common questions Questions about correspondence are among the most common we hear among our support community and in the contact center. I thought I’d make it easy for you and compile our most frequently asked correspondence questions together in one place.

  1. Where do I send my letters?
    You can mail your letters to the address below. Be sure to include your sponsor number (A seven digit number that starts with a 1, 2, or 3) and your child’s number (A seven digit number that begins with two letters) on the letter so we can process it correctly.

    Attn: Child Correspondence
    Compassion International
    Colorado Springs, CO 80997

  2. Global Ministry Center, Colorado Springs, Colo.

  3. Why can’t I send a package?
    Everything we send to each field office is declared as a document. If the box of letters went through customs and customs officials found something in it that was not a document, we would be charged hefty fines and that box would be held for weeks, possibly months.

    Also, sending items overseas can be very tricky. There is a very high incidence of theft, and we’re not willing to take that chance with items that you have spent money on.

    On top of that, shipping items can be quite costly. After paying for the item, shipping it to the country, and paying for customs fees, you would probably spend two to three times more than the worth of the item you shipped.

    Instead, we encourage you to send monetary gifts. The child and family can choose what they need from the market and it helps to stimulate the local economy.

  4. What can I send to my child?
    You’re welcome to send any items that are made of paper, no thicker than 1/4” and no larger than 8.5” by 11.” For a list of ideas, check out our Tips for Mailing Small Gifts.

    We’ve also got some great ideas on our Pinterest board.

  5. Why do my letters take so long?
    Your letters will take two to three months to reach your child and it will take two to three months for your child’s letters to reach you. When your letters to your sponsored child reach our Colorado Springs office either by mail or through our online letter tool, your letters are processed, checked to be sure any attachments are within size limitations, and sorted by country.

    Letters are mailed once a week to each country office. After the letters go through customs, the country office receives and distributes them to translators. Once the letters have been translated, they are sorted by child development center and placed in each center’s bin.

    How far the child development center staff members are located from the country office will determine how often they are able to pick up the letters — anywhere from weekly to once a month. The next time each center meets they will distribute the letters to the children. Your child’s letter takes a similar process back to reach you.

  6. Sorting letters in our office in Inda

  7. Why does my child not answer my questions?
    Letter writing can be a difficult concept for a child to understand who has always communicated verbally. Here’s a great post with lots of information, Why Do My Sponsored Child’s Letters Seem So Impersonal?
  8. When will I receive my first letter from my child?
    After you sponsor a child, you will receive a letter from them within four months. Typically, your child will find out that they are sponsored about 2-3 weeks after you make your first contribution.
  9. Can I write to my child in their own language?
    Yes! You are welcome to write to your child in their language. Just know that this will not speed up the process as the translator will still check to make sure the child can understand your letter and that the content is appropriate.
  10. Translators in our Indonesian office

  11. Will I receive confirmation when my child gets my letter?
    No, you will not receive a confirmation when your child receives your letter. However, you can expect that they should receive your letter two to three months after you send it.
  12. How do I email my child?
    While you aren’t necessarily able to email your child, you may write a letter to them online using our online letter-writing tool. To write online, sign in to your account on www.compassion.com and click “Write My Child.”You can choose from several colorful templates and even upload pictures. We will print your letter in color in our Colorado Springs office.

So did I miss anything? If you still have a question about correspondence, feel free to share it at: support.compassion.com

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23 Comments Add a Comment
  1. Jul 10, 2012
    at 7:06 am

    I love this post! As you know, my passion is helping sponsors with this aspect of ministry. The only thing I wish this post had touchd on is how VERY, VERY important our letters are to our children.

    Children who do not receive letters often feel unloved. Our letters are a chance to tell these children that they are important and to battle the lies they are told by Poverty. Please check out this blog post, with testimonies of those who have gone to visit projects. http://www.bloggingfromtheboonies.com/2011/06/yes-letters-really-are-that-important.html

    • Hannah
      Jul 11, 2012
      at 10:17 am

      I totally agree Michelle! I love writing my kids and I know it means a lot to them! I’ve really gotten a lot of good ideas and advice from your website as well. Thank you for being such an inspiration. :-)

  2. Mary Frank
    Jul 10, 2012
    at 7:22 am

    I would like to see more ideas for older children – teenagers and young adult – other than post cards.

    Can we send fabric squares?

