Writing to your sponsored student

We are often told by our sponsored students how motivating and encouraging it can be to hear from their sponsor – someone who they haven’t even met, who cares about them and their future.

That’s why we encourage you to correspond with your sponsored student. You can do so by any method you choose and at any time of year. We will even send you a reminder when your student’s birthday is coming up, just in case you would like to communicate with them on their special day.

We do understand and respect that you may not wish to write to your student, correspondence is optional and we thank you for your generous sponsorship.

Did you know it's now easier to manage your giving online?


Did you know it's now easier to manage your giving online?

You can now access your giving history online with My Smith Family. You can now view, download and print your tax receipts online. You can also view your history of support, update your personal details and access your payment information – all in one place!

Using My Smith Family it is now possible to view your Student Profile online, any time of the year. And we've made communicating with your student easier so you can send encouraging words of support.

To register you just need your Smith Family ID.

Conversation starters

We know it can sometimes be hard to think of subjects to write about, so here are some tips to help you get started. Plus you can download our conversation starters for even more ideas:

  • What are your hobbies?
  • What was your favourite book when you were at school?
  • Do you have any pets?
  • What is your job? What do you like about it?
  • What was your favourite subject at school? What did you struggle with at school?

And ask your student some similar questions about themselves.

The Dos and Don’ts

Sponsor a student

The Dos and Don’ts

As we are always careful to protect the privacy of our students and our supporters, we ask that you please bear these tips in mind.

What you can share with your student

  • Your first name
  • Your age
  • Your occupation
  • Your hobbies and interests
  • The state you are from
  • Photographs of pets and general things (but not you or other people)

What you can’t share

  • Your last name
  • Your date of birth
  • Your address or name of your town or suburb
  • Your place of work or company name
  • Photographs of yourself or other individuals

The Smith Family is not a religious organisation nor are we associated with any religious organisations. However, you are welcome to share religious expressions with your student if you wish. We do ask that any information you share regarding your faith is treated sensitively and in a non-intrusive manner, as the student and family you support may share different beliefs.

Please also see ‘Gifts for your student’ below for more information about enclosing items with your messages.

How to correspond with your student

You can send messages, emails, letters, cards or gifts to your student. All correspondence comes to the Smith Family offices to review first, to ensure your privacy and your student’s privacy is protected. We will then forward this on to your student.

My Smith Family
Send your student(s) a message via the My Smith Family portal by following these easy steps:

  1. If you are an existing user login to the My Smith Family portal or register for an account
  2. Select My sponsored students from the menu
  3. For the student you would like to send a message to select ‘View details’ > ‘Corresponding with your student’ > ‘Write a letter’
  4. Type your message and then select submit

Some students may not have email access, but you can send an email to us at [email protected] and we will print this out and send it on to your student. Please include your Smith Family ID and your student’s name and student ID in the email.

Please include:
Your Smith Family ID (found on any letters or correspondence from The Smith Family to you)

Attn: Your student’s name
Your student’s ID

(found on your student’s profile)

Send your correspondence and gifts to:
Learning for Life student correspondence
The Smith Family
GPO Box 10500
Sydney NSW 2001

If you have any questions, or can’t find your Smith Family ID or student ID, call us on 1800 633 622 as we are happy to assist you over the phone.

Two boys on a slippery slide

Gifts for your student

Three girls sitting on steps with books

Gifts for your student

Your valued sponsorship is a great gift in itself and further gifts are not required or expected. If you would like to give a gift to your student on a birthday or special occasion this is of course greatly appreciated and we would like to thank you on behalf of our students.

We will also send you a reminder two months before your student’s birthday to let you know that it is coming up, in case you would like to send a card or gift. But you are welcome to send gifts at any time of year. Please bear in mind the Christmas period of November and December is a very busy time and we would appreciate your assistance in sending your gifts well in advance – 8 to 10 weeks during this period is most helpful.

What to give?
Most toys and books include age guidelines which can help you select an appropriate gift for your student. We particularly encourage gift vouchers as shopping for themselves can be a unique and exciting experience for our students.

Contact us if you would like to find out what stores are most convenient for your student. As some students have siblings who may not receive gifts from their sponsor, we ask that you limit your gift to $100.

Please bear in mind the ‘dos and don’ts’ of correspondence listed above, and remember not to send:

  • Food items of any description, including packaged items such as chocolates (due to allergy, diet restrictions and anaphylaxis)
  • Heavy or fragile items as these can be expensive to forward on to the student and may get damaged in transit.

Correspondence from students

We also hope you will understand that, although our students appreciate hearing from you, they may not always reply to your cards and letters. Some students may feel embarrassed about their circumstances or writing skills, others are quite shy, don’t know how to respond appropriately or may have a disability. Please don’t take this as a lack of appreciation of your support.

A drawing correspondence from a student