Since the launch of our Second Friday Letter Writing Club board on Pinterest three years ago, our team of ‘pinners’ have shared many creative paper crafts items and printables for us to mail to the children we sponsor. We have had to work with adjusting our calendars a bit. Writing about Christmas at the end of summer, writing about Easter at Christmas, sending birthday cards three months in advance.
As much as I have enjoyed finding and making some of these craft items myself, I am afraid that maybe I haven’t spent as much time focusing on the actual letters to the children we sponsor as I have on the paper gifts. This was really driven home to me when I had time to spend with Lina in Colombia last February on a sponsor trip.
We first started sponsoring Lina when she was 11, just a few months older than my own daughter. We were a little slow to learning how important the letters were. But after our family started volunteering at events in our area, we quickly learned that building a relationship through letter writing was just as, if not more, important than the financial sponsorship.
Little did we know how important those initial letters to Lina were!
One of the first things Angelica, Lina’s child development center’s director, told me was that Lina was considering leaving the child sponsorship program before we started sponsoring her. But once our letters started arriving, Angelica noticed a change in Lina. She had a more positive outlook and decided to stay in the program. Angelica told me that it was our letters that changed Lina’s mind.
It wasn’t the paper crafts, it wasn’t the printables, and it wasn’t the coloring pages.
“You are special”
“Jesus loves you”
“We are praying for you”
Simple words in a letter shared with a child who lives thousands of miles away from us. Those words had a powerful impact on a young lady’s life. And they continue to make a difference with each letter that we write to her.
So what does this all have to do with Pinterest and letter writing?
For years, sponsors and children have been frustrated with the time it takes to send and receive letters. Starting this month, Compassion is implementing a new sponsor letter delivery system that will speed up the amount of time it takes to receive a letter.
To do this, sponsor letters will be digitally scanned, translated and electronically delivered to the country office where the child you sponsor lives. There they will be printed and delivered. This means letters will arrive up to twice as fast in most cases!
Learn more about the letter delivery process and what you can include in letters.
I’m so excited to receive Lina’s letters faster and love knowing that she’ll receive my encouragement quicker too!
But, here’s the thing, because letters are being scanned now, that means all of the fun enclosures I send with my letters need to be “scan friendly.” So what does that mean exactly?
A “scan-friendly” enclosure is:
- Made out of paper and is completely flat.
- Not larger than 8-1/2 by 11 inches.
- No more than six sheets of paper (including your letter).
- Paper CAN be printed on front and back.
Here are three scan-friendly ideas from the Second Friday Letter Club Pinterest board that are great for the new letter delivery process!
1. Bible Coloring Pages
Bible coloring pages — like this one showing all 39 books of the Old Testament — are a great way to share God’s Word with the child you sponsor. Look for coloring pages that are black and white and have lots of room to color.
2. A Cut-Out Paper Craft
You can also send black and white or color versions of crafts like this Armor of God. These are fun for to cut out and play with, while also learning more about the Bible. Look for ideas like paper doll cut outs, or any craft that only requires a pair of scissors to cut out the shapes!
3. Games, Mazes and Puzzles
There are so many fun mazes, games and puzzles that you can find on the Second Friday Letter Writing Club Pinterest board. These kinds of games are a fun challenge for the child you sponsor. You can even send a puzzle or matching game to cut out and play with.
These three ideas—and many variations of them—will now get to the child or teen you sponsor much faster.
With this new process, we need your ideas to share with other sponsors! Leave a comment below with your favorite idea.
And don’t forget to pin them to our Second Friday Letter Writing Club board on Pinterest. If you’re not already a member, be sure to follow us on Pinterest and then send and email to firstname.lastname@example.org to join!