A Christmas Card Drive of Epic Proportions!

For those of you who don’t know, I’m a recovering “Lame Sponsor” with Compassion International. I have a checkered past when it comes to keeping up regular correspondence with the two boys we sponsor. To date, a five-year-old in Ghana has been out-writing me!

That all changed after I traveled with Compassion International to Guatemala this past September. And I got asked the same question over and over again in a language I couldn’t understand by faces I could read as easily as those of my own two sons, “Do you know my sponsor? Will you ask them to write to me?”

My heart cracked into all kinds of tiny pieces on that trip – each one determined to take home the message they’d entrusted me with, “Please ask them to write to us.”

group of smiling children

Sponsor or no sponsor, turns out what every kid really wants is a letter. A letter to tell them they are special and loved and beautiful and necessary and that they matter much, much more than their circumstances may tell them.

When you’ve stood in a corrugated iron shack that houses a family of five who barely escaped a mud slide and watched them pull an envelope of letters that stretch back for years out from under the mattress pad you know you’re in the presence of something special.

Paper and ink can be an anchor in the storm.

person searching through bag of letters

Often our words are more important than our money.

smiling boy holding a letter from his sponsor

And we’d like to make a way to send hundreds and thousands of words of encouragement to kids who really need them in this season of Thanksgiving. That’s where YOU come in! Well you, DaySpring, and Compassion International. From now through November 29th (the Monday after Thanksgiving) Studio DaySpring will be hosting a Christmas Card Drive for the children of Ecuador.

You design the card, Compassion will translate it, DaySpring will print it, and a team from both organizations will travel to Ecuador to deliver it in person in time for Christmas!

Four student projects with more than 100 unsponsored kids are looking forward to hearing from you. Did your tummy just do the happy flip? Mine sure did!

Here’s how it works:

  1. Click here to go to the Studio DaySpring Christmas Card Drive page.
  2. Design a card for a super special kid in Ecuador just dying to hear from YOU (for as little as $1.99).
  3. Tell them what makes them so worth celebrating this Christmas season.
  4. Include a photo of you and your family and a little bit about you so they know who the card’s coming from – kids LOVE photos!
  5. Bear in mind we’ll need some room on the card to translate your message into Spanish.
  6. Add to Cart and Voila – you’ve just created a Christmas message that will be hand delivered from you to a child in Ecuador. Our team will be there December 11-16.
  7. Oh and we’ve got a blog button to help spread the word – you can grab it off (in)courage’s side bar.

Kind words are like honey – sweet to the taste and good for your health (Proverbs 16:24). Your words will nourish no matter whose hands your card finds its way home to. You don’t have to know a child to impact their life. You only have to know the Jesus you both have in common.

And we can’t wait to report back – with words and photos – how your cards were received. We’ve got a feeling it’s gonna be nothing short of Christmas-tacular!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lisa-Jo Baker lives in between countries, callings and kids, believes motherhood should come with its own superhero cape, and as the Community Manager for (in)courage loves dreaming up ways to serve the hearts of women.

41 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Camille Berry November 9, 2010

    Please give exact information on how we can participate by sending cards to any unsponsored child without using the Dayspring offer. I will do this but I also want to send a number of cards to childredn in other countries, not just one chosen country. This has been suggested by Michelle on her blog but everyone who reads Compassion’s web site will not get this information. I want to send this on to friends who will join in this endeavor of sending many cards to unsponsored children if they know the right way to do it. It is not right to chose one country and exclude all those other children. I realize this is a special project and a small beginning but there are many of us who would like to do more and remember the many unspondored children in many countries. So, please, put this information on your official website or send it out in your next mailing. Do it quickly so the time limit will not run out on us. Thanks.

    1. Brianne Mullins November 10, 2010

      Hi Camille, we understand your request and we are grateful for your desire to write unsponsored children for Christmas! Please know it is not our intention to exclude unsponsored children in other countries. Unsponsored children all around the world will receive Christmas cards, this specific campaign is (as you acknowledged) just an avenue for people to create cards online. We hope to expand it in the future after examining and listening to feedback from our field office as well as feedback from you all on this initial trial.

  2. Rachel B November 6, 2010

    Is there a date that these cards (if we’re sending our own) need to be mailed/received by in order for kids to get them by Christmas? I know that for Christmas gift donations, it was necessary to have them received by the end of October. I just hope I’m not too late to send cards!

