My sister thinks I’m nuts. My friends think I’m developing an addiction. Truth be told, I just love writing letters to my sponsored kids!

I find writing letters easy and fun, yet I’ve spoken to many sponsors who find it difficult. Fancy templates and ease of attaching photos are great, as are dozens of ideas about what to send with your letters. Compassion even has a Pinterest board to collect ideas. But all of this doesn’t help if you struggle with finding words and putting them together.

sample letters

For sponsors who know the importance of letters but aren’t good with words, encouragement to write can bring on the guilt. Feel guilty no more; here is a solution for you!

Below are a few sample letters I’ve written for you to COPY, (yes, you’re allowed to be a copycat), and simply change the details, like names, to customize to your life.

If you also find letter writing a breeze, write a sample letter in the comments below, and between us there should be plenty of samples for others to choose from.

Dear Gasore,

Thank you for all your letters and drawings. I hope you and your family are well. I am well.

I have your picture on my desk at work. You are very handsome.

I have 2 cats. Seth is a black and white boy cat and Phoebe is a striped girl cat. Do you have any pets?

Love from Gail
(photo of cats could be attached)

Dear handsome Ruan,

Thank you for your letters. I enjoy hearing from you.

I pray for you and your family often. I hope you are all well.

I work for Compassion Australia. I work in an office as a Project Manager. What would you like to do for work when you grow up?

Please pray for me that I will do my best at work.
Love and hugs from Gail

To my beautiful Maria,

Thank you for your letters. I really like your drawings, particularly the princess one.

I have been reading in my Bible about Esther. She was a very brave queen who stood up for God. Have you learned about Esther?

I pray that God will help you be brave when you need to.
With love and hugs, Gail
(you may want to send an Esther coloring in sheet or book)

To my very clever Carlos,

Thank you for your letters and your prayers. I feel very special knowing that you pray for me. I pray for you too.

I am so proud of how well you are doing at school. I am well. It is summer here and very hot.

We live near the beach and go there on hot days to play in the cool water. Do you live near the beach or a lake?

Love and prayers from Gail

In my experience I’ve found that the first couple of letters to a child are fairly easy as you cover the basic facts: name, age, family introductions, what you do for work, favorites, pets. But after you’ve told them all that, what do you write next? Here are some samples for that as well.

Hello my Manuel

G’day from Australia! I pray that you and your family are well. Thank you for your drawings and letters. You are very good at drawing!

I have been studying the life of Joseph in the Bible. He is one of my favorites because even though his life had some very horrible times, like being a slave and being in prison unfairly, he still trusted in God and believed that God would bring his dreams to pass. My favorite memory verse about Joseph is Genesis 50: 20 where Joseph says: “You meant to harm me, but God meant it for good.”

I hope you like the postcard of the wombat I am sending you. Wombats are the size of a jelly bean when they are born but grow to 1 metre long. They live in burrows in the ground and come out at night or on cloudy days to find grass and roots to eat. We rarely see wombats in the city, but country people see them sometimes. I have seen some at the zoo.

With lots of love to my precious Manuel! Gail
(postcard or picture of wombat attached)

Hello my very special Kirubel

I am very proud of you for doing so well in your school work. I pray that God will help you in your studies. Please pray for me to do well at my university studies too.

With this letter I am sending you a photo of my brother Paul and my mom and dad. This photo was taken when my brother Paul graduated from college. He got his diploma in outdoor recreation. Paul doesn’t like doing school work very much, so this was a big challenge for him. We were so proud of him for finishing his course.

Do you like school? What is your favorite subject? My favorite subject was history, and I didn’t really like math.

Please tell your family I love them and pray for them.

I love you heaps! Gail
(photo of graduation attached)

Please share this with all your sponsor friends and let’s see more children receiving letters!

We originally published this post on December 7, 2011.

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75 Comments Add a Comment
  1. Sarah
    Dec 7, 2011
    at 6:07 am

    Gail, these are really great. I would add that my sponsored kids love learning about other places. We went to New York CIty this summer and I’m getting a lot of mileage out of that trip! I’ve written one letter about the New Year’s celebration in Times Square, another about visiting the real Winnie the Pooh at the New York Public Library, another about art at the Metropolitan Museum and the Museum of Modern Art, and will soon be doing one about bridges (we walked over the Brooklyn Bridge). Like you, I always turn it around to relate it to the kids – I ask how they do it in their country, or if they like to read, or if they like to draw… I’d also mention that I just bought the 2012 Guinness Book of World Records book… it’s filled with crazy, wonderful amazing facts…to show them what an incredible world God has made for us. Lots of mileage to be had there, too! :-)

    • Dec 7, 2011
      at 2:19 pm

      Great ideas Sarah. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Dec 7, 2011
    at 8:31 am

    These are great examples! Simple and sweet letters are loved just as much as elaborate ones!

