How Does Giving a Gift Help People in Poverty?

Sometimes people wonder — does giving gifts to people in poverty actually help? When you give a Family Gift with Compassion, you can rest assured that your money is being wisely, thoughtfully and strategically spent to meet the needs of your sponsored child’s family. That sounds great, doesn’t it? But what does it actually mean?

Well, when you give a Family Gift, 90 percent of your donation goes straight toward the gift itself. And instead of giving the money directly to the family, local Compassion staff come alongside to help the family identify the best way to use your gift. Together, they select a gift that will provide long-term, life-changing solutions.

Here are a few examples of awesome gifts that children and their families have received from people like you!

A Boat

How Does Giving a Gift Help People in Poverty?

Ten-year-old Frank is a Compassion-sponsored child in Tanzania. His father makes a living by fishing, but he often struggled to support his family because he didn’t own a boat — he had to rent one. But thanks to a generous Family Gift, now Frank’s father has a boat!

“We decided to buy a canoe because fishing is the thing that I know how to do best. Owning a canoe meant that I could make more money than I used to for my family.” – Jackson, Frank’s father

A Bicycle

How Does Giving a Gift Help People in Poverty?

Ten-year-old Novi from Indonesia has received multiple Family Gifts from her sponsor. Most recently, her family, with the assistance of the center staff, decided to buy Novi a bicycle with a Family Gift. Now Novi can get to and from the Compassion center safely and on her own!

“I can make more money and focus on finding customers since Novi has the bicycle. Every day she rides the bike to go to school and the center.” – Olin, Novi’s mother

Beds

How Does Giving a Gift Help People in Poverty?

Six-year-old Milagro is a Compassion-sponsored child in Colombia. Her family lives in poverty and could not afford many necessary household items. But thanks to a generous Family Gift, Milagro’s family was able to purchase beds and other important items for their home!

“When I heard about the sponsor gift, I felt happy because we were able to get things that we really needed — beds for my children, a dining table and a washing machine.” – Eliana, Milagro’s mother

A Toilet

How Does Giving a Gift Help People in Poverty?

Six-year-old Natalie from Indonesia used to live in a home that had an open, unhygienic toilet. But thanks to a generous Family Gift, Natalie and her family now have a new toilet. Then, a few months after receiving this gift, Natalie’s family received another Family Gift that allowed them to build an entire bathroom!

“We had some needs to cover, but center staff helped us to decide which of our needs was a priority.”— Hetly, Natalie’s grandmother

Family Gifts change lives because they are wisely, thoughtfully and strategically given.

Give a Family Gift ›

If you recently gave a Family Gift, thank you! Check out this video to see firsthand the kind of impact your gift will make!


Field reporting and photos by Lina Marcela Alcarón Molina, Vera Aurima and Erica D. Lema.

79 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Katherine Miller October 21, 2021

    Frankly one of the children we sponsor has been in the same shirt they photograph him in for 5 years. He has no shoes on his feet in the photos. The girl we have is well dressed looks healthy. We are concerned. I’ve reached out before. Not really getting answers. Then I found out if I send 100 for Christmas they are only giving my child 25? So I sent another 100 for other children. This is quite confusing. I would like some straight answers.

    1. Elizabeth October 21, 2021

      Katherine, thank you for bringing up your concerns. I am very sorry for any confusion that we have caused. I see the genuine care and concern you have for your sponsored children, and I so appreciate the blessing you are to them! For many of the children in Compassion’s program, our photographs are the only ones they have ever taken. Picture day is a big day for children, and many will put on their nicest outfit to look their best for their picture. We understand that seeing your child in the same shirt is concerning. We would be happy to look into this further for you. Would you please email us with your sponsor number? I will be providing the email address below.
      I am also so sorry for the confusion around your Christmas gift donation. It is never our intention to cause confusion or mislead you in any way. Our heart behind Christmas gifts is to ensure every child in Compassion’s program receives a gift of equal value. With the funds received, our caring staff purchase meaningful gifts specifically for each child, including children who are not sponsored or whose sponsors are unable to give. With that said, you are welcome to send the $100 directly to your child as a child or family gift. Please know anytime you give a birthday, general or family gift, these gifts are given only to your sponsored child, or their family, to be used for what they need most at that time. My team and I would be more than happy to answer any additional questions you have and look into your concerns mentioned here. Please send us an email at socialmedia@compassion.com. Thank you!

  2. Rebecca P October 12, 2021

    I’m so glad that I decided to read the comments after clicking on the thank you video. I have given a family gift of $200 per year since I started sponsoring my child a few years ago. I am fortunate because the center my child is at in the Philippines makes sure that I receive a letter detailing what they bought with the gift I gave. They have bought beds, food, a bike for the child and other necessities.

    Bonne B., who made a comment in this thread, inspired me to give a lot more than I normally do. After hearing that her sponsored child’s family was able to purchase concrete and rebar to help build / improve their home, I am excited for what my sponsored child’s family is able to do with the gift I am giving them. I decided to up my gift from $200 to $1000. This is a sacrifice for me and my family but I know that they need the money more than I do. Thank you for inspiring me Bonnie B. Thank you for reminding me how much these children truly benefit from our gifts!

