UPDATE DECEMBER 4, 2017: We’ve updated our iOS mobile app. Be sure to download it to check the new letter writing features!
To be honest, sometimes it is hard to find the time or energy to sit down, find a pen, think about what to say, and then write out a letter to my sponsored child. What should I write? What do I ask him? How long will it take me? How do I log into my account again?
There can be so many questions to answer before the letter is even written, and in our busy lives and digital culture, writing letters can be a time-consuming task. But we know that our letters connect us to our sponsored children and that they are the main way we are able to communicate our love and care for them.
Letters literally change their lives. So why does it sometimes seem so hard to write them?
This year, I had the privilege of working on a project where I read letters from the pastors of Compassion’s church partners and child development centers all over the world. Reading those letters really opened my eyes to the effects our letters have on the children.
Almost every single pastor mentioned how excited and joyful the children were when they received letters from their sponsors. Their eyes lit up, and their smiles widened. They also spoke of how sad children were if a letter didn’t come.
The pastors had to reassure those children that, even though they didn’t get a letter, their sponsors truly cared about them and loved them. Talk about heart-wrenching!
After hearing this, I knew I needed to make letter writing a priority—and I couldn’t help but think, “How can I make this easier?”
I was so excited to learn about the new Compassion App. The app has some really great features that make connecting sponsors to their children quick and easy – including a weather update from my child’s center, biographical information about my child, videos, relevant articles, photos, my child’s age and birthday, and so much more!
But, one of the best features is the ability to write a letter to my child from my phone! Problem solved!
Of course, I downloaded the app, logged into my account and immediately began using it to write letters to my sponsored child. It is so easy! Select the child you want to write in the Compassion App and simply follow the steps below.
Step 1: Touch the “Write” button under your child’s photo.
Step 2: Type a short letter.
Step 3: Add a photo. (You can take one or use one saved on your phone.)
Step 4: Pick a stationery design.
Step 5: Review your letter and press “send.”
Step 6: Save your letter and then write another!
It’s as easy as sending a text to a family member or friend.
There are many different stationery designs available to choose from, including birthday and Christmas designs, so you can send a special message to your child. You can also add up to 3 photos straight from your phone’s photo gallery directly to your letter.
The app is also a great way to get our kids involved with our sponsored child. Sometimes my son will ask me how Amber is doing, what it is like where she lives, or what she likes to play with.
I can just open the app and show her photo or tell him about the weather in Brazil. We can sit down and write a letter together and talk about what Amber’s child center is like. We can even take a quick photo of the two of us and send it right to her!
The Compassion App has truly changed how my family and I relate to our sponsored children, and I know that being able to write letters so easily will have a profound effect on our sponsorships and my children’s lives.
So take some time to download the app for your iPhone or Android device — and enjoy the opportunity to connect with your sponsored child in a whole new way.
Do you already have the app? We’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below because we’re improving it everyday. Tell us what you think!
Nicole Rutledge is a former Compassion employee. She lives with her husband and two children in Colorado Springs. They’ve been sponsors for 8 years and will always be advocates for Compassion.
17 Comments |Add a comment
. Do you think it matters to the child if it’s handwritten or typed?
Truly, in my own personal experience, I don’t think it matters to the kiddos if the letter is handwritten or typed. These letters are likely the only letters they will ever receive, so it probably isn’t even something they think about because letters in general are new and exciting. The children really just want to hear from you, and that is all that matters. But, please know that if you feel it would be more special to write a letter in your own handwriting, you are still more than welcome to do so and we will be happy to process those letters for you as well! ?
I’m looking for the list of items that can be included w/a letter to the girls that I am sponsoring.
I sent some sheets of stickers (telling them to share with friends or at their project), but received a letter saying that they will not be sent to my children, rather donated. THe letter I received said to look up what can be sent, but I can not seem to find that on your website – please advise.
