compassion international colorado springs Today’s post is about giving you an inside look at how we, the third-largest producer of mail in Colorado Springs, handle the letters you write to your children.

To start with, allow me to introduce you to Joe Cammaroto. Joe is the correspondence supervisor in our Global Ministry Center in Colorado Springs. His team is responsible for processing all the letters you write and all the letters your sponsored children write back to you.

“Since implementing the new online letter writing tool, we receive about 7,000 web letters each day compared to the 1,000 or so we received daily before the tool was implemented.”

To put those numbers into perspective, at least a little bit, here’s a glimpse of what Joe’s team sees everyday.

A portion of one day’s mail, ready to be sorted by country

Sorting bins for East Indonesia and Indonesia

Sorting bins for all 26 countries

Letters packaged and ready to be sent to our country offices via DHL. Letters are mailed once each week to our country offices, every Thursday. We send about 4,000 letters to each country office every week.

As Joe mentioned, we receive approximately 7,000 sponsors letters each day. It takes his team about 5 days to process a letter and get it ready to be shipped to a country office.

Contrast that with the 12,000 letters we receive each day from children to their sponsors. A year ago, it took us 14 days to process a letter after receiving it in-house. Now, after some major process improvements, it takes only about three days.

Before the letters arrive, a lot of work goes into getting them to Colorado Springs. Here's some insight from Abraham about what happens when your letters arrive in Bolivia.

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  1. Marvin
    Jan 13, 2012
    at 5:28 am

    Did I understand this correctly… when I send a letter by way of the web sight…email it is printed in the USA and then shipped by postal to the Philippines…? What a waste of money, why isn’t it just electronically sent to the country office? Are we still living in the 1980’s?

    • Kathleen Heseltine
      Jan 13, 2012
      at 7:01 am

      Geeze Marvin, That was harsh.. I think Compassion does a great job getting the job done.. helping children.. I’m proud to be part of this endevor and love my sponsored child. That’s what this is about. And how much fun is it for the children to receive an envelope with an actual letter in it from America? I would imagine that to a child who has so little, this is like a gift all by itself… Lighten up Marvin… You are participating in one of the most successful child rescue missions on earth.

      • Alida Catcheside
        Jan 13, 2012
        at 10:24 am

        They do a great job, but that’s no reason that Marvin shouldn’t expect the $80 million admin costs per year to be used to the max. Nothing wrong with efficiency. Maybe there’d be enough savings on postage to be able to forward your sponsored child a Christmas and birthday gift?

        • Marsha
          Mar 13, 2012
          at 11:37 am

          I understand what you are saying, Alida, but you have to realize, that just because we might be able to send a christmas present, doesn’t mean we should. I’d hate to see a gift sent and then stolen to be sold for profit, and have a very disappointed child. As much as I’d like to shower my sponsored children with gifts, I’d much rather see my money spent on items that are really needed: food, clothes, shoes, animals, bedding, etc.

          • Stephanie
            Apr 10, 2012
            at 1:04 pm

            Who’s money is it? Do you not trust that God has control over every penny that you give? I trust every penny I give has been accounted for before God. I trust Compassion International understands that they have a responsibility before God to handle that money in a way that honors Him. If you give it to God out of a genuine heart, you won’t fret about where every penny goes. None of your money is your money. It all belongs to God. So quit counting pennies and give it ALL to Him.

      • Yvonne Wilton
        Mar 28, 2012
        at 9:28 pm

        I agree, I actually thought it would be sent eectronically and didnt really like that becuase they will not have it on paper. We have basically thrown books to the side …now letters. It is very important for these kids to have the letters for themselves to keepsake where they want. Love is what it is about not the 80’s. That just proves that we depend on technology way too much now. And this is coming from a 31 year old with an old soul. Love my books very much. And it is your chice..if you do not like there policies our business strategies you can go somehwere else but go to charity navigater.com and look compassion up. They have a great rep and majority of your donations go to the kids not the owners pocket. I love compassion and my kids. Writing the letters online makes it easier for me but I would still want my kids to have the actual just like when I get super excited when i receive theirs.

        • Mar 29, 2012
          at 8:54 pm

          It is my understanding that when a sponsor writes to his/her child online, the letter is printed on quality paper and send to the child — the child does get to keep the letter just as they get to keep letters that are mailed from their sponsor rather than written online. I get super excited to receive their letters too!!