    1. Grace October 12, 2021

      Rebecca, we are incredibly touched that you decided to give such a generous gift! Thank you for providing an amazing opportunity for your sponsor child’s family! Whether they decide to expand their house or invest this gift in an income-generating opportunity, such as buying a cow, we know that this gift will be a huge blessing for them! For the bottom of our hearts, thank you! 💙

  3. Jenny August 23, 2021

    I send family gifts to my kiddos, although I don’t always send each family the same amount. I have been sending monthly family gifts to one of my kiddos but the article does not recommend this. I wonder why. Also I wonder if it would be possible to know what gifts the family is receiving. I sponsor 10 children through Compassion and one of the mothers is very good about acknowledging that I sent money to them but I don’t have any way of knowing how the money was spent. I trust that it is being spent appropriately and for the good of the family but I do wonder sometimes what the needs of the family are so I can better pray. I am lucky enough to sponsor two siblings (two from Peru and two from Ethiopia) does that mean I can give up to $2000 per family in that case? I’ve been a sponsor for a little over a year and still trying to figure all this stuff out!

    1. Nicole August 23, 2021

      Hi, Jenny! These are great questions, and I am so encouraged by your generous heart and support for 10 precious kiddos! Thank you for pouring so much love into each of them!

      Generally speaking, with regard to a sense of sending “too much,” we strive to prevent families from becoming dependent on sponsors for their income as well as protect them from being a target in their community. This is an extreme case, however, and please feel free to call us or us an email to socialmedia@compassion.com if you are concerned about your specific gifts.

      In terms of knowing what was purchased, please feel free to ask any of your children what was purchased with the gift you sent as well as how you can be praying for them. As a fellow sponsor, my child has told me about a goat he got with a gift I sent. If you are wanting to know more about the process itself, please let us know.

      Lastly, yes, we have a $1,000 family gift limit per child per year, so the $2,000 should be fine in that case. 😊 Please let us know if you have any other questions by emailing us at socialmedia@compassion.com. We are happy to help and are grateful for how much you are already helping release more children from poverty!

  4. Anuoluwapo April 12, 2021

    Pls I need help, covid 19 affected me and my husband work so much to the extent that we couldn’t send her to school or feed her very well and we couldn’t afford many household items for her, pls I would like people to help me and train my kid, because I want a very good education for her

    1. Mackenzie April 12, 2021

      Hello Anuoluwapo, I appreciate you reaching out to us. Could you please send us an email at socialmedia@compassion.com so we can speak with you further? Thank you!

  5. Benita Fisher April 2, 2021

    I just received an email with a link to a lovely video thanking me for sending a family gift. I actually had already forgotten I sent it, as it was to honor my sponsored child’s mother for “mother’s day”! I wasn’t looking for thanks, but it was reassuring to know that it was received. I was just wondering if there is any way to know what SPECIFIC needs my child’s family may have so that I can gift accordingly? My child’s letter’s are very short and he doesn’t even answer the questions I pose to him in my letters, let alone mention any family needs. I just think if I had an idea how best to bless them, my family gift would be more effective….Just thought I’d ask!

    1. Anna April 5, 2021

      Hello Benita! Thank you for your heart to bless your sweet child and his family. Your gifts are impacting your precious child. Although, it may be difficult to know what your child’s family needs most from the letter correspondence, rest assured that once the gift is delivered, his family will be able to use the funds for what they need most. In Ethiopia, the repercussions of COVID-19, and various natural disasters have made food a top priority in most needed essentials. More than likely, a portion of any funds sent will be used to purchase addition food items to the one’s already provided by his Compassion center. We still encourage you to inquire about essential needs in your letters. Sometimes highlighting specific questions helps as well. If you have any other questions about this, we are so happy to help! You are welcome to send us an email at socialmedia@compassion.com. 💙

  6. sue vincent April 2, 2021

    Thank-you for the blessing of helping a child and their family. My child is in Guatemala. Due to covid 19 combined with the extreme natural disasters that have perpetuated extreme famine I have chosen to send regular family gifts to my child. The thought of her and her family not having enough to eat haunts me. In these extreme times has there been any consideration about increasing the limits on family giving beyond $1000 a year? I understand there is a concern about dependence but when there is a concern about starvation, the first seems not so important. Given these trying times should guidelines be reassessed? Is this so wrong? Thank you

    1. Anna April 5, 2021

      Hello Sue! Thank you for your generosity in blessing your precious child during these unprecedented times. We are so thankful that your precious child has you as her sponsor. We appreciate your question, and see your heart behind it. Although the pandemic and various natural disasters have causes much need around the world, our incredible international staff and volunteers working in the children’s centers are providing for the children through the monthly sponsorship amount. The children and their families have access to food, water, hygiene kits and medical assistance if needed. Through your Family Gifts, your sweet child and her family are able to purchase other necessities, which are such a blessing as well. We are not reassessing our gift limits at this time for a number of reasons. For any child registered with us, we can guarantee the base sponsorship amount will go towards providing for each child’s needs. Any additional gift is not guaranteed. If a child and their family grows to depend on that extra amount, we cannot guarantee that those additional funds will continue for the duration of the time the child is in our program. We want these gifts to be a blessing, but not to become a dependence for these families. In additional, continuous generous sums can become dangerous for families and the staff delivering the donations. Because of this, we suggest not exceeding a total of four Family Gifts annually, and not exceeding a total sum of $1000. If you have any questions, you are welcome to send us an email at socialmedia@compassion.com. Again, we are so blessed by your generosity, and we hope this explanation can provide some clarity. God bless you!

