Write to a Child

I wear many colorful and different hats related to Compassion’s ministry –– sponsor, child advocate, Area Coordinator for the Advocates Network, Compassion blogger. But one of my favorite hats to wear is one you may not be aware of –– child correspondent.

What is a child correspondent?

A person who writes to a child in place of the sponsor.

Why is letter writing so important that correspondents are necessary? Isn’t financial support enough?

When you become a sponsor, you tell a child in need, “Yes. I want to know you. I want to have a relationship with you.” Your sponsorship models Christ’s love through your involvement in the child’s life, through the act of writing letters.

Poverty tells children, “You don’t matter!” But that is a lie. Your letters shine light into the darkness. They say: “You do matter Suzana.” “I care about you Renato.” “Jesus loves you Lerionga.”

The power of words, the power of a letter is tremendous, and for an impoverished child to know that you, someone from across the globe, cares . . . well, that’s the difference that can release the child from poverty.

Sponsorship is much more than just the financial support. Obviously, the financial support is critical, but it’s the letters a child receives that play a crucial role in his or her development and growth on many levels –– emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually.

Can I request a correspondent for the child I sponsor?

Yes, you can. However, Compassion prefers that you write to your sponsored child because of the relationship you can build through the letters. Letters can be the bridge that makes THE difference in a child’s future –– the bridge a child can walk across to leave poverty behind.

For instance, with one of the children I sponsor, I suggested she apply for the Leadership Development Program (LDP) because of what she shared with me in her letters. She applied … and was accepted!

I continue to sponsor her with some support from others, and her letters are now five to six pages, typed. She’s a tremendous source of encouragement for me.

However, in some cases, like when a business is a sponsor or when an individual sponsors numerous children, it may be beneficial or necessary to request a correspondent.

How do I sign up to be a child correspondent?

If you want to be a correspondent, call 800-336-7676. Any sponsor relations representative can help you.

Your name will be placed on a list of willing correspondents. If the need arises, you will be contacted to correspond with a particular child, and that child packet will be sent to you.

Please realize that you may or may not be contacted, depending on the need. Also, it could be several weeks or months before you receive the opportunity. The number of children on the list varies greatly from time to time.

Can I correspond with a Leadership Development Program student?

Yes. I have just begun to correspond with an LDP student in Colombia.

Can I write to a child I meet in a child development center on a sponsor trip, especially if I learn that the child is not receiving letters?

I can definitely relate to this question. It has happened to me often.

Many of the children I have met while visiting Compassion-assisted child development centers have asked if I can find their sponsors when I return home, just to ask them to send letters.

Right or wrong, I usually suggest that the sponsor probably has a “huge heart” and loves the child greatly, but perhaps sponsors 100 children or more and is not able to write each one!

For some children, not receiving letters is taken in stride. They continue to love and pray for their sponsors.

Others will do the same, but take the lack of letters personally, and feel hurt and unloved.

Imagine my joy when several children came to me in the Dominican Republic with letters and photos in their pockets, asking me to find their sponsors to thank them!

You can certainly request to be a correspondent for a child you meet, but it is not likely that you will be able to do so.

For instance, if the child is sponsored by someone from Canada, Australia, the U.K., or somewhere other than where you’re from, it will not be possible to connect you as the correspondent.

This happened to me once, and I had to entrust the child to God’s hands rather than feeling I should be the one to “fix” the hurt feelings.

Is any special attention given to a child not receiving letters?

Yes – reminder notes are sent to sponsors in these cases, but the notes do not always achieve the desired results. When they do, the child is delighted and encouraged in their faith!

Can I send gifts to my correspondence children? Can I visit them?

Yes. Call 800-336-7676 to send a financial gift to your child or visit compassion.com for a list of gifts that can be included with your letters or to arrange a visit with your child.

jrjuliHere is a picture of me with the child I correspond with – his actual sponsor is a local church. I have written Junior for 10 years now, and we are best of friends.
He, his mother and I have had the pleasure of being together on two different sponsor trips.

However, because his studies were hard, Junior chose to leave his student center a little over a year ago, to work in the marketplace as a truck driver.

Believing this was not best for him, I wrote to urge him to return to the center, and he did, one year later!

I encouraged him to believe in the Lord and trust Him, and that God has a bright future for him. I honestly felt he did not think he could amount to much in this world, but I knew it was not true.

Through the help of the wonderful country office staff and his supportive center director, and because he was sad to lose correspondence with me, he decided to give sponsorship another try.

Now, through the support of the student center, he’s in a tech school learning how to become an automobile mechanic, and has a much brighter future than he would have had without the correspondence and friendship between the two of us.

He also prayed to receive the Lord and has written about his enjoyment of attending church and attending Bible studies!

I recently sent gifts to Junior’s family via a friend visiting her child on a sponsor trip in the Dominican Republic. To my surprise, her group was visiting Junior’s student center to do some maintenance work, and she not only met him and delivered the gifts personally, but also sent a “thank you” from Junior and his mother by video!

