The Do’s and Don’ts of Letter Writing

Tips to help you craft the perfect letter for your sponsored child!

One of the most popular questions Holt receives from sponsors is whether they can send letters, gifts, photos and other personal messages to their sponsored child. The answer is a resounding yes, of course! Three times per year, Holt creates opportunities to send a special gift and card to your sponsored child and we hope you take advantage of these opportunities. In addition to these occasions, you can send cards, letters and photos any time. Your sponsored child loves to hear from you, and your words of encouragement are something they keep close to their heart. To ensure your message can be delivered, we have a few important guidelines for writing and sending mail to your sponsored child. Don’t hold back! Your sponsored child is excited to hear from you!



  1. Include photos! Your sponsored child loves to see what you and your family look like.

  2. Tell your sponsored child you are praying for them, thinking of them and hoping they have a happy, healthy future.

  3. Include your sponsored child’s I.D. number on everything you send. We often bundle letters and photos together to send them overseas, so clearly identifying your sponsored child on each item you send will help on-the-ground staff deliver your package.

  4. Include small items that can be mailed flat, like stickers, coloring sheets, postcards or hair barrettes.

  5. Be patient! International mail can take several weeks or even months to arrive. And once it arrives, your child’s advocate will likely need to translate your message — sometimes two or three times through multiple dialects — before it can be delivered.

  6. If you’re interested in doing more to help meet your sponsored child’s needs, do call us to ask about “over-and-above” gifts. Our overseas staff can help coordinate personal gifts of $100 or more, and also determine the child and family’s greatest needs. Sometimes, this might be home repairs, warm clothing or the gift of livestock for your sponsored child’s family. Sometimes, it’s things like classroom supplies or soccer balls for your sponsored child’s school. Call us at 1.800.451.0732 to learn more.



  1. Send photos with content that may be confusing or offensive to another culture — such as your family in swimwear at the beach, in scary costumes or demonstrating a lifestyle beyond the reach of children in sponsorship, such as posing in front of a fancy car.

  2. Include overt evangelical messaging. In some countries, like China, we are not allowed to deliver cards with this type of language, and doing so would put our programs and overseas staff at risk.

  3. Share personal, identifying information like email or mailing addresses, full names or phone numbers. This is for both you and your sponsored child’s safety. Always send your letters to Holt’s headquarters office at P.O. Box 2880, Eugene, Oregon, 97402.

  4. Send large gifts that can’t fit in a flat envelope. The cost of shipping these gifts is too expensive for Holt’s limited resources, and the risk that they will be lost in customs is very high.

  5. Don’t refer to yourself as your sponsored child’s “family,” “mom,” “dad” or other titles that indicate a relationship beyond friendship. This can be confusing for children, especially those who are living outside of their home or waiting for an adoptive family.

  6. Don’t hesitate to call Holt if you have questions! We can check to see if your letter has been mailed, if your sponsored child received it, and clarify what items can be included in a flat envelope.

One Comment

  1. Greetings in the name of our dear Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
    I am Nehru Naik, I am native of small and backward village NVK THANDA,
    Manadal, Nalagonda District, telagana India. I am
    born in a very poor family, my parents were daily wage labours. I
    belong to Schedule Tribe community which is most neglected community
    in the society.

    Voice calling me ” I NEED YOU MY SON”, I looked here and there but no
    one was there. I opened the BIBLE, God spoke to me through the
    scriptures, Nahum :1:15. According the Scripture I decided to search
    the Gospel to the unreached areas of our society. And started
    preaching the gospel in the year 1992 till now preached 54 villages of
    our surroundings after taking Bible Training in collage and
    established achurch, where saints are worshiping regularly.

    One day while mediating the God’s word, God spoken with me by the
    Scripture James 1:27 to care of orphan children. Hence, we have
    started small orphanage with 13.orphans by providing food, shelter,

    We request you to kindly pray for these children as they need of
    school books, bags & fees. We love you to invite you to come to our
    children home whenever you visit India.

    With much love &

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