  7. Bonnie Bronleewe April 1, 2021

    (First, let me say that I hope no one thinks I am trying to say, look at what I have done – this is what the Lord has done, and He has allowed me to be a part of His work.)

    Last year was my first year sponsoring a child through Compassion. Because of the lockdown due to the pandemic, work was scarce in rural parts of the Philippines. I was hoping to send a large family gift, but the sale of some business property didn’t take place in April as expected (due to the pandemic…) so I sent my child’s family what I could, two times in the first few months of the lockdown. Eventually (in less than 6 months, though) I received thank you letters and photos of the Mom with a large supply of basic groceries – including a huge bag of rice; the second gift was much the same, but with a cute outfit and sandals for each of their 3 girls. It made me feel good that they would have enough to eat, and even something new to wear.

    Then, just before Christmas, the property sale closed, and I was able to send the family the rest that I was allowed to send in one year. I didn’t have any idea what they would decide to do with so much at once, but when I got the thank you letter and pictures a couple of weeks ago (about 2.5 months after sending the family gift), I cried when I saw what they bought – 20 bags of cement, rebar, large piles of concrete blocks, sand, and gravel, and other building supplies. They bought the materials to complete the construction of the home that their family of 5 lives in! I am so thankful that the Lord provided the means for me to send a gift large enough to meet their needs! And I was so pleased to receive photos of the entire family together!

    At the same time, I also send a smaller gift to the Learning Center, and received an actual hand written letter from them in the mail. It was also scanned and sent online with a photo of what they purchased. What I sent was enough for them to upgrade their modem, giving them reliable and fast internet so that they have finally been able to get caught up on sending and receiving letters and communication with Compassion headquarters. And I am sure that I was one of the first to benefit from the upgrade, since my recent letters have come so much quicker than expected.

    1. Anna April 5, 2021

      Hello Bonnie! We are so blessed by this incredible testimony. We are so thankful that God placed it on your heart to give so generously! During the pandemic, not all centers are able to send letters and photos as swiftly, so we are so grateful that you received that news that your child’s family was able to construct a new home with your donation. God bless you. It is such a joy to have you in our Compassion family! 😊

  8. Lana Wells March 1, 2021

    As much as I enjoy sending child gifts to all my sponsored children, I am truly gratified when I send a family gift as well, it just makes me happy to think of the family being able to live a better life after my gift arrives. As long as I have been a sponsor, and its awhile now, I still don’t understand the giving limits and probably because I am ancient, I do not always understand the computer process. I would love it, if I could just see a title that said, Family Gift. It would sure make my life easier. And the families would benefit much sooner and more often.

    1. Christina March 1, 2021

      Hi Lana! We greatly appreciate your heart to give your kiddos generous family gifts on top of the support and love you give them! Compassion allows sponsors to send family gifts of $25 to $1000 each year for the benefit of the whole family. We ask that these gifts be given as a one-time gift or given a few times throughout the year. We caution against sending monthly gifts that the family could become dependent on. This could potentially put both you and your child’s family in a difficult position if for some reason you are not able to continue to give monthly. With that in mind, we suggest giving family gifts sporadically three to four times per year, if you do indeed wish to give multiple family gifts per year. This will allow the gifts to be a blessing to the family when it’s received, and not something they expected or become dependent upon. Rest assured that we have gift limitations in place for the child’s and their family’s protection.

      Please know that we value your helpful feedback regarding making family gift giving easier online! I will be passing along your suggestion. If you have any additional questions, please email us at socialmedia@compassion.com. Have a blessed day!

  9. Tim Howard January 2, 2021

    Compassion,

    Thanks so much for all you do. I wanted to write a few comments to those who read/post on this blog.

    My wife and I have been supporting children through compassion for over 25 years. For many years we just wrote an occasional letter, and while we gave birthday gifts, we seldom gave a family gift. This last year, with Covid, our family’s income was not affected, but I thought a lot about how the families of our children would be affected. We started sending occasional family gifts. The students have sometimes referenced them and thanked us. However as a Christian, my goal is not to receive a thank you, but to bless someone who cannot bless me in return.

    One other thing I have done this year, Is to commit to write each of our children each month. When reading the comments from the directors of the compassion centers, I realized how much of a difference letters made in the lives of the children. I felt bad that I was not more consistent in writing my children over these past years. Whether they write me back or not, it is my hope and prayer that my letters are an encouragement to them. Hopefully as the years progress, there is a cumulative affect of the input from my letters which results in a better life for these children.

    For those who are discouraged that they don’t receive letters back, I would encourage you to remember that Christ said anything we do to bless others is not a wasted or useless effort, and brings glory to God, regardless of the immediate result. I have known too many people who are sowed and watered for many years before the harvest. Besides the material blessing, your letters and gifts are the watering and planting in these children’s lives.

    Do not grow weary in doing good.

    1. Anna January 5, 2021

      Thank you for taking the time to write this heartfelt message, Tim. We are so blessed by your support, and your generosity towards these precious children. Your partnership is such a blessing to us!

  10. Barbara Kramer November 14, 2020

    I’ve sponsored my child for a number of years and have never known about the $60 threshold. This wasn’t even mentioned when I called, concerned that I’d never received acknowledgement that my gifts were getting to the child I sponsor. I’ve often considered ending sponsorship because I have no way of knowing if my gifts are getting to the child or how they’re being used, but I really don’t want to do that to my child. It would truly be reassuring if staff could make sure a thank you letter is written for all gifts.

