Bringing gifts: blessing your Compassion child

You’re off to meet your Compassion child! But what gifts should you bring?

Along with your presence, any gift you bring will become a prized possession. Here are some ideas:

Toys & activities

  • Give a soccer ball and pump—your child will become the community hero!
  • Art activities will be fun to do with your child, and they’ll enjoy them later with friends.
  • Children everywhere love bubbles and jump ropes.
  • Dolls and stuffed animals offer comfort. One especially creative sponsor bought matching bears, then snapped photos of the bears at various spots around the sponsor’s town. One bear stayed with the sponsor, and the other—along with these photos—became a priceless gift for her child.

Personal mementos

  • Look for greeting cards and books that record your voice. Even if you speak different languages, having your voice readily available would be a treasure for your child. Imagine, you can read them a bedtime story each night!
  • If you sponsor a girl, consider bringing a piece of jewelry for her. You may want to avoid anything too costly or ornate. Perhaps a cross or piece that would remind the child of your prayers or hopes for her.
  • Going to Haiti? You can purchase a Creole Bible. Headed to Central or South America? Check your local Christian bookstore for Spanish resources.
  • Compile a photo book. Often the first moments with your child can be awkward, but showing them your family, friends and pets can ease initial anxieties. Take pictures of the scenery in your town. Help give your child a better context as to where you live.


  • Give T-shirts or hats of your home province. Worried about the sizes? Make your best guess. Go on the bigger side, so they can grow into it. If it turns out to be too small, have no fear—someone in their family or community will most certainly use it. Nothing you bring goes to waste.

Be practical

  • A backpack for stashing the new gifts for your child’s journey home
  • Solar powered flashlight or lamp
  • Bed sheets (which can be used as a curtain or table cloth)
  • Towels or wash cloths
  • Notebooks and pens

Don’t forget the family

  • During your day with your child you will most likely meet their parent or guardian. You’ll also have your own translator. With that in mind, you might want to bring a small token of appreciation for each of them, such as a notebook or journal with a pen.

Just remember: your physical presence is the best gift of all, telling your child they’re worth travelling across the world for. And the memory he or she will have of your day together is a gift that will last a lifetime!

Are you interested in visiting your Compassion child? Find out how visits work here.

Written by: Compassion Canada