Should I tell my sponsored children that I sponsor other children too?

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I guess this question goes out to sponsors who have 2 or more sponsored children.  I was wondering, do you let your kids know about the other kids you sponsor?  I sponsor several girls and I wonder if when I write to them,  is it ok to tell them about my other sponsored girls.  I guess I am afraid if they know they are not my only one, they will not feel as special.  Is this something not to worry about?  Any suggestions?
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Anne Oliver

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Posted 3 years ago

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Denise Bailey

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I tell them. I have shared prayer requests with them.
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Debi

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I could go either way, probably depending on the child. I don't think I've mentioned it so far, except perhaps with our LDP who asked in her first letter about what led us to sponsor children like her. It makes sense with her to share our mutual passion for mentoring others. I might mention it to others for similar reasons, especially because most of the ones I correspond with are teens and young adults. Still, I anticipate I'll lean heavily toward generic mentions and rarely give much detail.

Perhaps part of the "if" question is the "why" and "how." Before sharing such info, I want to think about why I want to share it -- sheer excitement, new perspective, etc. And, in the process of sharing, would there be any benefit or any detriment to my partner in conversation? Would the one I'm sharing about be pleased or offended by my sharing that info with a third party they don't know? Regarding the how, I don't want to spend a lot of time in my letters describing *other* children; my focus is on the one I am writing. That said, I might mention a topic and turn the conversation focus back to the one I'm writing to (e.g., I have been interesting in learning from the children I sponsor how different people around the world do ____; how do people usually do that where you live?).

In the end, I imagine it's probably fine to share and fine to not share, so long as you are attentive to the "how" -- and it sounds like you are, because you asked the question :)
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Adam

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Wow, Debi, that was a really good answer. A "like" just didn't seem like enough for that. :) Probably good advice just for life in general too.
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Teresa Dawn

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I said a prayer for the needy children in your ministry, but to be honest, I would have trouble trusting an organization that is constantly spamming another organizations boards after being asked not to  It's doesn't seem professional enough for me to donate money to. 
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Mellanie McCreary

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I have debated this myself. Would it make the child feel less special if (s)he knew (s)he was one of several? For that reason, so far, I have not mentioned it. I haven't ruled out mentioning it in the future. Thanks for asking this question, it's been something I've been wondering about too!
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William Blair

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Hey everyone. It seems to be a great idea to tell them. One of mine asked me if I told the others about her too. I guess if I didn't she would have felt left out. They actually love the fact you sponsor more than one. They tell me now much they appreciate that I sponsor more than one. At least one of them has asked me to pray for the kids in the neighborhood who are not in the program,especially because of the violence. They definitely want to see more children sponsored no matter where they live.
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Adam

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Anne, this is a really great question! I have been thinking about this even from the point of sponsoring another child. We started last year and we only sponsor one child now and I guess I have had the exact same concern as you that she might not feel as special. I wouldn't want to feel like I was trying to keep anything or hide anything from our sponsored child so I think I would surely at least mention it to her. But actually, I was thinking about trying to sponsor more than one child from the same center. I wonder if anyone has experience with that? In that case the kids would surely find out, but I'm not sure I can think of any reason why that would be a bad thing. The whole point is to show these kids the love of Christ. Christ died for all...
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William Blair

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Hi Adam.Great idea to sponsor 2 from the same project. I don't know how many sponsors do this.They would be able to share their letters with each other and share with the other kids who don't have sponsors and the ones who never receive letters from their sponsors.
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Lindsay

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Someone posted a very similar question not too long ago and it was quite interesting to me to read the replies. On that particular forum, it appeared that a lot of people do NOT want to tell one sponsored child about others. As for me, I do tell my kids about others I have- both in their country and elsewhere. I don't go into much detail at all because I don't want to give the impression that there isn't an element of confidentiality in our correspondence, but I've had nothing but positive experiences from being open about it. As mentioned in posts above, I also have an issue where I sponsor 3 sets of twins so obviously they know they're not the only ones, and multiple children in 2 centers. Another reason I want to be open with them about other kids I sponsor is that when I visit, I don't want to be like, "Oh yeah, and our your special day to see me...here are 3 others kids as well. Surprise!". Each kid is special in their own way and personally I think it's better to instill in them ways to make themselves feel that and recognize/foster their own uniqueness so they can stand out for being themselves in a crowd and not need to think they're the only one to feel special.
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Alan

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Like Lindsay, I only told my children about others I sponsor when I knew they would all be there on child visit day this summer. I didn't want them to be surprised! I told them about each other last summer and haven't received any comments from them about it..
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Adam

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Lindsay, I think you nailed it with that last sentence! Can we put a badge on that and call it the "official response"? lol :) What a great answer!
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Emily James

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I only sponsor one right now, but have several correspondent children.  I haven't told my kids about each other, mostly due to the unforeseeable nature of correspondent relationships at times. I honestly don't know if I would tell future financially sponsored kids about each other.

