Recently, a lot of searches have been about how to write to a sponsored child.
When I first started sponsoring I trawled the internet for ideas and found a few things, but not much. The one thing that did stick out was that you should write. Send a card or a postcard from your holiday or a letter. But for goodness sake, send the child something so that when letters are delivered she has something to open. An article I read detailed how two siblings were sponsored and one child received letters and the other didn’t. The child who didn’t receive letters didn’t excel at school and felt as though they had done something wrong.
Disclaimer: I am no expert. I have learnt a few things along the way and I thought that I would share them with you:
I aim to write once a month. I find it easier to carry on with my letters that way rather than starting afresh each time.
Look at the Calendar
January you can write about Christmas and New Year and your resolutions.
March or April will be Easter.
May and June the warmer weather has arrived and there are pretty flowers in the garden and in the park.
July and August are perfect for showing photos of any holidays.
October is Halloween
November if Guy Fawkes Night.
December is Christmas.
And round and round it goes. Also, there are birthdays and outings which you go on. These all add to any letter that you write.
For my February card I sent a Valentines card (with a big glittery heart) and some heart shaped stickers.
This past year I have sent postcards with the royal family and a little bit of history on them.
At Christmas I send a Christmas card.
A letter on plain white paper is great, but a letter on coloured paper or a pretty postcard or card is so much nicer. Think about what you would rather receive.
Mix it up
I like to include photos (either an actual photograph) or a digital photo which I print out with my letters. If I am writing about my favourite flowers in the garden I take a photo so that Gift knows what I am talking about. I include photos of Violet my dog and of me and my family.
Also, I sometimes type my letter, sometimes its a card or postcard. I write with a green pen (which smells of peppermint) one month, and then a pink pen (which smells of strawberries) the next. I do different fonts of the computer and try to make sure that no two letters look the same.
Remember who you are writing to
In my case, I write to a ten year old girl. I hadn’t realised at first, but her age is not representative of ten year old girls in the UK. No Justin Beiber or Facebook and iphones. Simple things, write as if you are writing to someone a few years younger than their actual age.
Is it boasting? Will they understand?
I struggled with this at first. If I showed a photo of my garden with pretty flowers was it going to suggest that I had a huge amount? What if I showed photos of going out and eating ice cream? Would she know what this was?
Here’s the thing. Don’t go writing about receiving hundreds of presents for Christmas or how every night the butler brings you cocoa in bed. Write about Christmas and what you did and include a photo of the tree, just don’t show the huge pile of presents. Don’t over-think these letters too much either. You may have more material things than the child you write to, but there is nothing to say that their life isn’t richer than ours.
Simple letters with words about you and this will work well.
Until recently I was never sure about sending a little present. What I have learnt is that stickers are acceptable – I try to make them go with my theme and only send them every now and again. For Valentines I sent 60 stickers with hearts to Gift. In the letter I explained that she should share these with her friends and siblings.
With the Olympics around the corner I am putting together a pack all about London. Paperchase had these great stickers on London and I will be putting those in with my letter.
Turns out that letter writing isn’t that hard. It doesn’t have to be pages and pages, but something fun and creative is always going to be nice to receive.