A Child’s Letter: From Maria to Her Sponsor

letter-writing-for-kids Letter writing is essential for the special one to one relationship between children and sponsors. In this video, Maria from Bangladesh just found out that she has a sponsor and eagerly writes her first letter. Come on a journey with us and see how Maria’s letter gets to her sponsor.

You can also view the A Child’s Letter: From Maria to Her Sponsor video on YouTube.

42 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Pat McCain January 24, 2013

    Amazing the amount of attention given to communication. Far advanced from the letters I wrote as a child to friends in far away countries. This is a wonderful work and now I can go farther in creative visualization and prayer when remembering my sponsored child. Thank you for taking the time to explain this.

  2. Adriana Olivarria June 11, 2012

    Does it take the same amount of time for a sponser’s letter to reach the sponsered child? I would also like to know if I wrote to my child in Spanish will it need translation since she is from El Salvador?

    1. Shaina Moats June 11, 2012

      Yes, it takes the same amount of time for your letter to reach your sponsored child. Here’s more information on writing a letter in your child’s language: http://support.compassion.com/compassion/topics/can_i_write_to_my_child_in_their_own_language

  3. Tim May 13, 2012

    What about emails sponsors send to the child through your website? are those printed and given to the child, or do they just get to read them online at the education centers?

    Just curious.

    1. Jacquie Parella May 14, 2012

      Hi Tim! They are printed off and given to the child to read and keep.

      1. Hwaam Lee June 13, 2012

        I just received a letter from my child sponsored. It seems that it took over 2 months to go through the process. If those letters via the web site are simply printed off at the local site for the child to read and keep, then it shouldn’t take more than 2 days or even in 2 hours, I hope? :-)

  4. JM May 9, 2012

    Wow! I’m so glad you posted this video! I had no idea how much went into this process! I thought that my child didn’t like to write me letters-when instead it just probably takes awhile for our letters to get to each other. Thank you so much for making us aware of this!

  5. Kim Vanhoutan May 8, 2012

    Thank you “so much” for the video on A Child’s Letter… It is so nice to come to this website and be able to get information and answers to lots of questions that I have had! It also refreshes my heart and compassion for my sponsor child. Thank You!

  6. Sybil May 3, 2012

    It was really helpful to see this. Kids are really intrigued about the communication process so I do hope we get to see footage of children getting their letters :)

  7. Stacy Davis April 30, 2012

    Wow! Very fascinating, helpful, and humbling. Thank you to everyone who had a hand in putting this video together. I think this would be a valuable tool to share on Compassion Sundays or at advocacy events.

  8. Erika April 26, 2012

    Wow that is fascinating. Now i know where my letters from Brithey goes!

  9. dee April 23, 2012

    Thanks, this is really interesting to me, lots of dedicated staff doing the work there, thanks to them.

  10. Hannah March 25, 2012

    Amazing insight! I am in the process of creating a blog about child sponsorship, with mostly helpful info on letter writing etc. Please check it out at:

  11. Jacquie Parella March 22, 2012

    Hi Everyone!! I want to let you know that I had to make a blog schedule change and part two of this video will be posted on the blog on Monday, March 26. Sorry to keep you waiting a few more days and hope you enjoy it!!

  12. Kees Boer March 19, 2012

    This is a great video. I remember bagging the letters. :-)

    Does everyone know that GMC is the main Compassion office in Colorado?

  13. Becky March 18, 2012

    Thank you so much for posting this video! I had wondered what CI did to decrease their processing time from 14 days to 2-3 days (or something around that, the days may be slightly off). The machine to collate the letters sounds like it is an excellent investment to cut down on letter processing time so sponsors get letters sooner and can write back to what their children said faster. Great for the kids and the sponsors :-)

  14. Stephanie Green March 18, 2012

    That was very impressive and a great learning experience for me! I, too, look forward to the sequel!

  15. Deb L March 17, 2012

    I had no idea! That’s amazing. The work that goes into each letter is humbling. And now I know why my kids’ letters with multiple sheets stapled together probably take longer.

    1. Frances March 17, 2012

      Yes, I agree, humbling is the word. No more complaining about how long it takes to get their letters. It is an amazing effort and I appreciate it!

  16. Debbie Beghetto March 17, 2012

    How come this video don’t have caption and I like to know what they’re saying. Also what is the sequel they are taking about? Can anyone please tell me. I’m hard of hearing and I sponsored 2 children.

