A Sponsor’s Letter: From Gayle to Her Child

A lot needs to happen before a sponsor like Gayle can receive a letter from her sponsored child. In this video we see the sponsor side of the sponsor-child letter-writing journey.

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

67 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Kathy DeLucio March 5, 2015

    This is a great video! I have been a sponsor for 15 years and honestly had no idea of the steps involved in sending my letters. It is a tedious process, but has a priceless impact for each child to know that they are loved and supported by their sponsor. I love the on-line letter formats with the pretty stationery and opportunities to upload photos. Thank you very much for taking such great care to assure that our children receive their letters.

  2. Mark Lewis July 15, 2013

    the bigger question is:. . how hard is it to find AFFORDABLE child care ANYWHERE?

  3. Nicole January 5, 2013

    Thanks so much for creating these two instructional videos – Maria’s Letter to Her Sponser and Gayle’s Letter to Her Sponsored Child – so that we sponsors have a better understanding of how the letter process works.

    I noticed that the letters sent via the Web are printed out and mailed with the letters that arrived via the Post Office. Since the online letters were electronic initially, I was curious why they aren’t just emailed to the receiving country for translation and delivery? Wouldn’t that save on postage costs?

    It sounds like an online letter saves about 3 or so days in the processing time, as compared to how long it would take the Post Office to deliver a mailed letter to CO.


  4. Andrew September 22, 2012

    We sponsor because we care about the children and want to help them. I write to them when I can and they do likewise. When we make a gift, we trust that it gets received regardless if we hear from them or not. We are giving unto the Lord. It’s not easy running an organization like Compassion and please everyone. I think Compassion does a fantastic job but is run by sinners like we all are. So let’s give them a break.

  5. holly June 12, 2012

    thank you very much!

  6. Holly June 12, 2012

    Is hand written or computer sent letters faster or does it make a difference?

    1. Jacquie Parella June 12, 2012

      If you write a letter online it cuts the time down by about two weeks. So, a little bit. 🙂

  7. Cindy May 25, 2012

    Recently, I read a question on one of Compassion’s support pages asking if a type of mail or letter-tracking feature can be added to our online accounts so we can see where the letters are in the process. I noticed that it was replied to as “under consideration”.
    This would be such a cool feature and make many of us really excited to see if a letter was on its way to us or where our letters are to our children. I think it would motivate and inspire us to send more letters to our children too, especially if it showed they had been received, the receipt date (or approx. date of arrival), or how approx. how much time remaining in the process, etc.

    Here’s the link if any of you are interested and haven’t seen this yet: https://support.compassion.com/compassion/topics/visibility_to_mail_flow

  8. Hope May 21, 2012

    Hi everyone, I also have noticed fewer letters, and thought perhaps the center had lost their translator or worse my child had gotten sick or ??. I’ve been praying and decided to go on the Compasion Sponsor trip to Ethiopia this Nov. to visit my child and see how the process works and ask questions. I can’t wait to exchange hugs and smiles and create some memories.

  9. denise pavelka April 19, 2012

    What a great video. I would love to see the children’s faces when they receive the letters.
    Thank you all for sharing God’s Love.

  10. Linda Sanders April 9, 2012

    I just want to say that I think having the opportunity to write letters to my child in Kenya and have them translated is a true blessing. I really appreciate all that compassion has to do to make this happen. I’m glad someone takes the times to translate my words to my wonderful child.

    I hope the people are disappointed in the frequency of letters or quality of letters remembers that any letter received to you is a blessing. Some of us sponsor children in countries where we are only told we will recieve 3 letters per year, but are encouraged to write regularly. I only write about once per month and I only have received about 6 letters in 2 years. My boy is only 6 now and does not know what to say so usually repeats things that I already know. But that’s okay. It is the thought and effort that counts and I know he is doing the best he can.

    Remember the children you sponsor may not be as educated or articulate as you expect. I’m a school teacher and kids that are educated well in america have a hard time wrting letters or anything for that matter. My child and others have so much to do their daily life including many chores and school and other obligations that we may not think of in our comfortable homes. I know that my child has to help get fresh water, help cook and clean and gather fire wood. This is hard work and takes time and to him is not something exciting to write about. So I am sure he does not know what to tell me about. I was disappointed at first, but ask God to help me not be selfish and do things for Lucas only and to honor God. I hope everyone had a blessed Easter.

