Write to Your Sponsored Child

Thank you for taking the time to write to your sponsored child!  Your letters remind your child that you love and care for them. 

When writing, you can use your own stationery or download one of our letter templates by right-clicking on one of the links below (downloading is preferable to opening the template in your web browser):

 
Follow your letter to your child with this fun illustration!
Follow your letter to your child with this fun illustration!

General Guidelines for Writing

Children of the Nations has established specific letter-writing guidelines to protect our children and allow for building relationships between sponsors and children. All mail is screened at our USA office. This includes reading all letters— both coming from and going to children—and documenting all items that are sent. Please follow these simple guidelines to help make the most of writing to your sponsored child to help ensure your items can be sent. If we cannot send your items because they do not adhere to our policies, we will notify you. 
 
Please double-envelope your letter or package if mailing to our office. Address the inner unsealed envelope with your child’s name and reference number on the center of the envelope and your first and last name on the upper left corner. Address the outer envelope with the COTN address, P.O. Box 3970, Silverdale WA 98383.
 

All mail is sent to and from our countries with staff and teams. Therefore, the mail only goes when teams go, which may be once every one to three months. We suggest writing every one to two months, as it may take several months for you to receive a response. Please do not wait for a response before you write again as it may take several months.

 
Items sent must fit in one 6-by-9-inch envelope, weigh less than 1 lb., and have a monetary value of less than $25. Only one envelope per month, please. (Read our gift giving policy here.)
 
If you are writing to a child in the Dominican Republic or Haiti, please leave room in your letter for translation.
 

Things to include in your letters:

  • Write plainly, clearly, and decorate your letters with stickers, stamps, and other fun things.
  • Write about things that your sponsored child will understand, such as family, pets, work, church, hobbies, tastes in food, music, and activities. Encourage your child’s learning and relationship with the Lord. Include Bible verses and remind your child that God loves them and that you are praying for them and their family.  
  • Send photos of yourself and your family. Dress standards may be different in your child’s country, so please send pictures where everyone is dressed modestly.
  • Send photos or postcards of places you visit. This will be educational for your child. 
  • You may send items such as stickers, gum, sports trading cards, Band-Aids, hair ribbons/accessories, seed packets, socks, pencils, pencil sharpeners, pens, toothbrush and toothpaste, hard candy, deodorant, etc. 
 

Things to avoid:

  • Politics or governmental issues. In many of the countries where we serve, families have very strong views regarding politics. Mentioning these issues often leads to anger or resentment—the opposite of the hope and love COTN’s ministry focuses on bringing to the children we serve.
  • Discussing money and possessions, as these things may cause your child to feel jealous or ashamed, or become fixated on material things. Share positive achievements in a way your child can relate to.
  • Asking your child if there is anything they need or desire. Your sponsorship meets their needs and they are taught not to ask for things. We will communicate any needs with you, should they arise.
  • Your address, email, phone number, Facebook page, or contact information of any kind.
  • Sending expensive items (over $25 in value) or money. COTN can accept these items as general donations, but not for individual children.
 
More Letter-Writing Tips:
 
You can learn more about hot-climate cultures like those in Africa and the Caribbean by reading Foreign to Familiar, by Sarah Lanier. If you’ve been on a Venture Trip, you probably already own it!
 
If you have any further questions, please contact the COTN Sponsorship Department at sponsor@cotni.org or 360-698-7227.
 
Thank you for writing!