      • Darrell Pugh
        Apr 5, 2012
        at 3:39 pm

        I agree Kathleen. It is exciting to get letters from other countries. I mean I am 44 and it was exciting to get a Christmas card one year later after I sent a shoebox out. Look forward to a long relationship with Compassion International.

    • Annulka
      Jan 13, 2012
      at 7:03 am

      I would guess that the offices in the other countries do not have the capabilites to print all those letter. It is probably cheaper to send each letter than to send all the paper and ink it would take to print them on site. I believe they give the letter to the children to keep so they wouldn’t want to just read them on the computer.

    • Tracy
      Jan 13, 2012
      at 8:30 am

      Many countries don’t have continous access to the internet like we do. Sometimes they only have electricity at certain times of the day. When they can connect to the internet the connection is slow. I’m sure it is more efficient to email the letters to the main office here in the USA. This organization places high importance on sponsors encouraging the children through letters. This tool makes it easier for that to happen.

    • Lindsey
      Jan 13, 2012
      at 8:40 am

      Marvin,
      Each country is different; the letters I get from my child in Bolivia appear to be electronically scanned in, while the ones I get from my child in Ghana are handwritten in English, nothing in Fante. My fathers child in Mexico handwrites his letter and someone types out the English translation. I’m sure in some countries, the price of ink for printers, paper, etc is higher than the cost of postage.
      Also, the printed out e-mails are also being sent along with handwritten letters, and other items sent with the letters like stickers so sending them directly to the country would not eliminate mail altogether.
      I know in the United States it seems crazy to spend money to mail something that could be e-mailed, but the resources it would take for 3rd world countries might be higher than the currently system.

    • Shaina Moats
      Jan 13, 2012
      at 11:27 am

      Our end goal is to have the letters that are written on the website printed in our field offices. At this time, the field offices are not able to do this for various reasons. Some do not have color printers with enough capacity to print the thousands of letters we receive each week. Some field offices do not have the staff available to dedicate to printing, sorting, etc. that it would take. We try to be as efficient as we can, and are slowly taking steps forward as we are able to. Your patience and grace is much appreciated!

      • Mar 12, 2012
        at 7:39 pm

        Hi Shaina,

        Just a question, how can I know that my sponsor child got my letter? (Sent through the site). I sent one back in October and haven’t heard anything since then…

        Thank you! I know it’s a lot of work and you guys do an amazing job!

        • Randy
          Mar 17, 2012
          at 11:32 am

          I have sent a few myself with no response. It would be nice to have an aknowledgement. I am beginning to wonder if my donations are also making it nowhere.

        • Shaina Moats
          Mar 21, 2012
          at 1:58 pm

          It takes 2-3 months for your child to receive your letter and 2-3 months for you to receive the letter they’ve written. If you sent one in October, you should receive a reply by April. If you go more than 6 months between letters from your child, please contact us so we can contact our field office.

      • David
        Apr 10, 2012
        at 8:12 am

        That’s just as I thought, Shaina. Thanks for posting. Do you know if there is something in the FAQ section of the website that explains this in more detail? If not, it might be something worth adding to address this type question.

        God Bless!

    • Terri
      Mar 12, 2012
      at 3:27 pm

      I agree with Marvin. I thought going through the internet would be a faster process.

    • Adam
      Mar 14, 2012
      at 3:10 pm

      Yes, the 3rd world countries are still living in the 1980s. They don’t have the technology to print high-quality letters. And it may actually cost more in supplies to print in the partner country. Calm down and make sure you understand all the facts.

    • nicole
      Mar 16, 2012
      at 11:56 am

      maybe they don’t have the resources to print the outstanding number of letters that come in each day. Also the manpower that goes with it. Aside from that how would they divide or direct each individual email directly to their particular country of destination.

    • Rene
      Mar 26, 2012
      at 9:45 pm

      Marvin, Please allow the Holy Ghost to speak to you about this. Consider there is someone for instance that needs a job and meets the strict requirements of Compassion International. I am blessed beyond belief that a simple letter to my child, or a letter from my child gets so much attention. Those letters are prayed for. The people that work so hard to send those letters are under constant demonic attack. We should thank God for them and ask God to bless them for their part in making a child very happy. How would you feel if you were in the shoes of a sponsored child and you knew how impersonal the handling of your letters were? You probably wouldn’t feel too special. That’s what these children need. To be convinced that their sponsors are genuine and really care. I disagree with you, the money is well spent. Besides, a true giving heart doesn’t care about the money anyway. Compassion International has a lifetime commitment from me to sponsor my child and more in the future, even after I die.