    • Shaina Moats
      Jul 10, 2012
      at 7:53 am

      Hey Mary! You aren’t able to send fabric squares since you can only send paper items. Here’s some suggestions: http://cintl.us/-n Also, here are the guidelines for what you may send: http://cintl.us/em

    • Jul 10, 2012
      at 2:03 pm

      Mary – I wrote a post about writing to older kids and it might be helpful to you.
      http://compassionfamily.blogspot.com/2011/09/writing-to-older-kids.html

    • Jul 10, 2012
      at 5:50 pm

      Mary, I also have a post about things to send to older children: http://www.bloggingfromtheboonies.com/2012/04/sending-goodies-to-older-children.html Though, if I remember correctly, Jill and I were on the same wavelength with many suggestions on our lists!

    • Lynn
      Oct 6, 2012
      at 6:14 pm

      Have you tried sending postage stamps? It could be a fun search for you (digging through new and old mail to cut off the stamps) and a neat collection for the child of stamps from another country. You can even write a little on the back of the stamp to explain the stamp (ex: the eagle is a symbol of freedom and America’s national bird). I like to send doubles of some of the stamps so that my child can share with others. Every day when your mail is delivered, look for new stamps to cut off and set aside to send at a future time… As I’m writing this, I’m realizing that when I look through the mail (stamp collecting in the back of my mind), it’s a great time to think about my sponsored child and pray for her!

  3. Marvin
    Jul 10, 2012
    at 8:21 am

    I do not live in the USA but I sponsor through the USA office. We don’t have a compasion office in the country I live in. If I send a letter do I have to send it to the USA office or can I send it to the Country office or the Compassion office in Korea (I live in Asia). If not, can I switch from the USA office to the Korean office?

    • Shaina Moats
      Jul 10, 2012
      at 9:41 am

      Hey Marvin! If you sponsor through Compassion US, you will need to send your correspondence to our office to be sent to your child. If you would like to send your correspondence to the Compassion Korea office, you are welcome to switch your account to that office. Simply email us your request at ciinfo@us.ci.org.

  4. Jul 11, 2012
    at 4:19 pm

    What a great list! I have seen many of these questions come up, and even had some of them myself a little while back.

  5. Katie
    Jul 21, 2012
    at 2:03 pm

    I am new to Compassion and saw the restriction of items to 8 1/2 by 11. Can we send these items in a 9 x 12 envelope, or does everything have to be less than 8 1/2 x 11? Thanks!

  6. Melissa
    Jul 22, 2012
    at 5:18 pm

    Yes, you can use 9×12 envelopes or priority mail envelopes/boxes (more expensive unless shipping to numerous children at once) or whatever to send the items to Compassion. The size restrictions are only on the items themselves.

  7. Jul 23, 2012
    at 9:00 am

    Katie,
    You can send the items to Compassion in any size envelope as it wont be used again once its arrived there.
    The size limit only applies to anything you enclose inside the envelope that you want sent on to your child. :)

  8. Beth
    Sep 26, 2012
    at 7:30 pm

    I’m unclear how the letter I write that (along with some stickers, and other papers I want to send) is enclosed in an 8.5″x11″ envelope will be translated. Will you open the envelope to translate the letter inside before my sponsor child receives it?

    • Jacquie Parella
      Sep 27, 2012
      at 7:30 am

      Hi Beth! We will open the letter and have it translated for your child before they receive it. As a side note — It’s helpful if you make sure your sponsor number and your child’s number is included on everything in your letter. Please let us know if you have other questions!

  9. Melissa Borckardt
    Oct 15, 2012
    at 7:35 am

    The online letter templates don’t give much space for writing… If I want to write a longer letter, should I just print something out and mail it to to the Compassion office?

  10. Becky
    Oct 18, 2012
    at 2:24 am

    I think the answer is no, but can I send a friendship bracelet to my sponsored child?

    • Jacquie Parella
      Oct 18, 2012
      at 6:05 am

      No sorry Becky, friendship bracelets can’t be sent.

  11. Krista
    Oct 23, 2012
    at 11:15 pm

    I see there is now the option to upload pictures when we write online… just wondering what the quality is of these pictures when they are printed out? Would it still be better to send real pictures from me? I plan to, but I’m just curious!

  12. Sarah
    Dec 6, 2013
    at 11:43 am

    Hello! I was wondering if the emails take just as long as snail mail to reach our kids (about 3 months) or if it is quicker?

    • Susan Sayler
      Dec 6, 2013
      at 7:56 pm

      Since we do have to print out email letters and send them in the mail to the children, online letters still take 2-3 months to be delivered.

      • Feb 12, 2014
        at 2:23 pm

        Sarah and Susan, I may be mistaken, but I was under the impression that some country/regional offices print the emails on site in the country and would thus result in a faster message to the child. I thought this was the case when I visited the compassion HQ in Columbia. Can anyone confirm my memory?

        • Susan Sayler
          Feb 13, 2014
          at 4:36 pm

          None of our country offices currently have the capability of printing out the letters. We are hoping that they will have that capability at some point though. :)

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