Working in Food for the Hungry’s (FH) child sponsorship department, I see a lot of introductory letters written by children from all over the world. My favorite letters are sent by the kids too young to read or write.
Oftentimes, children will dip their sweet little hands in paint or carefully trace them and then color in the outline with waxy crayon. I love these letters. They connect me to the young person who created it.
These letters also remind me that my day-to-day work is indeed contributing to something and someone significant.
These handprints literally mark the beginning of something much larger and more colorful than sponsored children know… of possibilities and dreams.
You see, up until this point, these children probably only knew the people in their community. And while that is great, it is life altering for children to know that someone far away believes in them.
This letter is important, because it is their opportunity to reach out and have another hand meet them in support and encouragement. They’ll have someone rooting them on as they attend school, learn new habits, and eventually celebrate monumental achievements.
So, when I come across these special letters, I take a moment to put my hand over their painted little hands to celebrate their new friendship with their sponsor. I know their path is a difficult one. And I know this new relationship will help bring some comfort.
Poverty mangles opportunity and hope for families and their children. But child sponsorship speaks new hope into that despair, inspiring new vision and motivation.
It’s amazing that something as small as tracing your hand and writing a note in response to a child’s letter can help her imagine and realize great things. Your child will have confidence, because she’ll learn she’s made by the Creator of all things.
By becoming a child sponsor, you are accepting the hand of the child reaching out to you.
You are telling them that you will encourage them. Pray for them. Send them love with each letter you write and each hand you trace. One could even say, you are marking a singular moment in your sponsored child’s life, and your own, as being a moment that you chose to offer hope.