    I have some devotions that I’ve created for sponsors to copy and paste into letters as well! You can find them here:

    • Dec 7, 2011
      at 2:21 pm

      Oooo, I like the idea of sending a custom made devotional to them. Great idea Michelle :)

  3. Jenn
    Dec 7, 2011
    at 8:37 am

    These are great ideas! Whenever I write to my kids I just write about my day leaving out the boring details or the things that might be inappropriate. My little girl Alteah and I have gotten pretty close so I just tell her about my school or sports or even if it just hasn’t been an eventful day. I let her know I’m thinking of her and praying for her. Her aunt tells me she loves hearing about my days and reading about all the things I do. And to my other kids (boys) I tell them about sports or other things like that. I don’t have a real strong relationship with either of them yet.

    • Dec 7, 2011
      at 2:23 pm

      We often forget that our days can look very different to the way other people live so even that is a good thing to share in a letter.

      Are you able to write up a sample letter to show US what that may look like?

  4. Meredith
    Dec 7, 2011
    at 9:27 am

    I love the templates for the fancy stationary. I find the Compassion stationary to be boring after 7 years of writing letters to my girls. I also send cards quite often. How can I access/copy these templates that you have in this article?

    • Dec 7, 2011
      at 10:27 am

      Compassion USA recently rolled out a new online letter writing format that they discuss in this blog entry:

      These templates are part of that format. Simply log-in to your account (if you are US sponsor you have one or can create one), and select the child’s name under my account and then click ‘write to child name’. The template is the first part you choose about the letter. Happy writing :-)

      • Dec 7, 2011
        at 2:25 pm

        If you sponsor through a Compassion country other than the USA then there may be letter templates on your local website, probably under your “My Account” but they will look different to the ones in the picture above.

        If you can’t find it please call or email your local Compassion office as I know they will be happy to help.

    • Dec 8, 2011
      at 6:16 am

      Those are from the new online letter writing system, but we also buy colorful printer paper from the Dollar Store for letters as well. They often have quite a selection!

  5. Becky
    Dec 7, 2011
    at 11:53 am

    Can someone tell me whether it makes much difference to these children whether you hand write a letter or write one on the computer? I really like being able to choose a nice template, write a letter to one of our sponsored children, and then be able to change that letter to send to another child. Thanks.

    • Dec 7, 2011
      at 2:27 pm

      I don’t know for sure Becky but my guess would be that it would be different for each child. The most important thing is that we send letters to our children, at least 2-3 times a year to let them know we care.

      If it works better for you to write online then go for it. A typed letter is better than no letter.

      You could also mix it up every now and then with a hand written letter or card, say Christmas card and do the rest online.

    • Dec 8, 2011
      at 6:19 am

      I think that the children are really just happy to receive letters, but ending them through the mail allows you also include fun extras as well!
      I send monthly letters both ways. I send more online now with the option to include pictures on our letters, but I still really love to pick out fun gifts and mail those in as well. (Ideas can be found here: )

    • Mar 12, 2013
      at 11:17 pm

      Several years ago, before the “new” online writing tools were introduced, we still had the option of writing online. I heard at an Advocates Conference that Compassion preferred that we write online, because then they had all the necessary information: Child’s full name and number and Sponsor’s full name and number. It seems that sponsor don’t always remember to include all of that information if they write by hand (not on the paper letter template) or type; and they don’t always remember to leave space for translation.

      However, I also heard that the children liked getting handwritten letters, because they were more certain, then, that their sponsors were real, not made up. But I would think that, the more we respond to things they have said, the more we express our love and encouragement, the more certain they become that we are real, even if we always write online. I’m just guessing, of course.

    • Tina
      Sep 11, 2014
      at 11:33 am

      I think hand written is always better. It shows that 1.) you’re a real person 2.) you took time out of your busy day to send them something more personable. When writing, I print verse using cursive because cursive is harder for a child to read. I also include some sort of picture (I am an animator, so I draw a picture of my sponsor kid doing something/ eating something that she has told me she likes. So even if she has a hard time reading english, the message of the letter is still conveyed) and a bible verse is very important to include. These letters might be the only words of God that they hear.

