Can I mail my sponsored child a gift I purchased myself?

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My daughter wants to shop for our sponsored child. Can we mail her a gift or does it have to be purchased through this website?
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Samantha Clark Johnson

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Posted 4 months ago

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Sierra, Employee

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Hi Samantha! I appreciate your desire to send a package to your child, and for your daughter's sweet heart! Regrettably, Compassion cannot accept packages for your sponsored child for the following reasons:

1) Everything we send to our country offices is declared at customs as a document. If custom officials find anything in a box of letters that isn't a document, we are assessed a hefty fine and the box will be held for weeks, possibly months.

2) There is a high incidence of theft when sending packages to the developing world, and shipping items overseas can be quite costly.

3) The high volume of child letters Compassion processes every day makes it impossible for us to also process packages. 

4) The delivery services in developing countries are rarely as operational as they are in the U.S.

You may, however, enclose small items such as: postcards, greeting cards, bookmarks, pages from coloring books, appropriate family photos or handmade pictures with the letters you write. You may also send monetary gifts to your child through our site! I'm so sorry for any disappointment this may cause.
(Edited)
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Samantha Clark Johnson

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Thank you for the reply! I understand. If I do the monetary gift on this site for a Christmas or birthday gift what typically is bought? Does that money go to my sponsored child?
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Sarah Heacock Schreffler

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What is purchased varies on the child and their family needs/ Compassion works with the family to find out what, within the budget given, would best suit their needs. And then purchases items.  (They also take out 10% to cover the costs of doing this. So 90% of what you give is used on your child's behalf. If you send $60 or more, you'll get a picture of what was purchased). I sent $100 to my girl in rural Uganda and she got two lambs, a sheep, some beans (not sure if it was to eat or to plant), and a under-skirt.  I sent $20 to Rwanda and she got a chicken.  My son send $25 to his child in Haiti and Benson got clothes and shoes.
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Sierra, Employee

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When you send a Birthday, Child, or Family gift, those funds do go directly to your sponsored child! Compassion does utilize a small percentage (10%) of your individual child-gift donation for the ministry’s administration and program delivery costs of your gift. What is purchased with those funds is actually up to your child and their family, given it's within Compassion's guidelines. If you send a gift of at least $20, you'll receive a letter from your child thanking you for the gift, and if you send a gift of at least $60, you'll receive a photo of your child with the gift along with that note. If you give a Christmas gift, those funds are pooled into a fund that is disbursed evenly among every child in the program around Christmastime. This ensures that every child in the program - including those that don't have sponsors - receives at least one gift per year!