Seven Steps to Sending Your Letter step 1: What and When

There are two questions you may be asking in regards to writing letters to your Compassion International children. “How often should I write, and what should I write about?” These are very common questions to ask, and we have asked these questions ourselves.

This post will be the first in a series entitled, “Seven steps to sending your letter”. In this first post, we hope to answer the above questions by sharing what has worked for us and our Compassion family. Subsequent posts will cover the ways you can write your letter, Compassion’s mailing guidelines, extra goodies to include with your letters and how to choose and organize them, the technical details, putting your packages together, and shipping your packages to Compassion International’s Global Ministry Center.

As you read through this series of posts, please keep in mind that we are located in the United States, and although the system we describe here works for us and our situation, we are aware it may not work for you or your particular situation. We will also do our best to answer any questions you’d like to ask, but we do not work for Compassion International and therefore are not the final authority.

Question 1. How often should I write my Compassion International sponsored child(ren)?

This is completely up to you. Many sponsors choose to write their Compassion child(ren) once a month. Depending, we write 1-3 times a month. If we have noteworthy news, we write an update letter, usually towards the end of the month, telling our Compassion children of that month’s events and happenings in our life. This letter is normally a shorter letter and is written using Compassion’s online letter writing system, discussed in further detail in step 2. Sometimes, if a reply letter can be fit into the update letter, we will do so. Other times, we choose to send a reply letter separately in order to reply right away, make it longer than the maximum character limit on Compassion’s website, or to send extra goodies to the child we are replying to.

The other big letter or package we send each month is a themed letter or package, and this too is sent towards the end of the month. This themed letter or package is usually sent via snail mail and includes extra goodies related to the particular topic discussed in that month’s theme letter. We will admit to not being great about sending these packages on a monthly basis, but our goal is to improve in this area in 2013. It is our hope that by sharing theme ideas with you here each month, we will be held more accountable.

Question 2. What topics should I write about?

Again, as with our answer to the first question, this is completely up to you. We will be sharing our own topic ideas throughout 2013. Until then, we would like to point you to some great resources to get your creative juices flowing.

With the many wonderful letter writing ideas given by sponsors, it’s no wonder this is the most active discussion on Compassion’s blog!

Here are 20 great questions to ask yourself about your spiritual life and your sponsored child.

Here are 20 more great questions to ask yourself about your childhood and your life today.

Check out these short and sweet sample letters you are welcome to use.

Do you need to know good topics to include and what topics to avoid?

Michelle from Blogging from the Boonies gives us 101 letter writing ideas.

Michelle has also just recently started a series entitled, “Correspondence Connections”.

Do you have letter writing topics you’d like to share? How often do you write to your sponsored child(ren)? Do you have any questions about the what and when of letter writing? We would love your feedback in the comments, and we look forward to continuing this series!

Want to join the discussion?