  6. Dec 7, 2011
    at 1:29 pm

    Love these ideas. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who loves writing my sponsored child!
    Some people told me I might overwhelm her, but I don’t think 2-3 letters a month would be too overwhelming, do you?

    Thank you for the examples! Michelle from Blogging From the Boonies has some great posts with lots of ideas for writing letters. I bookmarked them and any time I get into a pinch, I just go there and get an idea! :)

    • Dec 7, 2011
      at 2:18 pm

      Christin – whether 2-3 letters per month is overwhelming would totally depend on the child’s personality, their age and their culture. Some kids would love it and others would find it a bit much.

      Here’s some suggestions on how you could find out:

      * Search this blog for information about the culture of the country where your child is from as some clearly aren’t letter writing lands.

      * You could also ask in a letter the question “Do you feel I send you too many letters?”

      * You could pray and ask God for what He thinks is too many letters because He alone knows your heart and hers.

      God bless you.


  7. Dec 7, 2011
    at 2:13 pm

    Thanks for all the feedback peeps. I’m glad I’ve been an ecnouragement and some help to you.

    Can you help others by writing a sample or two letter in the comments?

  8. Dec 7, 2011
    at 2:21 pm

    Thank you for doing this. I like this…… but, you don’t like math????? I can help you with that…. jajajajajaja


    • Dec 7, 2011
      at 4:11 pm

      I can DO math. I just don’t LIKE math. I’m happy that way. So thanks for the offer but no deal. :)

  9. James Schrock
    Dec 7, 2011
    at 3:17 pm

    A few ideas: I try to write to my boys (10 of them) at least once a month or more. They love pictures, so as often as possible I try to include a picture(s) with the letter that illustrates what I’m writing about. I live in a small town. Each year they hold a fireman’s festival. I write about the festival and include pictures of the parade and the water fights by the different fire departments. The Fifties Fling is held each spring. The highlight is the car show, a couple hundred of them. Great photo opportunity. The Swiss Festival is held each fall. Give a little background and more parade and event pictures. A lot of farming and produce growing in the area. I tell them about it and include pictures of the many family-owned greenhouses selling flowers and vegetables. The boys, especially the older ones, like to hear about activities in my church. Try to pick up on things your child mentions in his or her letter. One of my boys lives in the city, but loves to go to the park and the country. I live in the country, so I tell him what it looks like, what I liked to do when I was his age, and send pictures of the places where I used to play, etc. There’s more, but this may help someone get started.

  10. Alyssa
    Dec 7, 2011
    at 7:50 pm

    Here is a copy of a letter I wrote to our 9 year old in Africa…I like to include details to help him get to know the different personalities in our family, and this letter focused on our baby. Hope this helps someone! :)
    Dear John James ,
    Hello! How are you and your family? I hope you are all doing well. How is school going?
    Things here are going well. Today my children have a day off of school, which is always exciting for them, and the weather is surprisingly warm. It is autumn now, so the leaves on the trees are all turning yellow and beginning to fall to the ground and the nights are getting very cold. Most of the days are chilly, but every now and then we still have a warm one. Soon we will begin to get snow!
    My husband (who’s name is John, like yours!) travels a lot for his work, and last month he was in Africa. He went to Ghana and Mali.
    My children are doing well. Our baby, Solomon, is nine months old and has three teeth now, which means he likes to bite things! He especially likes to bite the other children’s toes when they’re not watching him. For such a tiny person, he can sure move fast! He is just starting to say his first words, and it’s fun because he is trying to say his siblings’ names. It’s really cute. Sometimes he sits on the floor and sings to himself, which is funny.
    Our whole family prays for you, Elogu John James. We love getting your letters and pictures. We think about you and your family every day!! You are wonderful!!
    Love, Alyssa and Family

    • Dec 11, 2011
      at 2:24 pm

      Great letter Alyssa! I can almost see Solomon attacking his siblings :)

  11. Susan
    Dec 8, 2011
    at 8:37 am

    I’m just not sure I am connecting with my Pamela. I write about things we do, about my daughter becoming a teacher. I tell her about the changing seasons, about my church. I have asked her many times what she wants to be when she grows up. I never receive comment or answer to my questions.
    One thing that disturbs me is that she continues to ask when I am coming to Honduras. Are these children encouraged to ask t his? I doubt I’ll ever meet Pamela but I don’t know how to say that or if I should respond to that at all.

