Writing to your sponsored child is a great way to lay the groundwork for a strong and fruitful relationship that provides strength and encouragement to both you and your young friend! Writing to tell them about yourself and your support for them will encourage them during the struggles of their day-to-day lives.
Children also treasure the letters they receive! Our CarePoint coordinators say that many children hold onto their letters for years, and read them over and over. It also helps them to dream big, by making the world outside their difficult environment just a little bit more real.
Especially during Covid-19, letters from sponsors became even more of a treasure when mail was disrupted in many areas. Hearing from a friend in a time of difficulty can make all the difference in someone’s motivation and endurance. Hardship is grueling, and rarely ever short-lived. These relationships can help a child’s development endure turbulence of all kinds.
Writing a child that’s living in poverty can be a little intimidating though- what’s the “right” thing to say? What can I say to a child whose life looks so different from mine? That’s alright- we’ll help you!
One of the advancements Children’s HopeChest made more quickly with the influence of the Covid-19 pandemic is that writing your child is even quicker and easier with an online format! (To peek behind the curtain, this helps our in-country staff immensely by being able to send electronic mail directly to them, rather than relying on international snail mail, which could be delayed or lost).
Don’t be afraid to tell the child about yourself! What’s your walk with Christ look like? What are your hobbies and interests? Do you have a funny story in your family? Do you have a favorite Bible verse? What are your friends at church like? They’d also love to see pictures of you and your family- it will make your world open up to them.
Ask them questions too- about their hobbies and interests, their favorite subject in school, or their favorite animal. Remember that you don’t have to have anything particularly interesting to say- writing something is better than nothing at all. Make sure to tell the child how you are thinking about them and praying for them.
Make sure to stay sensitive to the child’s predicament. Avoid making grand promises, like that you’ll come visit or adopt them and bring them to the US. Such promises are difficult to fulfill and could shake the child’s trust. Avoid sharing personal information like phone number, email addresses, social media accounts, or financial information. If you still choose to send a handwritten letter, remember that only flat items can be inside the envelope (excluding money!)
Consistency is key- we encourage HopeChest Friends to write their sponsored child once every three months. And now, it’s easier to do so than ever! Bringing God’s love to the most vulnerable children around the world can be simpler than you thought.