See how important letters can be? Powerful stuff in God’s hands.

What should I say in letters to my child?

Questions are good to ask.

I have a child advocate on my team who is an excellent letter writer. She even keeps a spreadsheet to record what questions she has asked for each child and what their answers were.

Here’s a list of some basic questions:

  • Do you have any pets?
  • What is your favorite subject in school?
  • Do you like to sing or draw?
  • What is your favorite song, color, game, animal, flower, Bible verse, etc.?

Simple questions not only affirm that you care about your sponsored child, but the questions also help them realize that their feelings and opinions are important – it’s that self-worth thing. 😉

As you deepen your relationship with your child you can start to ask questions that may make them more aware of the world and the role they can play:

  • What do you want to be when you grow up?
  • What country would you most like to travel to and why?
  • If you could do anything for your community, what would you do?

The questions can be sent one or two at a time, to develop a conversation. For more tips and ideas, check out “What Should I Write About? Is There Anything I Shouldn’t Write About?” on compassion.com.

Now I have some questions for you. 🙂

  1. Why do you write –– or not write –– your own sponsored children?
  2. What are some of your favorite responses from your children?

103 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Christie June 29, 2023

    Is there a way that I can find out if my correspondence child’s sponsor sends birthday or family gifts? If they do not, I would love to make sure it happens.

    1. Kaye-Lin June 29, 2023

      Hi Christie! We can definitely check on this for you. 🙂 Will you please send us an email at [email protected] so that we can further assist you? Please include your sponsor number and the child’s information that you would like us to look into! Thank you!

  2. Debbie C Tarkenton May 12, 2021

    How can l write to my Sponsored child on line! I am not Real Good on the Computer, so l mainly write letters and send money.but her Birthday is comingbup on May 24 th and l would like to send her a Message! Can you help me?

    1. Grace May 12, 2021

      Hi Debbie! Thank you so much for wanting to write a letter to your sweet kiddo for her birthday! I would love to help you navigate the online letter writing.
      To start you can visit our website: https://www.compassion.com/account/login.htm to log in to your account. Next click the “Write My Child” link, located on the sidebar on the left side of the page. Once you are in the letter-writing tool, you can select from a variety of stationery options or choose a card to send. There are lots of fun birthday options here! After you choose the stationary, you can type up a message to your child. In the next step, you can also upload a full-sized photo that will be included in the stationery you select. After that, you can preview your letter. Finally, all you have to do is click the “send” button and your letter is on its way! Please know that if it takes you more than 60 minutes to type your letter in the message area, your session will expire, and you will be asked to log in again. After logging back in you may continue working on your letter right where you left off.
      If you need any assistance either accessing your online account or sending your letter, please send us an email at [email protected] and we would be happy to help you in further detail! We appreciate your desire to write your sponsor girl. I am sure it will make her birthday extra special and make her feel loved!

  3. nikita April 20, 2020

    is it possible to become a correspondent as a 16 year old? I would love to!

    1. Shannon April 20, 2020

      Hi Nikita,
      We would be honored to have you write to a child! Please send us an email to [email protected] and we can get you an account set up and get you on the waiting list for a child. 🙂 Looking forward to hearing from you!

  4. Nikita April 20, 2020

    Hi! Is it possible to become a correspondent as a 16 year old?
    I would absolutely love to!

    1. Shannon April 20, 2020

      Hi Nikita,
      We would be honored to have you write to a child! Please send us an email to [email protected] and we can get you an account set up and get you on the waiting list for a child. 🙂 Looking forward to hearing from you!

  5. Liz Polk June 19, 2017

    I correspond with three children now – and would love to add another! I have requested and I am on the waiting list for a child from El Salvador – but I would also love another child – preferably an older child to correspond with who really needs one?? .. Thank you so much for the opportunity to write to these children – they truly are a blessing to us as well!!!

    1. Shannon June 20, 2017

      Good morning Liz,
      We are so thankful to hear how much you are enjoying writing to and building a relationship with your current kiddos. We would be honored to add you to the wait list for another older child that you may bless with your love and encouragement. Please know I have added you to the wait list for a child 15 or older. If you would rather have this age adjusted please just let us know, this would not be a problem at all! 🙂 Have a blessed afternoon!

      1. Liz Polk June 20, 2017

        Thank you so much for doing this! The age of 15 and older is perfect – however if you find a child who is 14 or ?? who really needs a correspondent sponsor – that would be fine as well! Thank you again for the opportunity and blessing and for your quick response and action!!

  6. Christine June 16, 2017

    Hello, I have a question.

    My husband and I sponsor a child who we write to regularly. The account is under my name because that’s how we did it when we signed up at an event. (I wish I had thought to put both names down since we are doing it together!) We decided recently that I should always be the one to write to her for consistency sake so she knows who she is communicating with and so the 1:1 relationship can be built more effectively (his idea). I recently also became a correspondent sponsor for another child (so excited!) because I enjoy writing so much. Can my husband call and request to be a correspondent sponsor so he has someone to write to and build a relationship with?

