About the correspondence

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So? Basically it seems that the letters I receive from our sponsored children just do not seem authentic..... and it really bothers me that 11 and 8 year old would continue to ask for my birthday.... l understand that it takes a while for correspondence to reach and be translated but I don't believe the kids are actually receiving our letters and their letters are so redundant.... 
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Posted 2 years ago

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Sarah Heacock Schreffler

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I see a lot of repetition too, though none of my kids have ever asked for my birthday. I was tickled pink with yesterday's letter from a little boy in Peru. He mentions "The solar eclipse didn't happen here" -- so he must have received the letter I sent where I talked about the solar eclipse and it made enough of an impression that he actually mentioned it in this one!

I have a 6 year old and a 10 year old. The 6 year old just colors pictures for the letters we write, but the 10 year old actually writes. But it takes a lot of effort from me to turn what he writes into a good letter. So I have more sympathy for these kids writing -- I suspect some of them don't even like writing that much and just do it because they have to as part of the program.  And others will be very good letter writers and, as time goes on and they get to know you, write better and better letters. (Within limits. When I sit down to write, I have their past letters in front of me to help with writing. I suspect few of the children have your old letters in front of them. They have to remember what you wrote.  Unless the center has kept records of questions asked, etc. -- so basically a good letter might be a child that is good at writing or a center that is good at facilitating writing.
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I am so sorry for the disappointment and distrust regarding your children's letters. I would love to make sure your letters are being received by your children and you are receiving what you should be. Regrettably, I was unable to locate your account by your first name and email address. Please post one of your children's ID numbers or email us at socialmedia@compassion.com with more information so we can further assist you.

In the mean time, if I may I would like to explain a few things about the letter writing in general. Because letter writing is such a foreign concept in most other cultures, the children and staff may think that the letters have to be overly formal. If you imagine that you have never been asked to write a letter in any other setting, and you are suddenly asked to write a letter to a very important person (your sponsor). If that were the case, you would might write really formal letters too.

Similarly, as Sarah pointed out, the letter writing is more difficult for some children than for others. I have even noticed a correlation between a child's personality and their letters. If the child is more outgoing and talkative, they might write longer letters and always have something to say. Other kiddos who are more shy and reserved may struggle more with what to say and they might repeat certain phrases. 

Also, if you think about it, you have your child's photo, birthday, and information. They have no information about you, unless you share it in the letters, and are extremely curious about who this person is who has invested so much into their lives. I would look at these questions that they ask you as communicating that they just want to get to know you personally, regardless of what specific information is shared between you. Share anything about your life, and your sponsored kids will be absolutely thrilled! If you do not feel comfortable sharing your birthday, please do not feel obligated to do so.

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