    1. Becky March 18, 2012

      Hi Debbie, the comments are not always monitored for your type of request. If you do not hear back from someone at CI, then I would email them at ciinfo at us.ci.org [replace at with @ and remove spaces, I left it off to prevent spammers from finding it] and ask if they have a transcript available you could read. I am willing to transcribe it at some point for you, but seeing if CI has it first would be a much more efficient option!

      I believe the sequel people are talking about is the following: Michelle asked “Is there a sequel in the works that will show a sponsors letter on the way to their child?”

      Jacquie Parella replied “There is a sequel and I plan on posting it next Saturday. :)”

      So, I think in 6 days we will have another video of how our letters get to our children!

    2. Lisa March 18, 2012

      Hi Debbie — I typed up a transcript of the video for you over at my blog. You can print it off and follow along. Here’s the link.


      This video shows a letter going from a child to her sponsor. The sequel will show a letter going from a sponsor to his or her child. It’s a slightly different process.

    3. JD March 18, 2012

      Debbie, as I scrolled through the comments and saw your message, I thought of how much it meant to me to hear the video, and how thankful I am for the information it provides to me as an advocate and sponsor, and I felt really strongly that I did not want you to miss out on the information. As such, I decided to type out the transcript so that you would be able to have access to the information. It may not be a perfect solution, but it comes from the heart.

      The video shows the journey a letter makes from Maria in Bangladesh, to her sponsor. The sequel shows the reverse — the journey a sponsor’s letter makes in order to be placed into a sponsored child’s hands.

      Here is the transcript:

      In Compassion’s Child Sponsorship Program, letter writing is essential for the special one to one relationship between children and sponsors.

      Maria in Bangladesh just found out that she has a sponsor, and eagerly writes her first letter.

      Child letters are sent from the projects to the field offices where they are translated.

      Next in the sequence of events, child letters are grouped together in batches, and are shipped with packing lists to the U.S. Global Ministry Center (GMC) in Colorado Springs. In other words, the child letter begins the supply chain which feeds into the GMC.

      The GMC receives an average of 11,000 child letters per day. In 2011, 2.9 million child letters were processed through this building. Upon arrival, the package from Bangladesh is transported to the Child Sponsorship Program Communication Department. Materials from field offices in route to partner countries are also routed through this area.

      After packages are opened, letters are prioritized by date received and stored in drawers. Staff checks the packing list from field office and verifies that all letters in the batch have arrived. A received date is entered into the database, “Compass”. Both Maria’s and her sponsor’s account will be updated to indicate that the GMC has received the letter.

      Child letters that need to be sent to sponsors in partner countries, such as this stack bound for the Netherlands, are sorted by country, and then shipped.

      Staff sorts the letters and loads the batches onto a cart according to type. To continue the work flow, members of the sponsor correspondence team exchange an empty cart for a full cart, and return to the distribution center.

      Once in the distribution center, it is taken to the ordering stationery area. Staff members order stationery for the sponsor according to the batch number. A sticky note containing the batch number and type is placed on each stack.

      Before moving to the next step in the process, child letters are placed in specific areas by type; Clean, stapled, and manual.

      Clean letters are single sheets of paper with no photos, staples or glued attachment.

      Stapled letters may consist of up to three sheets of paper stapled together. Glued attachments are permissible, and photos or other attachments can be no larger than half a sheet.

      Letters that do not fit either of the previous categories are considered manual. They can consist of more than three sheets, or contain larger attachments. Manual letters are placed in baskets, and set on a cart to await stationary.

      The printing of the stationary for the sponsor is based on the demand created by a child letter. Print services staff prepares to print the order. The staff member picks up the sticky note, and matches the batch information to what has been entered into the computer.

      Once stationary is printed, it is returned to the cart or to the basket where it is matched to the correct stack of child letters. This is called an “in process quality check”. It prevents the waste of time and materials down the line.

      Members of the sponsor services fulfillment team now bring the cart over to the inserter machine.

      Clean and stapled letters with the corresponding stationary are loaded into the inserter machine which folds them, adds a return envelope, and inserts the pieces into an outer envelope. The inserter machine allows for a large number of letters to be collated in a short period of time. The machine can process approximately 200 clean letters every 5 minutes, and processes and average of 9.500 letters each day.

      Once completed, the letters flow down the line to mail services.
      The baskets of manual letters and stationary are prioritized by date and picked up. Staff members will verify that the names on the letters and stationary match, and that the child letters contain a translation. The letters are folded and inserted into envelopes by hand.

      All letters going to a sponsor in a foreign country are separated. If a letter needs to be sent to an alert country, where there is a chance of Christian persecution, it is mailed in a blank white security envelope.

