Can the envelope be larger than 8 1/2" x 11"?

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If what we mail inside the envelope must be smaller than 8 1/2" x 11" does that include the envelope it is mailed in? The manilla envelope I have is 9" x 12". Is this too large?
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Amanda Hallenberger

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Posted 5 years ago

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Garry Sagel

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Just the contents have to be 8 1/2 x 11. What you send it in has no size limitations.
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Denise Bailey

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The envelope or box we mail our items in doesn't matter because they take everything out and put it in the country bins and once a week mail packages to our kids to their country!  I was pretty curious about how Compassion does it and sent an email and asked.  I have been sponsoring for over 13 years and there have been many changes over the years.  Just this year I found out that we can send them those pretty light weight cardboard folders with notebook paper or drawing paper in them as long as it is less than 1/4" thick total!  The folders can't be bigger than 9" x 11 1/2", I was very surprised to learn that.

Amanda, if you are on Facebook there is a private group called:  
Compassion Sponsors/Correspondents Facebook Forum where we share fun ideas of what to send our kiddos and ideas for letters.  It is private to protect privacy of our sponsored kids.  If you would like to join just send an email to socialmedia@compassion.com  and ask to be added to the group.
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Amanda Hallenberger

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Thank you, Adam! Just to clarify, we are allowed to use tape, glue, and staples to bind things together, but not anything like string, ribbon, or twine, correct?
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Adam

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It's my pleasure! Yes, tape, glue and staples are fine for binding things together. Paper clips, I believe, are also fine. I do use tape sometimes but I've seen some comments before that tape sometimes looses it's stickiness in the hot and humid areas that Compassion works. I try to use plastic Ziploc baggies, if I can, to hold things together for that reason, and so that maybe they can be used by my sponsored kids or their families to put things in afterwards. I also use those little clear glue dots sometimes to stick BandAids and things like that to a sheet of paper so that they lay flat.

String, ribbon, and twine are generally discouraged, however, small amounts are ok if it's just for the purpose of holding an item together. For example, it would be ok to send a handmade booklet to your child with a small ribbon used as the binding. I've sent small amounts of string before to string together some squares with letters on them that spelled my kiddos name and it went through just fine. As long as these are in very small quantities it should be acceptable.

Your sponsored child will be so excited to receive the gift you are planning on sending to her! Here's a list, by the way, of some ideas of things that can or cannot be sent that you might be interested in: http://www.compassion.com/letter-writing/tips-for-mailing-small-gifts.htm. Have a great weekend!
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Reva Gray

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hi Adam, Do you have any idea if velcro will pass through? I sent my child paper dolls and clothes which were originally part of a big book (that I had to take apart in order to meet requirements.) It had a folded closet for the clothes that had a velcro ''door knob" fastener. I still have the parts of the book that I didn't send, plus more clothes and dolls. The "closet" is just barely able to fit size wise. I send everything in zip lock baggies too. Do you label just the bag or also everything inside the bag with your child's number? I have been labeling everything, but it would save time if I didn't need to label anything but the bag.
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Emily

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Hi Reva! It's hard to say without actually seeing the fastener but it sounds small and I think it should go through just fine if it's still within the size requirements :).

As far as labeling, you should be fine to just label the zip lock baggies with the contents inside since the baggie will hold everything together. If you want to be extra cautious, you're welcome to label each item in the baggie as well. The things that we really want to be sure are labeled, are items that have a chance of getting separated. For example, if you staple three or four pieces of paper together, I would highly recommend labeling each piece in case one tears apart from the group.  
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Adam

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Hi Reva! If you don't mind me asking, where did you get that there paper doll book? :) It sounds really cool! My little Ana's favorite thing is dolls. Before I started sponsoring a girl with Compassion I didn't know there was such a thing as paper dolls, but since then I have spent a LOT of time looking at paper dolls. :) Maybe I'm just very picky but it seems like it's hard to find good ones. The ones I have found that I like best so far were from Peaceable Kingdom.

I just label the bags when I send things in them, like Emily said. Sometimes I tape the bags to a sheet of card stock if I have a lot, like if I send a deck of cards or a matching game, to try to keep them from moving around in the envelope and I just label the paper. I actually have some preprinted labels with my kid's names, numbers, and my sponsor number on them and I just put one of those labels on everything I send. It's so much easier and I like that I don't have to write on things and the kids can just peel the stickers off if they want to. I stole that idea and a lot of other ideas from this post that Karen wrote. :)

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