Love of a letter

As the old saying goes, "They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel."
  • By: Aveleen Schinkel
Lizbeth holds a letter from her sponsor.

This article was originally published in Compassion Canada’s Summer 2020 Magazine.

Lizbeth sits on a slope of the Ecuadorian Andes, her face lit with a smile and her hands clutching a treasured piece of paper. It’s her regular routine each time she receives a letter from her sponsor. “Every time I receive a letter from my sponsor, I go to the mountain to read my letters,” she says.

If you are ever tempted to think your letters don’t matter, think about this: Lizbeth memorizes her sponsor’s letters.

“I read them many times to memorize everything my sponsor tells me.”

Lizbeth and her friends

Lizbeth also invites her friends to join in the fun, passing the photos around and reading her letters aloud so they can all bask in the love penned by Lizbeth’s sponsor.

“The girls feel that the words of Lizbeth’s sponsor are for everyone,” says Armando, the director of Lizbeth’s Compassion centre. “[Letters] motivate them, encourage them and make them feel special and unique. But the most important thing is that letters make children feel loved.”

Read more stories about the impact of letters at

“Can you tell my sponsor to write to me?”

If you ever get the chance to visit a Compassion centre and meet some of the children in Compassion’s program, one of the questions you’ll be asked most frequently is, “Can you tell my sponsor to write to me?”

Letters might seem trivial in the face of extreme poverty. But the reality is that to the child you sponsor, your letters aren’t just words on a page—they are a connection to you, one of the most impactful people in their life, and they can’t wait to hear from you.

Your words of encouragement can help build self-esteem and confidence, speak truth to counter the lies of poverty and motivate your sponsored child to stay in school or continue pursuing their dreams.

But the most important thing to remember is that writing letters isn’t about saying the exact right words, but expressing love to the child you sponsor. As the old saying goes, “They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”

Ready to write a letter? Visit today to write a letter using our new and improved online experience.


Read more stories from Compassion’s Summer Magazine today!


Written by Aveleen Schinkel, Alyssa Esparaz and Nico Benalcazar