  11. Vicky Acker March 28, 2012

    I have been following this on Our Compassion as well and it seems like a few people who had been receiving regular letters had them abruptly stop at the end of 2011, but over this week there have been several posts of sponsors receiving 3-4 letters this week alone, so hopefully this be a sign of better tidings in the receipt process. I think if people know they will eventually receive several letters (if bundling them is to reduce cost) it may help the wait. I would like to think that I could ration myself and only read one of the letters every couple weeks to make the wait between less, but I know I would be lying and I would read all at once. In the meantime, I live vicariously through others by reading posts about the letters received by them, which is especially nice if they are in the same area or project as my children.

  12. craig downs March 28, 2012

    I to am a little frustrated with the changes going to be made. It seems like it started ever since the new online letter writing began. Now there are more changes that I’m not sure how they are going to turn out. I think some of the changes should be made to make better whats already there. Like why does it take just as long for the children to receive letters if there is no translation need. If you use the online letter writer why can’t both sides be used if your children know your language. I just got a letter from my 10 year old dated back in Nov. and she asked for prayer for her father because he fractured his knee and needed surgery. It would have been nice to pray for them but after 4 months it already happened. Regardless what changes are going to be made I’m here to love and support my children, but I’m worried with what’s coming.

    1. Shaina Moats March 28, 2012

      I’m sorry you’re worried about the changes, Craig. Even if you write your letter in your child’s language, it still must be looked at by a translator to ensure that the dialect is correct and to check for appropriateness. We are always looking for ways to better the correspondence process, so if you have an idea, please feel free to post it here: https://support.compassion.com

  13. Stacey March 27, 2012

    Reading through these comments got me wanting to say something myself about the changes I personally have been seeing in my correspondence with my kids. I should say lack of correspondence. Thailand has been increasing letters. Just today, I received a second letter from my girl in Thailand (this month), and she usually only writes three times a year. My correspondent boy in Bangladesh has written 21 letters last year, and I have received nothing so far this year. Usually in January, I don’t receive many, but by February it’s back to normal, where I receive a letter at least three times a week. Most of them were from my boy in Bangladesh. Now, I don’t expect him to write so many letters and to respond to every letter that I write, but I have enjoyed and even looked forward to hearing from him. I sponsored a girl in Honduras in September, but I know they usually write three times a year, as I had a correspondent in Honduras for a few years. The same goes for my other correspondent kids, that I only hear from them three/four times a year. Not a big deal. But when you are used to receiving so many letters a month, it becomes normal. And more than half of the letters were from my Bangladesh boy. I’m now wondering if he’s even in the project anymore. Plus, if I’m noticing such a decrease (NOTHING this year), has he noticed a decrease as well? Are my letters even getting to him? Or is he anxiously awaiting my letters every month, only to be disappointed? Does he wonder if I forgot about him? I am frustrated, but I’m not going to give up on writing to my kids or even to stop sponsoring. I thoroughly believe in Compassion’s ministry, and I know one day this dramatic decrease will turn into a dramatic increase. I just wanted someone to know what I have been noticing, especially from Bangladesh. Except for a letter from my correspondent in El Salvador and letters from my Thailand girl, I haven’t heard from any of my kids.

    1. Jacquie Parella March 27, 2012

      Hi Stacey! We are taking note of all input like this for a meeting next week so thank you.

      1. Julie March 28, 2012

        I’ve noticed the same thing. I used to get soooo many letters from my girl in Bangladesh–and now I haven’t heard from her in a long time. I have been wondering about the on-line letters. I’ve done those exclusively since November, but the recent letters I have gotten from some of my sponsored kids sound like they haven’t heard from ME for months (and I write *almost* once per month!)… and none of them has responded to anything I said in the on-line letters. Makes me wonder…. So today I fired off a bunch of hand-written letters just in case. But, yeah… I really miss my Bangladesh girl’s letters. I felt like I knew her way better than my other kids because of the frequency of her letters, but now… ?

  14. Debbie March 27, 2012

    Marci–I think it was another organization that promised pics for over $50. Compassion has never promised that. I have 18 kids, and only have received an additional pic from one, and that was not for a gift. Yes, things have slowed down considerably with mail, especially from Ghana. Unfortunately, the thing to do is to sponsor w ith another organization if you aren’t happy with Compassion. Many of us have kids with other organizations. Most do not have a good history of letter writing though. It’s sad Compassion seems to be going the same way when that is what they were so known for in the past.