    • Misty
      Dec 8, 2011
      at 4:04 pm

      I don’t know that they are encouraged to ask about visiting, but I know that most of the kids, if asked, will say they want to meet their sponsor more than just about anything else. Because Compassion does group tours that visit the projects and have a child/sponsor fun day, and Honduras is a popular country, sponsors may have come to her project or a friend of hers may have met their sponsor, so Pamela might have it more on her mind than some. I have responded in the past that it does cost alot of money to go to a different country and that I can’t afford that, or the time off work, adding that I would love to meet them, but it doesn’t seem possible.

      I have actually met my two girls in Honduras, but even when I knew I was going, if they asked, I would say something similar to above just in case something happened to prevent my going.
      God bless!

      • Dec 11, 2011
        at 2:29 pm

        It’s important to be honest with your Pamela and tell her you can’t visit her. I’ve had to do this with some of my kids, sometimes more than once. I do encourage them that one day we could meet in heaven.
        It’s difficult to keep writing when you don’t feel a connection. I have this with some of my kids, where others I feel a great connection. I keep writing and encouraging them, trusting that God will honour my faithfulness and believing my letters make a big difference, even when I don’t see the fruit in their letters. For some cultures they just don’t write letters, except through Compassion, so it’s difficult for them to express themselves in letters, even for the adults.

        So keep it up anyway, I’m sure Pamela really treasures your letters, particularly if she wants to meet you so much :)

  12. Dec 8, 2011
    at 9:03 am

    As with anything, I think letter writing is something you grow into and become more and more comfortable with as the relationship develops.

    One resource I found very helpful was the book Sheba’s Song by J. A. Harbison. It’s a fictional story about the relationship that develops (through letters) between and Indian girl and her sponsor.

    There have been times, when I want to write but don’t have much time and I’ve simply sent an online letter saying, “I love you. God loves you. If I were with you right now I would give you a hug!”

    • Dec 11, 2011
      at 2:45 pm

      Thanks Jill for the reminder that even a quick online letter is ok. A couple of sentences of love may be all our child needs to hear, and it is better than not writing at all.

  13. Autumn
    Dec 8, 2011
    at 1:29 pm

    Hi my daughter is 9 yrs old and has a huge compassion for Hatti, We dont have a lot of money to donate at this time, but we would like to send clothes toys and tolite trees. Does anyone know how or where we can do this??

  14. Kim Edge
    Dec 9, 2011
    at 12:15 pm

    My young lady turns 22 and ages out of the program in Ethiopia this month. Any advice as to what I should say in my farewell letter? :(

    • Dec 11, 2011
      at 2:56 pm

      Let her know that although you won’t be writing to her you will still think of her, love her and pray for her for the rest of your life. Encourage her to keep her faith, especially in the hard times. Ask God to give special Bible verses to leave with her. Thank her for her friendship, love and prayers. Tell her you are proud of the wonderful lady she has become.

  15. Sandra
    Dec 9, 2011
    at 1:11 pm

    Gail, thank you for sharing your letter ideas. Although I do write to my 2 girls at least once a month, I feel guilty if it’s a short letter. I don’t want them to feel disappointed or think I don’t care enough to write a longer letter. Does anyone else feel this way or am I a little crazy????

    • Dec 11, 2011
      at 3:24 pm

      Don’t feel guilty if it’s short. If you’re writing once a month that’s terrific! Even if it’s only a couple of lines that’s great.

      A short letter is better than no letter and it doesn’t take much to share your love with them. Little often is better than long letters hardly ever.

      I’m sure others feel like this but give yourself a break and pat on the back for writing often :)

  16. Joanna
    Dec 9, 2011
    at 1:29 pm

    I enjoyed reading the sample letters that a couple of you sent, so I’ll add mine! Here is a copy of the letter I sent last month to my eleven year old girl in Uganda. I just sponsored her in June, so I’ve only gotten two letters from her. I try to write every month.