    1. Shannon November 16, 2020

      Hi Barbara,
      Thank you so much for your feedback! Please know we are so sorry to hear that our staff did not mention that you will receive a special thank you letter and photo for gifts over $60. Regrettably, with the amount of staff that we have, and all their other responsibilities, we cannot guarantee a thank you letter for every gift. Also, I am not sure when you called, but sadly with all that is going on during this pandemic, we are not able to offer thank you letters while our centers are closed. This may be why our staff didn’t mention it, if it was since March 2020. However, we truly do understand the importance of these letters for both the sponsor and the child. We appreciate your thoughtful feedback and for your continued sponsorship!

  11. valerie frasure October 16, 2020

    I am confused, I read in one of the comments that a person was sponsoring several children in a family. I was informed differently on a compassion trip. I was told that only one child per family is accepted for sponsorship. I would be very interested in sponsoring a sibling in the same family. Would that make it possible to double the yearly family gift?

    1. Anna October 16, 2020

      Thank you for your question, Valerie! Regrettably, the information that you received on your trip was most likely the most accurate for your specific kiddo. Depending on the need in each community we have the privilege to work in, our church partners can limit the amount of children per family that are able to be registered in our program. This way, more families in their community may benefit from Compassion. It may be the case for your specific child that only one child per family is able to be registered. If you send us an email at socialmedia@compassion.com, we can research if your child has a sibling in the program, and also check if they are available for sponsorship. If you do sponsor siblings, you may send the yearly Family Gift amount for each child. You may also read more about why not all siblings are registered in our program from this Blog post: https://blog.compassion.com/can-my-sponsored-childs-siblings-be-sponsored-too/. 💙

  12. Chris Hayes October 6, 2020

    We are so thankful and encouraged that you have quality people on the ground in their location to assess Nicol ( Kiera Nicol’s ) needs in Honduras.
    Whether it’s beds for additional siblings, immediate food, or medical needs for family members outside Nicol’s comprehension; please keep us informed of specific needs for them as a family. The family unit’s stability translates security and support for all of them.
    We are personally facing financial restrictions as a couple, but need/want to know detailed needs of her family where we may provide assistance for them as a family.
    This is serious to us; keep us updated to their specific needs. If we can assist we will.

    1. Shayla October 7, 2020

      Hi Chris! Thank you so much for your sponsorship! We really love your heart to help Nicol. Would you mind sending us an email?

  13. Renee’ August 28, 2020

    Hi,
    When compassion was brought to us for the first time at a concert there was a long story of the persons compassion child and the very close relationship that they had over the years.
    A short time after this Compassion was brought up again during a church service and that person also mentioned and elaborated on the closeness they had and the bond if you will.
    I am still fairly new and have only been sponsoring for close to one year now but I am unsure how to gain the closeness that others might have.? I send letters and have gotten two in response over this time.
    I do wish there was another way to be able to communicate with our two children I’m sure it is due to COVID-19 that we are not getting updates but even before that they are very few and extremely far in between. I feel like I could be a better sponsor for my child if I were able to have better or more communication. We look forward to watching these two children grow but unfortunately it doesn’t feel like this is something that will happen for us. Does anyone have any advice?

    1. Shayla August 28, 2020

      Hi Renee. I am very sorry that it has been difficult to build a strong connection with your child. We understand the letter writing process can be frustrating at times. We greatly appreciate the commitment you are making to bless your children with your letters despite they’re lack of response to your questions.

      Many of our children struggle with the concept of writing a letter. You are probably the only person your child will ever write a letter to, and sometimes children have trouble grasping the concept of having a “conversation” by mail. When children receive their letters, they often take them home and put them in a special place. When it is letter writing day at their project, they may forget to bring your letter back and may not have any references to your letter’s content. Sometimes the staff will write a list of suggestions or letter samples on the board to help the children in their letter writing. This is one reason letters can sound scripted or unoriginal; out of a deep desire to communicate with their sponsors, children will copy the samples or follow the list word for word.

      Regrettably, some children just take a while to connect to their sponsor or to feel comfortable sharing their life with them, and sadly, since our letters are delayed during COVID-19, this connection may be even more difficult to maintain. However, please know that your child is still receiving your letters of encouragement and those letters mean the world to the kiddos in our program. If you have any specific questions, please email us at socialmedia@compassion.com.

  14. Tammarra Kirkland August 8, 2020

    Hi! Blessings can you provide a link or contact number to call for assistance. I would like to if I am allowed to know what family items my sponsor children and their families are in need of; this way I can pray on provision for those things versus just sending $25-$50 sporadically. Hoping and praying it can be used for much needed items. Thank you . I apologize if this is not the correct platform for my inquiry.

    1. Mackenzie August 10, 2020

      Hi Tammarra! Thank you so much for reaching out to us! You can certainly call us at 800-336-7676. Our hours are Monday through Friday, 7 am to 5:30 pm, MDT. You are also welcome to send us an email at socialmedia@compassion.com if you need any assistance! Blessings!