    Thank you.

    1. Shannon June 16, 2017

      Hi Christine,
      Congratulations on both your new sponsored kiddo and your new correspondent! 🙂 We would be delighted to have your husband also write to a child. The correspondent role is a very important aspect of our ministry. Experience has shown us the power of a letter is tremendous, and for an impoverished child to know that someone from across the globe cares about them can make the difference that helps release that child from poverty. Please do have your husband contact us whenever is convenient for him, and we will be happy to add his request to our wait list for the next available child! 🙂 God bless! -Shannon

      1. Christine June 17, 2017

        I’ll tell him. Thank you!

  7. Emily June 7, 2017

    Just curious, do the children know that someone other than their sponsor is writing, or do they think the letters are from their actual sponsor?

    1. Christina Wilson June 8, 2017

      Hi Emily! Some younger children may be under the impression that their correspondent is their sponsor; however, as they grow older, they begin to understand the difference. Many children who have a correspondent and a financial sponsor understand that one supports them and the other writes to them.

  8. Emilee Wiersma May 26, 2017

    I am interested in being a correspondence sponsor. How do I go about seeing if this is would work.

    1. Susan Sayler May 30, 2017

      Hi Emilee! We would be delighted to have you write to a child! Basically how this would work is that we would link you with a child whose sponsor is unable to write the letters. You would receive a child packet and information so that you can write personal letters to the child. We ask that you write at least three encouraging letters each year. If you are interested in moving forward, let me know and I will add you to our waiting list for a child. Also, please let me know if you are already a sponsor and if so what your sponsor number is. You do not have to be a sponsor, but if you are, I want to link the correspondent child to the correct account.

  9. Ndatimana Jean-Marie August 23, 2016

    hi i just need a correspondent sponsor for me how can i get him/her?

    1. Susan Sayler August 24, 2016

      Ndatimana Jean-Marie, please email [email protected] for more information about getting a sponsor. Thank you and God bless you!

  10. Krista Pitkin April 8, 2016

    how do you become a word sponsor?

    1. Susan Sayler April 11, 2016

      Hi Krista! Are you wanting to become a letter writer or correspondent? If so, please email us your mailing address to [email protected] and we would be happy to get you setup. God bless you for your interest in encouraging a child in poverty! -Susan

  11. Sara Loggins February 7, 2015

    If I sign up to be a correspondent and the person sponsoring the child decides not to be a sponsor would I still be able to correspond with that child? I would think if another person wanted to sponsor him/her and that person wanted to keep in touch then I probably wouldn’t correspond, but if the child has no sponsorship would I be allowed to keep corresponding with him/her?

    1. Emily Vanhoutan February 9, 2015

      Hi Sarah! Regrettably, if a sponsor decides to discontinue the sponsorship, you will no longer be able to correspond with that child. We will always give you the first option to be that child’s financial sponsor however, before we make the child available for someone else. In that case, you would certainly be able to continue your letter relationship with them! But once a child is made available for another sponsor, the new financial sponsor becomes the correspondent and we have no way of anticipating if or when they will request a correspondent for that child.

  12. Kal January 14, 2014

    What a great blog! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Juli Jarvis January 15, 2014

      Thank you Kal!

  13. Sharon September 1, 2011

    I heard there’s now a limit on the number of correspondents you can take on; is that correct?

    1. Juli Jarvis September 1, 2011

      I’m really not sure about that Sharon — perhaps someone else knows the answer?

  14. Misty Bryant July 5, 2011

    I would be interested. Please tell me how to join.

    1. Juli Jarvis July 12, 2011

      Sorry Misty — I’ve been out of town. You can just contact Compassion and ask for a Child Correspondent. Call them at 1-800-336-7676. Any sponsor relations employee can help you with this. You will love having an additional child to write — and thanks for the support!

  15. Sharon June 10, 2011

    How do you sign up to correspond with an LDP student – does it work the same way as corresponding with kids in the regular sponsorship program?

    1. Juli Jarvis June 10, 2011

      Call the Compassion office and ask to be placed on the list of correspondents for LDP students. They may have a waiting line for you, but will let you know if one becomes available. Yes, it works the same except that I’ve noticed that my LDP students write much longer, more detailed letters. They’re wonderful to receive!

  16. Jack Dabner March 9, 2011

    Dear Mercy Mutsuu: We received your recent photo and can see how you have grown from the last photo. We trust you are growing in your faith and in your education. We pray for you daily. It is our hope that you will growup to be a strong Christian and have a long and happy life. We count it a privilege to help you.

  17. Jessica A. March 1, 2011

    do not currently support a child financially but am a correspondence sponsor. The child that I write to is supported by an organization and no one at that location is able to write to her. I have just recieved my first real letter from my child and I am in a bit of a dilema. She sent along thank you’s and appreciation for the gifts that she recieved from the financial sponsors for Christmas, but does not know that I am not the one that sent them to her. She does not know that I am simply her correspondence sponsor. Has anyone else had this predicament? If so, any ideas on how to handle it in my return letter to her?