However, I will say that most of our kids come from cultures that are much more communal and less individualistic than our own.  Therefore, they are probably less likely to consider being one of a group less special than being the only one you sponsor (although obviously individual kids may vary).
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Jennifer

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I don't think there is a right answer to this.  I elected to not tell my two girls about each other for the same reason.  Then I decided to go visit (they live in the same country).  I really wished I had told them in advance, because I do wonder if they were surprised when they showed up that day and it wasn't a 1:1 visit.  As they were older (16 and 11), who knows what weird emotions may have been present, but it may actually have taken the pressure off of them!  (And they were still among the 2% of sponsored children getting visited!)  So I'm with Lindsay -- if there is any chance they might end up at a visit together, best to tell them, and then send them such loving letters that they know they're special regardless!
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Anne Oliver

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Is that a reliable statistic?...only 2% get visited.  I have two girls in India that I visited together in 2011.  They are the only ones who know I sponsor more than one and only because of that visit.  I don't remember if I told them before or not....I actually think it helped the visit be less awkard, having both there.  I wonder if the visit as well makes them feel special, that I flew all the way to India just to see them.  They were 9 and 11 at the time.   I am hoping to visit them again when they are older teens. 
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William Blair

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That is a reliable statistic.Since it costs so much money most sponsors don't make enough money to pay for the trips after paying bills,taking care of their families.I've met a few sponsors who don't want to leave the U.S. because of how dangerous it is in other countries not realizing this ministry goes all out to make sure sponsors are taken care of on tours and individual visits.

It's great you were able to meet your sponsor kids in India and they got to meet each other.That's a special time for them.They will be able to contact each other after they have graduated from the program.Only God knows what He can do with that.
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Jennifer

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I recall the 2% number from my tour, so it's as accurate as my memory :)
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Audrey Logan

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I'm laughing because I didn't realize I was the only one struggling with this. I have considered telling my financially sponsored children about each other. 2 of them are quite young though. And even though I've been sponsoring one since November of last year, I have only received her intro letter. I'm praying she is not a "ghost sponsorship ". In this regard, I am grateful that I haven't shared about the others, in the off chance she's not attending her project. ( btw compassion has sent an inquiry on her, just waiting to hear back).

I think that once all my kids are established and we have a good relationship going, I will tell them about the others. I do think it's important that they feel important. So I want them to trust that no matter how many kids I havr, they are important to me.
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Teresa Dawn

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I tell all mine that I sponsor/correspond with many children so they are part of a large sponsorship family around the world.  Then I make a child packet type thing up of one child for them and match them to that child as their "Special Sponsor Sibling".  My kids love it!  The pray for each other and send me messages to tell each other and ask me questions about the other one.  *Note: This will work best if you don't forget to keep them updated on their sponsor sibling and pass on those messages after the first initial letter.  I send them photo updates, and pass on prayer requests, interesting info, and any messages they have for each other.  I'm actually working on a blog post right now about a few of the responses I've had, I'll put a link here when it's done.

Edit: Here is the link: http://connectedinwriting.blogspot.ca/2015/06/my-sponsored-kids-react-toeach-other.html
(Edited)
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Jennifer

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That's a really neat idea: fun for them, teaches them to think beyond themselves, and even gets them in the mindset of possible future sponsorship. It won't work with my combination of children, but thanks for sharing!
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Elizabeth York

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Great idea Teresa! What a cool thing to do!! God bless your giving heart! :)


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Sara Hill Loggins

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I love this idea!  I have been thinking about something like this, but I hadn't put my finger on it until I read your post!  Thank you for the amazing idea.  I will be working on it in the next few letters.
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Steve

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What I great idea!  I think you've opened my mind about disclosing my sponsored children to each other.  I've just recently signed up for my second sponsorship and was concerned about one child even finding out about the other.  They're the same age and in adjoining countries.  Thanks for taking the time to share.  I liked your blog site too.
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Ces Rivera

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I think this is a lovely idea and most certainly a way for kids to connect to other kids going through similar things not only in their respective countries but in other countries as well. Fascinating!! God bless! Thanks for sharing your link :)