9 Dos and Don’ts About Writing Letters to Your Sponsored Child

The question our sponsorship staff encounters most frequently is, “Can I write my sponsored child?”

We think this is a fantastic question! It shows that you take your sponsorship seriously — often sending positive thoughts or prayers to your sponsored child, and wondering how he or she is doing. Your desire to connect with your sponsored child is one that warms our hearts — and your sponsored child’s, too!

Generally, the answer is yes, you can write your sponsored child. But, there are a few stipulations, mostly designed to ensure your sponsored child and his or her family remain safe and successful in our programs.

Here, we’ve created a “9 dos and don’ts” list regarding correspondence with your sponsored child.

1. Do send cards, letters and words of encouragement.

You can send a handwritten letter to our headquarters in Eugene, which our team will then translate and deliver to your sponsored child. Through Holt’s new online service center for sponsors, you can also now submit a letter digitally! Simply sign into the service center at holtinternational.org/my-holt-account and follow the prompts to send your sponsored child a message.

After our sponsorship team in the U.S. reviews it, we will then have it translated and send it to the Holt team in your sponsored child’s country to be delivered. For children who live in remote, rural areas, our sponsorship staff may only visit each child once every few months. For that reason, we ask that you limit your messages to once every three months.

2. Do tell your sponsored child about yourself and your family!

We encourage you to write about your family, activities you enjoy together and what life is like where you live. Sponsored children like to hear about your town, if you attend school, what you do for work, if you have pets, and other details that help them get to know you.

3. Don’t evangelize or give out personal contact information.

Avoid giving personal and specific contact information, like your address, phone number or specific place of employment. While you are welcome to write statements like “our family enjoys attending church” or “we are praying for you,” we ask that you please avoid language that directly evangelizes to children, such as “Jesus died on the cross for you.” Because we work in  countries and serve families with diverse religious beliefs, evangelical statements can be dangerous or confusing for a child. Some countries even have laws about how and where religion can be practiced, and overtly religious statements can threaten our ability to serve children and families in your sponsored child’s country. Lastly, please refer to yourself as your sponsored child’s friend or sponsor, as other relational designations can be confusing.

4. Do include photos.

You can also include a photo of yourself or your family!

5. Do keep mailed materials child- and culture-appropriate.

Please avoid sending pictures in which someone is holding an alcoholic beverage or photos of your family or children in swimwear, which can be considered immodest in many of the countries where Holt works. We do screen letters and photos to ensure they’re appropriate before sharing them with sponsored children.

6. Don’t send money or gifts.

Holt rarely provides money directly to children or families. Rather, your monthly sponsorship helps cover the cost of essentials for your sponsored child such as school fees, uniforms, medical care and supplemental food. For that reason, we do not allow sponsors to send money directly to their sponsored child.

We also ask you not to send material gifts to Holt to deliver to your sponsored child. The extra cost to mail books, stickers, coloring books, pencils, markers, toys, trinkets or similar material items overseas is so great that it makes more sense to purchase these items in country. When you mail material gifts to Holt, we unfortunately have to remove them from sponsor correspondence packets. Thankfully, however, your sponsorship donations already help our staff in country purchase material items such as art and school supplies for your sponsored child! And your sponsored child knows these items come from you, their sponsor!

7. Do send your mailed items to Holt International’s office.

All mailed items are screened and mailed in bulk from Holt’s headquarters at 250 Country Club Road in Eugene, Oregon, 97401. We will open and check letters, photos and other materials to ensure they follow our guidelines.

8. Do let us know if you have questions or concerns.

Do call us if you have specific questions about an item you would like to send your sponsored child. Our sponsorship team is always happy to answer your questions! Call us at 1-800-451-0732 or email sponsorship@holtinternational.org.

9. Don’t forget to tell your friends, family and community about Holt child sponsorship!

Share how your monthly sponsorship is changing the life of your sponsored child and encourage them to visit holtinternational.org/sponsorship to learn about children who need sponsors.

 

Visit Holt’s online service center and log in to your account to discover more ways you can connect with your sponsored child!

11 Replies to “9 Dos and Don’ts About Writing Letters to Your Sponsored Child”

  1. Hello! my mom is sponsering a child and i would like to send the little guy a letter to say hello (i love mail haha) but…where do i send it? the little packet my mom got doesn’t have an adress?So where would i adress my letter to?and how would i adress it if i’m not suposed to share my adress how will they send a letter back?

  2. Hi Erica,

    You can mail letters to 250 Country Club, Eugene, Oregon, 97401. That is our headquarters office, and it is where we bundle and sort all mail to and from sponsored children :).

    Thank you!

  3. I’m wanting to write the little girl that I sponsored, and I understand that I should mail the letter to the address you told shared. But how do I ensure that the letter reaches my child? Am I supposed to write the Child I.D. somewhere?

  4. Hello! Do you have an option to send electronic mail with photos to our sponsored children through your website? Just wanted to check on that option. God Bless You for your wonderful mission!

  5. Are letters translated into the child’s language? Our family has been sponsoring two children for a couple of years now and we were unaware that we could send personal letters. We would love to encourage our children with an occasional letter! I see the address listed above, but how should it be marked to ensure our children receive their letters?

  6. Hi Jennifer,

    Yes, letters will be translated by Holt’s on-the-ground partners or staff. Please make sure anything you wish to send can fit in a flat envelope. Please address it to Holt International — Child Sponsorship. It’s helpful if you include a sticky note or card with the materials for your child that indicate something like “Letter for Child’s Name” and include their child ID number if you have it, along with your name, address, phone number and sponsor ID (if you know it). That will help us ensure your package goes to the right program. Your child and his or her family will be so encouraged by your letter or card! Thank you for your compassion and advocacy for your sponsored child!

  7. Hi! I want to send a letter to the girl I am sponsoring, but I am wondering if she can respond, and how long it will take to get it to her. She lives in China. Thanks!

  8. Absolutely! It will probably take a month or two for your sponsored child to receive your letter, depending on how rural the area she lives in is. Please remember to keep letters flat, and if you include photos, to remain very modest to ensure that we can send it. She may be able to respond, depending on her age. Older children with some English skills will often try to respond, but young children may not. However, she will definitely appreciate the letter and support! Sponsored children tend to keep their letters from sponsors as one of their most prized possessions.

  9. I see someone asked about sending letters via electronic but I cant find an answer. That is my question. Can you only communicate via mail.
    Thank you

  10. Hi Debbie,

    Yes, the only way that we can guarantee messages will be successfully delivered to children is when they are sent via snail mail. Thank you so much for wanting to write to your sponsored child! He or she will be so thrilled to hear from you. You can mail your letters to Holt International attn: Child Sponsorship, 250 Country Club Road, Eugene, Oregon 97401 and we will make sure it makes it to your child. Please, if possible, include your sponsored child’s I.D. number on every piece you send. You can also include flat items, like stickers or photos.

    Thank you!

  11. We were notified that our sponsored child left the program because she felt she did not have the grades to enter higher education. We are now happy to be sponsoring another beautiful young lady but wonder if there is ever any followup on those that have left Holt’s care. We continue to pray for her and would love to know that she is doing well. Is there anyway to have a letter forwarded?

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