    • Breecienc
      Mar 27, 2012
      at 6:57 pm

      Marvin, please remember where these letters are being sent to – third world countries. It’s difficult to provide the same resources there that we have here. I know your heart is in a good place, wanting as much of our donations to go straight to the children as possible, until then though, this is the way it probably has to be. We’re blessed to have the opportunity to write to our children in these poverty torn countries and hopefully someday a new avenue of getting them there will come around in our direction…

    • Gerri
      Apr 4, 2012
      at 12:39 pm

      We are the sponsors – not the originators. As God has given them (Compassion) charge over much, we can at least be understanding that those in administration have reviewed every possibility of efficiency. We live in a microwave society – get it now! How about it that this organization takes the time to forward hard (tangible) copies to these children that need this type of support. I can’t talk to my sponsored child, but I’m elated that he will be able to read or have read to him a piece of paper that I’m forwarding to him. Pick your battles, what’s more important how the letter gets there? or that it gets there? The personal touch is always best – Jesus didn’t email folks, He walked, talked, ate with and healed them up close and personal. We are supposed to follow His example – regardless of technology.

    • Mónica
      Apr 7, 2012
      at 7:46 am

      Just a suggestion, since these are electronically sent, could Compassion explore the feasability of getting internet connectivity at the Compassion involved church or school sites with a number of sponsored children? This would greatly reduce the turn-around time for coorespondence. Even if they needed to go through the Colorado Springs office for logging, ensuring appropriateness, and translation, it seems this may be a reasonable alternative.

    • Jeanette
      Apr 9, 2012
      at 2:18 am

      I have to admit that I was also under the impression that the email went to the country office of the sponsored child. I have always sent mail as well in order to send those stickers and things. However I have used the email in the hopes of getting the letter to my child more quickly. I may not use the email as much anymore. It does seem kind of silly.

  2. Stephanie Green
    Jan 13, 2012
    at 6:07 am

    Great post, Shaina. Thank you! I love seeing the process behind the scenes.Also great to see the volume of letters increase so substantially because of the online writing tool!! So if CI is the 3rd largest producer of mail in Colorado Springs, I’m wondering who the first two are?

    • Andrea
      Jan 13, 2012
      at 9:04 am

      actually we are now the 2nd largest….The first is Progressive Insurance.

  3. Stephanie Green
    Jan 13, 2012
    at 6:10 am

    So I should also have said a big thank you to Joe in my last comment for all he does to enable communication with our kids! Nothing brightens our day like a letter from our children. THANK YOU!!

  4. Jan 13, 2012
    at 6:30 am

    I will admit, I cried happy tears when I read that statistic about the average increase of 6,000 letters per day. It is just wonderful! I know how important those letters are and I am thrilled to think of the potential impact the online letter writing tool is having!!

  5. Jan 13, 2012
    at 7:01 am

    Great post! Clarification, please. Does the 7000 letters include both web and snail mail letters?

    “Since implementing the new online letter writing tool, we receive about 7,000 web letters each day compared to the 1,000 or so we received daily before the tool was implemented.”

    This seems to indicate 7000 web letters. What’s the average number of snail mail letters?

    I’d guess that Focus on the Family would be one of the top two mail creators in Colorado Springs…

    • Andrea
      Jan 13, 2012
      at 8:24 am

      Go Correspondence Team!!!
      The 7000 letters he was talking about were all web letters. The average number of letters via snail mail we receive is around 70,000 letters a MONTH :D and we are actually the 2nd largest distribution center(where we handle all mailings) in Colorado Springs. We are actually ahead of Focus now…

      To answer the first comment, we are printing them in house for now…Annulka was correct about some countries not having the technology to print the gorgeous new templates in their offices. Eventually this will be possible and the letters will get there faster. Compassion is committed to getting quality letters to your kids!

  6. Jan 13, 2012
    at 9:07 am

    Great sneak peek at how letters are processed for our sponsored children.

  7. Laura
    Jan 13, 2012
    at 9:56 am

    Great post! Thank you for sharing this! It’s always great to know more of what goes on behind the scenes. The new online letter-writing tool is so helpful, especially when you sponsor several children. And thank you for the improvements to increase efficiency in getting the children’s letters processed and out to the sponsors. We’ve noticed a difference, and I think it will foster better communication and closer relationships with our sponsored children.
    Thanks so much for your commitment and desire to improve communication and the sponsorship experience for both sponsor and child! Compassion is a huge blessing in our lives!

