Feel free to use this template as a starting point and as you feel inspired to do so. The fact that you are sending a handwritten letter and that you’re taking the time to do it is what is most important to these individuals. Your letter doesn’t have to be any particular order. Feel free to add generic or (as specific as you feel comfortable with without divulging personal information) about other interests you have. Let each topic be another springboard and expound on different angles of the topic if you feel inspired to do so until you’ve feel you’ve written enough.
Dear (Insert Name):
My name is _______________ and I’m a volunteer (inmate pen pal/pen pal) through (state where you got their information.) I’m __(age)__, ___(marital status)___, and live in the ___(Region of the country.). I have __(amount of kids and or pets)__. I work as a ___(generic term for your job)___ in a __(generic term for your company)__ and have for the last ___(time frame)___. If you’re writing for religious purposes, state a short testimony of your religious conversion here.
I work as a machine operator in a factory. I have 2 kids, boy and girl. I live in where it rains all the time.
I saw in your application you like to (read/write/draw/puzzles, 4×4 in the mud, play guitar, etc..). I also like to _________. In fact, my favorite thing about it is _______. How long have you been doing that ? (asking questions about this shows you are taking interest in them as a person) My hobbies include: _____________________.
If you run out of things to talk about or if the letter just really doesn’t give you much to go on and your writing for religious purposes, start talking about your faith.
So what are you studying in God’s Word right now? My favorite scripture is ____. I was reading my bible this morning and __(scripture or biblical concept)_____ really struck me as ______________. What kinds of questions do you have about the bible? Consider citing some scriptures you may think will be comforting based on the situation. You could also find something out of our daily prayers booklet, your favorite prayer book or the bible that may be encouraging for the inmate as well.
End your letter by encouraging them to write to back and the fact that you are looking forward to hearing back from them. Let the inmate know to write you back at the address the pen pal company you used provided for you or your PO Box or private mail box address.
Do not use sticky address labels on the outside of your envelope as many prison facilities will throw these mail items away. Do not sign your letters with the words “Care” or “Love” anywhere, instead use something meaningful but generic. Bad examples include: Love in Christ, Caring for you in Christ. Good examples include: Sincerely in Christ, Your pen-pal, In His Service, Until Next Time, etc…