Get Involved: Be A Correspondence Sponsor

Compassion InternationalEarlier this week on the TIO Goodreads group, a reader mentioned the possibility of corresponding with a sponsored child via Compassion International. Here’s what she said.

Do any of you sponsor with Compassion at all? I’ve been a sponsor with them for about 9 years, and I know that a lot of people don’t realize that in addition to financially sponsoring kids, they also have a program for individuals to simply write to kids whose financial sponsors are not able to write for whatever reason. (For example, often companies will sponsor loads of children, but can’t commit to writing.) It’s called being a “correspondent sponsor”. In addition to writing letters, you do have the option of sending money for birthday/Christmas/family gifts, as well. I thought some of you may be interested in it, and thought I’d throw it out there just in case you haven’t heard of it before. It’s not something they advertise. –Rachel

Compassion Letter WritingI’ve heard of this before and always thought it would be something TIO readers would love to learn about. Rachel’s comment gave me the little push I needed to contact Compassion and learn more. If any of you are interested in writing to a sponsored child, here’s what Compassion said.

Thank you for contacting Compassion with this wonderful opportunity and for your heart for children in need. I have provided a lot of information below, hoping that some of it may be useful to you.

 We do offer the opportunity to correspond with a child in our program when his or her sponsor is unable to write. If you become a correspondent, you will receive a welcome packet with the child’s photo and biography and the child will write you about 2 letters a year. You will want to send words of love and encouragement. The requirement would be to write the child we assign you a minimum of three to four times a year, and you may write as often as you’d like.

Sound like something you might be interested in? While the focus of Compassion’s Child Sponsorship program is not orphan care, ministries like this play an important role in preventing children from becoming orphans in the first place. If you’d like to participate in Compassion’s ministry, here’s how you get started!

If you’d like to be a correspondent to encourage a child, just reply by email to ciinfo@us.ci.org or call us with your name, address, telephone and email address. There may be children available now, or you may need to wait for 2-3 months before you receive your child’s packet. You may also contact us at 800-336-7676.  We are available to serve you MondayFriday, 7:00 am to 5:30 pm, Mountain Time. Thank you for wanting to be an encouragement to a child in need!

I’m excited to see if any of you decide to give this a try! This opportunity is perfect for teens who want to sponsor a child but can’t afford it. If you go ahead and start the process, here are the guidelines Compassion sent about corresponding with sponsored children.

Share with your child information about your family, children, siblings, grandchildren, parents and especially pets. Tell them some fun stories about your life, like getting surprised by a big wave when you were swimming in the ocean. Hobbies are also fun to write about and you can send pictures of what you are working on. Let your child know about your likes and dislikes in almost any area – weather, your city/state, favorite food, your favorite bible verse or something special about God.

 The important thing is to write often. Short, frequent notes, cards and web letters are best. Sometimes when sponsors first begin writing they feel they need to write long and newsy letters. However, we’ve learned that it is the “personal touch” of a letter that counts and not its length. It is the frequency of the correspondence that tells your child that you care – far better than any words you can write.

 You cannot sent toys or clothing, but here is a list of items you may send:

  * Postcards

 * Bookmarks

* Small writing tablets

* Cartoon band aids. The children will wear them even if they do not have a cut.

* Stickers (they will stick them on anything and anybody)

* Sports trading cards

* Construction paper

* Wrapping paper (folded to 8.5 x 11)

* Gift Bags (please cut off the handles)

* Calendars (no spiral binding)

* Magazine pages

* Small posters (folded to 8.5″x 11″)

* Cancelled stamps

* Pages from coloring books

* Music/singing or recordable greeting cards

 Especially valued by the children are photographs of their sponsors and their sponsor’s family, including pets! Children can never get enough pictures and will continually ask for more. It’s best to avoid pictures that may reflect a higher lifestyle, so focus on fun outside pictures of your family outings. If you are writing your letter online, it’s very easy to upload your photos and add them to your web letter. The letter writing wizard tool will walk you through the steps. 

I’d love to hear what you all think of this? Do you find it to be an exciting opportunity? Do you have any questions about it?

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20 Comments

  1. That sounds like so much fun! I’ll have to talk to my parents about it! 😀

    Reply
  2. I still think this sounds like a wonderful idea, so I’ll talk to my mom about it for sure! 🙂

    Reply
  3. My family sponsors several children already, but I really love the idea of writing to already sponsored children as well! Thanks so much for letting me know of this fabulous opportunity. I’m going to sign up!

    Reply
  4. I would LOVE to do this, but, I have the very hard opportunity when I am in Papua. At the very end it mentioned something about web letters, where can I find out more about those?

    Thanks for posting this Leah!!! 😀

    Reply
    • Yes, I believe you can put together letters to children with an online letter writing tool. The Compassion website is currently down because of technical difficulties, but here’s a post from the Compassion blog about the online letter writing tool. It looks super easy and fun! Does that help?

    • Thank you so much, Leah! 🙂 I’ll be sure to check that out and talk to my parents about signing up!
      Right now we are about to go to a church that is holding a Compassion scene where it’s like you step into a world of poverty. (That’s what I understand from my parents.)

  5. Emily K.

     /  November 17, 2014

    Thank you so much for letting us know about this amazing opportunity! As a 20 year old missionary I don’t have the funds to financially sponsor a child though I have wanted to since I was 12. This is a great way for me to make a difference in a child’s life even when I cannot actually send the money. I’m definitely going to do this!

    Reply
    • So glad to hear that, Emily. 🙂 I’m sure some child will be blessed by your friendship.

    • Just wanted to thank you again Leah. I got my child’s packet in the mail yesterday and I’m so excited to be his sponsor. He is exactly one year older than my youngest sister and his birthday is the day after her’s. In fact, my entire family is enamored with him! I’m so glad I got this amazing opportunity to sponsor him.

    • That’s amazing! It’s been wonderful to see such a positive response to this idea. 🙂

  6. Rachel Brinks

     /  December 30, 2014

    I read your report for 2014, and saw this was the “most commented on post” – how fun! 🙂 I hope at least a few people who read this become correspondent sponsors. Letters can make a huge impact on the kids who receive them!

    Reply
    • I thought that was fun and interesting too! 🙂 And I hope things work out for the people who want to write. I know at least one or two applied.

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