As a sponsor, you are important to your sponsored child and you should know that the children appreciate getting letters and small greetings from you, even if they are not always so good at responding. Often the child does not understand that they have a sponsor until he or she receives a greeting from you.
Children who receive a letter from a sponsor displays the letter with pride for their friends and it is perhaps not surprising, who is not happy to get a greeting from someone who cares about one? However, you do not feel like you have to write, your effort is worth gold no matter what you do.
What Do I Write on the Letter?
Since mail handling differs in several of our project countries you cannot write the child's name directly in the contact address on the outer envelope. Write the child's name, child ID (available on the photo of your sponsored child) and project name inside the letter. Our staff opens the letter, translating it if necessary, and gives it to the child.
Can I Write To My Sponsored Child Via e-mail Instead of Regular Mail?
Yes and most of our countries prefer it because the cost is much lower. If you choose to send your greetings via e-mail it works much the same as if you send it by postal mail, start by writing the child's name, child id and project.
If you choose to send e-mail, you will also receive answers via email, but expect that the answer may take avail. E-mail goes to Star of Hope headquarters or affiliate in the project country. The person responsible for sponsor contacts translates the greeting and gives it to the child. It may take time, especially if the child's project is far from our headquarters and has no Internet.
As an Internet sponsor, you have your own website where you handle all communication to and from your project.
I am a food or project sponsor, can I still write letters?
Yes, just remember that you are writing to a larger group of children.
I have not received any letter or any message from my sponsor child. Why?
If you have not received any message from your sponsored child even though you have been a sponsor for a longer period of time, please contact us. It works differently in different countries. It happens mail sent may have never arrived. If you suspect it has happened to you, it is important that we hear from you.
Here are some things you should consider when you write; either you do it by letter or e-mail:
Write in the language specified in the instructions you received in your starter kit (which included pictures of your sponsored child). In most cases, it is English.
Write short because it takes time to translate the greeting to the child's language.
Write about things that your child can relate to and understand, you can for example tell us about your family, your interests and how it looks in your home, how we live in America, our traditions, what we eat for food and so on.
If your child has parents, always greet them.
Avoid writing about the differences between your country and the childs. Do not write about material things because they remind the children about what they lack.
Remind the child you think and pray for him or her.
Pictures of yourself and your family, or a postcard with nice motifs is always appreciated.
Never suggest that the child could come and visit. It raises unreasonable dreams. However, you as a sponsor can visit your child, but do not write about this until you know it will be implemented.
Do not write in your letter that you send money every month to the child. Why? - Your sponsorship gift goes to school fees, teachers, uniforms, school bag, school books, school supplies, shoes and so on. The child will never receive money in their hand. When parents read that someone sends money every month to their children the parents might ask where the money is and why they have not received it. It is difficult to explain to someone who barely have food on the table every day how it works.
We do not disclose a sponsor child's address, both for safety reasons but also because many children have no address. Use the contact address provided in your starter pack or here: addresses of our project countries.