We Asked Alumni to Write 1 Final Letter to Their Former Sponsors

A young man wearing a blue shirt and jeans sits down outside. He is writing a letter.

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.

The most recent young woman whom sponsored was Vanessa. I met her on a trip to Honduras, and I was floored by her strength and resilience. When I found out she had recently lost her sponsor, I was thrilled to be able to build a relationship with her. She graduated in 2021.

I miss Vitoria and Vanessa. I miss their letters and getting updates from them. I sometimes wonder, like a lot of you, if I made much of a difference in their lives.

And that’s why I wanted you to see the video below. Earlier this year, we sat down with several Compassion alumni, and each of them composed one final letter to their sponsor. They spoke the words that they never got to express when sponsorship ended.

I think of these amazing men and women as “surrogate graduates.” They are not Vitoria or Vanessa, but their words echo the relationship I had with those amazing young women. Watch this video. Then watch it again with your eyes closed. And imagine what the amazing student you once sponsored would say to you in their one final letter.

Maybe you haven’t had a child graduate from the Compassion program. Bookmark this video. And when you do have a child graduate, come back and watch it again.

Will you send a note to the children you still sponsor today? With the knowledge that with each word of encouragement, each letter and prayer, you are helping a child become all God made them to be.

16 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Kathy Olson November 13, 2022

    I have sponsored with Compassion for 40 years now. My first kids are probably grandparents now! One time I was curious what happened to my formerly sponsored kids and I Googled their names. I found one of my first kids was a boy from India. Compassion taught him to drive and helped him become an auto mechanic before he graduated the program. I found his name on a list of mechanics in his hometown who had never had any complaints against them. I would call that success!

    1. Grace November 14, 2022

      Kathy, we are so blessed by your many years of support! We can only imagine how many lives you have touched over 40 years. 💙 It is so encouraging to hear that your sponsored boy from India is doing well and has his own business! 😊

  2. WYCLIFFE OKWARO October 22, 2022


    1. Amy October 24, 2022

      Hello, Wycliffe Okwaro! It is a joy to hear from you and to know our Heavenly Father is wonderfully working in the life of your child and your family!

  3. Twinamasco Tonniah June 19, 2022

    Hello compassion international Iam an Alumni of compassion international from Uganda. Am so much grateful for the work you have done towards my life , I always pray for my sponsors mr.and Mrs. Keiran and Deb Ryan from Darwin Australia, I wish I can hear from them one more time. Thank you

    1. Elizabeth June 21, 2022

      Hello Twinamasco Tonniah! It is always a blessing to hear from Compassion alumni! Thank you for your kind words. Please send us an email at [email protected] so we can help you further with your request. We look forward to hearing from you!

  4. Kendra Nutting June 15, 2022

    When we write our child, and there out of the system, is there anyway they can or I can write them a letter. In the years ahead.
    Or not. I hope we still can write them. If we give out are email address.

    Thank you
    I am still waiting on my first letter.. it’s hard to wait.

    1. Amy June 16, 2022

      Hi Kendra! Thank you so much for sponsoring a precious child! We are deeply encouraged by your heart to build a relationship with your child and completely understand how hard it is to wait for that first letter to arrive! And yes, we do offer the possibility of continuing correspondence after they leave the program. When your child is ready to graduate, you can sign a waiver and submit a request to have your contact information given to your child. We do want sponsors to understand, however, that once the child graduates, Compassion International is no longer involved with translating and sending letters, nor with sending any money. If you have further questions, you are welcome to send us an email at [email protected]. We are happy to assist you!

  5. Anna Bellow April 25, 2022

    I knew I would need tissues when I watched this. This touched my inner soul , heart and everything in between. These children are precious and so grateful for this Compassion International!!

  6. Karl Jenkins April 7, 2022

    This video brought tears to my eyes. So thankful to be sponsoring Justin, I wrote him a 12th Birthday greeting just today. Keep up the great work!

  7. gary lord January 7, 2022

    I have sponsored two children in the past – one who graduated 2 years ago. Is there a way to follow up on how they are doing now?

    1. Grace January 7, 2022

      Hi Gary! Thank you so much for your question and for your desire to contact your previous sponsored children. I am very sorry, but sadly we do not have a way to contact graduates after 6 months of them leaving the program. This is because many of them move or pursue their higher education in other cities. Please know that even if you are not able to write to them again, you made a huge difference in their lives! Thank you for supporting them while they were part of the program. If you have any other questions, please feel free to email our team at [email protected]. Blessings!

  8. Jan Bennett December 7, 2021

    We sponsored our first Compassion child almost 37 years ago when my husband and I were newlyweds. I often think of our first child who would be at least 40 years old now. This video helped me realize that the young children we sponsor, don’t have the words yet to tell us of the difference our sponsorship is making/has made or how we are helping them, but we are truly impacting their lives! Thank you for this video. It means a lot, especially as one of our Compassion children recently graduated.

    1. Elizabeth December 8, 2021

      Jan, you are absolutely right! This video is such a great reminder of the impact sponsorship has and the difference you are making in the life of your sponsored child. Thank you for being faithful supporters who are changing the lives of the children you sponsor through your love, encouragement, and support. You are truly making a difference!

  9. Marilyn Killian December 7, 2021

    Love this video!!! I have thought about the children we have sponsored in the past and still pray for them today. A letter from them now would be so amazing!!! They are still in my heart!

  10. Carolyn Haney December 7, 2021

    I watched the video of the alumni sending a final letter to their sponsors, and I had tears in my eyes. The LORD led me to sponsor my first child in 2001 to sponsoring 7 children currently. I had no idea that sponsors could affect a child’s life, and a family’s life, so much by just sponsoring and writing to them. I am so glad to be a part of God’s plan in changing lives in this way. I am so thankful for Compassion for doing all of the organizational planning to make this type of ministry possible for me. I have been allowed to visit my children and to meet them and their families through Compassion’s program. I am so thankful to the LORD for using Compassion in this way, and in making it possible for an ordinary person like me to make a difference in children’s lives.

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