Monday, January 2, 2012

Another Look at Letter Writing Day

Walking through the store this weekend, a display of Valentine’s Day cards caught my eye and reminded me that we hadn’t sent any Valentine’s goodies to our Compassion children yet. While our letters may not arrive at their destination by February 14th, we still wanted to share them with our children.

This morning, while Kaya and Luna sat down to some learning, I pulled out the needed supplies and started on another round of letters.


We decided that the Pet Pals valentines were the most gender neutral, so those are the ones we chose.  I had some heart printed paper bags in my craft closet, so we will use those as well.

Before I started writing letters, I printed up ten sheets of stationary on paper with colorful birds along the top and bottom.  I also printed our sponsor number and each child’s name and number on labels, which will be stuck on each paper bag.

Before writing, I always look at the picture of the child I’m writing to and I pray for them.  I ask God to lead my pen and to bless the words I share.

(Truth is, with the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I have relied heavily on the new online letter writing tool over the last few months. Except for the handwritten birthday cards we’ve sent out recently, the last few rounds of letters have all been sent online! I still pray before writing that way, though.)

Our Johan in East India was first on the stack and so the first letters was for him.  Once I finished writing, I took some Valentine’s Day cards and stickers and put those in his bag.

As some people have asked me, I do send things like this even to our older Compassion children.  I tell them that they are free to pass on any items that they do not wish to keep and I don’t imagine that they would be offended by receiving these tokens of our love and affection.


Once Johan’s goodies were tucked in his bag, I used a paperclip to keep the bag closed and also to attach his letter to the outside of it.  I arrange it so that the label with the necessary information is seen from one side and the letter is facing the other side so that no matter which way you look at this bundle, it is clearly labeled.


Because I send to multiple children, I use a large manila envelope to mail our letters.  I slipped Johan’s bundle in the envelope and started on the next letter!  If I find that ten bundles will make this envelope too bulky, I might end up splitting the shipment up into two different envelopes. 

It may take me a day or two to handwrite all ten letters, but I will certainly have everything mailed out by mid-week so that the children will receive them in February or March.

Do you have a method to Letter Writing Day at your house?  I would love to hear about it!  Are you sending Valentines to your children around the world? Tell us about them in the comments below!



Anonymous said...

I sent glittery paper hearts withEphesians 3: 17-18 and wrote about st Valentine was a martyr who suffered for his faith.

Vanessa Rae said...

*This would not post to your comment section in your 'About Me' Page* Oh yay! I love that you have such a detailed 'About Me' section! I just commented on one of your posts but now I feel like I know you just a bit more! Had to comment again. My hubby is also a carpenter and struggling with a one-man home improvement business. We are also waiting for a couple waivers to go through so that he can join the Marine Corp. (He's too old, 29 and has a big tatt! As if that should disqualify him as he's perfect for the job!) Phil was also a Catholic but didn't truly understand or even know what salvation was. I was raised a Christian and knew exactly what it meant to be a believer but I wanted to do my own thing for a few years-living convicted everyday. By the grace of God I survived my years of partying and rededicated my life to the Lord the same day my hubby accepted Christ (unbeknownst to me) and He has done wonders and miracles in our life ever since! A complete 180. I actually clicked on your blog because you used the word 'boonies' and nobody knows what that is when I use it for some reason. Although, I tend to make up a lot of words. God bless you guys! Your story was encouraging to me because my 20 year old sister is a major addict and so far away from God right now. Your testimony gave me more hope for her future. Thank you for your transparency!

Michelle ~ Blogging from the Boonies said...

Vanessa, thanks so much for the comment! I love getting to know new people and I know that God has a way of directing paths so that people can meet. So glad we found each other through the blog-o-sphere!

I'll be praying for your sister. MY teenaged step-daughter is on a path away from God right now and I know the heartache. Our God does use hard times to shape people, I have to remind myself of that quite a bit!

Ouida said...

I bought daysprings cards. I have a "boy" who is 18 and has written me a total of 11 lines. His card is a very manly one and I was really pleased with that.
My 18 year old "girl" will get an assortment of little kid cards as well as a very nice adult one. She comes from a family of 9. I am sure she shares the kid cards.
I also have a 11 and 13 year old boy and I put in a few cards like my 5th graders use and hope that they like them. I have only gotten first letters from my 11 and 13 year old, so I just send them stuff and hope that they like them. All four of my kids are from Rwanda and they don't write often at all.

I haven't mailed them yet, but they are almost ready.

teresadawn said...

Your Valentine's packages are very beautiful :) They'll love them.

My system is a bit different I guess.

I write to 7 kids (three sponsered, four correspondance). I have made a weekly schedule so that I write to two or three kids each week and each child is sent a letter once every three weeks. Sometimes I do the two or three kids that I am writing to that week together, but often I do them on different days throughout the week. If they've written to me, I respond to anything they've said first in the letter, and then I tell them any little stories that I wish that have happened in my life since I wrote three weeks ago, or if I can't think of anything I just tell them about something further back or something I enjoy.

I try to alternate between online letters and handwritten. I prefer handwritten ones, but I don't have a printer so it's a huge pain for me if I want to send them a photo. So with the handwritten ones I attach stickers, bookmarks, etc. With the email ones I attach a photograph.

Today, for example, I am writing two email letters to my correspondant girls Pince and Kajal.

Karissa said...

Michelle, can you post about what kinds of things we could send in correspondence? I would have thought that a paper bag with several Valentine's in it would be too bulky. So... how much is too much (not to be confused with a Christian teenager's favorite question of 'how far is too far') ;) and what are things you've sent or could send. And you're saying you send blank cards? I've never thought of that... I'm a few days behind on reading my blogs (had a baby 8 days ago and whatnot) ;) I have two girls, 18 in Tanzania and 14 in the Philippines. And they have the same birthday! I just think that's such an interesting coincidence. If you wan to contact me directly, it'd be easiest if you just comment on my blog Thanks Michelle!

Michelle ~ Blogging from the Boonies said...

Karissa, thanks for stopping my! We can send "bundles" that are up to 1/4 inch in thickness. What we send has to be paper or this cardstock - no plastic, metal, paper etc. I have links on my sidebar with ideas for goodies to send to your children. I've shared LOTS of ideas on past posts, so I hope that they help you!
Blank cards and stationary/envelopes are great things to send, especially for older children!

So, look on my sidebar and also this thread:

Anonymous said...

I have a sponsored daughter in Columbia (10 years old) and have a hard time of what to write to her and what to send her - what is appropriate to write or send - just stopped by for some help/ideas.

Michelle ~ Blogging from the Boonies said...

Hi, Pete! Please look at the links listed under Most Popular Posts on my sidebar! I have a ton if writing ideas as well as things that can be sent to the children!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Chickie!!

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