Friday, January 09, 2009

Dear Sponsor Child... Extras!


It's the icing on the cake...

The cream in the coffee...

The cherry on the sundae...

When it comes to writing to our Compassion children, the extras that we include with the letters can be so much fun!!

Unless we're at a loss as to what in the world to send!!

It's one of the things that I discuss the most with fellow sponsors, because we never know when we'll stumble upon someone's fabulous idea and steal use it!

As a photographer, photos are in abundance, and they're a standard item for us to include in our letters to our Compassion children. I usually have a theme in mind when I write to the children, and either gather photos to fit the theme, or take photos to match the theme. If you don't have an abundance of photos, take more, or use the ones you have! Your Compassion child will appreciate seeing the world through your camera lens!

Some photos we've sent: Family, the kids, our pets, parks and nearby attractions, nature/scenic/landscape, animals, flowers.

Ensure that your photos respect the cultural and economic differences -- no inappropriate clothing, and no photos of your house or any significant material possessions that would accentuate their poverty.

If you're still "stuck", there's always........... Stickers! Remember the good ol' days in third grade, when the biggest excitement about getting an "A" on your work was the Scratch & Sniff sticker you'd get as a reward? Close your eyes and take yourself back to that time... you can smell it, can't you? Lean closer.... closer.... scratch your screen.... ahhhhhhhhhhhh!

It's universal, it seems... children seem to love stickers. It's one of the first things I was told to bring on Compassion trips... stickers! In abundance!

We normally purchase the large sheets of small stickers at the dollar store, and cut them into smaller sheets the size of business cards. That way, the children can feel free to swap with friends, share, keep some, use some, do whatever they'd like! I normally put them in a small snack sized Ziploc bag. I just label the bag, and include it in with the letter. We have a lot of fun searching for large quantities of stickers we haven't sent yet, although I'm sure they don't mind getting duplicates from time to time!

I like lists, so why don't I do the rest in list format? (I heard a sigh of relief out there in Blogosphere! Come out, come out, where ever you are!)

Coloring books
Mazes activity books
ZonderKidz books **
Paper dolls
Small Calendars (5x5)
Hidden Pictures (SchoolZone or Highlights)
Birthday and holiday cards
Flash Cards (a few at a time)
Puzzles (24 piece puzzle, a handful of pieces at a time, number the back!)

** Since some of our Compassion children speak Spanish, we have really enjoyed sending them the ZonderKidz "I Can Read"series of bilingual (English/Spanish) Bible story books such as this favorite:

There are a ton of other books in the I Can Read series, even Christian ones, that are wonderful to send along with a letter. They're the perfect size, and the illustrations are sweet! One of my favorite was "Snug As A Bug", and "Mommy, May I Hug The Fish?"

What are some of your favorite things to send along with your letters?

Would you like to build a relationship with a child who needs your time and love? Consider sponsorship today!

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