  15. Diana Kroeger August 4, 2020

    I would like Compassion to provide suggested dollar amounts of “above and beyond” items that would help our sponsored family. For instance in your video, you showed a man with a canoe and a woman with a sewing machine. Those are specific items that I am led to believe were longed and hoped for. Giving a lump sum of money under $60 does not give me peace of mind that the family would be able to purchase what they really want or need. In fact, I had no idea about the “$60 and above donation” in order to receive a reply from our sponsored child until I read the comments section here.

    1. Anna August 4, 2020

      Thank you for your heart to bless your sponsored child and their family, Diana! I apologize that we did not inform you of the gift options within Compassion. Above the monthly sponsorship amount, you may give an annual general gift to your child of up to $100. You may also give an annual birthday gift between the amount of $10 to $100. As far as family gifts, you are able to give up to $1000 annually. The gifts are given to the family or child to use at their discretion, so we cannot guarantee the gift would be applied towards something specific like a sewing machine. Thank you for your inquiry, and please let us know if you have any additional questions.

  16. Leanne Long June 13, 2020

    I also didn’t know about the $60 gift and getting a photo and thank you letter. BUT, I am retired and on a limited income so I give whatever I can. I don’t require a thank you letter or a photo. I expect God to take what I am able to give: sponsorship funds, birthday, Christmas, family gifts and use them as He sees fit. I trust God and Compassion for this.

    1. Shannon June 15, 2020

      Leanne,

      Thank you so much for sharing! We are honored to know you trust God and Compassion with your donations. It is truly beautiful to see your generous heart shine through your post! Thank you for your continued decision to sponsor!

  17. Shelley June 6, 2020

    Hi! I normally don’t have enough to send more than $10-25 at any one time, especially right now with covid-related income cuts. But, with the children I sponsor, I actually sponsor a few siblings. In the future, would it be possible to combine what I might normally send individually to the kids along with a family gift, all at once? E.g., 25 to each child on their birthday and an additional 25 or more to the family, lumped together into one gift somehow? If so, how would I do that? Or do all as a family gift with the note that part is for their birthday? Thank you guys so much for all that you do!

    1. Kaye-Lin June 8, 2020

      Hi Shelley! If you are wanting to send one large donation and divide the donation between your children and their families, we can do this. With that said, we would have to send the donation to the families and children once we receive it. What I mean by this is, if we receive your gift in June, but your child’s birthday isn’t until December, we would still send the birthday gift in June. We can’t “hold” your donation and send it at another time. If you are wanting to send a family gift and birthday gift together, we won’t be able to tell the family that part of the family gift is a birthday gift too. If you have any other questions about this, please email us socialmedia@compassion.com. We are happy to help!

  18. Marlene Burruel May 23, 2020

    Thank you, Compassion, for all you do for all the children and families around the world. And thank you for the explanation about the $60 gifts. We sent a $25 gift to our child for Christmas, and within the next letter we received from her was mention of the gift. We learned that she used the gift to buy a goat which will be providing manure for their family’s crops. We were thrilled! It made us realize that such a simple gift could make such a huge difference in their lives. Thank you again, and God bless you all!

  19. Mark McMurry May 13, 2020

    You should consider changing your policy and sending out a monthly or at least a quarterly picture of each sponsored child for the sponsors anyway. I am getting each photo pretty much on a yearly basis. We enjoy seeing them grow and feeling like there is a little bit more of a connection with them. It’s not like you have to have film developed anymore, pretty much every cellphone has a camera and it’s simple enough to have someone at the community Compassion center snap a picture and email it to someone that can post them online. I do realize it takes a little time to post them to each account and so on, but I think it would be a good thing in the long run because seeing them more would probably result in more frequents gifts and new sponsorships. Something to think about.

    1. Mackenzie May 13, 2020

      Hi Mark! Thank you so much for sharing your feedback about how connected you feel to your child when you receive photo updates. We definitely wish we had the ability to do more frequent photo updates for this exact reason! However, our national office staff do not currently have this capability. Even though there have been many improvements as far as how many people have technology in the developing world, we still work in some very remote regions where they may not have reliable wifi or be able to use a phone on a regular basis. Each photo update includes a visit from someone in our national office, where they evaluate the growth of the child and input their updated information, as well as their updated photo. This staff member travels throughout the country, taking the new information for both existing children and the new children who were just registered in the program. Since they may be taking updated photos and information for up to 400 children at a time, we aren’t able to guarantee formal updates for children on a more frequent basis right now. I hope that helps explain a bit about our process for updating photos, but please let us know if you have any questions by sending us an email at socialmedia@compassion.com.

  20. Mollie Cambre May 2, 2020

    I wasn’t aware of the $60.00 amount to get a thank you note or letter. I only found out about this after seeing the responses on this site. I can’t find out any information about the amount on the website. Maybe I am just not seeing it. I recently sent a $50.00 birthday gift to my child and $100 family gift. I hope that I will get a letter from my sponsorship child in a few months.