    1. Brianne Mullins November 8, 2010

      Hi Rachel,
      It is recommended that Christmas cards for your sponsored child need to be in by the end of October. Cards for sponsored children go through a different process than a Christmas card for an unpsonsored child (which is why there is a little bit of an extension for the unsponsored children cards). Although, if you have a Christmas card, still send it in! It will get to your sponsored child, we just cannot guarantee that it will get there by Christmas.

  3. Mary Ellen November 5, 2010

    What DATE do you need the unsponsored children Christmas cards being sent to the above address to LaVerne B. at Comp. Int in Colorado Springs by?

    1. Brianne Mullins November 8, 2010

      Hi Mary Ellen,
      Christmas cards for unsponsored children need to be in by the last week of November!

  4. Mikki November 3, 2010

    I love this idea….is it possible to do this for any child that is not sponsored?? I would love to know that we are making christmas special for all the children .

    1. Brianne Mullins November 4, 2010

      Mikki – I love hearing your desire to bless ALL children that are not sponsored. This particular project can be looked at as kind of a pilot. It is the first time we have really offered something like this (creating cards online for unsponsored children) so we wanted to start on a small scale, which is why we are only sending these cards to unsponsored children in Ecuador this year.

      Although, we do allow people to write their own letters for unsponsored children for Christmas. These particular cards will be distributed to many of the countries we work in. Here is something I posted above that gives more information:

      To send handmade Christmas cards (or cards you buy) to unsponsored children, just send the cards here:

      ATTN: LaVerne B., Sponsor Correspondence Team
      Compassion International
      12290 Voyager Parkway
      Colorado Springs, CO 80921-3668

      Please include a cover letter explaining the letters are for unsponsored children.

      Thanks for writing!

      1. Shannon K November 4, 2010

        Could you give us a general idea of how many Compassion kids in Ecuador and around the world are unsponsored?

        1. Shaina November 4, 2010

          Regrettably, I’m not sure how many unsponsored children there are in Ecuador. As of June, we had approximately 131,000 unsponsored children worldwide.

          1. Shannon K November 4, 2010

            Thanks, Shaina! I’m very surprised to hear that >10% of Compassion kids are unsponsored!

  5. Jessica Bowman November 3, 2010

    I chronicled my handmade cards for Compassion here:



  6. Sarah November 3, 2010

    I agree with Michelle and Rebecca. I prefer to send handmade cards to the countries where I sponsor kids. I’m a bit worried, though, that the cards won’t make it to the projects in time. I’ll try, though! I’m working on it today. Would it be possible in January to start an Easter card campaign?

  7. Terry Henry November 3, 2010

    I’m a recovering “lame sponsor” myself, although my letter writing has improved in in the past year or so. Although I’ve always made sure to send money for Christmas presents, I’ve never sent a Christmas card to my kids. So do I just address the card to Compassion with the child’s sponsorship # on the envelope? If I wanted to send additional cards to the children in their project, how exactly do I do that?

    1. Brianne Mullins November 3, 2010

      Hi Terry – to send a Christmas card to your sponsored child you just need to put your sponsor number and your sponsored child’s number somewhere on the card (like in the corner of the card). Then you can address the card to:

      Compassion International,
      Colorado Springs, CO 80997

      If you would like to send cards to the same country as your sponsored child then you can send the cards to:

      ATTN: LaVerne B., Sponsor Correspondence Team
      Compassion International
      12290 Voyager Parkway
      Colorado Springs, CO 80921-3668

      Please include a cover letter explaining the letters are for unsponsored children and specify the country you would like to send them to 🙂

      Thanks for writing!

      1. Bev November 8, 2010

        What is the deadline for sending these cards?

        1. Brianne Mullins November 8, 2010

          Christmas cards that you make for unsponsored children and send to the address mentioned above need to be in by the last week of November.

  8. Dee Dee November 2, 2010

    I can’t repost / share anything off of this to facebook any more because it comes up as being inapporpriate or abusive??? what the heck I do not get it this is great stuff and not bad at all. what’s up does anyone know???

    1. Brianne Mullins November 3, 2010

      Hi Dee Dee – I understand your frustration. Here is the problem and what you can do to help fix it:

      Unfortunately Compassion has been flagged as spammy. We posted the following on our Facebook wall yesterday:

      “For some reason Facebook has labeled our blog as spammy and abusive. No one can share the blog posts in Facebook via the share buttons offered on the blog. This has been a problem for a couple of weeks. Please let Facebook know the Compassion blog isn’t spam. Thanks.”