    1. Shaina March 1, 2011

      I know it can be difficult in navigating the correspondent/sponsor/child relationship- especially in this case. If a response to the child’s “thank you” isn’t necessary, I wouldn’t mention it in your next letter. If you feel that a response is necessary, maybe say something general like “I’m glad you enjoyed your gift.”

  18. Diane Nichols February 1, 2011

    We are correspondents to several children and we are very close to them, some of them refer to us as Uncle and Auntie or Grandmother and Grandfather, one of them a young man in India came to know Christ because of our encouragement and prayers. When my husband had heart surgery, this young man wrote to encourage me!!, this is another rewarding aspect of Compassion, whenever anyone asks me how many children my husband and I have, I always say we have 11, this includes our son and our correspondent and sponsored children. This is a great conversation starter for telling people about Compassion. Most of them say that they want us to be proud of them so they stay in school and study hard, one of them has above average grades now. He is going to apply for the Leadership program when he is old enough. We reap as many benefits as the kids.

  19. Rowena December 10, 2010

    Hi, I am not located in the U.S., is it still possible for me to become a child correspondent? There isn’t a local Compassion office where I live (Singapore), but I’m really keen and I would love to write to kids!

    1. Shaina December 15, 2010

      Yes! You can definitely correspond with a child. Simply email Compassion at [email protected] to request a correspondent child and include your full name, address, and phone number to start the process.

  20. Desiree October 12, 2010

    I’m 18 years old and, unlike most teenagers, I actually love to write letters. It’s so fun to tell them about what is going on in my life and thinking of what to ask or say to them. Each letter I’ve recieved reaffirms my belief that I am so blessed and want to share that blessing with others. God has blessed my mother with a wonderful job (advertising executive) which makes a lot of money, so we can afford to sponsor 7 children as well as LDP students in Rwanda and Nicaragua. The student we sponsor in Rwanda is an Accounting major and he actually refers to me as his ‘sister’! The female student in Nicaragua, who is a Psychology major, does likewise. My mother insists I act as correspondent to all 9 of them, and I’m happy to do so. I’m an only child, so I love having all these ‘siblings’ to write to! It may be hard to fit it in at times, but remember your letters truly do bless the lives of your children!

    1. Juli Jarvis October 12, 2010

      How wonderful to hear about all the children you sponsor and write! I know they love hearing from you. I love the fact that you think of them as brothers and sisters — you should go visit them when you get a chance. My kids definitely felt that way about the girls we got to see this year, and so did they. It was wonderful to see them all together, finally!

  21. The Bealls October 1, 2010


    Thank you so much for your help with our first letter. I’ve gotten it in the mail already and can hardly wait to send the next one! It’s hard to describe to others the blessing it is for us to have this relationship with these children! I’m so grateful for this forum and community of people to share my excitement and enthusiasm with. Thank you for all your time and effort!

    Michaelene in GA

    1. Juli Jarvis October 5, 2010

      That’s great to hear — you can’t imagine how excited that child is going to be to hear from you!

  22. The Bealls September 28, 2010

    I am excited to report that I just received my packet with our new correspondence child’s information. As this is our first child to correspond with, I am wondering how to introduce myself as likely someone else is financially sponsoring her. I also don’t know what Yetemwork, (12) in Ethopia, knows or does not know about her original sponsor. Any suggestions on how to approach this in the beginning is greatly appreciated!

    Michaelene in GA

    1. Juli Jarvis September 28, 2010

      You can just treat it the same as any other sponsorship — just introduce yourself, your family, etc. You can explain that you are her correspondent, but the main thing is just to establish the relationship with her. She will know you are a correspondent, and she seems to be old enough to understand what that means, but the kids I’ve corresponded with have not talked about it much. They treat me just like a sponsor, calling me “Mom” or even thanking me for being there for them. It will probably be about the same as what you’re used to with your own sponsored kids. Thanks so much for doing this! I know it’ll make a huge difference for Yetemwork!

  23. Odie Langley September 12, 2010

    I have time and would like to write to a child or children. Let me know what to do and how to get names and addresses. I am 63 years old and will be a faithful writer. Thank you.

    1. Chris Giovagnoni September 12, 2010


      Please call our contact center (800-336-7676). They can set you up as a correspondence sponsor.

  24. The Bealls September 11, 2010

    Our sponsored little boy (age 6) in Ghana told us in a recent letter (after we sent him some small things like stickers and pictures for the first time with our letter) that we were the best friends he has ever had! My heart melted as I read those words!!! I feel it a very important role that I have as his sponsor. I know that my words can impact his life directly and that is what drives me to continue to do it as often as I can – once a month at least.