    1. Marci Ficht March 27, 2012

      Hullo, Debbie…it was Compassion…kinda! They didn’t promise…but in either a journal or one of these blog posts they said that most projects sent a picture if you sent a gift over $50. That would just be nice to have, ya know? Kinda like proof and gives you a better idea on what was bought than “clothes, food, and toys.” Not a deal breaker, though. I’ve had one highly promising link given to me to one organization and another one had high praise also…I’ll check them out tomorrow. I’m sad over the Compassion issues, also. I’m not giving up on my kids, though! I love them like family! On another note, at least if someone is considering sponsoring a Compassion child for the first time, maybe they’ll read these blogs and see the problems before they sponsor and be able to make an informed decision.

  15. Sarah March 27, 2012

    It is so cool to see the process of how our letters get to the children!

  16. Andrew Toy March 27, 2012

    Thank you for sharing this.

  17. M. Warner March 26, 2012

    Thank you for taking the time to reverse the mailing process and show how a sponsor’s letter gets back to the sponosored child’s country. All of the letters were smaller in the video. Like Linda T. and Deb L., I am curious how letters with 8 X 11 paper attachments are handled too! Can you please take the time to explain? Also, I would like to know how many people are employed in the mail room and how many volunteers assist? I had asked these two questions in my response to the last video, but they weren’t answered. It’s a huge task to work in the mail room, and I am curious. I’m also wondering why your charity has to go and get all the mail at the post office? How come you don’t have it directly mailed to the Global Ministry Center? I hope to read a response to my questions. Thank You!

  18. Deb L March 26, 2012

    Yes, like Linda T I was hoping to see what would happen with bigger letters with more inclusions. Are we slowing down the whole process when we do things like that?

  19. Ndamyumugabe Jean Claude March 26, 2012

    I’ m very happy with this video, may our veavenly father bless you all sponsors

  20. Linda T. March 26, 2012

    Great video, and good to see the process. But you need to tell your “actress” that she should have jumped up and down a few times, shed a few tears, and at least LOOKED at the photo included in her letter! 🙂

    also, I was hoping to see what you have to do when we send large envelopes stuffed full of goodies, as some of us are prone to do. Hope it doesn’t slow down the process too bad!

    thanks for all your hard work.

    1. Aura March 27, 2012

      I’m wondering about the enveloped too. I send soo many sheets of stickers and coloring pages, I just wondered how those were processed.

  21. Hannah March 26, 2012

    I am having a different problem than you. I have been getting many letters from my child from compassion, but I have a child sponsored through another organization and I haven’t received a letter from him in probably a year.

    1. Marci Ficht March 26, 2012

      Hannah!!! THAT’S AWESOME!!!!! 🙂 Well, the part about Compassion…not your other child. I hope the letters keep coming! I know there are some projects out there that seem to be keeping the steady flow going…and I’m happy your child is in one of them.

      I didn’t even know there were other programs out there like Compassion…I thought Compassion was a rare set up. Of course, I never looked either. My sister snagged me as a sponsor one Christmas while we were decorating her tree…and I have sponsored a child as a Christmas present to myself for two of the last three years. I don’t think I’m going to sponsor any more, though….not unless things drastically change. I’m going to check out your blog!!! 🙂

      1. Hannah March 27, 2012

        Thanks! I’d love to chat with you on my blog about Compassion and the other organization we use. Both are great but we seem to be having the opposite problem as you!

      2. Hannah March 27, 2012

        Thank you! Yes, I sponsor one child through Compassion and our family has another sponsored child through another organization. I’d have to say I’ve been more pleased with Compassion though. I have gotten a letter from my girl every 3-4 months consistently since I have begun sponsoring her. With the little boy we have sponsored though it has been quite some time since I have seen a letter. I’d be happy to chat about the other program with you on my blog. That is sad that your letters haven’t been coming. Hope they fix this soon!

  22. Hannah March 26, 2012

    Glad to see the second part! I love sending and receiving letters.
    I just started a blog about child sponsorship, please visit and comment at childsponsorship.blogspo.com
    Thanks for this video!

    1. Hannah March 26, 2012

      Oops, meant my blog was childsponsorship101.blogspot.com

  23. Lizzie March 26, 2012

    Nice post! I love learing about how the mail is processed.

  24. Rosie March 26, 2012

    This is soo neat to see the process. Thanks team!
    I just received the most beautiful letter from one of the children I sponsor. Almost made me cry, I just love getting letters so much. Off to write a letter to her now.