  8. Connie
    Jan 13, 2012
    at 1:02 pm

    I have 14 sponsored children (down from 23) and I can’t tell you how convenient this new tool is! Of course I send individual letters answering their questions and wishing them Happy Birthday, but sometimes I have an event (like how my Christmas went) and the same letter can be sent to all my children. It used to take me days to get through all of them. This year when I sent my “this is what my Christmas was like” letter, I finished it in one evening, plus they all got 3 pictures! In answer to Marvin’s concern, the letters get printed somewhere anyway, and in my case, I always print off a copy of my letters so I can remember what I said to each. Now my electronic letters are stored in my computer. I like that all these letters are being printed in one efficient location!! Personally, I’m going to send my ink cartridge savings to compassion!

    • Alida Catcheside
      Mar 13, 2012
      at 1:28 pm

      I’m really impressed you sponsor so many children. Your reply has been the most helpful in understanding what a huge benefit this new tool is. Thank you.

  9. Lynne
    Jan 13, 2012
    at 2:31 pm

    Just curious — Since the number of online letters has increased has the number of snail mail letters decreased at all? I used the old online system only to send an initial greeting or an extra birthday wish. Now I use it every month for some of my children. (Each of my children receives either a snail mail or an online letter each month.)

    • Jan 14, 2012
      at 6:19 am

      I have the same question. I used to always print my letters at home so that I could send photos and stickers. Now that I can email photographs, I have switched over to that method for most of my letters.

  10. Jan 13, 2012
    at 3:00 pm

    Great post! Thank you. I love seeing how this all works!

    One question: Is there anything we can do when we snail mail letters to help in the process? For example, if I should have everything in an envelope vs just clipped together. Those kinds of things :)

    Thanks again!

    • Kim
      Jan 19, 2012
      at 4:47 pm

      I have similar questions to your questions, Kimberly. I’m not able to download the video in the article, but I noticed in one of the pictures that the letters in the bins have been taken OUT of envelopes…no doubt to cost less postage due to decreased weight. However, I usually send small paper gifts in addition to my handwritten letters. I mark each letter and sheet of stickers, etc., with my ID number and the child’s ID number and pack them into hand decorated envelopes for each sponsored child, then, to save MYSELF some postage, ALL of the smaller envelopes go into one large envelope or box addressed to Compassion. This is my question: Are the envelopes that I take the time to decorate and find the correct size, etc,, and envelopes for birthday cards, etc., thrown away? OR are they forwarded on to my children? If they are tossed out and never reach my children, I will stop being so careful with packing, decorating, etc., and save even more on postage to Compassion. PLEASE ADDRESS Kimberly’s and my post, Compassion. I LOVE the new choices of “stationary” – especially for birthdays and holidays! Very festive and greatly appreciated, Compassion! Thank you!

      • Shaina
        Jan 20, 2012
        at 2:17 pm

        It helps us if everything is together in an envelope or baggy and labeled with your sponsor number and child number. As long as the decorated envelope is not sealed and not used for mailing, we will send it to the child.

        • Lydia
          Apr 11, 2012
          at 7:37 am

          If I want to send my child an electronic birthday greeting how far in advance should I send it in order for him to recieve it for his birthday?
          Thanks for all that you and your team do!

  11. Renee
    Jan 13, 2012
    at 4:39 pm

    Our family just used the online letter writing tool for the first time. Thank you for offering this. We will continue to send handwritten letters with drawings from our daughters, but we appreciate you offering the online letters also. Thank you for all you do to help us communicate with our sponsored child in Ecuador.

  12. Debbie Beghetto
    Jan 13, 2012
    at 6:37 pm

    Wow this is really cool to see what inside where your letter is among with other letters! I feel that handwriting on letter are personnel. I like to see handwriting from a child.Plus I sent stickers or craft design out of my own creation.

  13. Jan 14, 2012
    at 2:40 am

    I think it’s great the number of letters going out has increased so much… but the numbers still make me sad.

    Children will only have 1 sponser to write to…
    Sponsers will have at least one child, but possibly more to write to…
    And yet there are still 5000 more per DAY from children than from sponsers?
    Makes me wonder how many kids aren’t getting letters!

    • Nina
      Jan 14, 2012
      at 3:44 pm

      Sadly, too many.