  25. Diane Nichols August 14, 2010

    we now have 5 correspondence kids and sponsor 4 (boy am I busy). I wouldn’t trade this project for anything in the world. One of the correspondence kids we have is an orphan living with grandparents, I grew up with my grandparents, the Lord knows what he is doing when we get paired with our correspondence kids, all of them have something I can relate to, whether it was growing up without a father, some kind of disability, a favorite activity, etc. Since I have only one son and he is 33 years old, these kids have become our family. One boy calls us Grandmother and Grandfather and another one calls us Uncle and Auntie. Still another one asked if his family were members of our family and I told him they were. When the kids move on or graduate, we truly feel like we have lost a member of our family, but we still keep them in prayer and we know they are praying for us.

    1. Juli Jarvis August 16, 2010

      I agree — when correspondence kids move on, I continue praying for them and wondering what they’re doing each day. I got to meet one of my correspondence LDP students this year, and she now calls me “Mom.” The Lord does bring just the right ones together, and I’m grateful for that.

  26. Mike and Diane Nichols July 19, 2010

    We are correspondents to 4 children, I cannont express how wonderful it is, one of them who lives in the Philippines told us that he probably would not be in school and doing so well if it were not for his “Grandfather and Grandmother”,(this is what he has requested to call us), writing encouraging letters. One of the others who recently became a Christian was encouraging me about some health problems of my husband! This was during a time when his father had left the family and he was dealing with that. I always tell them how much their letters mean to us, if we are having a bad day and happen to get a letter from one of our kids it sure cheers us up. It is a sheer joy to write to them and to our 4 sponsored girls as well.

    1. Juli Jarvis July 19, 2010

      Thank you so much for sharing about your experience. I’m so thankful you are corresponding with these kids, because it does make a huge difference in their lives. It is true that we need their letters as much as they need ours.

      1. matt.R July 28, 2010

        hello erm guys i dont know how to write 2 the child i sponsored and um its because it wont let me write on th document :{ so um a little help here?

  27. Pearly girly September 6, 2009

    My family have just sponsered a girl in Uganda called Linda who is 12 (the same age as Janet who you sponser Rachel.) I will check for their project number.

    I think that if people knew about the chance to be a child correspondent without having to sponser them a lot of people would do this. Children my age would also like to do this.

  28. Jan Woodford June 3, 2009

    Rachel, my heart goes out to these two also, especially the boy. I see that he is above average in his studies. How sad for a young man like that to be trying so hard and have no future to look forward to. I wish I could sponsor him, but right now I have my hands full, and can only pray for him~which I will do. I will print his page off and pray for him until he gets a sponsor.

  29. Rachel May 28, 2009

    @Juli Jarvis

    I have that problem myself. I write huge letters to my family’s sponsored children and my sponsored child!

    They are–


    Their project numbers are UG715, UG121, and HA684. Sometimes Janet (UG121) talks about her friends. Does anyone here have sponsored children or correndspondence children with those numbers?

    Thank you, Rachel

    PS: Here are the links to two children that caught my eye during looking at the kids on Compassion. Do any of you feel the calling to sponsor one (or both) of them?




  30. Rachel May 28, 2009

    @Chris Giovagnoni

    Thank you so much! 😀

    Sincerely, Rachel

  31. Chris Giovagnoni May 28, 2009

    @Rachel – You can request to be a correspondent with this form on compassion.com.

  32. Rachel May 28, 2009

    Hi; my name is Rachel. What I’m wondering is, is there any way to apply for a correspondence child through email instead of calling? That would be much easier for me. I sponsor a girl named Pamela in Uganda. Her project number is UG715; does anyone have a child around or in that certain project? Please be praying for her in everything. I know for sure that she is a Christian from how she talks about things. Her mother is dead, and now she has only a big sister, a father, and a stepmother. Also, does anyone here have any sponsored children or correnspondence children in Uganda? Thank you so much for bearing with me and answering my questions. 😀

    Sincerely, Rachel

    PS: What is YOUR sponsored child’s name and age? Pamela is 20.

  33. Jackie Comas May 27, 2009

    Thank You. I got my letters out via email. I too couldn’t wait for my packets.
    Thanks again for the help.

  34. Juli Jarvis May 24, 2009

    @Jackie Comas – I just explain that I get to be the one that writes to them. I tell them another person is their actual sponsor, but perhaps has so many kids that they are not able to write. I get to have that pleasure! Then just introduce myself and our family, just like with a sponsored child.

  35. Judith Tremblay May 24, 2009

    @Jackie Comas – What I’ve done is actually fairly similar to how I’ve introduced myself to my sponsored kids–just leaving out any reference to being a sponsor.

    Mainly I just tell them about myself in the first letter, ask about anything that catches my interest in their profile (generally from online, since I typically don’t want to wait until I get the packet to write), and tell them that I look forward to writing them and receiving their letters.

    That’s generally enough for a first letter, and avoids the topic of who’s really the child’s sponsor altogether. It’s possible that they might mention it at some point in the future…I haven’t been a correspondent long enough to have that happen, so I’m not sure how I’d deal with it. 🙂 Probably focus on enjoying being connected with that child and watching him grow up, and being able to pray for him, etc.

  36. Jackie Comas May 23, 2009

    How did you introduce yourself to your correspondent child?