  25. Marci Ficht March 26, 2012

    Something has gone wrong over the past year with the Compassion letter writing process and although I appreciate the video, it doesn’t change the fact that I cannot recommend that my friends sponsor children anymore. I used to love Compassion and brag about the charity all the time….but it has all changed and I’m still waiting to see if it’s permanent or not. I haven’t had new letters to put in my albums for so very long now.

    If I wanted to just support charities and not have an encouraging relationship with a child, there are plenty of charities that I can send my money to. One of the reasons I decided to sponsor children with Compassion was because of the wonderful interaction that they promised that I’d have with my children. I’VE BEEN WAITING OVER SIX MONTHS for news from one of my children….and it’s been at least over four for my other child (I forgot to write the receipt date on the letter)….whom I USED to receive a letter from every other month AT THE VERY LEAST because it’s supposed to be a reciprocal country. It was so wonderful hearing from him so often….and then it just stopped.

    I appreciate the effort and work that goes into the entire process…but considering how many letters and how much additional money and gifts I’ve sent over the past few years, it would be nice to hear from my kids. I don’t need the guilt trip for expecting to receive letters….after all, that is the MAIN thing that sets Compassion apart from other charities and the primary reason I chose Compassion. And I’m not the only one – the OurCompassion blog site is FULL of unhappy people who are being let down by Compassion. People who used to be their most vocal and enthusiastic supporters!!!

    Some of the other sponsors try to make those of us who are upset over the lack of letters feel like we shouldn’t be, saying “It’s not about us…it’s about the children.” Well, I don’t agree. Compassion makes a big stink about how much the children need our letters and what happens when they don’t have sponsors who write to them…how sad the children are – it works the other way too!!! Compassion’s biggest difference from other charities is the interaction with the children…without it, they’re just like other charities. Actually, they aren’t…they’re worse because they make the sponsors hope for a relationship with their sponsored children.

    1. Aura March 27, 2012

      Hey Marci,

      That really sucks. I write to my sponsored child way too often so I usually get a letter every two weeks, sometimes more than one stapled together. He lives in Togo and is on the reciprocal program. However I just went like 4 months without hearing anything, especially about a gift i had sent him. Yesterday I got four letters from him, including the one with the gift photo. I guess there must have been a backlog or something, maybe all yours are in limbo too?

      1. Marci Ficht March 27, 2012

        I get several letters stapled together, too….which are counted separately but mailed together from my Bolivian boy….he’s reciprocal, too! And, just like you, it has been four months…well, it will be by the time the mailed letter gets to me. And, just like you, I still haven’t heard about the gifts. NOW I HOPE that I’m just like you and when I finally do receive mail, I’ll have four letters!!!! And a gift photo!!!!! That would be soooooooooooooo wonderful….and I sure hope you’re right and I’m just in limbo! 🙂

    2. Kate March 26, 2012

      Marci, Thank you for being willing to speak up. I feel just as disappointed as you are!

      1. Shaina Moats March 27, 2012

        I’m sorry to hear that you’re disappointed. What specifically are you disappointed with?

      2. Marci Ficht March 26, 2012

        I’m sorry you’re going through what I’m going through, Kate…we’re not the only ones. My twin sister (who got me interested in Compassion!) is very disheartened and even APOLOGIZED to me for getting me involved. If you go on the OurCompassion website (which I rarely do anymore…I lost my enthusiasm when I stopped hearing from my kids and never received photographs from the one child showing what was bought for him) you’ll find quite a few who are unhappy with how things are going. There’s probably a lot more, too, who just don’t interact much anymore…like me. I’m upset right now…very, very, very upset over all the rhetoric on how there are changes taking place and how we should be patient. Like some of the other Compassion sponsors told me…considering that usually when someone sends more than $60 as a gift they receive a photograph of what was purchased (even if it’s one that summarizes Christmas, birthday, and family gift in one!) and a letter, that they would be bending over backwards to AT LEAST see that I get a letter letting me know what was purchased!!!