    1. Kaye-lin Mahand May 4, 2020

      Hi Mollie! I really appreciate your concerns about the gifts that you have sent. Normally, when a gift donation of $60 or more is sent, the church is able to include a photo of the items that are purchased in your child’s thank you letter within six months of the gift being delivered. Sadly, due to COVID-19, our national offices are temporarily closed and working with limited staff. Because of this, we have extended grace to our church partners on typical deadlines and requirements to ensure they can prioritize critical needs of the children and their families. When the churches can resume letter processing, you will eventually receive a thank you letter with information about how your gift was used. If you have any specific questions about this, please don’t hesitate to let us know by emailing us at socialmedia@compassion.com. We would be happy to look into your specific account and send you more details! ~ Kaye-Lin

  21. Bonnie Bronleewe April 30, 2020

    I expect that world-wide shut-downs due to covid-19 have greatly increased the needs of the families of sponsored children. Are those restrictions causing additional delays in the delivery of funds sent by sponsors, or in the purchase of needed items or supplies for the families? Is it likely that those restrictions and the closure of the learning centers will also delay letters, thank you notes, and photos, from the children to their sponsors? Are letters from sponsors being translated and delivered to the children during the closures?

    1. Shannon April 30, 2020

      Hi Bonnie,

      You are absolutely right. We are experiencing delays in delivering gifts to the children, letters and also funds. Although the children are not able to attend the centers during this time, we have limited staff who are able to work to get funds and gifts distributed. We also know some letters are being delivered, but they are low priority to gifts and monthly support. In addition, our staff is working hard to deliver any supplies families might be in need of, if they are able. We are truly thankful to all our staff who are working so hard to take care of these children and their families.

  22. Ellen LaMontagne April 29, 2020

    I thank you for all your hard work. I have never sent $60 at one time but Olivier always thanks me for my additional gifts and often says what he or the family purchased. I don’t require a picture of the gift but would love more pictures if Olivier anytime!!

  23. Donna Garcia April 4, 2020

    I also have never heard of sending $60.00 or more and you will receive a Thank you & picture. I usually send $50.00 and have always wondered if the family ever truly benefited from it. I will make sure I send a minimum of $60.00 from now on. Please make sure more Sponsors are aware of this. I’m sure it will increase the contributions when they have confirmation about their gift.
    Thank you for all you do!

    1. Christina April 6, 2020

      Donna, I am sorry to hear that you did not know that a child gift of $60 or more would require to thank you letter and gift photo. I would also like to make sure that you know a child gift, like a general gift, birthday gift, or a family gift, of $21 to $59 still would require a thank you letter without a photo. If you have sent a gift of that amount and have not received a thank you letter from your child within 6 months of the date you sent your gift, please do let us know. Thank you so much for your partnership and the difference you’re making!

  24. Lynnette Caldwell March 31, 2020

    I didn’t know anything about the $60 threshold for gifts. I recently gave my sponsor child $50 for her birthday and $50 for her family so a total of $100 in one gift from me but two separate gifts for them. I suggest that on the website that there is a prompt letting me know before I submit the gift that if I increased the amount or changed the way I gave the gift I would get a thank you letter and a picture of the gift with the child. I would love to receive that precious communication from my sponsor child and would have gladly given $20 more for that.

    1. Shannon March 31, 2020

      Hi Lynnette,

      I am so sorry that you did not know this prior to giving your gifts. We are so thankful for your kind heart to bless your kiddo and their family and truly want to thank you for blessing them in this very tangible way! If you would like, we can combine them for you so that we can get you a photo. If you would like us to do this for you, please send us an email at socialmedia@compassion.com and we can certainly make that change for you. In addition, thank you so much for sharing this idea. I will pass along the idea to get a warning put online. 🙂

  25. Carol Marsh March 2, 2020

    I sent a gift of $100 to the family for Christmas. I haven’t received any pictures or what they used it for. I would love to receive info or pictures to make sure they received it.

    1. Christina March 2, 2020

      Hi Carol! Thank you so much for your generous hear to bless sweet Andres and his family for Christmas! Of course, with any gifts of $60 or more, you will receive a thank you letter and picture for it, which is so exciting! 😊 Due to the time it takes to process, deliver, and utilize your gift funds, we do allow the child and field staff up to 6 months to deliver the thank you letter. Since you gave your gift on December 12, 2019, you should receive Andres’ thank you letter and picture no later than June 12, 2020. If you have not received his thank you letter by then, please do let us know, and we would be happy to inquire after this gift for you. Please let us know if you have any additional questions. Thank you for your understanding and patience!

  26. Irma Niere February 28, 2020

    I recently gave a gift to my sponsored child and family for her birthday. As I’m reading these comments I see that a photo would have been sent to me with a $60 donation. I sent $50. If I had known, I would have sent $10 more. I would have loved a photo of my child with her gift. Is there a way to add an extra $10 so that I may receive a photo?

    1. Mackenzie February 28, 2020

      Hi Irma,

      I am truly sorry for the confusion! We are so grateful for you recent birthday and family gift donations for Pretinha. They will be an immense blessing for her and her family.

      It appears your donation made on our website was for a $25 birthday gift and $25 family gift. While these gifts will both be delivered to your child and her family, they are two different gifts that will be delivered separately. Your birthday donation will be used to help Pretinha purchase an item for herself that meets her most dire needs, and then your family gift will be used for her family as a whole to help meet their needs.

      Once you process your donation, we almost immediately send your gift funds to our national office in Brazil to be delivered to your child. Sadly, this means that we can’t add any extra funds to your gift donation this time. However, when you send your next birthday or family gift donation, you can select $60 for the gift. This will ensure that your child sends you a photo of how she used your gift donation.

      I am very sorry that we can’t add the funds to your donation.😔 We would love for you to have a photo of your child with your generous gifts when you send your next gift!