  37. Judith Tremblay May 22, 2009

    @Caitlin – Yeah, I’ve got something like that too. I keep all my letters to/from them in a binder with plastic sheet protectors (great for bringing to concerts to show off!). So I just put things that I intend to send them in the pockets provided inside the cover…

    I also have printed off some sheets of labels with their name/number, and my sponsor number. That way, when I write, I just peel off a label and stick it on the letter, rather than handwriting it. They’re especially great on the back of pictures, bookmarks, etc!

  38. Caitlin May 22, 2009

    @Juli Jarvis – I ache for the day she corrects me on that! 😀

    Originally Posted By KristenI also find myself with a lot of items I want to send and I’m getting a back log now because I can only send so many things with each letter. I’ve got paper dolls, a bookmark, a small scrapbook I’m making, friendship bracelets, pictures, all waiting to be sent!

    I completely understand! I have a small box for each child of stuff I just happened to see one day, and bought it to send later. I like my boxes though(Especially now that the stuff is actually in it’s own designated box, because before it was on the floor, on the desk, in my purse, everywhere!), because when I write my letters, I like to send a little gift with each letter, so I go to the child’s goody box and pick something out! It’s so convenient.

  39. Juli Jarvis May 21, 2009

    @Kalaya – I have just read these again, and love these! Thanks so much!

  40. Juli Jarvis May 21, 2009

    @Caitlin – Well, it’s also interesting that sometimes we pronounce our kids’ names in certain ways until we meet them in person and get the correct way to say it!

  41. Juli Jarvis May 21, 2009

    @Kristen – Don’t worry about over-burdening the translators! They love this kind of problem, and perhaps can get more help translating if they have too many. Your children will love hearing from you!

  42. Juli Jarvis May 21, 2009

    @Amy Wallace – I love your message to him! Thanks for sharing!

  43. Juli Jarvis May 21, 2009

    @Prairie Rose – Great suggestions! Thanks!

  44. Juli Jarvis May 21, 2009

    @Mary – Love your comments here! What a sweet correspondence you must have going with your kids!

  45. Juli Jarvis May 21, 2009

    @Diane Loewen – And I’m proud to be your AC! Thanks for the kind comments —

  46. Stephanie G May 21, 2009

    I have heard that letters sent via email reach the child a bit sooner than those that are written and then mailed.I’ve also heard this is because the emails go directly to the respective country offices.

    Can anyone clarify if there is really a significant difference in delivery time (i.e. are we talking days or weeks?) Although I almost always write and mail my letters so that I can enclose something for the child, I just emailed two of my new children and was wondering how (if at all) email changes the transit time. Thanks!

  47. Chris Giovagnoni May 20, 2009

    @Bob – You are correct. If the sponsor does not ask for someone to correspond with the child, we do not require the sponsor to allow someone to do so.

    The relationship is between the sponsor and the child, and even though we feel a stronger relationship is established through the letter-writing process, as compared to a relationship where no letters are sent, it is our desire to respect the sponsor in this process.

  48. Bob May 20, 2009


    We don’t assign a correspondent to a child unless the sponsor asks us to do so.

    So… if the sponsor doesn’t ask… or continues to procrastinate… the child is unable to have a correspondent sponsor assigned?

    Seems like there should be a period of time (one year? two years?) after which the sponsor has no choice.

  49. Diane Loewen May 20, 2009

    Good Job Boss ! I’m proud to be one of your area advocates ♥ I haven’t recieved a letter from my girl since sept. but after contacting Compassion I now have one on the way….I was starting to wonder and worry. I love to write my girl. I want her to know how very much she is loved by me and God. I know how much letters mean to the children so I once again am inspired by you ! Thanks Juli ♥

  50. Chris Giovagnoni May 20, 2009

    @Cheryl J – Yes. We send reminders to sponsors to encourage them to write.

  51. Cheryl J May 20, 2009

    So do the sponsors who do not write get letters from Compassion asking them if they want to have a correspondent assigned to their child? How would they know otherwise?
    @Chris Giovagnoni

  52. Stephanie G May 20, 2009

    @Chris Giovagnoni

    Thank you so much, Chris, for this information. I have some correspondent children and have often wondered how they became available to me. I’m so grateful to have them, though, and grateful that Compassion takes the time to assign correspondents to those children who need the encouragement of letters.

    Thank you!

  53. Stephanie G May 20, 2009


    I, too, have a backlog of items that I find and stash to send at a later date because it can be hard to find new and different “flat items”. I also find it more challenging to think up things to send the older children so when I come across something appropriate, I’ll buy it, print it out, etc…

    Sometimes an item I find prompts ideas and questions to ask of the children and the next thing I know I have my next letter all written. Yesterday, for instance, I found glow in the dark insect stickers at Target to send to my boys. I immediately began thinking of fun facts about insects, questions to ask about insects they see and asking them to draw some for me, etc…

  54. Chris Giovagnoni May 20, 2009

    @Cheryl J

    Also, how long does it take for the child to not get any correspondence before the child is placed in the correspondence program?