    • Frances
      Jan 14, 2012
      at 5:18 pm

      I thought the same thing but that 7000 number is only the email letters. Previous post says 70,000 snail mail letters per month going to children.

      • Jan 16, 2012
        at 7:59 pm

        But they say it was 1000 before templates.. 7000 per day is more than 70,000 per month still… in fact it’s 70,000 in only ten days… it’s 217,000 per month.

        • Marsha
          Mar 13, 2012
          at 11:41 am

          I believe he said they could only PROCESS 1000 per day before the new system came about.

    • Stacey
      Jan 15, 2012
      at 9:22 am

      Teresa,
      I don’t know if you are a correspondent sponsor, but if not, you can sign up to be a correspondent to up to three children. The children have a financial sponsor, but the sponsor has agreed to allow Compassion to look for a correspondent. Currently, I have six correspondent children (this was my number before it changed to three by the way), and I spoil them with letters. It’s a great program for people who can’t afford to sponsor more kids, but who wants to do more, like write to a child or children.

      • Jan 16, 2012
        at 7:55 pm

        Thanks Stacy :) I am a correspondant sponser actually. I don’t know if the limit is the same in Canada where I am because I was given 4 kids right away and that was just about two months ago.

  14. Allyson
    Jan 15, 2012
    at 1:35 pm

    That is a lot of letters, but since there are over one million registered kids, I hope there are more letters each month. I know I am always thrilled to get a letter from my children in India, so I know the kids must be excited to receive letters too.

  15. Sanjaya (LKITS)
    Jan 16, 2012
    at 9:50 pm

    You will get more letters from Sri Lanka very soon guys!

  16. kaitlyn
    Jan 18, 2012
    at 3:01 pm

    I am soooo glad that commpasion takes their time to send and translate all the kids and sponsers letters. They are very patient wiht all the sponsers, when they send multiple letters at once. I think it is very rude to dog on their hard work they do! :D

  17. Jennifer
    Jan 19, 2012
    at 10:57 am

    Regardless of how efficient or inefficient the new online letter writing seems, I am thankful for it. It encourages me to write more letters to my children. Thank you, Compassion!

  18. Diane Nichols
    Mar 12, 2012
    at 8:46 pm

    I agree, Lighten up. Marvin, like one writer said maybe the countries don’t have the electronic capabilities that we do, some of the kids I write to live in remote areas where there isn’t running water let alone electronic means of sending letters.

  19. Alida Catcheside
    Mar 13, 2012
    at 1:17 pm

    In context of the comment made 2 months ago, so I understand you losing the thread Marsha, Marvin commented on efficiency regarding email, to which Kathleen pointed out the value of the letter in an envelope as a gift, and I commented on the efficiency and gift not being exclusive. There was little about gifts per se. Your assumption is that useless gifts which are the ones would be sent and useful gifts which will be bought for them if we send money. I’m delighted you are sending your children financial gifts instead of showering them with useless gifts. No doubt they are using the food, clothes, shoes , animals , bedding you are providing your sponsored children to the max.

  20. Vicky Acker
    Mar 13, 2012
    at 6:02 pm

    I can’t fathom having a sponsor child and not writing to them. I signed up for my third sponsor child, Edwin, last week and was so excited to start communication that I didn’t even wait for my packet, just kept checking back to my sponsorship link online and as soon as his bio popped up wrote him an online letter and sent it. I sponsored little Luis in Bolivia about 2 1/2 weeks ago and am about to send him my second letter and am hoping to write each child twice monthly. I hope this isn’t overkill

  21. Denise
    Mar 14, 2012
    at 1:26 pm

    Whatever the details involved, I have been corresponding with one of my kids for over six years. One of the goals on my “bucket list” is to meet him some day. There is a lot of love that flows back and forth. Those who donate money but not their time are really missing out on a blessing!

  22. Marsha
    Mar 14, 2012
    at 1:43 pm

    Thank You! You all do an amazing job!

  23. nicole
    Mar 16, 2012
    at 12:02 pm

    I appreciate having the choice to send an electronic message. It allows me to add pictures and gives me more incentive to write more frequently. I do it both ways. But I find it easier to type a quick message and to mail things like birthday or christmas cards, things of that nature.

  24. Paul
    Mar 16, 2012
    at 5:42 pm

    Just recently became a Compassion sponsor. Thank You for doing God’s work. The new online letter writing tool is awesome. So easy to use and sent some pics also. God Bless you all.

