I recently read an article about the far-reaching impact that student sponsorship can make in the life of a child and it specifically spoke of the beautiful impact that personal letters can make. The writer said that, “the letters sponsors write to their children are the greatest form of encouragement… For many children, the first time they’ve been told that they’re loved is when “I love you” is penned in a sponsor letter. It’s not because their parents don’t love them – their parents love them very much, but it’s not something that is often said with words in that way. Sponsor letters are often filled with affirmation and prayer as the children are exhorted to stay in school and celebrate their worth and value through Christ. They’re saying, ‘Hey, we believe in you, we believe you can do this,’ and it’s [a] picture of God…”
As you write to your sponsored student, here are a few quick tips:
- Tell about your family – Haitians place high value on relationships, so tell your student about your relationships and your family. Be sure to include a photo. It doesn’t have to be fancy. A quick “selfie” will still give them a way to connect with you and your family.
- Share the little things – Don’t underestimate how interesting your everyday life can be! Their climate is so different from where many of us live. Tell about the snow, the flowers blooming or your pet goldfish!
- “Short but Sweet” – Translating written information can be pretty time consuming for our staff. Spoken language is much easier to translate than written language, so keep your letter short but sweet.
- Show love & encouragement – Above all, remind your student that you love them and are praying for them and that God loves them and created them in His image. Share your favorite Bible verse or inspirational saying. Tell your student that you believe in them!
Here is an example of a letter that you could write:
Our family is so happy to sponsor your education. We have five people in our family – Dave, Jill, Abby, Jake and Christina. Abby is 13 years old, Jake is 10 years old and Christina is 7 years old – the same age as you!
We live in Minnesota and there is a lot of cold snow on the ground right now – much different than in Haiti. Our family likes to play card games, play basketball and go swimming when the weather is hot.
We have a photo of you in our home and we pray for you often. Even though you live so far away we love you like you are part of our family. We know that God created you just the way He wanted you and we believe in you! Keep studying hard in school so you can be all that God created you to be.
We love you!
P.S. Our favorite bible verse is Psalm 103.
We can’t wait to deliver your special letter to your sponsored student. Remember to send your letters and photos to Kim Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org. A special thanks to each of you for helping to change the life of a child in Haiti.