    We don’t assign a correspondent to a child unless the sponsor asks us to do so. So it’s possible and does happen that a sponsor faithfully supports a child financially and never write a letter at all.

    If a sponsor asks us to assign a correspondent and we find that the correspondent has not written in a year, we will assign a new correspondent to the child.

    If a sponsor asks for a family member be assigned as the correspondent and the family member does not write in a year, we then take the correspondent off the account and have all the letters go back to the sponsor.

  55. Kristen May 20, 2009

    @Caitlin – YES!! I also try to keep to the one double sided piece of paper and I write tiny! I also find myself with a lot of items I want to send and I’m getting a back log now because I can only send so many things with each letter. I’ve got paper dolls, a bookmark, a small scrapbook I’m making, friendship bracelets, pictures, all waiting to be sent!

  56. Jo May 20, 2009


    Thank you for the information, I have emailed them so will just wait now.


  57. Caitlin May 19, 2009

    Originally Posted By KristenI count the days until I can write to my sponsored child and my correspondence children. I think I would write daily if not for the fear of over-burdening the translators!! There is so much I want to tell them and so much I want to learn about them.

    lol, I’m soooooo glad you said this! At first I was worried I wouldn’t know what to write about after the first three letters, because in Haiti, the kids can only really write once every 3 months, I knew I wouldn’t be able to wait so long to write another letter, so I began the habit of making mental lists of what I would put in my letter next week…and I still catch myself doing it, but I try to keep my letters to one page, double-sided….somehow during that count down to the next letter, I come up with so much conversation, I run out of paper EVERYTIME! And I have to laugh at myself, because it’s like an international phone call (You know, I only paid for ten minutes, talk fast)….I’m always frustrated with myself and the paper when I run out!! I’ve got to learn to write smaller. 😉

  58. Juli Jarvis May 19, 2009

    @Amy Wallace – Love it!

  59. Mary May 19, 2009

    I write my sponsored children and one correspondence child to let the know that I care and love them very much. I love to encourage each one to do their very best and to see them grow. They respond to each letter and to have a receiprocal response to each letter, beyond the standard three letters a year is very special and deepens the relationship. I love to write and it is never a problem to know what to write. We share everything from our faith, family, prayer, daily situations, school and pets. They answer all my questions and their is always someway to encourage them. I’m very blessed to have all of them in my life.

  60. Kalaya May 19, 2009

    Here are a few treasured comments from my childrens’ letters:

    “Thank you very much because people like you LOVE
    my daughter a lot, like a real mother. At first, we can’t imagine that we’re friends for over two years now. God is wonderful, because
    all the trials that we been through we stay stronger by God’s help and stay together by means of exchanging our letters and photos.” -Kristine, Philippines

    “By the way, I always thank God for you. You’re a blessing from the Lord.”-Angel, Philippines

    “Neizha was so
    happy to have a sponsor like you and wants to thank you for making her special
    to your heart. We love you also ma’am and the whole of your family circle.”-Neizha, Philippines

    “I thank the Lord Jesus for having me in your mind. I thank you so much for sharing all the family details. I thank the Lord Jesus for giving me this kind of relationship through “Compassion.”
    I’m also beginning to read your favorite books of the Bible like James and 1 Peter. Thank you so much for your kindness, gentleness, and your love and support.”-Kowsalya, India

    “I am so glad to receive a sponsor card and photo from
    you. Thank you so much. I am so glad that I can be your friend.”-Nangnoy, Thailand

    “Normally most of my friends in Compassion are Christian, and I prefer to join
    them whenever they are going to Sunday School. But my parents are Moslems and
    if I say I am going to church, they do not say a word.”-Mummy, Ghana

  61. Dwight May 19, 2009

    The idea of hand written letters are good. But for some of us it is hard to find the time to write letters…send stickers…mail them. I send emails and extra money a few times a year. It is amazing to get letters back from the case worker describing the family picking out new clothing…. What an exiting day to pick out new clothing; get some extra rice and chocolate milk! When we need something we just go buy it…but they can not; remembering a birthday or the family is an amazing thing. I find it’s more important than the letters. The best letters I get come from thank you letters for gifts. That’s my experience. I did not plan it but all the children I sponsor have fathers that left and do not support the family…maybe that’s why the money is so important?

  62. Bob May 19, 2009

    While we are communicating electronically here, it is our handwritten letters are most cherished by the children I talked with.

    That doesn’t mean you can’t “mix it up”… I alternate between web and handwritten submissions (FWIW, I draft my handwritten letters on PC).

    One child told me she was thrilled to receive handwritten letters from her new sponsor. Her previous sponsor’s letters were all computer generated, and she wondered whether there was a “real person” writing those.

  63. Chris Giovagnoni May 19, 2009

    @Sara Benson – It doesn’t happen very often. Maybe a few times a year.

  64. Tania @ Larger Family Life May 19, 2009

    @Jo – I emailed contacted US Compassion through their site and explained that I’m in the UK and would like a correspondence child to write to, and they emailed back requesting my details. Once I’d sent them they emailed again to state that they’d submitted a request for a child for me to correspond with. My initial email to them was at the end of April so I’m hoping I’ll get a correspondence child (or two, or three!) soon.