    “Dear Jarriet,
    I greet you in the love of Christ. How are you and your family? I and my family are well.
    Here in the U.S.A. we celebrate Thanksgiving in November. We thank God for the recent harvest and the many other things He gives us. This year, I made a list of some of the things I’m thankful for. You, Jarriet, are on my list.
    Also sometime in November we usually have our first snow where we live. Have you ever seen snow? Snow is so beautiful. It is pure white and sparkles when the sun shines on it. It is fun to play in and build things out of. When you pack it together it sticks to itself so you can shape it into balls or blocks. One amazing thing about snow is that no two flakes are just alike. I like to make paper snowflakes, like the ones I’m sending you, to decorate with.
    I hope you have a wonderful birthday. What did you buy with the birthday money I sent?
    I got your letter in the mail this week. Thank you for writing. I like the pictures you drew. My favorite sport is Frisbee.
    May the Lord bless you and your family. I love you Jarriet.
    Your friend,

    I copied Isaiah 40:11 at the bottom of the letter. I also sent several paper snowflakes that I made.
    For me, there are some days when I can think of lots to say and some days when I can’t think of anything to say. So don’t think all my letters are as long as this one. I’m sure that a short letter is so much better than no letter!

  17. Liz
    Dec 10, 2011
    at 8:40 am

    Joanna, the snowflakes are such a cute idea! I will have to make some to send to my little Jose in El Salvador.

  18. Dec 11, 2011
    at 3:26 pm

    Joanna – great letter! It helps your girl understand more about your world. Thanks so much for sharing :)

  19. Margie
    Dec 11, 2011
    at 7:32 pm

    Bless you, Gail. I was thinking that the letters I write to my sponsor children were getting a bit too much the same so I appreciate you giving us some suggestions about what to write. Keep up the great work.

  20. Dec 12, 2011
    at 4:58 pm

    Great blog post ! I have sponsored for nearly three years now and I need new ideas so this blog is encouraging to me. I’ve written about all the different holidays here in the UK already. Here’s a letter I sent last year to my sponsored child in Indonesia.

    Dear Miati,
    I had a lovely Christmas present on Christmas Eve- a letter from you arrived ! I felt really blessed to get it. It was the letter Gerson helped you to write on 8th of August. (Say God bless you and thank you to Gerson for me- I am so glad you have someone to help you with letters. )
    You were getting ready for your Independence Day celebrations. Did you win the walk competition? What else did you do to celebrate Independence Day?
    We dont have an Independence day in Wales but we celebrate our national saints day on March 1st . It is called Saint David’s Day. Schools have singing, dancing and music competitions. Girls dress in our National costume-red skirts with a white apron, a red shawl pinned with a daffodil ( the national flower) and a tall black hat. Our national flag is a red dragon on a green and white background.
    You say you like chickens. My daughter Katie loves chickens too! I am sending you a photo of her china chickens that she collects and some chicken pictures for you to colour.
    Sending you all my love,

    • Dec 13, 2011
      at 3:22 pm

      Great letter Tracey :) I enjoyed learning a little about Wales reading it myself. Thanks for sharing.

      I totally agree with you that this blog is a great source of inspiration for letter and “letter gifts” ideas. We have some VERY creative sponsors :) I also find Our Compassion ( another great source of inspiration.

  21. Dec 15, 2011
    at 2:27 am

    Thanks for posting this excellent free sample letters. They may come in handy.

  22. Dec 26, 2011
    at 5:27 am

    Every single letter brought a smile to my face but the ones that really got me were the letters and homemade cards from the children.

  23. […] just a couple of weeks ago, the Compassion Blog featured a post with some example letters, and I realized, I wasn’t the only one looking for letters to copy. And, I wasn’t the […]

  24. Angela
    Jan 18, 2012
    at 12:00 pm

    How do I print the cute stationary templates pictured in your post? When I try to click on them nothing happens.

  25. Kay
    Jan 20, 2012
    at 6:00 pm

    I have found writing a letter on the computer easy, but how do I attach photos? I can’t seem to get it righ. I would be thankul for any and all help.

    • Jan 21, 2012
      at 11:21 am

      Hi Kay, while I do not have any specific suggestions as it could be a wide variety of issues (CI website to the web browser (like internet explorer or firefox) or you internet connection speed), I highly recommend you call Compassion (800) 336-7676, use their live chat feature (both during the week), email them or put your question to a support website that the right CI person (and potentially other sponsors also) will respond to. Comments on the blog of this nature do not always get routed to the person who can help you.

  26. Helma T
    Jan 25, 2012
    at 12:56 pm

    Wow, now I really feel guilty about not writing my children. I Just wrote them, so writing 1 letter a week is ok? Are we allowed to write about our lives? Using the computer does make it easier. Loved all your comments, opened my eyes that just sponsoring is not enough.

