Sep 26 2012

5 myths about letter-writing busted!

By Veronica Batton, CFCA writer/editorVeronica Batton

Ever sit down to write a letter and then notice an hour later you only have one word? Do you ever think, “I’ll send a letter next month,”†and then next month turns into next year?

CFCA is here to help bust these tough myths about letter-writing, and help you cross “write a letter to my sponsored friend” off your to-do list.

Myth 1: It’s too hard.

It can be difficult to start a letter. Trust me, I’ve been there. Sometimes there is too much to say, and sometimes too little.

Some sponsors don’t know where to start when it comes to writing a letter to their sponsored friend.

When you hit writer’s block, the best trick is to start brainstorming ideas. I learned this trick when I was in school. Start with a circle in the middle of the page.

Write your name in the circle and then draw several lines that branch out from the circle (like a sun). Then, draw circles on the other end of the branches and write down interesting details about yourself inside the circles.

This type of brainstorming can lead to questions you can ask your sponsored friend. Eventually, you will have enough ideas to write a letter to your friend.

Myth 2: I don’t have enough time.

I catch myself using this myth many times and for more than just letters!

Everyone is busy and it can be hard to find time to sit down and write a letter when there are so many other things we need to do.

But who says you have to write a novel to your sponsored friend? Sometimes, sponsored friends just need to know that their sponsor is thinking of them.

You can even purchase a greeting card, write a brief note and sign your name. It takes hardly any time at all.

Myth 3: I don’t have anything to say.

If you don’t have anything to say or tell your friend, try asking them questions.

Start your letter by telling your friend about a hobby of yours or the weather where you live, and then ask them questions about their life.

Myth 4: It’s too late to start now.

It doesn’t matter if you have sponsored for 12 years and have never written ó friends always want to hear from their sponsor.

Just think of the excitement that your friend will experience when they read your letter for the first time.

If you are worried about starting late, try busting myth number two!

Get a greeting card and send it to your friend. You can work your way up to writing a letter in no time.

Myth 5: I can never make it to the post office.

That’s OK! You donít have to make it to the post office.

With CFCA’s eLetter feature, you can send up to six letters a year to your sponsored friend with no stamps!

eLetter

eLetters are a great way to communicate to your sponsored friend. No postage necessary!

Once you submit your eLetter, it is sent electronically to the project for translation.

To write an eLetter, log in to your online sponsorship account and select, “Write an eLetter” on the right hand sidebar. You can even select different templates to use! If you donít have an online account, visit our website and create one today. Itís easy.

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10 thoughts on “5 myths about letter-writing busted!”

  1. Veronica — I seem to have the opposite problem. I always have too much to say, and I am constantly telling myself to write shorter letters more often. Here is something I like to do, and maybe it will help someone with letter-writer’s block. I watch the local newspaper & clip photos of things that are happening in my area. Then I use the event as the subject of my letter. Some examples: I live in Western New York and I sponsor a child in Guatemala. One year I clipped photos of a big snowstorm and then wrote captions for the photos, describing what people were doing and giving simple explanations of what snowplows or snowblowers were designed to do. Recently, I sent photos of Nik Wallenda’s highwire walk over Niagara Falls and included captions. Whatever you write about, remember that someone has to translate your letter. Try to write several short, simple sentences rather than one long one. I have also taken advantage of the new e-letter feature. It’s a great way to let someone know you are thinking of them, as I did when learning of a volcanic eruption in the area where my child lives. Also, there is a word limit, so it helps someone like me who tends to say too much.

  2. My family and I have sponsored children in the Philippines for the past 12 years. Some years we wrote more letters than others. This past January, I was finally able to go to the Philippines on a Mission Awareness trip. It was then that I realized how important these letters really are! They are cherished and read over and over by our family. I have been so much better since I have been back to write even more. The most important thing to remember is how important it is to write. If you have children, have them write letters, too. They do not need to be long – but it is a wonderful way to get to know your sponsored friends!

    1. Rebecca,

      I know exactly what you mean! In February, I sent a Valentine’s Day card to my sponsored aging friend, Silveria. Later, I received a letter from her grandson. He told me she carried the Valentine’s card in her pocket and took it everywhere she went.

      Writing a letter is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your sponsored friend.

      Thanks for your comment!

      – Veronica

  3. This is neat to see this Am since I just sent an eletter to my sponsored friend Maria last night. She lives in Guatemala. It is a neat way to be able to communicate and I think it gets there faster. But I love to write letters also and recieve them from my friend. I am anxious to recievemy next letter from Maria – She loves to draw pictures and is very good at drawing. Maria is 16 and we started with her when she was 7 – I am so happy to be a part of the program. I plan on going to Guatemala in Feb 2013 and I will get to see Maria again I know that sponsored children love to recieve pictures of yourself and family members, and hear about your life and your job and even your weather. And I know they like to knwo that we pray for her and her family. CFCA is awesome.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Marsha!

      Mission awareness trips are such an amazing opportunity. I went on a mission awareness trip to India in January, and it changed my life.

      I’m so glad you can visit your friend next February. Have fun on your trip!

      ñ Veronica

  4. Hi, Veronica,

    Good to see you again!
    I really like the eLetter feature. It certainly facilitates contact and communication. I was one of the sponsors who didn’t write prior to my Mission Awareness Trip to India last January. Of course, having met my sponsored child, as well as other sponsors, writing is much easier. I tend to regret the missed years and understand fully how difficult it may seem to get started. I never imagined I’d ever visit India even once but now look forward to returning to the children and their projects in January 2014.
    Take care!
    Ellen

    1. It’s wonderful to hear from you, Ellen!

      I’m glad to hear that writing has gotten easier for you over time. I know other sponsors will be encouraged by your advice.

      Good luck on your next trip to India! I’ll be with you in spirit!

      – Veronica

  5. Miren yo tengo la experiencia de haber sido apadrinada, y quiero decirle a los padrinos, que no importa que tan cortas sean sus palabras, lo más importante es que escriban desde lo profundo de su corazón. Pues en ocasiones frases como:
    -Hola como estas, solo quería que supieras que te quiero mucho y eres muy especial para mí.
    Una tarjeta que dice -feliz cumpleaños.
    -Espero que todo marche bien, continua luchando día a día con lo que quieres.
    Es grandioso.El recibir cartas de parte de los padrinos para muchos es una bendición y más que eso un privilegio.
    En este momento solo se me ocurren estas frases, pero si quiero decirles que hay muchas cosas por decir. Que la obra que hacen ustedes padrinos por medio de CFCA apadrinando a un niño es maravillosa, pero la cartas son un granito más de Esperanza para esos niños, niñas, jóvenes, abuelos y familias apadrinadas.
    Ojala continúen escribiendo a sus ahijados, y si aun no lo han hecho de sen esa oportunidad a ustedes mismos.

  6. I have had the experience of having been sponsored by CFCA years ago, so I can tell you that letters sent godparents are often a blessing for children, youth and grandparents sponsored. Now is the chance to feel even more that love they receive from their sponsors.
    And quiet than a single sentence says a lot more than you imagine, as a “hello hope you are well” I want to know how are you? “Happy Birthday”.
    describe what the feeling you get after a saliudo of these is indescribable, but that if the spontaneous smiles or tears of happiness speak for themselves.
    Encourage sponsors, write to their godchildren.
    I’m sorry if some words are not clear, do not speak English

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