Can I send books to my sponsored child?

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My family and I love to read, even if two of my children cannot read yet lol. This is something that we would love to share with our sponsored child. Please, please, pretty please tell me this is something I can send every so often?
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Crys Williams

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  • hopeful!

Posted 5 years ago

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Susan

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Hi Crys! I love your heart to help instill a love of reading in your sponsored child! Regrettably, we have some strict customs guidelines that make it difficult to send most books. Everything we send must be paper, 8 1/2" by 11" and no more than 1/4" thick. Also, these items cannot look valuable or there will be a high risk of theft or high tariffs placed on those items. It could also hold up a shipment of letters. This is why, for most thicker covers we will tear the covers off of these books to help get them through the mail safely and efficiently. As long as your books match these slim guidelines, we will be able to send them. 
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Bridgette Jordan

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You really tear the covers off? I sent coloring books and slim children's books all the time. I want the kids to feel special.
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Susan

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Bridgette, yes. However, if the books you are sending are slim, they will likely go through as is. Thank you so much for wishing to bless your children with such thoughtful gifts! 
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Mary Lee Marshman

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How many pages constitute THIN.?
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Emily

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Mary,slim means less than 1/4" thick as that is the max thickness that an item can be when we package it to send to your child.
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Sara Rains

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A lot of paperback children's books are very slim!! Think Scholastic book fair type books!
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Teresa Dawn

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I have known people to send them by taking the book apart first too, if it's a thicker book, and sending a chapter at a time etc.  But keep in mind that that much text probably won't be translated, so if your child doesn't speak English, you'd have to find a book in their language. 
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Bridgette Jordan

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I have thought that I should have sponsored older children so I could have an English speaker. Now I send postcards from all over. I sent a map before. I guess seeing things even if they can't read is ok too.
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Beverly Crimmins Sarchet

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Could a thin, empty notebook be sent in the mail to my sponsored child through Compassion?.


I thought my child might like to have a small notebook for writing in.  Is that something I could send if it is not valuable and fits the size requirements?
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Erin

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Thin sewn journal ok to send?.




If I make one of these journals, with a cardstock cover and paper inside (sewn binding), and make sure it's less than 1/4" thick, will it go through ok, or will the cardstock cover get ripped off? I wanted to design and print a custom cardstock cover in Photoshop with my child's name and pictures on it, but don't want to spend the time if the cover will just get ripped off in order to send it appropriately.
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Emily

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Hi Erin! Thanks for sharing that link with us! I absolutely love this idea and think your child will adore it too! :) This book should be just fine going through as long as it fits within the size requirements. 
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Bridgette Jordan

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I sent a small child size paper book and it was returned to me. The cover was hard paper (not like a coloring book) and it should have gone through. You can tell it's up to whomever is working at that time because I know someone who sent one with what looked like a plastic cover and hers went through not long before that.
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Diane St George

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
"photo books".


I wanted to make one of those photo books online with the pictures of our visit to our child and send it to her.  I found one that was spiral bound and thought maybe that would be thin enough to qualify.  The hard cover books are a little thicker than the 1/4 inch allowed. 
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Emily

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Diane, this book looks beautiful! From the picture, it looks like that top book is a paper cover and very thin, awesome! Because it may still look valuable and be at risk of theft or holding up letters in customs, the cover would need to be removed. I know what a bummer these restrictions can be because there are so many great ideas out there! But we want to be able to ensure your gift reaches your child and this is the most efficient way we have found to do so. If you remove the cover and it fits the size requirements, we will definitely be able to get it to your child! :) This will be such a wonderful treasure for her to have!
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Nartanong Chinda

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Coloring Books and Sticker Books.


Am I allowed to send coloring books and sticker books?  They are in thin paperback form already.  They are stapled in the middle for binding the pages together.  
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Emily

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Hi Nartanong! Our children love coloring and drawing pictures for their sponsors and so sending this type of gift to your child is a fantastic idea. As Susan explains in the above comment, we do have guidelines and restrictions on the size limits for the items you send to your child. As long as the book is within the size requirements (which by your comment, it sounds like they are), is made of paper, and the cover is torn off, we can send them to your child. Many times, our sponsor's will tear out pages of the coloring book and send just a few at a time to their child. This is certainly another option you may consider as well. 
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Jordan Eckstein

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled What if the parent sends us a mailing address? Can we send gifts that way?.

Hi, I was wondering if the parent/caretaker of our sponsored child gives us a mailing address, if we are able to send small gifts that way? I would really love to send my child books. . .
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Emily

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Jordan, I appreciate that you want to send your sponsored child books! Education and reading so valuable and can really bless your child! 

Regrettably, for security purposes, we do not allow sponsor's and children to exchange personal contact information while they are registered in our program. Did your child's guardian already give you their address? If so, we do ask that you not send anything directly to their address. This is for both the protection of your child and their family as well as for you. Compassion is committed to confidentiality and privacy, and the only way we can ensure this is with communication solely through Compassion. When your child registers into Compassion's program, the family must agree to not contact their sponsor outside of letter writing. These contacts can develop into problematic situations for Compassion and you as a sponsor and we cannot guarantee that the address you would receive from the guardian would be their actual address . We also do not want your child's family to become dependent on you for material items, a target of the community through receiving items from you, or to have your personal address. 

I have also merged your inquiry into this conversation so that you can see our guidelines when sending books to your child :). As long as they fit the size requirements, you may send them to our office and if there is a book that we cannot mail, we will contact you. You also have the option to send monetary gifts because we do not pay any customs fees for it
and the child and family can choose what they need.
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Jordan Eckstein

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Thank you for the response! :-)
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Emma

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Will books like this get through without having the cover torn off (note the dimensions)? http://www.amazon.com/Princess-Petunia-Knight-Books-VeggieTales/dp/0310732069/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&...
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Susan

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Emma, we would have to tear the cover off of a book like this. It is not so much about the dimensions, as this book actually fits the size guidelines, but rather, we rip the cover off of the book to make it look less valuable. If a book appears to be worth money it will likely be stolen on the way or the customs officers may charge us high tariffs on it and hold the package of letters until the tariff is paid. In some places, particularly in Africa, books are scarce and a book like this would be more valuable than what Amazon is selling it for. This is why we tear the covers off of books or stray away from sending them all together. 
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Andrea Watt

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Your best bet is to find a sponsor traveling to Africa to the country your child lives in. If they drop it off in country it can then be taken to the correct office :) I played package mule for a few sponsors when I went and a few people have very generously taken packages for me before.
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William Blair

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I want to send gifts to my sponsor kids in Colombia,Ecuador and Ethiopia with the team leaders for the group tours since I can't go next year.How can I set this up?
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Emily

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Hi William! Regrettably, our staff cannot take gifts to specific children for all of our sponsor's when we have group tours as there is limited baggage available and it would be difficult to setup these types of special requests. However, if I misunderstood you and you know someone that is going on a trip, you can certainly give them gifts to take! Please email our office at ciinfo@us.ci.org and we can provide you with instructions on how they can drop the gifts off for you at the country office! :) 
(Edited)
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William Blair

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Thanks Emily.
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Athena

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If I print off my own books (I have found some free ones online in her country's official language) can I still print off the cover page for the book?
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Susan

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Hi Athena! If you are making your own books and putting them together with staples, you are welcome to include a cover page. What a neat idea! You should post these books that you found onto our Pinterest page. I would love to send some of these to my own sponsored children!
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Stephanie Barnard

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Where do you print off these books- what is the website/ ect? I am sooo interested in learning about this option for my children.


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