        1. Becky March 28, 2012

          Hi Marci. I think I can answer the photograph question as CI said in another blog (Shaina’s one about hows, whats and whys of gift giving) it was if the project had the resources to provide a photo (i.e., had enough money to own a digital camera, computer, printer, etc.), then they would if the gift amount was over $60. I somehow have always managed to sponsor kids from projects that are not well enough off to provide photos of their gifts. I’ve only ever sponsored in non-reciprocal countries, so their thank you letters are included with their 3x/year letters. I just thought that might clear up why some sponsors get photos and others do not about gifts if it wasn’t explained somewhere else. I certainly do not blame you for being frustrated as per what the country offices and local projects are supposed to be doing, it isn’t happening right. I do wonder if there are other people who have had similar issues with getting gift notifications from your kid in Brazil’s project as that seems crazy for them to not respond. I requested a field inquiry 4-5 years ago and it took less than 3 months and I got a detailed accounting of what was purchased with the gift (my kid just mentioned what he got for a family gift, and i knew that a family gift above the child gift max couldn’t only be spent on one child-per the rep I spoke with then). Your experience seems so strange that it is good you are asking questions since it should definitely not be like how it is! I hope things get sorted out soon for both your and your kid’s sake!!

        2. Doug March 27, 2012

          What exactly are you going through? You received 14 letters last year from one kid and 3 letters from another and you’re not happy? I don’t understand the problem.

    3. Shaina Moats March 26, 2012

      Hi Marci! I’m so sorry you’re disappointed with the letter writing from your sponsored children. Please know that we do not take yours- or other’s concerns lightly. I have been involved with the discussion going on about this topic on OurCompassion. There are some changes that have occurred and are in the process right now. You can view the changes to the letter writing process here: https://blog.compassion.com/changes-to-our-letter-writing-process/ and my response in the discussion here:
      This is definitely a new process and it will take some time for our office, as well as the project staff and field office staff to get comfortable with it. Remember- if it has been 6 months or longer since you have heard from your child, please contact us so we can contact our field office.

      1. Marci Ficht March 26, 2012

        Hello, Shaina! Yes. I am VERY DISAPPOINTED with the letter writing and I have been for quite some time. I have read both of those links you provided already…and I commented on them also. Almost three weeks ago for the OC one and way back in October for the Compassion blog (although I added a few more today because I’m so upset).

        I’ve also contacted Compassion with my concerns. Several times. So that everyone can see that I’m not whining for nothing, I am including everything with the exception of my kid’s names…which I’ve removed. Here are my contacts with Compassion….pay attention to the dates please.

        August 18, 2010 Note to Compassion:

        Hello –

        It’s been six months since I sent [my child] and his family a $300 family gift and I haven’t heard anything regarding whether they ever received it or what it was used for. Is there any chance someone could see if there was a problem? Does it normally take this long to receive word?

        Thank you for your time and God Bless You,

        September 21, 2010 Note to Compassion:

        Hello –

        It’s been another month (total of seven months) since I sent the $300 and I still haven’t heard anything. Please – was this ever looked into? I hate to bother you again, but I keep being told that I should have heard something long ago and that something must be wrong. I don’t even care so much about the thank you letter (although pictures would be wonderful) – I just want to know that they actually got it.

        Thank you,

        (*****September 28, 2010 Email from Compassion: Received a note from Compassion stating what was purchased*****)

        Letter to Compassion (August 21, 2011) emailed:

        To Whom it May Concern –

        This is in regards to [my child].

        I sent a family Christmas gift of $150 ($25 for each family member) on September 24 and I never heard anything in regards to whether they received it. It’s actually been eleven months. Assuming they would have at least received it on December 25, it’s definitely been eight months since they should have received it.

        I sent a birthday gift of $75 on December 6 and…again…I have never received anything in regards to whether he received it. Assuming he would have received it on his birthday, February 8, it’s been almost 7 months.

        I sent another family gift of $300 on April 9 and have yet to receive any notification that it was received, although I didn’t actually expect a response this soon considering what happened last year and that I haven’t heard anything regarding the other two monetary gifts as of yet. Last year when I sent the same amount it took over 6 months and an inquiry to find out that they did, in fact, receive it. I never received a photograph showing what was purchased (which would have been nice since I have no idea what friction cars are). I did eventually receive a thank you letter in September.

        I realize that all projects are not alike, but this big of a difference is very disturbing. I sent a birthday gift to my other child in Bolivia at the end of January and had received a letter AND a photograph of everything he had bought by April. I’m curious to see how long before I receive word on the receipt of the $300 I sent [my Bolivia child].

        I had someone from Compassion write the following to me last year: “Please keep in mind that we have very few project workers in comparison to the number of children they are looking after in their project. They will be working on your request along with their daily duties.” This made me feel guilty at first, but now that it’s happened all over again, I no longer feel guilty. I have to scrimp and save and do without in order to send the extra money to make their lives easier. I don’t think I should be made to feel guilty because I’m upset that I haven’t heard anything regarding whether they even received it.

