POSTED June 23, 2023
Creating meaningful connections through letters
If you’re not sure what to write your sponsored child, try some of these!
By Jahneice Wright, donor care specialist, Canada
One of my favourite things about Children Believe’s sponsorship program is the meaningful connections built through the magic of letters, cards and photos (what we call Mail Tag).
Children love receiving letters and photos from their sponsors, often cherishing and keeping them in a special place. Even a few words of encouragement can make a difference in a child’s life – brightening their toughest days and inspiring them to dream big.
Many supporters have shared with me how impactful it has been to exchange letters with their sponsored child as they learn about each other’s worlds and build a unique bond. So, now that you know how much kids love letters, what’s next? Grab your lucky pen because, Mail tag, you’re it!
Not sure what to write? We get it. The best thing to remember is, keep it simple. A great letter can be just a few sentences sharing a kind thought, a tidbit about your life, or a question.
Need writing inspiration? We’ve got you!
Here are our 16 ideas to help you get to know your sponsored child and help them get to know you too!
Dreams, ambitions and school
- Childhood dream, best childhood adventure or memory
- Most inspiring role model growing up and why
- Favourite (and least favourite subject in school)
- Best (or most inspirational) teacher and why
Family (and friends!) fun
- Closest family members and what they’re like
- Memorable family moments, traditions, or special occasions celebrated (and what you love most about them)
- Best friends (who they are, what you do together)
- Pets, their names, and interesting facts about them (share a pet pic!)
- Activities you enjoy doing inside and outside
- Name of the last book you read and why you liked it
- Music you listen to or play/ sports you play or enjoy watching
- Top talents or a fun fact most people don’t know about you
Holidays, food and culture
- Favourite holidays and how you celebrate them
- Favourite places to visit
- Name of a meaningful dish you cook at home
- Languages you speak or any you hope to learn
How to play mail tag
Once you’ve written your letter, you can send it to the address noted on your sponsorship welcome package, or, if you prefer, you can email your letter by visiting childrenbelieve.ca/email-sponsored-child.
When your letter arrives in-country, a local staff member translates it into your sponsored child’s language. Your letter and its translation are then delivered to our local partner organization in your sponsored child’s community. One of the partner members then delivers the letter to your sponsored child. Fast-forward two or three months and a response letter should be in your mailbox. (Seeing you’ve got mail is the best part!)
Follow our DREAM BIG acronym for some parting writing tips:
Don’t share your personal contact details such as phone number or home address. This keeps both you and the child you sponsor safe.
Remember to keep it simple. Short words and sentences make it easier for children to understand (and easier to translate).
Encourage your sponsored child to follow their dreams, study hard and stay in school.
Ask open-ended questions (make it comfortable and easy for your sponsored child to answer).
Make it fun! Share fun facts kids would enjoy and tuck a couple (of extra) goodies into a flat envelope (like stickers, photos, or bookmarks).
Be respectful and sensitive to your sponsored child’s living and economic conditions, cultural beliefs and faith. Don’t write about material wealth and avoid questions that might be sensitive for children (e.g., absent family members or failing a grade).
Impression. Make it a lasting one – keep your letters warm, positive and friendly.
Goodbyes. A great way to end your letter is with a word of encouragement or an inspiring quote.
If you have questions or need assistance, please ask our donor care team. Call (1.800.263.5437) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’d be happy to help! And thanks to a loyal backpack! reader (who’s shy of the limelight) for reading our digital newsletter and sharing this idea for a blog. We appreciate it!
I’d like to leave you with a favourite quote of my own:
“To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere, without moving anything but your heart.” – Phyllis Theroux
ABOUT CHILDREN BELIEVE:
Children Believe works globally to empower children to dream fearlessly, stand up for what they believe in — and be heard. For 60+ years, we’ve brought together brave young dreamers, caring supporters and partners, and unabashed idealists. Together, we’re driven by a common belief: creating access to education — inside and outside of classrooms — is the most powerful tool children can use to change their world.