  27. Howard
    Jan 26, 2012
    at 4:39 pm

    Thanks for posting these! They helped to give me some ideas about what to write! Thanks again!

  28. lynne mantz
    Jan 27, 2012
    at 5:35 pm

    I just read how my sponsor child may not feel loved because I so seldom send letters, and I just shudder to think thats true. I want to do my best to send letters to her and would like to it by e-mail but I’m not very good on the computer but definitely would connect easier by using the computer to write. How and where do I type these to send, feel like a dummy : )

  29. Helma T
    Jan 29, 2012
    at 12:55 pm

    Lynne, you need to go on the Compassion website, there they has a link to write your child. You will have to have you sponsor ship # to access your child. Then the website will walk you right through the process. Good luck. I too need to write more letters.

  30. Allison R
    Mar 15, 2012
    at 9:13 am

    Thank goodness! This is a huge blessing. I feel as though I always struggle for words, or where to start in my letter writing. I am not around children very often, and I was the youngest in my own family. I feel very guilty about not writing my child very often. It is my desire to remedy this.

    This is the first time I have taken the time to check out the Compassion website, and the letter writing on-line is one of the things I am most interested in. However, the content of the letter is really important.

    Thank you for posting your samples. I am very grateful.

  31. Mar 18, 2012
    at 4:15 pm

    My pleasure! I’m glad they are a blessing to you and your sponsor child :)

  32. Jayme-Lee
    Apr 11, 2012
    at 1:29 pm

    Hello everyone!
    I just signed up as a sponsor last night and my child is 4 years old and lives in Burkina Faso, Africa. Could anyone suggest things to write about or small things to send him since he is so little still? Thank you!! :)

    • Apr 17, 2012
      at 6:10 pm

      Hey Jayme-Lee
      Just follow the links to letter writing ideas as there are heaps there and check out as you can link up with others who sponsor in Burikina Faso for more specific ideas.
      Stickers are always a great gift, and being an African boy I’d suggest soccer sitckers.

      Congrats on your new sponsor child :)

  33. Sharon
    Sep 6, 2012
    at 5:59 pm

    Is it ok to send a greeting card that has music when opened?

    • Jacquie Parella
      Sep 6, 2012
      at 10:08 pm

      It sure is! :)

  34. Denise
    Dec 5, 2012
    at 6:52 pm

    Can I send a musical Birthday card?

    • Jacquie Parella
      Dec 6, 2012
      at 6:34 am

      You sure can!

  35. non
    Jan 3, 2013
    at 9:12 am

    thanks a lot , it is a nice site , but what about writing BUSINESS REPORTS

  36. Sage Garrett
    May 30, 2013
    at 9:58 am

    Thank you Ms. Gail for the help! I love letter-writing but I’ve been nervous about writing to the child I sponsor. And reading all of the comments has been quite encouraging as well.

  37. Judy
    Oct 16, 2013
    at 10:13 am

    Going to Dominican Republic to see sponsored child in April 2014.
    Is there anyone who might be going on this tour that I could communicate with. Has anyone been there before and recommend gifts. Thank you.

    • Susan Sayler
      Oct 16, 2013
      at 1:36 pm

      Hi Judy! How exciting! I hope you have an amazing trip! I recommend putting everything in a backpack that you can give to your child. This makes it easy to trasport. On a tour I went on, there was one sponsor who took a whole suitcase full of things for her sponsored child but there was so much that it was difficult for him to bring it home. Practical gifts, like soap or clothing, are great! Here are some other suggestions:

      -simple toys, such as jump rope, jacks, marbles, toy cars
      -doll, doll clothes
      -soccer ball, Frisbee
      -picture books, coloring books and crayons
      -baseball cap
      -hair ribbons, barrettes
      -soap, shampoo
      -toothbrush, toothpaste
      -hard candy (nothing that melts)
      -liquid bubbles
      -calculator (simple)
      -mini album for photos and letters you send to your child
      -pens, pencils, small sharpener, markers, paper, stickers

      • Oct 16, 2013
        at 3:28 pm

        Hi Judy!

        The temptation is to take as much as you can but it can be overwhelming for your child. It’s better to take a couple of well chosen gifts than a whole bunch of things that can be overwhelming.