        I hate to appear impatient and ungrateful for the effort they put forth for the children, but I can’t help but wonder why it’s so difficult for sponsor – child relations with Brazil and not with other countries like Bolivia? Actually, there are quite a few countries that acknowledge receipt of gifts and letters in a timely manner.

        I would appreciate it if someone could look into whether or not [my child] and his family ever received the Christmas and birthday money…and if possible, the additional $300 family gift. I would also appreciate it if I were not made to feel guilty for expecting acknowledgment eight months later.

        Thank you,

        I received correspondence at the end of September with this included from the project director: “She bought lots of clothes, food and toys for the [child] and [brother] also with the money you sent. Everyone in the family were very happy.” Not sure if that referred to Christmas, his birthday, or the family gift. Maybe it included all of them and the entire $525…I don’t know because that’s the only time it was mentioned. That was the last time I heard from my child….and Compassion never answered that last email to them. Sooooooooooooo…THAT IS WHY I FEEL THERE IS NO POINT IN CONTACTING COMPASSION.

        1. Shaina Moats March 27, 2012

          It sounds like you are frustrated with the correspondence process in general and not necessarily the recent changes to the process. Is that correct?

          1. Marci Ficht March 27, 2012

            No…that is not correct. The new changes made things much worse! My child from Bolivia WAS writing all the time and he always lets me know what the family gets with the extra money….he even sent pictures! But things have gone downhill with the changes…before I had one boy who I never heard from. Now I have two!!! I have received ONE letter from my Bolivia child since the changes took effect and it was a template letter…that was way back in the beginning of November. Keep in mind, I have sponsored him for a year….for the template letter, he colored in the picture of the little boy on it to show me that he was a boy (surprise!) and then told me that he has a mother and a brother. I have received nothing since. As for my child from Brazil….I haven’t received a Compassion letter from him in six months. I’ve had problems with hearing from him since the beginning….as you can see from the messages I sent Compassion.

            1. Shaina Moats March 27, 2012

              Thank you for the clarification Marci. I checked your account and see that a letter is on its way to you from your child in Bolivia. You should receive it in the next few weeks. I see your last letter from him was at the end of December. I have sent a reminder to our field office to have your child in Brazil write since it has been longer than 6 months since you have received a letter. Both of these countries (Bolivia and Brazil) will implement the new changes in July. Since they were not our early adopters, I’m confused as to why you are seeing these changes. The good news is that you should see an increase in letters from your child in Brazil since you have only received 3 letters each year from him. Since you received 14 letters from your child in Bolivia last year, you may see a small decrease in letters from him. If you would like to include your feedback for our correspondence meeting next week, please feel free to share it here: http://ourcompassion.org/?p=journal&id=6089914124593878487&from=add-journal

              1. Marci Ficht March 27, 2012

                Shaina – thank you! I wasn’t sure how long it was that I hadn’t heard from my boy in Bolivia since I didn’t write the date on it. I was pretty sure it was November. It usually takes two months for his letters to get to me and I thought it had been four or five…which, by the time the next one gets here in the next few weeks, it will have been four. I was concerned because there has been no mention of the family gift that was sent for Christmas to him, his brother, and mother. Usually I would have heard by now…which is why I’m confused and upset over the changes I’m seeing, too.

                As I mentioned above, t’s my boy in Brazil that is of the greatest concern. This isn’t something new…this has been going on for awhile.

              2. Doug March 27, 2012

                14 letters in one year? What? I don’t think a child should be expected to write 14 letters a year to their sponsor. That is a ridiculous expectation.

                1. Aura March 27, 2012

                  I haven’t even been sponsoring my kids two years and I have received 33 letters from him. I’m not saying I excpect him to write all the time, my other sponsored children don’t, but 14 isn’t that many.

                  It’s just slightly over one letter a month. My parents celebrate letter writing Friday every week, and my whole family writes at least one letter to a pen-pal, so since I was 5 I have had to write at least 4 a month. I don’t think one a month is a lot to ask, especially since Marci is on the reciprocal program and she has to write a letter to receive one. Besides it’s good for kids to learn how to write.

                2. Marci Ficht March 27, 2012

                  To Doug: The child is not “expected” to write fourteen letters a year, so therefore your comment about the “ridiculous expectation” is irrelevant.

