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What I Learned About Thank You Letters From a 5-Year-Old

Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.

We can learn a lot about writing thank you letters from kids.

The other day, my 5-year-old neighbor peeked through the bushes, saw me in the driveway, and popped over. She handed me a beautiful hand made card (see right.)

Did I mention that she recently had a birthday?

Simple lessons

What you can learn from kids about writing thank you letters with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter #WritingTips

On the front of the card, she had written the names of all our family members. The inside read, “Thank you for the ‘Big Bible Sticker Book’ and yummy fudge! I [heart] them! Love, Katelyn.”

Ah … refrigerator art!

As I stood looking at Katelyn’s masterpiece (on the fridge door where I’d affixed it with magnets), I noticed a few things.

  • It was personalized. Katelyn had taken the time to write out all of our names (and she spelled them correctly. Maybe her mom helped.)
  • It named the specific gift. Katelyn reminded us what we’d given her for her birthday. She didn’t used the “thanks for the present” line that’s much easier when churning out piles of letters.
  • It told me what she thought about the gift. Katelyn gave her reaction. She loved the book and the fudge!
  • It was hand signed. OK, the entire card was made by hand. But you get the point.
  • It was made with thought. Now I admit, creating and coloring cards is a wonderful way to help a 5-year-old occupy some time and teach gratitude. Yet it is clear that the card was planned carefully (a drawing on the inner left panel and text on in the inner right panel, if you want to get technical about it.) And the images were perfect for the look and feel of the piece.

Katelyn doesn’t know that she is already a development director’s dream.

But she knows how to write thank you letters.

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