  27. Betty Kochmaruk February 14, 2020

    I see that you write if you give a gift of $60 or more, you will get a picture of what was purchased, and maybe a family member….I have rec’d pictures of our sponsored child on her birthdays, but have never known what was purchased for the family.

    1. Mackenzie February 14, 2020

      Hello Betty!

      Thank you so much for the generous gifts you have sent to Arfasie. I was able to look at her letters, and it looks like she has sent you some photos and descriptions of how she used the gifts in her letters. I would be happy to send you copies of her letters that include the gift descriptions and thank you letter in case they were missed. Could you please send us an email at socialmedia@compassion.com? We would be happy to send you the letters with her thank you letters.

  28. Nancy Atwood February 12, 2020

    I want to thank you and all of the amazing Compassion workers!! You are a blessing to us and a blessing to the children and their families!!

    God Bless you always!

    1. Shannon February 12, 2020

      Nancy,

      Thank you so much for your kind words of support! It truly means so much to us! May God continue to abundantly bless you as well!

  29. Renda February 6, 2020

    How will I know how my family gift was utilized?

    1. Shannon February 6, 2020

      Hi Renda,

      First of all, thank you so much for blessing your sweet child and their family with a generous gift! Please know that you will receive a thank you letter roughly six months after your gift was given to explain what they used the funds for. In addition, if the gift was over $60, you will receive a photo of what was purchased along with your kiddo and/or one or more of their family members. If you ever notice that it has been more than six months and you have not received your thank you letter, please let us know so that we can follow up on it. Thank you so much!

  30. Paul January 23, 2020

    I have no idea what the needs are of my child and his family. I do know one thing, the average house hold income in his area is $200 a month and I gave his family a $500 gift. This makes me feel so good because if I received a similar gift I would have an extra two months of income and I could use that to do a lot of things from fixing things to buying big items that I need. The fact that I am able to make such a huge positive change in someone else’s life puts a huge smile on my face! And most of the needs for these people are things that I and you take for granted. It just blows my mind really. I’m just so happy for my child and his family, I wish I was there to so the look on their faces when they are told of the gift from me.

    1. Mackenzie January 24, 2020

      Hi Paul! Thank you so much for the generous gift you sent to your sponsored child’s family. I am sure that it made a huge impact in their lives! Blessings!

  31. Doreen Patenaude Mahoney December 17, 2019

    How much does a milk cow cost in Uganda?

    1. Mackenzie December 18, 2019

      Hi Doreen, the cost of a milk cow varies quite a bit. The approximate cost of buying a cow in Uganda is $245 USD. However, this does not necessarily include the items needed to provide for the cow, such as food and shelter. When you give the gift of a cow through our gift catalog, we make sure that the family is able to provide for the cow’s needs as well as the cost of purchasing the milk cow.

  32. Helen Francis November 30, 2019

    I would like to see a picture of Wilson and know what my gifts are purchasing.

    1. Shannon December 2, 2019

      Hi Helen,

      Thank you so much for not only choosing to sponsor Wilson, but for also investing in him by writing letters and sending him and his family gifts! Please know that anytime you send a $60 gift or more, you will receive a thank you letter along with a photo of what was purchased. This photo will either include your child or one of their family members, if not both. Your gift is actually distributed to the church first. Then, one of our staff will meet with the family and your child to decide the best use for your gift. Once they have made a decision, one of our staff will go purchase the items and deliver them back to the family. We do this for safety reasons for the family and also to ensure your gift is used wisely. With that said, that process can take a bit of time, so we do allow a six month time frame for a gift thank you letter and picture to be received. If for any reason you do not receive your thank you letter and photo after six months, please do let us know so that we can reach out to the center and make sure everything went okay. In addition, for any gift you give that is less than $60, you will still receive the thank you letter, but no photo will be attached. I hope this is helpful!

  33. Melissa November 8, 2019

    Hello, I was wondering since I sent $25 for: Christmas, birthday and family gift. Will I only get a letter for each gift since we gave $25 a piece on the gifts or will I get a photo and letter since in total I gave $75 .

    I just wanted to see my sweet child and his momma’s smiles.

    1. Mackenzie November 11, 2019

      Hi Melissa, thank you so much for reaching out to us! Sadly, we are not able to send photo receipts for these gifts, even though together they total $75. Because of how our gifts are delivered, we would need one gift of $60 or more for the local staff to send back a photo of the gift. I am really sorry. I definitely understand wanting to see more photos of your sponsored child.

  34. Lanette November 7, 2019

    I sent both of my children a $100 family gift and never received a picture, let alone a description of what was bought.

    1. Christina November 7, 2019

      Lanette, I am deeply sorry to hear that you never received a thank you letter or gift photo from your sweet children, Nicolas and Daria. Since your generous gift was over $60, you definitely should have received a picture along with a thank you letter. Although Nicolas and Daria did not specifically acknowledge and thank you for your gifts, I am sure they are very appreciative and grateful. Your gifts are a huge blessing! Please rest assured that I have reached out to our Mexican and Tanzanian national offices, and our wonderful field staff there will ensure that your children write a thank you letter and that a picture is provided of them and what they purchased. Our Compassion-assisted child development centers are very good at keeping thorough records, so they may have a picture of them when they initially received your gifts. Sadly, mistakes do happen on occasion, so if they have to take a new picture, they may not still have your gifts depending on what was purchased since this was a couple years ago. When your child and their family receive special gifts, a Compassion staff member assists them in purchasing a gift for your child. For gifts of $21 or more, you can expect to receive a thank you letter from your about six months after the gift is given, letting you know what was purchased. If the gift amount is $60 or more, you will also receive a photo of what was purchased. If you choose to bless your kiddos with gifts in the future, please let us know if you do not receive a thank you letter within six months. We will be in contact with you as soon as we receive a response from our national offices within 45 days. Thank you for your understanding and patience!