  65. Caitlin May 19, 2009

    My favorite response so far has been, “My name is Diendonne, but my friends call me Lilin” I had been calling her by the wrong name for over six months…I thought it was rather gutsy of her to correct me…it made me smile.

  66. Sara Benson May 19, 2009

    Thanks for the post Juli! I love writing to all of my kids, sponsored and corespondent both. I never realized that it is possible to correspond with a LDP student. Do you have to request that specifically?

    @Chris Giovagnoni – How often does it happen that a sponsor starts corresponding again with the child?

  67. Chris Giovagnoni May 19, 2009

    @Cheryl J – If you are the correspondent, you do not need to get permission from the sponsor to visit the child. Our visits team will let the sponsor know about the visit, if the situation warrants.

    One reason for notifying the sponsors is if the sponsor begins corresponding with the child, we want the sponsor to be aware of the visit, in case the child references it.

    We also will let our country staff know so they can explain to the child that the person visiting is not the actual sponsor, but rather the person with whom he or she corresponds.

  68. Mike Stephens May 19, 2009

    Thanks for sharing Juli!!!

    I Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for YOU!!!”

  69. Juli Jarvis May 19, 2009

    @Prairie Rose – Great ideas! Thanks so much for telling us this —

  70. Jo May 19, 2009


    I sponsor through compassion uk, and when I phoned them about becoming a correspondent I was told that compassion UK doesn’t have this program. I thought this was a shame as I don’t have the finance to sponsor any more children but I would love to be able to write to more children.

    I sponsor three children and I write to them every two weeks. I love writing to them and letting them know how special and precios they are.

    One of my faviourite replies (my girls are to young to write the letters themselves)but one of them wrote one sentence on her last letter say “I love you but God loves you more” this brought tears to my eyes, I was so touched by it. I will treassure it forever.

  71. Cheryl J May 19, 2009

    I have 3 correspondent children and they write a lot! But someone told me that you have the have the sponsor’s permission to go visit them. Is this true? Also, how long does it take for the child to not get any correspondence before the child is placed in the correspondence program?

  72. Judith Tremblay May 19, 2009

    Gee, between recent posts (Saturday’s “half” for instance), and the Compassion reps in recent weeks reminding me that I can email my kids from my account…do ya think there’s a push on Compassion’s part to make sure sponsors write to their kids?? 🙂 I love it! Just like I love receiving my kids’ letters. I think I write to them primarily to let them know that I’m thinking about them, and that they matter to someone outside of their family.

    I’ve only gotten a few letters (two from my first sponsored child–Gabriel, one from my first correspondent–Nells…the second sponsored and correspondent children have only been linked to me for a month so there hasn’t been time for a letter to be delivered yet). But I love how Gabriel’s parents have thanked me so much–in both letters–for sponsoring him. And Nells asked me to pray for her mother’s spiritual life at the end of her letter. To think that this was important enough to her to ask it in her first letter to me…boy, have I been slacking on making good on my promise to pray!

  73. Britt May 19, 2009

    The spreadsheet idea is great! I make copies of the letters I write…as well as keeping my children’s letters 🙂

  74. Kristen May 19, 2009

    I count the days until I can write to my sponsored child and my correspondence children. I think I would write daily if not for the fear of over-burdening the translators!! There is so much I want to tell them and so much I want to learn about them. I just started sponsoring and corresponding in March and have only received one letter from my sponsored child in Mexico and one from a correspondence child in Ethiopia. Nothing yet from Indonesia but I’m trying to be patient! It’s amazing how blessed I feel already by these relationships even though they’re mostly one-sided at this point!

  75. Amy Wallace May 19, 2009

    I’ll have to look into this!

    One of my favourite responses in my 3 years as a sponsor was from a boy I sponsored in Burkina Faso (his parents took him out of the project, so I don’t sponsor him anymore). He would always draw me a little picture on each of his letters, and I told him that his drawings were very nice, and that I’m not very good at drawing. In the next letter I got from him, he said, “Don’t worry. One day you will draw well for I will pray for you” I laugh everytime I read that!

  76. Prairie Rose May 19, 2009

    You mention having a lot of sponsored children as being a reason someone might not be able to correspond with their child.

    If anyone reading is one of those people and feels that way, it is no harder or more time consuming to write to a number of children than it is to write to one.

    I simply write my letters about what is going on in my life, add a couple pictures, and ask a question or so. I type it on the computer, so I just insert the child’s name and if applicable, an additional line personalized to them, and print them off. When I receive a letter from my child, I respond to it immediately via email so that personal aspect is also maintained, but most children only write three times a year and it only takes five minutes to email them back, so even with a number of children, it’s still very manageable to keep up an excellent correspondence with them all.

  77. Compassion dave May 19, 2009

    Love’n it Juli…thank you

Add a Comment

Read the ground rules for comments.