In light of Valentine's Day I'm taking a quick break from the Cabin Fever series. It's been a while since I did a Make a Difference post so I wanted to share some love today, that I hope will help you do the same. I posted about the Child Sponsorship Program with Compassion International last year, and today I want to give you some tips for writing and sending stuff to your child. Compassion has a blog where I found this list of fun things that you can send to your sponsored child, including this mini paper folder book. Basically if it's paper and it's small, you can staple it to your letter, so this little booklet is perfect. I have a stash of scrapbook paper so I got carried away and made a few extra.
You can check out the tutorial from October Afternoon that I followed, for the smaller rectangle ones. Here's a recap of how mine came together. I glued all my pages to create pockets before sewing the book together. I also cut some pages on both sides to create different angles and page shapes. Below you can see two different page styles.
Then I sewed the books together. Most of mine had three or four pages, which turns out to be six or eight pockets. Whenever I sew on paper I use binder clips to hold pages together and keep everything from slipping apart.
Here's the books I made for our sponsored children, Ruth and Emerson. I personalized them because kids love having something with their name on it, and I figure it's possible they don't have anything like that. I went over the sticker letters with packing tape later, because I read that in some countries (I'm guessing Guatamala may be one of them), the humidity causes tape and stickers to come un-stuck, and I didn't want their names falling off.
Inside I used some more stickers to decorate and personalize. I put some little things in the pockets too, I cut out some of the little family pictures from our Christmas card and tucked those in, and Thing One drew a picture for each of them. I also made Ruth a little paper book mark. I tried to keep everything paper though because I didn't want them getting sent back because of something that was unacceptable. I also reinforced the back page with packing tape so I could staple the booklet to a letter I wrote to each of them. Be sure to also write the child's name and number on the back to be sure they get it.
I think having a special place to stash meaningful bits of paper and pictures will be fun for them. Plus they know that someone was thinking about them specifically, enough to put their name on something.
Here's a few other ideas of things that you can attach to your letter to your child. Again visit the Compassion blog here for lots of ideas for approved items to send.
- Coloring pages
- Mini Calendars
- Musical cards (I can't wait to do this one!)
- Kids Valentines Cards (I sent Ruth a bunch back in early January so she could give them to her friends from her).
Over and over again Compassion emphasizes the importance of writing your sponsored child to let them know that you care about them. I love Compassion's program because it's not just about sending money to help kids and families in need, it's about connecting with kids who need to know that someone believes in them. It's about making a kid's day with a sheet of stickers and an encouraging verse, that reminds them they are not alone, not forgotten. It's about reading the words of a child's letter to me, "I pray for you and your family every day." Can I be really honest here? Sometimes I feel awfully good about myself, knowing that I am helping to meet some of the daily needs of our sponsored kids, and praying for them each night. But, I have probably never been so humbled and so grateful as when I realized that a child who's family is sick and struggling spends time every day covering me in prayer, asking God to watch out for me and my family. What a powerful reminder that it is not just the poor who need to be covered in prayer. I can only imagine the things I have been spared because this little girl has pleaded with God to watch over us. Oh, how we need that covering. I am grateful and struck by the fact that even a six year old girl realizes that not money, or stature, or even living in America will keep families from facing hardship, grief, sickness and loss. I pray that every one of us would be so blessed as to be covered with the prayers of a faithful little girl. If at six years old Ruth already knows who it is that takes care of, and rescues people, she is richer than she knows. May we all be so rich.
Visit the Compassion International website to learn more about sponsoring a child. Hundreds of children have been waiting nearly a year for a sponsor to choose them. This is love.
"If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing."
I Corinthians 13:1-3 NLT
Happy Valentine's Day dear friends. You are so loved!