      In the meantime, you can share this content from the DaySpring blog.

  9. Amy November 2, 2010

    I put it on my blog/blogged about it. I hope it helps!

    I sent my first one tonight.

  10. pendy November 2, 2010

    Tried to share this on facebook and was blocked. I completed a form stating that Compassion was legitimate, but was just letting you know.

  11. Ada Sanchez November 2, 2010

    Very awesome idea!!! I have already sent out cards to Compassion for unsponsored children, especially for those on the high priority list. My two boys (one from Ecuador & one from Guatemala) will also be getting special Christmas cards from me. I love my boys, they are awesome!!
    Don’t forget to add something special to the cards like stickers, pictures, bookmarks, coloring pages, etc. 🙂

  12. Lisa Miles November 2, 2010

    I think this is a great idea! I like that Compassion is really being innovative in getting cards/mail to all children in the program. I love DaySpring’s products and I think they’re a great partner for Compassion.

    I will do anything/everything to make sure all Compassion kids are getting mail — so I will be designing one ASAP!

  13. Deanna November 2, 2010

    Thanks Compassion for the many ways you find for us to bless these children.

    I see that some folks have some frustrations about using Dayspring and the electronic way to send cards, but one of the things I love most about Compassion is the various and creative ways they find for us to contact these children.

    As someone who has lived overseas I would have loved to have had this option in years passed. In some places it isn’t always possible to buy a whole box of cards.

    I also know that some people operate well with communication via the blog and will send a letter this way when they would never have gone out shopping for a card.

    Thanks Compassion for all you do! I love how you use many venues for us to communicate!

    Keep up the great work!

  14. Stacy November 2, 2010

    Great idea! I tried to share it on facebook, but I couldn’t. :o(

    1. Brianne Mullins November 2, 2010

      Hi Stacy,
      Unfortunately Compassion has been flagged as spammy. We posted the following on our Facebook wall yesterday:

      “For some reason Facebook has labeled our blog as spammy and abusive. No one can share the blog posts in Facebook via the share buttons offered on the blog. This has been a problem for a couple of weeks. Please let Facebook know the Compassion blog isn’t spam. Thanks.”

      In the meantime, you can share this content from the DaySpring blog.

  15. Jesse @ DaySpring November 2, 2010

    Hello everyone,

    We are praying that this card drive can increase the number of cards and letters that kids, both sponsored and unsponsored, receive.
    And even more importantly, we are expecting/hoping to see lots of children in Ecuador get sponsored through this.

    Michelle – Thank you for sending so many cards to unsponsored kids, for your ministry, and for challenging us all! Greeting cards are a powerful tool and the more you can send, the better!

    Hopefully this opportunity will allow new people to get involved because we’ve made it easy to send Christmas cards online, without having to leave the computer. And, we’re working with Compassion to make sure the cards are delivered before Christmas!

    Regardless of how/where/when you do it, we just hope lots of people will consider blessing kids with messages of joy, encouragement, and Jesus… and sponsoring as well!

    1. Sherry W. November 2, 2010

      This is an exciting opportunity. We appreciate all the efforts that support Compassion’s mission.

      This year, I have already bought extra Christmas cards to send to unsponsored children. (Sponsors have to plan ahead and hunt for these things early, like in October! 😉 However, I have sent other Dayspring Compassion cards to my LDPs and folks I mentor in Uganda. They are wonderful!

  16. Debbie November 2, 2010

    I’m with Michelle and Judith on this one. First of all, looks like a promotion for Dayspring (who I did buy cards from!). Also, yeah, what about all the sponsored kids in the project that don’t get cards.
    My other concern with this, and even with the other way that Michelle mentioned, is what are the chances these kids will get these cards by Christmas. We all know the delays in getting things to our kids. Maybe this is a special project and someone is overseeing it, and the kids will actually get them on time, but I would be surprised.

    1. Brianne Mullins November 2, 2010

      Debbie – I understand your concerns! This is a special project and there are quite a few people involved, including people from our country office in Ecuador.

      As I mentioned to Michelle, if you would rather buy or create your own cards and ship them yourself then please do! It is not our intention to make people buy from DaySpring. DaySpring is very passionate about our mission to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name and they partnered with us in other ways in the past to further this mission.

