A few days ago, I sat down to write another round of letters to our 7 Compassion International children. My goal is to write to each of them at least twice a month. Most months, I hit my goal, but sometimes I don’t. At the very least, I am dedicated to writing once a month. I’ve been asked what the process looks like for our family, so I’ll explain it the best I can.
I start by choosing some decorated printer paper from my collection, which I buy at the Dollar Tree. I get out some of the stationary that is provided by Compassion when our children write to us and copy it onto the pretty paper. (If you don’t have the stationary, you can print this or use your own paper, provided that you leave 1/2 of the paper for translation.) I print this off for each of the kids. Then, I get out my binder where I keep all of the letters we receive.
Before I start on the first letter, I look at the photo of the child and pray for them. I also look at their most recent letters. Each group of letters has a common theme, but they are are also personalized for each child. Because the kids always ask about church, this most recent group of letters told some more details about our Sundays. I shared that we are still studying from the book of Romans and that we memorized Romans 8:28. I told them what our daughters have been learning in Sunday school. I also shared that the children like to run and play after church while the adults drink coffee and talk. Then, I answered any questions that were asked or commented on recent info shared with us. I save questions for last and I highlight each one with a dash or something similar.
I also printed off seven copies of one of the devotionals I recently shared, on pretty rainbow paper. I took advantage of the Walgreens deal last week and was able to get three free photo collages and also printed off a pair of photos for the other children. To our newest child’s bundle, I also added the About My Sponsor folder that Compassion provided.
Below, you can see the bundles for all of the children. Each one is kept separate with a paperclip. Every page and photo is labeled with our sponsor number along with the child’s name and number.
Before slipping them all into one big envelope, I have one last step. I open up my Word document where I keep track of the letters that we send. Each child has a section where I keep info about letters we’ve sent. I type something like this:
10/29/10 ~ Info about church, Romans 8:28, asked about grandmother’s health, “Sharing” Devotional, photos from Compassion event and of three girls.
I document the letters for a couple of reasons. It helps me to remember what I write about and what I’ve sent. It also helps me to get an idea of how long our letters take to get to our children. When I get a reply from one of the kids that mentions something I have sent,or that answers a question, I can easily look it up and get a rough idea of how long my letter took to travel.
All told, it takes me about 2 hours to write and assemble bundles for all seven Compassion International children. I rarely do it all at once, though, because my days are busy and my hand cramps up. Generally, I will write one letter and get up to do something before I come back to it. I know how important those letters are to the children, so the time and effort I put into this is SO worth it.
I hope you’re inspired to sit down and write to your sponsored child soon!
Lastly, I want to remind you of the opportunity to send Christmas Cards to unsponsored children! You still have time to get those in the mail, but the sooner the better. Click this link to find out the details!