Hi Jill! That’s a great question. Thank you for asking. Sadly, the list of items that can be sent is no longer on our website. You are welcome to send stickers, postcards, greeting cards, bookmarks, pages from coloring books, appropriate family photos or handmade pictures with your letters. The only stickers we can’t accept are reusable stickers. hat kind of stickers did you send to your sponsored girl? Thank you so much for blessing your child with this special gift, and I’m sorry for this confusion!
Do you print out the letters we send from our phone to give to our sponsored child?
Hi Kate! Yes, when we receive your letter through your mobile account, it is immediately sent to the national office in your child’s country. It is then translated, printed out in country, and delivered to your child. This process is the same in reverse when your child responds to your letter :).
It would seem that a handwritten letter would be much more personal than a typed one. Do you think it matters to the child if it’s handwritten or typed?
Hi Diane! The children enjoy getting letters from their sponsors no matter what way they are written. Personally, I try to write hand written letters once in a while because of the value I find in writing them that way, while the majority of time I stick to online letters. We give options for letter writing because we recognize that not everyone thrives on writing in one format or another. You are welcome to stick to whichever format you’d like to use :).
If a sponsor does not speak the same language as the sponsored child, is the letter translated for them, or read to them by a translator?
Hi Joanne! All of our letters will indeed be translated into the sponsored child’s language for them to read :). If they are too young to read the letter on their own, their tutor will read the letter to them. Even if your letter is written in the child’s language, it will still need to go through the normal processing procedure to ensure the letter will be understandable in their dialect and to ensure quality assurance. Please let us know if you have any additional questions. Have a blessed day!
What a wonderful idea! This will help me to send many more letters to my sponsored child. I know when I sent a letter via regular mail it takes 2 months or so to reach my sponsored child. How long does it take for a sponsored child to receive a letter via the app? Does the center print the letters for the children to keep? I still plan to send a regular letter occasionally so that I can send stickers and color pages to my sponsored child but this app will give me the opportunity to be in touch with her much more often. So THANK YOU so much for that!
Hi Angela! When you send letters through the app or on a computer, we print them out at our USA office and send them in the mail. This means that it takes the normal time of 2-3 months to be delivered but your child does receive a physical copy that they can take home with them. 🙂
Can this app be available on the Australian Itunes store?
I would love to use it!
Hi Brigid! Our mobile app is designed to be used by sponsors with Compassion USA accounts. Regrettably, it is currently limited for Google Play or iTunes downloads by US residents only. I’m so sorry for this inconvenience :(. We will be sure to keep you posted in the future if the app becomes available for our sponsors living outside of the US such as Australia!
Letters to the sponsored child are so paramount. ..I have and kept over 30 letters from my sponsor years after graduation from LDP.
They made me realise that I was loved and valuable and am what I am today because Aunt Dorothy encouraged me so much through the letters.
Thank you so much Aunt Dorothy for writing and encouraging me. You turned my world all round that I am today transforming lives of other people
I just want to say whoever thought of this app idea, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! It has been very beneficial for me. I am a mother of 3 children so I am always on the go. Writing a letter to my sponsored child would take me longer than most people since I’m always busy and when I finally have a moment to sit and type I am constantly distracted with my children or husband needing something. Now I can easily write a letter to my sponsored child while I’m on my lunch break at work or if I’m at an event with my children. I can capture the moment and easily send it with my phone. I love that I can see what the weather is like in my child’s country too…Very cool. I hope that one day I can send a video to my sponsored child. Maybe that’s something that can be looked into?
Stefanie, thanks for your awesome feedback! Having a family, I can imagine you’re pretty busy! I’m glad to hear that this app gives you the chance to write to your child whether you’re working hard in the office or watching a soccer game :)! Regrettably, not all of our student centers have internet capability or if they do, it’s very slow. These are a couple of obstacles we’re finding would make it difficult to send personal videos to your child. I want to encourage you however, that we’re considering new ways of sponsor and child communication with our system updates that we are working on designing right now. You will see quicker and improved ways to communicate with your child in the future!