      So, we are very excited to work together in hopes that we can give people the opportunity to easily create a card online if they so desire.

      Because this is a special project all the cards are going to Ecuador with the team that will travel there from Dec 11-16. Therefore the cards are assured delivery by Christmas.

      Lastly, we did take into consideration the sponsored children that do not receive Christmas cards. Because we value one-to-one relationship we will not be delivering cards to sponsored children. While we would love to bless all the children we know that this will also create confusion for sponsored children as to if the card they receive is from their sponsor or not. It might also create confusion for the sponsor as to why their sponsored child received a card that was not from them (especially a card that might have a picture of a different family).

      We do share your concern about sponsored children who will not receive Christmas cards from their sponsors but this project is specifically geared toward unsponsored children.

      Thank you for questions!

  17. Judith Tremblay November 2, 2010

    Depending on the response this year (ie: number of cards sent), maybe we’ll be able to do this again next year and reach more kids!

    I’m curious though–the article mentioned the focus is on a few projects with about 100 unsponsored kids. What happens if, say, people send 200 cards? What happens to any extras?

    I can think of a couple of options off the top of my head for consideration…depending on the number of cards received, give an equal number to each unsponsored child (with the possibility of them receiving more than one).

    With any uneven amount of cards left over, I’d suggest giving them to kids WITH sponsors, but who haven’t received any letters in a while (like a year, or ever). I do realize this would take more work on Compassion’s part, identifying these kids, but if it’s feasable, I’d love to see a card in the hands of any registered child who wouldn’t normally be getting one from their sponsor.

    Now, off to get letters sent off to my own kids. 🙂

    1. Brianne Mullins November 2, 2010

      Great question! We carefully thought through the same thing.

      We are focusing on specific centers because these are the centers we will be hand delivering the cards to from Dec. 11-16. If more cards come in (which we are actually counting on) they will go to other centers to unsponsored children throughout Ecuador. No card will go undelivered, no matter how big the response. We have set-up a process for excess cards to be handled with our country office in Ecuador.

    2. Lisa-Jo @incourage November 2, 2010

      Hi there Judith –

      Yes, that is exactly what we plan to do! 🙂 The more cards the more kids the better! Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm with us!


  18. Michelle ~ Blogging from the Boonies November 2, 2010

    I don’t want to be a stick in the mud, but why aren’t you telling people that they can just send regular cards? We bought a box of 24 cards for $2, which means that 24 kids will get greetings for that price instead of just 1. I am all for partnering with companies when it means what is best for the kids, but I would rather send 24 cards for $2 and postage instead of just one card for $2.
    If you’re like us and are looking for a less expensive way to bring some cheer to the unsponsored Compassion children, my blog post will tell you how to do this: http://meeshimama.blogspot.com/2010/10/christmas-cards-for-unsponsored.html

    1. Becky November 2, 2010

      Thanks for letting me know about this option!! I’m on OC, but as a grad student I don’t keep up with all the happenings. I was thinking I was too late to send cards to the unsponsored kids through the Canadian office and wished I’d been able to make time sooner. I definitely will be making time before Thanksgiving to get some cards off to the US office! The leftover Christmas cards I have from last year (I got the 24 box after Christmas when it was half price), will be perfect for this project.

    2. Brianne Mullins November 2, 2010

      Michelle – thank you for committing to writing your children and to write to unsponsored children!

      We are very excited to be partnering with DaySpring. It is our hope that people (even people who are not sponsors or people who know about DaySpring but do not know about Compassion) can have the opportunity to easily and quickly create a card and be assured that their card will make it by Christmas.

      As for you all who are already purchasing or making your own cards and sending them – way to go! Either way, cards will reach children in poverty!

  19. JD November 2, 2010


  20. Kees Boer November 2, 2010

    Just to clarify…. this is for unsponsored children in Ecuador, right? It’s not for your own sponsored or correspondence children, right?

    1. Lisa-Jo @incourage November 2, 2010

      Yup, that’s right!

    2. Brianne Mullins November 2, 2010

      You are correct. These cards are specifically for unsponsored children in Ecuador!

  21. craig downs November 2, 2010

    I was a lame sponsor also until this May. Since May something happened and I have been writing to them all the time now and enjoy it very much. I just feel awful for not writing to them before but I’m happy that I finally started writing.

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