As the new year begins, I’m always thinking about the calendar. It’s probably because of the yearly planning we all tend to do. (Got to get after those goals, am I right?) Or maybe it’s because every year for the past 16 years I’ve received a wall calendar for Christmas from a dear friend. Whatever the case, a good wall calendar or even a digital calendar that you keep up-to-date online can help you prepare for the year to come. Here’s how keeping a calendar helps me figure out when it’s best for me to write to the child I sponsor.
Vitoria was the first child I sponsored with Compassion. In her photo, she had pigtails and a shy smile. I wrote letters to her where we talked about the grades she made in school and her dreams to be a veterinarian. I watched her grow up through letters and photos for over a decade. She graduated from the Compassion program in 2015, and I never got to meet her.
It was 1995 when 20-year-old Bonnie picked up a child sponsorship packet from a table at church. She looked down at the photo of a girl in Uganda who was waiting for a sponsor. It would be 26 years before Bonnie realized the magnitude of her decision to become part of Norah’s amazing story by sponsoring her that day.
Most people know Mike Donehey for his singing and songwriting. But the children Mike sponsors know him for another reason: his letters of encouragement.
Mike has been sponsoring children through Compassion since 2000, when he chose his first child at a music festival.
If you haven’t written to your sponsored child for a while — or ever — you’re not alone. So don’t feel guilty. Read their letter and be reminded of the difference you’re making in their life; then write a few lines in return before life gets in the way. You’ll go from guilt to gratitude in minutes.
Though a popular name in the Western world, Lisa is an unusual name for an Ethiopian girl. But even before his wife became pregnant, 29-year-old Sintayehu had this name picked out!
“When my wife and I decided to have a child, I told her if it is a girl, we would name her Lisa, after my sponsor,” Sintayehu says.
Whether they are from the United States, Brazil, the Philippines or Ghana, every child in the world has at least this one thing in common — they grow up! And as they do, according to their culture’s customs and traditions, they celebrate and memorialize certain rights of passage or milestones. These celebrations honor the transition from one stage of development to the next.
For the best letter writing tips, go straight to the experts: sponsors! Recently we put out a call on our Facebook page asking for the best advice about writing to children in Compassion’s program. From practical to unique, their letter writing tips will inspire you to send a note the child you sponsor — and remind you that your words of encouragement make a world of difference!
Writing a letter is inconvenient. But that’s what makes it so beautiful. Inconveniencing yourself can be a gift to the child you sponsor. And it can also be a gift to you.
Children are pint-sized comedians. If you’re not convinced already, take a read through this list of funny quotes from kids in Compassion’s program! The product of their creative minds — or perhaps the translation process — these funny one-liners perfectly capture the quirkiness and fun of children. Has the child you sponsor shared any gems in their letters?
Have you ever had one of those awesome, world-colliding moments when people from two different parts of your life meet? Like bringing a significant other home to meet your family for the first time. Or introducing your friends from church to your friends from work at your birthday party. These experiences only come around every now and then. And I love them.
OK, so I need to make a confession … I’m not as good as I should be at writing letters to my sponsored child. And I make all sorts of reasonable excuses for it, too:
“My life is already so busy with my work and kids that it’s hard to find the time.” “I feel like I just wrote a letter a couple months ago.” (It was 10 months ago.) “I need to wait until I have more to say.” “My letters don’t really matter anyway.”