                  When Kees Boer was looking for a sponsor for my little boy, he said Gadiel wanted a sponsor to write him a lot and send him things. I fell in love with this little boy the minute I saw his video. I made it clear from the beginning that he didn’t have to respond to every letter and present mailed to him and that I was going to send things all the time and spoil him! It’s HIS CHOICE on what he wants to respond to. (And actually, it’s his mum or other family member who writes…and they’re just short updates saying he’s fine and happy and thanking me for the presents I mail.)

                  I ALSO checked with Kees to make sure I wasn’t writing too much. He told me that writing too much would be impossible. He told me that Gadiel is very popular in his project because it’s obvious that his sponsor loves him very, very much. And you know what?! I DOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

                  The only reason I”m concerned at all that I haven’t heard from him is because the last thing I received was a form template and I haven’t heard anything at all regarding his Christmas gift money. He has always contacted me within two months after sending him any monetary gifts. It’s not that he hasn’t written…it’s that I don’t know if he RECEIVED IT. Because while his project is usually very good about letting me know, my other boy’s project IS NOT….which you will see if you read the communication I posted above.

                  So, to summarize: I don’t expect fourteen letters a year. I love my Bolivian boy, my boy loves me, my boy and his family write to me when they want. And did I mention that I love my Brazil boy? I love them BOTH so very much.

                  1. Doug March 28, 2012

                    My wife would have a fit about me saying this because she is a big-time sponsor and she loves to write letters. But I think the writing program should be taken out entirely. It’s expensive. It takes up money that could be used directly for the kids and their families. Clearly people don’t appreciate what is already offered with the writing program. Every complaint I have ever seen on this website is someone moaning about their kids letters. The letters aren’t good enough, the letters aren’t long enough, the letters don’t come enough, the kids aren’t saying what people want to hear.

                    Take out the writing program and we’ll see who sticks around. Who is really in this to benefit the kids and who is in it because these letters feed their own ego?

                    1. Hannah June 6, 2012

                      I love sending letters to my child. He is only 4 so I don’t expect long, fancy letters from him. I just want him to know that I love him & share God’s love with him. I always want him to know I’m praying for him. And I try to keep the letters fun & include a few stickers and a picture. I have received one letter and I cherish it very much. I don’t expect a lot from him at all. I want him to know God loves him and so do I.

                    2. Robin May 10, 2012

                      Oh my. My ego? Absolutely not. I so look forward to my letter and getting to know my child. Makes my day and I know I make her day when she received my letters and learns more about me.

                    3. Marci Ficht March 28, 2012

                      Thank you, Becky! It’s not that they don’t have a digital camera – they do. I wasn’t sure, so I even offered to purchase one for them! As for responding and letting me know what was purchased, as I stated above,they “kinda” responded…they said that they purchased toys and clothes and food. Which is rather vague. On a positive note, I have been assured with utmost certainty that they DID receive all the money and it was used to purchase things needed by the family.

                    4. aura March 28, 2012

                      I totally disagree with you. The letters are just as important as the money. The kids need to hear from sponsors, to knowthey are loved and cherished by a real person. And sponsors needs letters because its hard to write one way, you need to be able to build a relationship.

  26. Stephanie Green March 26, 2012

    Thank you, Jacquie and team! I loved seeing this side of it, too. What an organized and efficient process. May God bless all those who get our letters processed and on their way to our kids!

    1. Jacquie Parella March 26, 2012

      Thank you Stephanie! I will let our training team know you liked it. 🙂

  27. Marijke den Blaauwen March 26, 2012

    I have a question: hope someone has an answer for me:

    When I write a letter on the Dutch web (since I live in the Netherlands), is my letter also printed out in the US?
    I know it isn’t printed in the Netherlands and I understood these letters are send directly to the home country of the child but when that office doesn’t have a color printer the children might get a black and white letter and photo when I attach one. (someone from the office told me this)
    Here I read that the letters are printed in Colorado; but are these the letters from US sponsors only or also web letters from other countries?

    I hope someone can tell me because I wouldn’t like my children to get letters and photos without color…:)

    1. Shaina Moats March 26, 2012

      Hi! We only print US sponsors letters in our Colorado office. If you sponsor through our Dutch office, they will print your letters to your child there.