  35. Sandy November 5, 2019

    My wife and I generally give (2) family gifts / year, Christmas and again in June. In Jan. of this year, along with a letter from Katia, we received a thank you letter and pictures from her parents. The modest gift we provided enabled them to purchase 3-months worth of food staples as well as needed clothing. This morning I woke up with a roof over my head, heat, clean water and food in the fridge. That is a blessing most in this world do not have, and I am happy to pay it forward tom my sponsored childs family making their life a little easier.

  36. Regina Alexander October 30, 2019

    I feel like the $25 I can give for a family gift is so little. Yet, that’s all I can give at this time. Does that small amount really make a difference?

    1. Shannon October 30, 2019

      Regina,

      Please know even $1 would be helpful. These families live on less than $1.90 per day so anything really does make a difference. If everyone gave just a little, no one would need to give a lot. Every donation is special and makes a difference to one child and that family!

  37. Kenneth J Fields October 29, 2019

    I saw in one example of gift giving where someone needed a boat and was gifted the funds to purchase one. My question is, if the need is immediate, as most are I suppose, is it possible to somehow expedite the process? I would hate to think that the gift is coming but having to have the family wait several months to receive that needed help could be too late in some instances. I understand the process to getting those needed funds to a family could be somewhat tricky. Just a thought.

    1. Sierra October 29, 2019

      Hi, Kenneth! That’s a great question! Sadly, each gift has to follow the same path, and gifts are normally wire-transferred to each center about once a month. That’s why we send out reminders to send gifts about two months before you would want your child to get the gift (Christmas, birthday, etc.), so we can plan for the time it takes to arrive. It would be wonderful if gifts could be sent and received within maybe just a few days or weeks, but sadly, we’re not quite there yet!

  38. Peggy Sue Greenlee October 5, 2019

    Does our sponsored child receive the actual things we send to him with his letter ???? Example : book marks, cards to color and stickers ?????

    1. Christina October 7, 2019

      Hi Peggy! I’m happy to help you and answer your questions! Thank you so much for your heart for this ministry and for the love you have for your child! We appreciate your desire to bless your kiddo in a very tangible way.

      Along with a personal letter, you can send: stickers, bookmarks, musical greeting cards, and pop-up cards. These items will be physically delivered to your child. Please keep in mind that items sent without a personal letter will not be delivered to your sponsored child. You can also send: letters, photos, postcards, greeting cards, coloring pages and paper crafts. However, your child will not receive the original items. The items will be scanned and sent electronically. The total number of items (including stationery and the letter to your child) should not be more than six sheets, and each flat paper gift item should not be larger than 8.5” x 11”. If you have any further questions about our letter writing guidelines, more information is available here at cintl.us/letter-faq. Please let us know if you have any additional questions. Have a blessed day!

  39. Kimberley Wheeler August 27, 2019

    How can I send age appropriate VBS material to my sponsor child? Every year my church has extra material from Vacation Bible School.

    1. Christina August 28, 2019

      Hi Kimberly! Great question! You may also send scannable, flat, paper items (such as greeting cards, coloring pages or photos) with your correspondence to your child. These items should be no larger than 8.5” x 11” and will be digitally scanned at our headquarters to be delivered electronically to our national offices. Each letter, and accompanying scannable items, should total no more than six front and back pages. Depending on how many pages of your VBS material you would like to send, you may have to send it all over the course of a couple of letters. 🙂 I encourage you to send your kiddo a personal letter with these pages to explain to them what they are and how they may be of use and value to your kiddo! Please let us know if you have any additional questions or concerns. Have a blessed day!

  40. James Enger August 23, 2019

    If I send say 50.00 dollar gift and say it goes to the family, Justin Jair Remache Guaman ( child # 4680508) mother will receive 45.00 to purchase things they need.

    1. Shannon August 26, 2019

      Hi James,

      You got it! This is exactly how gifts work! Please let us know if you need any assistance sending a gift! 🙂

  41. Beth Logan March 14, 2019

    I sponsor a child and would love to make a Monetary Contribution. How can I find out what my child needs the most so I know how much to contribute?

    1. Shannon March 14, 2019

      Hi Beth,

      We are very thankful that you desire to send your child funds to buy a gift! Regrettably, the only way to know what your child and their family needs is to ask in a child letter. Please be aware that Compassion will utilize 10% of your individual child-gift donation for the ministry’s administration and program delivery costs of the gift. You will receive a thank you letter, approximately six months from when the gift was given, to let you know what was purchased. Also, if you happen to send a gift of $60 or more, the family will send you a picture of what was purchased! 🙂 Please know that you are welcome to also send a recommendation of what you would like your gift money used for, but if the family receives the money and decides they have a better use for the funds, we do allow them to make that decision, as this will ensure they get exactly what they need most! I hope this is helpful! Please let us know if you have any other questions! Have a wonderful day! 

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