The Importance of Names


At the very beginning of my journey into child sponsorship I wondered what it was like for these children living in poverty to have nothing to call their own and to have few or no people to look out for them.

I read stories on Compassion’s blog where poverty was the devil’s lie that made them feel worthless and it really just broke my heart.

Could my sponsored child be feeling worthless? Does my child spend her days feeling like nobody cares, nobody wants her, and that she is alone in this world? What could I do to help her besides prayer, letters, monthly sponsorship payments, and family gifts?

I thought really hard about it and decided that if she has nothing then I will send her something (letters) with her name on it in bold giant letters so she would see that I thought she was important enough to put her very special name on these mini pieces of art I made.

I wanted the card to shout, “This is for you, Felicia! And nobody else. Just you, because I think you’re that special. Yes, you are somebody special and important to me.”

There’s just something about the importance of names that made me feel like this would work. Like how people love to get things “personalized” – things printed with their names. To have a name is to not be a nobody.

This post was inspired by Compassion’s post on the importance of names and I have finally gotten around to rounding up pictures of some of the cards I have made since 2011.

importance of names cards

I believe this was the very first card I made for my sponsored child, Feli.

importance of names cards

I also tried to include “I love you” a lot on the cards and in the messages. She eventually switched from writing it back in Indonesian to writing it back in English – so cute.

importance of names cards

I made this card for my (former) older sponsored child, Lina.

importance of names cards

Here’s the inside of the card, meant to inspire her and make her feel special (as is the aim with all my cards). The words are based on the word search I made here.

importance of names cards

It makes me smile to think about the smile of an 11-year-old as she reads this message.

importance of names cards
importance of names cards

This reads “Justine loves Felicia” in Indonesian, which I learned how to write from Feli’s letters to me.

importance of names cards

A name pop-up card I hope she found to be totally awesome, ‘cuz I sure did!

importance of names cards

An “under the sea” theme card with the focus on Felicia.

importance of names cards

The card on the right is actually a birthday card glued on top of a larger homemade card.

importance of names cards

Cards made for my mom’s sponsored child.

importance of names cards

An animal-themed card I made for my mom’s sponsored child again. The name is cut from leftover party streamer. It had an awesome texture!

importance of names cards

A cool card my friend made for his sponsored child. Very artsy and I love the heads on paper bodies. Why didn’t I think of that?

importance of names cards

For this card I used real cotton balls for the cloud and wrapped the whole card in clear packing tape.

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  1. Jolie says

    I have a question – Where do you get your childs bar code to put on the stuff you send her???? I am a new sponsor and am making up some things to send to my girl in Haiti and don’t know where to get the bar code to print out and attach to her stuff.
    Please let me know. thanks so much

    • justine says

      Hi Jolie,

      Great question! What I did was scan the bar code from the reply letter templates Compassion sends you when you get a letter from your sponsored child. Then I cut it out using Paint and copy pasted it onto a Word document many times so I could have a sheet of them. Hope that helps!


  2. Ingrid S. says

    I love all the stationary, perfect for letters to my sponsor child from Compassion International! Thank you so much for these, love them :)

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