We recently hosted our first ever impromptu Facebook Q&A session. There were a ton of great questions asked. Here are some of the most popular questions – and a few of our favorites – as well as our answers to them. A few edits have been made for clarity.
From the point a sponsor selects a new child on the website, generally how long is it before they are told they have been sponsored? – Janet
They find out within one month. We like to share this exciting news with their family as quickly as possible!
How often are the letters usually passed out at the centers? I realize it must vary. – Rocky
Letters are distributed once a month to the children.
For those of us unlikely to be able to travel to see our children, are video messages ever in the works? – Joanna
We understand that visits are not possible for everyone. We’re considering new ways of sponsor and child communication with our system updates that we are working on designing right now. You will see quicker, improved, and even some new ways to communicate with your child soon.
I was at a concert at a church when I got a packet to sponsor a child. I filled out the information and gave it back to the church. I’m not able to access my account online at compassion.com because it says my email address is not in the records, and no money has been deducted yet. What do I do now? Just curious – Hannah
It takes two to four weeks for sponsorships from events to be finalized. This is why the online system is not recognizing you yet. However, you are welcome to visit www.compassion.com/firstpayment or call 800-336-7676 to get started right away. Also, right now is a great time to send off that first letter! You can send any paper stationary or card with your child’s ID number on it to Compassion International, Colorado Springs, CO 80997-0004.
Is it wise to “friend” my sponsored child on Facebook? – Marnie
Although this might seem exciting, we strongly advise against this and ask that you keep your communication with your child solely through letters that filter through Compassion first. This is for both the protection of you and your child. You can read our blog about this.
How many sponsors do you have from the United States? And which state has the most sponsors? – Dixie
It literally changes every minute as kids get sponsored. We have over 700,000 sponsors in the US. California has the most, followed by Texas.
Can we learn how Christmas/birthday gifts of money was spent, what gifts were purchased for the children we support? – Linda
You should receive a thank-you letter from your child, 6 months after you send a gift. If it has been more than 6 months, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can request a letter be sent that tells you how your gift was used.
I had a mailer some time about doing a volunteer position to be an area rep for Compassion Sunday. Do you still do that? – William
We sure do! Here’s how to get involved as a volunteer in your area for events.
Have any sponsored children ever ended up becoming a sponsor to a child once they were grown up themselves? – Rob
Yes, many have! And Olive is one of them! She’s a beautiful testimony of God’s love and goodness.
On average, how many letters do sponsors write a year? – Bonita
In 2014, we processed over 1.5 million letters from our sponsors! This number has been increasing each year!
Is it okay to ask your sponsor child why his name was changed? – Tara
That’s definitely fine to ask. If he doesn’t answer you, let us know and we can send an inquiry to our country office and see why it might have changed. Often this can be due to the parents telling us one thing and then we may find the birth certificate and child’s school records reflect something different.
Are there any statistics around how many churches or individuals are using “Step Into My Shoes” already? – Bonnie
We have roughly 12,500 individual families and church leaders that have been mailed toolkits for Step Into My Shoes!
I saw you post an article about FGM a while back. What kind of programs do you have in place for this issue, and how can people get involved? – Rachel
GREAT question. While we don’t have any formal programs, the care and nurture of each child is of utmost importance. Our project workers in each country are sensitive to cultural issues of this type and handle such matters in a loving manner.
Regarding the long-held practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) by many people in the developing world, Compassion cannot mandate its abolition. Our Christian beliefs sometimes contradict the “moral standards” of the people who believe in the practice of FGM. The sad reality is that a girl raised in this cultural setting who doesn’t undergo circumcision is believed by her community to be “unclean, permanently a child, an outcast, and immoral.” Like poverty, this traditional practice will not be changed overnight. Compassion International does not endorse FGM. However, we do use Christian example and persuasion to teach that God considers our physical body to be a temple.
Why not a bigger push for Team Compassion? The website hasn’t even been updated in a couple of years. I love wearing my Team Compassion gear at races. So many people ask about it. – Jim
We hear you! Team Compassion is getting rebooted this summer. Stay tuned!
Can you tell me a little more about your partnership with Stadia and future plans around church planting? – Bonnie
Compassion does not plant churches but we work through the local church to provide direct child development programs that release children from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty, enabling them to become responsible, fulfilled adults. Every field office has a formal process for selecting new church partners. The process is specific and has rigorous expectations and must be done prayerfully with the mindset of building a long-term commitment. In areas of extreme poverty where there is no church, Stadia church planting has networked with its US churches to plant churches in these unreached areas. This partnership has resulted in 80 church plants and over 12,000 child sponsorships all over South America and Mexico.
Do other children get jealous when sponsored kids get presents and advantages? – Bobbi
Yeah, they do. It’s never fun for a child to miss out on a letter or gift. That’s why we put a HUGE emphasis on letter writing and gift giving. We even have a correspondence program to write letters to kids who never get them. Email us if you’re interested – email@example.com
So many serious questions… what color is the dress? – Jesse
Note from the Editor: We voted and our consensus was white and gold. Our “black and blue” teammate was naturally vocal in her disagreement.
What is the capital of Ohio? That is were I live, in Ohio. – Elizabeth
It’s the letter O.
No real question. Just want to thank all the Compassion International staff for all you do. Actually, here is a question: What is a way that we can pray for Compassion – the staff, the children, and the ministry as a whole? – John
Thanks for your prayers and encouragement, John! Join our prayer partners to regularly pray for our ministry.
This Facebook Q&A was a lot of fun for us. And we hope to do them more frequently in the future, because we wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for your support.
To expand a bit on that last question, while we have many needs among the kids and families we serve, the churches we partner with, and the staff and volunteers who make it all happen, we can sum up our requests in one fell swoop this way:
God’s Kingdom come. God’s will be done. On earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:10