  25. Rachel Lynn
    Mar 19, 2012
    at 12:55 pm

    It’s great that sponsor letters have increased through the use of the new email system. This post mentions that 7,000 web letters are received from sponsors. What are the numbers for snail mail letters from sponsors?

  26. Aixa P.
    Mar 21, 2012
    at 9:30 am

    I understand what Marvin was saying, I didn’t think the online letters were printed either, but at the same time, I knew the field offices would not have the money and time to print those letters. Also, taking the time to write a letter, on hand, demostrate the effort that we put into it, the love. We are all busy, but still have time to send a hand written letter. Take also advantage to send a picture from us and also even send my child in Ethiopia a page from a religuious coloring book so she can enjoy and learn. I know that means a lot to her to get something from us. It broke my heart in happiness when I received a picture of my child and family once, and I noticed my own picture was in the background hanging in a wall. I knew right then, they do receive my letters. Have a bless day!

  27. Rod Skewes
    Mar 24, 2012
    at 9:08 pm

    I am wondering about the time lag for letters to get between a sponsor and a child and vice versa. It says above that Joe’s team can process a letter in 3-5 days. Why then does it take another 2-3 months to get to my sponsored child? That 6 month lag (2-3 months each way) makes any meaningful communication difficult. Is translation the bottleneck?

    • Mar 25, 2012
      at 12:07 pm

      Hi Rod! Per another blog post, the translators get about a week to translate about 50 letters. As the letters are only mailed out once a week (presumably to cut down on transport costs), it may take longer than 5 days to get mailed as it would be sitting waiting for the next week’s outgoing mail. Once the letters arrive in the country they have to go through customs, which could be a short process or an extremely lengthy process. This part of the process is completely beyond CI’s control, but that is why they limit things to paper goods as they declare the letters are documents with no value (a bracelet would have value as would a toy or book). Then the letters go to the country office where they are translated and then they are picked up by the local project office (or transported to the project office I imagine depending on the distance to the center). Some projects are remote and take much longer for CI’s delivery system to get to them compared to others.

      A friend of mine had a job in Canada and just sending a single letter of recommendation via FedEx or UPS from the US to Canada (via overnight delivery) still had a 2+ day delay in customs. I can only imagine how long the delays are in 3rd world countries.

      My kid’s letters used to take 3 months to get to me from Brazil. It now is just over a month. So, at least on that end, things seem to be getting faster-a blog last Saturday describes some of the advancements in letter processing on that end http://blog.compassion.com/a-childs-letter-from-maria-to-her-sponsor/

      Some kids are better than others are writing descriptive letters and developing a relationship. I am looking forward to the letter writing program changes where for each letter I write within a 60 day period my child will write a minimum of one letter back to me. I feel that the changes will help my relationship with my child grow!

  28. Mar 25, 2012
    at 3:10 pm

    Love this post :)

  29. Alissa
    Mar 27, 2012
    at 4:47 pm

    I have a question. I have always received a letter from a teacher or someone else who wrote a letter for my sponsored children. When do I get to see them write their OWN letters as they are about 9 or 10 years old at the moment. Even if they just said “Hola. Estoy muy bien” – I’d be very happy as I speak their language fluently (Spanish). I love what Compassion has done in the past, but I am thinking about canceling my membership and sponsoring others here in the USA. I’m torn and am dealing with a conflict. I have never seen a letter from my sponsored children written by themselves even if it is a one sentence letter. :/ I understand that their literacy rate is not that great, but to see my sponsored childrens’ own writing would be WONDERFUL and a blessing. :) Lots of angelic love and light to all of you!! :D xoxoxox Thanks for doing what you do to help these children. :).

    • Cayla
      Mar 29, 2012
      at 9:50 am

      Hey Alissa, I read your comment below. and i understand. but for some children writing is very difficult. so other people write for them. give it time her/she will learn to write. God bless i hope i helped. God bless
      Cayla

    • Mar 29, 2012
      at 9:08 pm

      I understand your desire to receive letters written directly by the children, Alissa — it is a special moment to receive that first letter in their writing, their hearts flowing through their words… it will happen, don’t give up! What I’ve learned is that some children, if they joined the Compassion program a little later in their childhood, may not have had access to simple things that develop the handwriting fine motor skills and help them reach the handwriting goals on target. Imagine a pre-school child never having crayons to draw with — they would have been at a disadvantage compared to most children in developed countries when it comes to catching up on writing skills. They soon do catch up, though!

