is an example of the relationship “piece” that children of poverty need. “The boy said that he just wanted to know about his new family.” Letter-writing is great way of providing this connection that these boys and other children of poverty need. Ruth is full of smiles because her family has remained in constant connect with her so she has that much needed relationship connection and Flabia does not having received only one letter from her sponsor. The money the sponsor sent to Flabia could not take the place of a relationship with the sponsor. These letters are so very important to the children because they so desperately need the relationships

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