Recently I've been thinking of ways to get sponsors excited about letter-writing. I asked my friend Hannah to tell us about her recent letter-writing parties! She has some amazing ideas, and I'm excited to try them out!
When Jessi asked me to write about our letter writing parties, I was so excited! I hadn't thought to blog about it, but we've enjoyed the time so much that I'd love to share what we do and I'd love to hear if you have suggestions!
So far we have hosted three letter writing parties. We just emailed fellow Compassion sponsors that we wanted to have a letter writing party and asked that people arrive with their kids' names and numbers, previous letters (to reply to) and $1 per sponsored child to pitch in for shipping and supply cost.
In preparation, I went to the Dollar Tree and found a bunch of goodies: fun paper, cute birthday cards, stickers, sticker books, activity books, and large coloring books to tear pages out. I also gathered postcards, folders, and bookmarks I had lying around. Then I printed some templates from Elephant Grace and I wrote up a list of letter writing topics inspired by Compassion's 80 Letter Writing Prompts.
We keep things very low key…just water and popcorn for refreshments! Although sometimes folks now show up with muffins or cookies.
Set up was easy too…I folded index cards in half and labeled them: Templates, Prompts, Fun Paper, Stickers, etc. to help people find what they wanted. I also had a pile labeled, "Completed Letters Here: Is your child's name and number on each item? Your name and number?"
While at the first party I supplied almost everything, now people are bringing ideas and suggestions! My mum brought instructions and extra paper for paper airplanes, origami instructions, and fun Easter paper to our last party! And my friend brought origami paper.
I also like to include samples of what I am sending to my kids. For example, I put out a few of my birthday folders for people to see what I send for birthdays. (You can see my birthday folders in these blog posts. And this last party, since we were writing Easter letters, I included an example of what I did to make a card with the Easter paper my mum provided.
Sometimes we watch a movie to inspire us in our sponsorship journey (Compassion has wonderful videos on their website and blog) and we hope to begin incorporating praying for our kids. Due to having two little ones, it is a bit chaotic, but so much fun!
I love the aspect of getting together with other sponsors and talking about our kids. It's so fun to read their letters, to see what they have to say and to see the pictures that they draw!
Another fun thing is working together to supply everyone with goodies. I write to a lot of kids…over 40, so it takes me a while to create origami flowers for each kid. But at these events, my sister, who sponsors two (one being an LDP student!), likes to help me make things for my kids! It is such fun to team up and work together to encourage our kids.
So if you are thinking about hosting a party, I say go for it! We have really enjoyed the time. It doesn't have to be complicated, and will be very encouraging to all those involved.
And if you have hosted a party and have tips and suggestions, I'd love to hear them! I'm all for more ideas!