      Our child in Thailand took the longest to write her own letters, because of how complex it is to write in Thai… she finally did just a few months ago, and I thought she’d simply write a few sentences and that would have been it (and I would have understood!), but she poured her heart out over two pages… it was SO worth the wait and the encouragement. I sent her many letters praising her handwriting efforts at school and telling her I was eager to see her sign her own artwork/drawings on the letters she’d send, and eventually she was able to do that, and then I praised her for working hard and practicing so that she could write her own letters, sent her Thai alphabet practice sheets, etc… and prayers were answered. Don’t give up… I know it’s hard, but it’ll be worth the wait. Continue to write and encourage your sponsor child in his/her efforts!

    • jerry
      Apr 11, 2012
      at 10:37 am

      Alissa, I understand your disappointment, but ask yourself, what is the bottom line of sponsoring a child. It’s all about the child, what they need and what you can do for him or her. I agree, it would be great to get a personal message from your sponsored child. But if they can’t write, that doesn’t remove the fact that they still need your love and support. I just started sponsoring a 7 year old from from Honduras and I’m not holding my breath while waiting to receive a letter from her personally. I have received correspondence from local Compassion offices for other sponsored children. For me, this reassures my faith in what Compassion is doing.
      God Bless

  30. Rachel Lynn
    Mar 30, 2012
    at 10:44 am

    Hi Alissa,

    I would encourage you to keep writing to your kids – why don’t you tell your children in a letter that you would love to see their own handwriting or ask them to write their name out for you?

    I had a girl who was around 8 and I always received letters from her mother – she would explain that my girl was too young to write for herself. I did tell my girl that I was excited for her to write her own letters eventually and encouraged her to work on her handwriting, and did get a reply letter sometime later that she had written.

    I also got a letter from one of my boys and he said “I am so happy to write you in my own handwriting!” Sometimes I think they just need a bit of encouragement, but children do love to please, and if you let them know how much it will mean to you, I think they will make an effort to write themselves.

  31. Kelly
    Mar 30, 2012
    at 4:14 pm

    Just a few weeks ago I returned from a sponsorship tour where I got to meet the precious girl that I sponsor. So as for the debate between internet letters or snail mail…Those kids just want to hear from you! We asked kids who had graduated the program, “What encouraged you the most?” 100% of the time they responded, “Letters from my sponsor.” So please, love them through your letters. Now, they do enjoy seeing your handwriting as they feel more connected to you that way.
    Those we visited thanked us as though we were their actual sponsor. So I want to pass along their gratitude to you….Thank you for loving these little ones.
    I can’t remember what we were told in regards to where the internet letters are printed, but the printing location may be due to the resources in the country.

  32. irene holloway
    Apr 4, 2012
    at 10:25 pm

    hi i’m a newby. went through all the same questions and the time frame to receive a letter from “my little girl”. the very next day after my fussing, i received a letter from her and the tears of joy flowed. now instead of getting frustrated, i spend time trying to learn her language. i feel this will help her see how personal this is to me and in my next letter i will start added one sentence and ask her to try to learnit in english. this is something to try to build a more personal relationship between the two of us. no matter what or how, i love her. thats all that matters.

  33. Apr 6, 2012
    at 8:17 pm

    I have been so blessed to be able to sponsor a young lady in India, and now we have felt lead to do another from Peru. These young girls have touched our hearts and I am grateful for all of the hard work behind the scenes that goes out to them. I am a teacher and until you walk in the shoes of someone trying to help others on a daily basis you won’t realize how much one gives of oneself. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for doing God’s work and making a difference to so many lives.

  34. JeanineBrisbois
    Apr 8, 2012
    at 5:01 pm

    Shaina,
    thanks for answering the question about why the letters are mailed. And thanks for asking it, Marvin. I was a bit upset myself as a new sponsor, when I realized I couldn’t get anything to my child on time for her birthday. I cared more about her not feeling neglected than I did about quality paper, but I didn’t know how limited the field office was.

  35. David
    Apr 10, 2012
    at 8:27 am

    I appreciate the option to write letters online for three reasons, regardless of delivery time:

    1) I can attach a digital photo easily.
    2) I am more likely to write.
    3) I have horrible hand-writing! lol

    On the other hand, isn’t it a contradiction that I LOVE my child’s scribbled letters? ;)

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