The toolbox is specially designed to give key sponsor info and links, as well as hands-on tools for putting together your letters, and ways to encourage your child in creating beautiful childhood memories. On the following pages, you will find how to create amazingly designed photos to use for prints, uploading into email templates, and posters… tips on pairing those photos with email templates to create a beautiful look… hows and whys for encouraging your child to narrate to you in their letters… what lap books are and how to make them… the hows and whys of encouraging your child in art appreciation… lists of “living books” to send to your child for special occasions… favorite links, and more.
Key Sponsor Information & Links
I sponsor children with both World Vision and Compassion International. I love being an an advocate for children with Compassion, and while at work with Family Christian Stores, I am privileged to advocate for children with World Vision. Here are important links for sponsors with these organizations. While some of this info is specific to sponsors in the US, the rest is applicable no matter which country you sponsor through.
World Vision Links
In your World Vision account, there are photos and information about your child and his project. All of my children have videos of their project in my account, and this was very informative for me, as well as interesting to see the area where each of my children live. You will find the mailing address for your child here, and you can also write online letters which are sent directly to your child’s country’s office where they are printed out in color and delivered to your child… free! The emails are very small… about the size of an over-sized postcard for length, which is great if you only want to send a quick little note. If you want to write a longer letter, just send multiple pages. You can even upload 1-2 photos right into your online letter. Login to your World Vision account here to see all the wonderful information available about your child and his community, and to write your child online. And if you are planning a trip to your child’s country, you can arrange with World Vision to visit your sponsored child. You will find the info in your account under the tab for “My Sponsored Children.”
One of the benefits that many sponsors like for sponsoring with World Vision is the ability to send gifts in the mail to the sponsored children. At the least you can send gifts that will fit in a 6×9″ padded envelope, which is what I was able to send to Dora in Honduras. There is no size limit for the package that I can send to my girls in the Dominican Republic; however, there is a 2 lb limit on the packages. For Geljan in Albania, I can send a 10×15 size envelope, and for Artush in Armenia, I can send a 12x12x4″ box! A lot will fit in a box that size! However, while it is great to be able to send gifts to the child, the postage costs are considerable, so weight is a key factor to keep in mind. Remember also that there is the possibility of the packages never arriving to your child; this happened more than once with the packages that I sent to Dora. Here are the mailing guidelines for what can be sent to each country.
Here is the link for learning more about World Vision news, stories, and videos.
Compassion International Links
In your Compassion account, you can see your child’s photo, pictures from his region, and read your child’s info. You can also send online letters using the great choices of email templates, and upload 1-3 photos into your letter. These email letters are beautiful, and I love that they are larger for writing a nice sized letter. The letters are printed in full color right at headquarters, and then Compassion mails them for us. Login to your Compassion account here to see all the wonderful information available about your child and his community, and to write your child online.
While sponsors cannot send gifts directly to the sponsored child’s country, a huge benefit is that we CAN send paper items to Compassion’s headquarters in our own country. This is a huge savings on postage! About every 2-3 months, I stuff a $12 flat rate box filled with items for over 20 Compassion children, compared to spending $6-8 each to send the same items to my World Vision children individually. There are so many wonderful paper items that can be sent, and Trusty’s Mailbag is full of ideas of paper items to give! Here are Compassion’s guidelines for what items can be sent with our letters, and here’s where you can find out about money gifts for your child.
Compassion offers both individual visits and group tours for visiting your sponsored child. Not only is it incredibly wonderful to see your child face-to-face, but you can also bring those non-paper gifts that you’ve been wanting to send. As you connect with other Compassion sponsors, you can sometimes find one who is going on a trip to your child’s country who will be willing to take along a gift for your child. I have been blessed to be able to send along gifts to some of my children in such countries as Colombia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala, the Philippines, and Kenya, and it is so beautiful the way many sponsors open their hearts to serving other children and sponsors in this way.
Check out Compassion’s wonderful blog with great information and inspiring stories.