      1. Marijke den Blaauwen April 9, 2012

        Hi Shaina, just for your information (just in case you get more of these questions) I found out that only the US are printing their sponsor letters, the other donor countries mail the web letters to the countries of the children to save time. Unfortunately many of those countries can’t print them out in color so the kids receive the letters (and photo’s) in black and white 🙁
        Even the DR and Peru (to me the more “rich and western countries”) don’t print them in color so I don’t want to think what happens in the poorer African countries…. I decided to write my letters the old fashioned way again because I want my kids to get my photos in color. It’s a pity because the online tool was very handy, especially when you have a whole bunch of kids.
        I’m glad the US prints them out themselves, hope the other donor countries will do the same soon too…

  28. Jacquie Parella March 26, 2012

    Here is the transcript of this video for our sponsors who need it. Hope you enjoy the video!

    Gayle, Maria’s sponsor, receives the letter! The arrival of the child’s letter to his/her sponsor is considered the end point of the child letter process.

    Now we begin the sponsor letter journey as Gayle uses the pre-printed stationery to write back to Maria.

    Sponsors are encouraged to write to their children at least three times per year. Many sponsors will include gifts with their letters. Compassion has specific guidelines regarding what types of gifts can be sent. Paper-based items such as stickers, post cards, and coloring book pages are allowed. Larger items, or items made from other materials, such as cloth or metal, are restricted.

    Many sponsors are also writing to their children using the web letter writing tool on Compassion (dot) com. Compassion receives an average of four thousand, eight hundred letters from sponsors every day, eight-hundred and seventy-five of which are submitted on the web.

    Maria’s letter now makes its way to the GMC.

    Each morning, the Mail Services team drives a truck to the local post office to pick up the Compassion mail for the day.

    The volume of mail may vary from just a few trays, to sometimes two or three full carts of letters.

    Gayle’s letter to Maria arrives back at the GMC.

    Incoming mail is sorted according to categories such as items with correspondence and items containing sponsorship money. From here, each category will flow down different paths.

    GMC staff uses a machine to open many of the envelopes.

    The Sponsor Correspondence team places trays of mail on a cart according to the date the mail was received from the post office. This step allows staff to work on the oldest batch first and to track “turn times” on the sponsor letters.

    Staff looks for several things on each sponsor letter. Any identifying information, such as addresses or phone numbers, is removed for the sponsor’s protection.

    Any checks or credit card forms are separated and sent to the Sponsor Donor Processing department.

    Any pictures or stickers that accompany the letter go in an envelope that is attached to it. The child’s number is written on the envelope in case any pieces are separated in transit.

    If a letter is missing the sponsor or child numbers, staff can locate the information in the COMPASS database.

    The sponsors receive credit for writing to their children, which is tracked in COMPASS.

    Occasionally, sponsors send gifts that cannot be forwarded on to the child, such as this butterfly pin.

    The sponsors are notified and are given the option of having the gifts returned to them.

    The letters are sorted by country.

    They are placed in the colored field mail bins for easy identification.

    Gayle’s letter to Maria is grouped with other letters bound for Bangladesh. These become the “supply” for the field offices in the next sequence of events back to the child.

    Any letters submitted on the Web are printed and placed in the same bins, as well as any sponsor letters from partner countries going to field offices.

    The Mail Services team sorts sponsor letters together by size. Items of like size are bundled together with rubber bands.

    As one more step in the process, the bundles are enclosed in a plastic bag for protection.

    They are packed in a box, and the seams are reinforced with tape.
    Each box is labeled with the country name and set on a cart.

    The boxes are placed on a conveyor belt, en route to Mail Services.

    A staff member prints the shipping label and sends the package on its way to the country office as the next stop in the supply chain.

    The box should arrive at the Bangladesh field office within three to five days, where it will be translated and transported to Maria’s project.

    1. Debbie Beghetto March 26, 2012

      Thank-you Jacquie for the wonderful script from the video!!:))
      I can only picture my letter going through to my wonderful sponsor! May I ask… what kind of credit does sponsors received for writing to their child?

      1. K-eM March 27, 2012

        I think what they meant by “credit” in the video is that it is noted in the sponsor’s file that they wrote a letter. Those who write often will have many notes and those who write infrequently or not at all will also have that reflected in their file. This way Compassion can help encourage those who find it hard to know what to write and applaud those who do well at it.

        1. Debbie Beghetto March 27, 2012

          Thanks that makes sense. I do get reward for having some love back from the child through letters! :))))

        2. Debbie Johanesen March 27, 2012

          I think it would help Compassion to know which children should be given provided correspondents, too.

      2. Jacquie Parella March 27, 2012

        You’re so welcome Debbie! I’m not sure what you mean by credit. Can you elaborate?

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