We often get questions about what you should write, or avoid writing, in letters to your sponsored child. The letter to your sponsored child does not have to be very long - just a short greeting can be a huge encouragement to a child. But, if you wish to tell your child more about yourself but don't know where to begin, we have put together 5 tips on what to write about in your letters.
1. Your family
Share anything that you are comfortable with sharing to your sponsored child, and that is appropriate for the child's age.
Tell them about your children, parents, siblings and so on. Tell stories about your family members or friends, and tell your sponsored child why you are grateful for them. Our pets can often be a part of the family as well. You can share photos of your pets, things they like to do, and your best memories with them. In the same way that you would like to know more about your sponsor child and their family, the sponsored child appreciates knowing more about you and your family!
2. The country, city or community you live in
Share educational and interesting information about the place you live in. Be descriptive and send photos, if you can. Tell your sponsored child how you celebrate Christmas or what Easter means to your family. Share your memories of Itsenäisyyspäivä why you celebrate it in your country.
3. Your everyday life
Your sponsored child will definitely enjoy learning more about your work, or the school you attend. You might even have some interests in common! The sponsored children also really appreciate receiving photos from their sponsor. Choose your photos with care, but feel free to send them often! It gives the sponsored children incredible joy to take part in their sponsor's life through a picture. Do you have a favorite memory from when you were a child, or do you have a favorite Bible verse? Share it with your sponsored child, and let them know why it means a lot to you.
It may feel like it doesn't make a big difference, but it does! Your encouragement gives hope and fills your sponsored child with love.
Can you remember a person who encouraged you and gave you hope when you needed it most? You can be that person for your sponsored child! Your letters can really make a difference.
5. Ask questions
You may not always get answers to your questions, but they show your godchild that you really want to learn more about him or her. You can ask the child about all the things that we have mentioned here above, or other things that you would like to know about them.
Though we often want to share as much as possible with our sponsored children, there are some topics that you should avoid in your letters, as they may be considered inappropriate in other cultures:
Do not mention money in the letter to your sponsored child. You come from very different places. Talking about money does not bring joy to the children, but can instead lead to frustration or misunderstandings with the sponsored child or their family.
Have you ever thought about what your sponsored child eats? Certainly not the same things, quantities or different types of food as you. If you want to write about food, feel free to describe what kind of food you eat, or the traditions surrounding it, instead of describing how much, how often, or which restaurants you eat at.
3. Your home and belongings
You are very welcome to tell about memories from your home, but without mentioning the house itself. Don't mention how big your home is, or if you have a car (or several). Write thoughtfully when you write about things you own.
4. Inappropriate images
Avoid sharing photos that may be perceived as inappropriate, and remember that the child lives in a completely different country with a different culture. For example, a family photo on the beach can be experienced as completely normal here, but in some cultures it can be perceived as shocking to receive a photo of people in bathing suits. Also, avoid sending pictures of your belongings.
Use your best judgment, and if you are not sure, you are always welcome to call and ask us.
But the very best thing you can do to get to know your godchild better is to just write to him or her!