Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sending Goodies to Older Children

Many of us enjoy writing to our Compassion International children and sending some extra “goodies” along with the letters.

Some of my most popular posts are lists of various treats you can send to your children that fit within Compassion’s mailing requirements. (Because items are sent through customs as “documents”, we need to send only items that are paper or cardstock and are thin.)

Sending Goodies to Compassion International Sponsor Children

More Goodies for Your Compassion Kids

As I check my blog stats and referrals from time to time, I notice that many people land on my page by searching for items to send to older children enrolled in Compassion. I thought it might be helpful to write up a post that focuses on these older children.

Before I start listing items, I do feel that it is fine to send items that may be considered “younger” to the teens in the programs.  Things like stickers can be enjoyed by children of all ages and if the child doesn’t like the items, you can tell them they are free to pass them along to another child in the project. Photos are always enjoyed by all ages, too!

Now, here is a list of items that may be enjoyed by teens around the world. (Remember, you can send items to your child in a 9X12 manila envelope, so you are not confined to sending things that fit in a small envelope!)

-  Sports trading cards

- Blank stationary and note card sets

- World or country maps or atlas pages

- “Learn to draw” pages (These can be found online easily by searching Google.)

Dover Publications also carries some Learn To Draw books that can be found by clicking here.

- Origami paper and printed-off tutorials

- Tutorials for paper airplanes and extra blank paper

- Postcards from your area

- Sudoku puzzles

- More elaborate coloring pages (Again, Dover carries some great ones like these!)

- As you learn about the child’s interests, you can make little booklets that share more information on these topics!

As the children get closer to completing the Compassion program, they are moving towards becoming adults.  At this time, I think it is extremely important to make the most of the ministry to these young people. While it is nice to send extra goodies along, I think it starts to become even more crucial to be sure that you’re helping them gain strong spiritual footing.

For those children who can read English, devotional books may be a great item to send.  Two booklets that I really love are Our Daily Bread and Days of Praise. You can order them and have them delivered right to your house! If your child isn’t able to read English, you can always choose various devotions in these booklets and paraphrase them in your letters.

It is also my opinion that, as the children get closer to completing the program, it may be better to focus on saving up for and sending financial gifts. Money spent on buying little items and the postage to mail them can add up.  Sending financial gifts instead may help the child buy items that could be used for future studies or for income generating projects.

People also seem to get stuck on ideas for letter writing topics for these older children.  I believe that it is a perfect time to really focus on sharing what you’re learning in church, Bible study and throughout your own time in the Word. If I feel writer’s block coming on when I sit down to write to one of our teens, I pull out the notebook that I take to church and I look through my recent notes.  There are always little nuggets of wisdom that seem to jump off the pages.

Now, I know I have many awesome people in this blog community that have ideas to share!  What kinds of things do you send to your older Compassion International children?  Please leave a comment and share with us!


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