Writing to Your Child
Many sponsors choose to write to their child. Through an exchange of thoughts and ideas, you can stimulate a child’s self-esteem, nurture achievement and foster a desire for learning. If you decide you want to write to your child, here are a few guidelines and ideas to help make correspondence easier, more effective, and more rewarding for you and your sponsored child.
Good Letter Writing Basics
Do’s and Don’ts
- Do keep sentences short and the language simple.
- Do include a variety of subjects that may interest your child.
- Do try and maintain a balance between your news and questions for your child.
- Do keep the tone of your letters friendly and warm.
- Do keep in mind that each letter is an educational experience for the child. When you ask questions, try and phrase them so that they require an answer of more then one word. You can ask for descriptions, thoughts and ideas.
- Do ask age appropriate questions.
- Do feel free to send postcards or birthday cards, they will become prize possessions.
- Do send photographs of you and your family keeping in mind that photos of individuals in revealing clothing may be offensive.
- Do send flat envelops.
- Do comment on and give praise for any progress in letter writing, a general trait or interest you have learned about them, or on something they have accomplished (i.e. You’re drawing is very colorful. You’re a good helper. You must be a very good cricket player. Your grades are very good.)
- Don’t use slang expressions; they can be difficult to translate correctly. Please write carefully to avoid confusion in interpretation.
- Don’t send packages; large gifts may create animosity between your sponsored child and their peers who may have not received gifts.
- Don’t discuss materialistic issues. For a child that has come from of life of poverty and abandonment, these types of images may be difficult to understand. Please also consider this when you send photos or describe your personal surroundings.
- Don’t send money or checks directly to your children.
- Don’t talk about death or sickness, or ask your child questions that may be very sensitive.
Examples of Topics to Discuss With Your Child:
- Describe your city, country, or town where you live, the climate in your country and what the surrounding look like in different seasons.
- You can tell about your interests and hobbies and ask about theirs.
- Ask your child to describe what he/she does on an average day.
- Ask for a written description or drawing of the orphanage.
- Describe the customs and traditions or your country, the holidays you celebrate, the types of food you enjoy, the ceremonies you perform.
- You can ask your children to write your sponsored child. It may be interesting for them to discuss the school they attend and in what ways their school days are similar and different.
- Ask your sponsored child’s favorite game, sport, or activity.
- Ask your sponsored child about their hopes and dreams.
- Tell your child what qualities you like about yourself and ask what they like about themselves.
- Ask about school, and your child’s favorite and least favorite subject. Ask why. Take every opportunity to encourage your child to work hard and do well in school.
- You can ask your child to teach you how to do something, maybe one of the chores your child is responsible for. You can do the same.
- Start up a game by mail.
- Share a funny story with your child.
- You can send your child a story and challenge them to read it and then it discuss with you.
Through your participation with the child sponsorship program, you can see first-hand how contributions directly benefit your child. By giving just $35 a month, the advantages you are giving your sponsored child are priceless. Though you may be sponsoring one child, you can help other children get sponsored by raising awareness in your community.
Even if you are not sponsoring a child, there are many creative and fun ways to support the children at Gokulam – Bhaktivedanta Children’s Home and to involve others.
- Hold a “sponsorship party,” inviting your guests to sponsor children, and telling them of your experiences with the program.
- Discuss the Child Sponsorship program at your book club, student council, PTA, or other community meeting.
- Write about your experience in your local newspaper, and send letters to the editors of publications in your area. We have provided a letter to the editor template for you here.
- Groups can hold a car wash to raise money for donations to children. This is a fun way for a lot of people to contribute.
- Organize a spaghetti dinner, art show, theatrical production, or any social event where people are entertained while giving money to a good cause.
- A great way to involve your close friends and relatives is to ask that wedding presents or memorial gifts be made in the form of a donation to Gokulam – Bhaktivedanta Children’s Home.
- Ask your spiritual leader for an opportunity to speak at a service about Gokulam and its Child Sponsorship program.
- Check with your Human Resources Officer to see if there is a charitable matching gift program at your place of work. The extra donation would benefit all of the children at Gokulam.
- Download this brochure to distribute in your community, and hang this poster at your school or in public areas.
- Have a bake sale or a host a Sri Lankan pot-luck dinner and collect donations. Go to http://www.ivu.org/recipes/indian-snacks/ to find a comprehensive list of south Indian and Sri Lankan vegetarian, snacks, desserts and curries.