      The mail services team acts as the GMC’s post office. A staff member picks up the trays of mail that come down the line from the sponsor services fulfillment team. Before placing the letters on the mail machine to receive postage, staff will make a quality check to ensure that all addresses are visible. Foreign addresses will be set aside to mail separately.

      A machine seals the envelopes and applies postage. Once the letters runs through the machine, the staff member will make sure each letter has been printed with postage. This machine can process up to 350 pieces of mail in 5 minutes. If there is a need, it can also print customized messages across the top of the envelope.

      The mail is ready to go to a third party vendor, which will sort the letters by postal code before they are mailed.

      Maria’s letter is now on its way to her sponsor.

      1. Juanita July 24, 2012

        Also thank you for the transcription

      2. Debbie Beghetto March 18, 2012

        Thanks a million JD for the transcript from the video. This really means alot to me since I’m so concern on how a letter of love go through a path of beauty to the end. I look forward to see the sequel from sponsor to their child!

        1. Jacquie Parella March 22, 2012

          Hi Debbie! I was able to get the transcript for the second video and will post it in the comments when the post goes live. I wanted to make sure you had it. :-)

          I had to make some scheduling changes on the blog so be looking for part two on Monday, March 26th.

          And thank you JD for transcribing part one. You are wonderful!!

  17. Jenn L March 17, 2012

    What a fabulous video! Amazing how much goes on… look forward to the sequel 😉

  18. M. Warner March 17, 2012

    Thank you for taking the time to create this video explaining the letter writing process from children to their sponsors. It is both interesting and informative to see the extensive process involved. It’s impressive to see how the machinery can handle hundreds of letters within a five minute period. I am interested in knowing how many employees work in this department for Compassion, and how many volunteers have the opportunity to assist as well. I look foreward to seeing the sequel next weekend!

  19. Lisa March 17, 2012

    Great video! Can’t wait to see the sequel.

  20. Diane Nichols March 17, 2012

    The work they do at the Compassion office is truly amazing, in all the years that we have sponsored children we have only received one letter from a child that wasn’t meant for us, that was several years ago, they do great work with the amount of letters that are sent and received.

  21. K March 17, 2012

    Wow, very informative! Especially since I have been getting impatient for a letter. Those letters go through a lot to get to out hands. Thank you for posting.

  22. Janice Tarquin March 17, 2012

    This was very interesting! Thank you for posting this video; the process is quite amazing and the volume is astounding! Great job Compassion!

  23. Suzanne March 17, 2012

    so when i send extra stuff to my sponsored children in my letters this makes them slower?

    1. Shaina March 19, 2012

      No, not necessarily. Every letter has to be sorted, including those without extras. It may take a little extra time to sort, but letters are only mailed once a week- on Thursdays. If your letter was delayed at all due to sorting, it would only be delayed by a week or less.

    2. Aura March 18, 2012

      I wouldn’t mind knowing the answer to this either, I put extra stuff in all my letters, I hate to think it holds them up.

      1. Kees Boer March 19, 2012

        Well, I don’t know how much slower it makes it, but I used to volunteer in the field office in Bolivia and I worked with the letters. I will say that the vast majority of letters don’t have anything extra. So, if you do send something extra, that child will feel very special!!!

        Just think about it this way. On the average about 10 % will get a letter any given month. I think an average project is about 200, that means on the average, they’ll get 20 letters in that month. Thus maybe 1 or 2 will have something extra. So, your child will be very special!!!

  24. Michelle ~ Blogging from the Boonies March 17, 2012

    I found this video to be VERY fascinating! Love all of the information you’ve given us here! Thank you!
    Is there a sequel in the works that will show a sponsors letter on the way to their child?
    I am going to share this on my blog!

    1. Jacquie Parella March 17, 2012

      Glad you liked the video! The training team worked hard on it. There is a sequel and I plan on posting it next Saturday. :)

      1. Frances April 11, 2012

        Trying to locate the sequel – what is the title?

        1. Jacquie Parella April 11, 2012

          Hi Frances! Part two is, A Sponsor’s Letter: From Gayle to Her Child

      2. JD March 18, 2012

        Ooooh!!! So eager to see the next one — I hope it shows the child receiving the letter! <3

        This was a GREAT video… helps us further appreciate the team God has pulled together to make sponsorship possible for us — we're SO grateful for each and every person along the steps of that journey!

      3. Yvonne March 17, 2012

        What a great idea! Looking forward to seeing the sequel! :)

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