        I do recommend taking a small album of family photos as I did this when I met my girl Sarah and it was a great ice breaker even with the language barrier.

        I suggest that a chat with the tour organiser at Compassion may be useful too.

        • Judy
          Oct 17, 2013
          at 5:42 pm

          Dear Gail, thank you for your input and reply. I agree with you on the gifts. I am sure it could overwhelming for the child. I definitely will bring a family photo album of update pictures. I do send pics during the year, but an album would be great with new pics. Thanks again for replying. Judy

      • Judy
        Oct 16, 2013
        at 8:24 pm

        Hi Susan Sayler, it was so nice of you to respond to my questions about our trip to the Dominican Republic. Lots of good ideas.
        Where did you go on your tour? If I may ask were vaccines required? Thanks so much. Judy Poisson

        • Susan Sayler
          Oct 17, 2013
          at 10:17 am

          Hi Judy! I’m happy to help! I actually went to Colombia on my tour. Vacinations were required, although I already had all that I had needed. If this is your first international trip, you’ll probably need four vaccinations at most for example Yellow fever, typhoid, Hepatitus A and B, etc.

  38. Sharmila
    Nov 20, 2013
    at 11:16 pm


    my sponsor child is 1 year 6mnths old. any suggestions what i can ask her parents about her and gifts i can send to her.

  39. Barbara
    Jan 7, 2014
    at 9:25 pm

    I send a letter to my child every month. I started off telling about one member of my family in each letter . Then I started telling her about our holidays and traditions in our family during those holidays. I send paper “ornaments” for a Christmas tree, white crosses for Easter, paper leaves with Bible verses about thankfulness at Thanksgiving, various things that corelate with my topic that month. I sometimes choose a country and tell her about it ( what kinds of animals live there, what the people are like, interesting things to see there, etc) and send a coloring book page of that country or stickers or a flag. There are lots of websites with coloring book pages and things you can print about countries or holidays. I send pictures of our family. I tell her about what I was like as a child and sent pictures of me as a child. I ask her about her daily routine, what is the best thing that happened to her this month, what is the worst thing that has happened this month, who her best friends are and what they do together. And I tell her the same about me. I also have a Bible in her language so I always look up a Bible verse to write each time in her own language. I also send a copy of the picture of HER that Compassion sent me because many kids (and their moms!) do not have pictures of themselves. It is easy to copy a picture and add a pretty paper frame. I also make my own stationary by googling an image of the topic for the month (holidays or countries) and then just center the image on the top of the page. Just start writing! They love getting them and there are endless topics you can talk about.

    • Rose G
      Feb 20, 2014
      at 1:57 pm

      I just love all your ideas, I send stickers, because my girl loves to put them on her notebooks. I send valentines cards, etc, but I sometimes don’t really know what to talk about, so I really like how you made it ” real” I will be using some of these ideas myself.
      thank you

  40. Melissa sims
    Jan 8, 2014
    at 8:49 pm

    I read somewhere that we could send baseball cards. Is this true and do we need to remove them from the packages?

    • Susan Sayler
      Jan 9, 2014
      at 11:09 am

      Melissa, we can send baseball cards. Please remove them from the packaging though.

      • Elizabeth
        Jul 23, 2014
        at 11:37 am

        Would we need to write the child and sponsor number on each card then? Is there a good idea for a way to package them so they don’t get lost? Thank you.

        • Emily Vanhoutan
          Jul 23, 2014
          at 2:49 pm

          Hi Elizabeth! Yes, please write your child reference number and your sponsor number on any items you send to your child. This makes the process a lot quicker for our correspondence department and also ensures that all of your items will reach your child. You can staple your cards together if you would like before you place them in your envelope. The best way to ensure they do not get lost is to put the numbers on them that way if they are dropped or fall out, we still know who it is from and what child is goes to. Happy writing! :)

  41. Laura
    Feb 7, 2014
    at 3:27 am

    I read that mail takes 2-3 months to arrive in most countries. Doesn’t the online letter get delivered more quickly? I realize you can’t send little gifts online so I will handwrite my next one but the first one I wanted to get there by his birthday (about 2 weeks away)

    • Susan Sayler
      Feb 12, 2014
      at 2:00 pm

      Oh, Laura. I’m so sorry but online letters also take 2-3 months to be delivered. We have to print out these letters and send them on the regular way. However, I know that your child will be so blessed to know that you were thinking of him on his birthday!

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