Can I send my sponsored child a package?

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What items can I send my sponsored child? Can I send a care package?
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Shaina Moats

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Posted 5 years ago

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Shaina Moats

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Because of strict mailing and customs regulations in the various countries where Compassion works, we cannot send our field offices items that exceed 8-1/2" x 11" and 1/4" thick.

Items that can be sent:
Band-Aids
Baseball and football cards (some contain gum, please don’t send gum)
Bookmarks (paper only)
Calendars (smaller than 8-1/2" x 11")
Construction paper
Greeting cards (musical cards are acceptable)
Laminated flowers and leaves
Magazines pages only
Origami
Pages from coloring books
Pages from watercolor paint books (may not send paint brushes)
Paper dolls
Photos of you and your family
Photo albums (if they are within size limitations and there is no metal)
Postcards
Scrapbook paper
Scripture cards
Small posters within size guidelines
Stamps (not intended for return postage)
Stickers (may not send stickers containing liquid)

Regrettably, we are unable to send the following:
Balloons
Books and booklets
CD's/DVD's
Ceramics or glass
Cloth items
Elastic hair bands
Foam crafts
Larger items (soccer balls, clothes)
Metal (including jewelry, ornaments and magnets)
Perishable items (gum, candy, flower seeds)
Plastic
Plastic rulers
Ribbons
Stencils
Tassels
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DisneyWorld Nut

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I'm a bit confused. Can I send as many items as I want at one time so long as each item meets the size guidelines or must all the items fit into one manila envelope and still be only 1/4" thick? Also, should my child's info be on each item or just the envelope? TIA!
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Emily, Employee

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Hi DisneyWorld! I'm so sorry for the confusion, but I can definitely clear things up for you :).

The items you send, whether one or multiple, must be less than 1/4" thick when you place them in the envelope. So for example, if your items exceed 1/4" together, I would suggest sending them in separate envelopes. Please write your child's ID number as well as your sponsor number on every item that you send. The reason we ask this is because when your letter/gifts reach our office, we take them out of the envelope you mailed them to us in, and we re package them. We want to ensure each sticker, picture, and paper snowflake that you send, gets to your child. If any items are separated, we will still know what child they belong to if the ID number is on the item. 
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DisneyWorld Nut

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Thanks a bunch!
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bebe4498

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Also please tell me where to go on web-site to read size limitations for packages. Am I understanding that we can only send paper items and the package cannot be thicker than a quarter inch. I am assuming a manila envelope. I can think of many things to send younger children, but for a teen boy ....... HELP!!!

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
What to send 13 year old boy--Philippines.
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Becky, Champion

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On CI's website the information listed above (in the event it changes) can be found here: http://www.compassion.com/letter-writ...

Also, in response to suggestions about what to send, I refer you to Michelle, a Compassion advocate (volunteer who advocates Compassion's child development program-and knows alot about it!), who has a blog with loads of ideas for sending tangible gifts to kids of all ages:
http://www.bloggingfromtheboonies.com...

Finally, if you still feel stuck, I recommend joining Ourcompassion.org, which is a network of compassion sponsors from all over the world. You can join for free and if you post a journal (and set your profile to public so people can view the journal if they aren't friends with you) asking the same question and there will be many sponsors happy to point you to suggestions of what they have sent. Michelle also wrote a blog entry as a 'how to' of getting started with Ourcompassion.org, which sponsors on there refer to as OC. I've learned quite a bit about how far my sponsorship really goes, had a support networks of praying people, posted questions about my kids, and most importantly, seen many pictures of sponsor visits (and detailed descriptions) of their visits to CI projects (including some pictures from where I sponsor my children!). http://blog.compassion.com/ourcompass...

All kids love pictures of their sponsor and learning about things in their area. My kids (12 year old boys) love pictures of my dogs, family, scenic areas around me (postcards), etc.
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Lizzie, Champion

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I made some paper dolls for my two girls for Christmas. I glued popsicle sticks on the backs to hold. Will they go through, or are popsicle sticks not good?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Popsicle sticks- will they go through?.
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Shaina Moats

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Unfortunately, we can't send popsicle sticks- only paper items... cool idea though!
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Lizzie, Champion

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Okay :( Thanks!
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Patty Ruppert

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Hello. I have a sponsor-daughter in India. Could I send her a Beanie Baby bear or other specific "gift?"

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Small Gifts.
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Steph Paxton

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So I wanted to send a small package to my child ,Jeferson, but am unsure of the requirements. I know on Compassion's page they listed items that can and cannot be sent, but some of the things I want to send aren't listed and I wanted to make sure my package would be appropriate and not be rejected in the mailing process. I wanted to wait to send this package until I got my first letter so I could know what he would like. He said his favorite toys were cars and he really liked them, he also said he loved the color blue.
I got an 8 1/2 by 11inch mailing envelope, a blue paper folder (trimmed a little to fit inside the envelope), some construction paper, some stickers, and a small gift bag with cars on it. I thought this gift bag was really cute and he could maybe use it to keep little things in, however I wasn't sure if it could be sent. It is small, and lies mostly flat, except thin rope strings for handles. Are all of these items ok?
I was also wondering if for the future if thin picture frames could be sent? Why is it alright to send a small calendar but not a booklet? What if I wanted to send a small coloring book?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Sending a small package.
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Haley, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Operations

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It sounds like you have a good understanding of what we are able to send to your child along with your letter. The items you mentioned are also listed here: http://support.compassion.com/compass...

My motto is: "When in doubt, throw all that is not paper out". OK, that's pretty cheesy, but you get the idea. Items that are flat, made of paper only (no metal staples or cloth/rope) within 8.5 x 11" in size and 1/4" in thickness are safe to send.

The items you listed above will be just fine. We will likely have to remove the rope handles of the bag, but the bag itself should go through with no problem. Usually, booklets have staples, and small calendars are glued together with no staples. We are unable to send anything that has metal included.

For the Photo Frame - if it is made of paper (maybe a sturdy construction paper), it would be fine to send through. For the Coloring Book - we would ask that you remove the staples or tear the pages out of the coloring book and send those pages.

Here:
http://support.compassion.com/compass...
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Jenn Leasher-Lucas

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If I buy a booklet and remove the staples, can I send the booklet as long as 1/4" or less?
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Susan, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Social Media

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Hi Jenn! No need to remove staples, as we can send those. As long as the book is 1/4" or less thick and 8 1/2" by 11" you're golden. :)
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Wendy Erickson

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Hi Hayley,
At this link: http://www.compassion.com/letter-writ... it gives directions for making a small photo book. It actually says to use staples to staple it together. We bought small photo books made entirely of paper and thinner than 1/4 inch. They are stapled in two places on the spine. Will this be a problem?
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Shaina Moats

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You have a great eye! I've never seen that idea section at the bottom before. we've always been told that metal is a no-no. I'm going to check to see if I can get some clarification on staples.
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Shaina Moats

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Staples are ok to use! :) In fact, our correspondence team will use staples when preparing letters to ship to country offices.
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Steph Paxton

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Glad to hear that staples can be used! Can little dover activity books be sent? they are little books and come in a variety of themes. Here's a link for one of them:http://www.amazon.com/Little-Construc...

I thought some of these would be fun to send to my 5 year old sponsored boy from El Salvador.
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Shaina Moats

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Hi Steph! From what I can tell, the book should be fine. It looks like a 4 page sticker book with a page to place the stickers and fits within our dimensions. I bet your sponsored child will have a blast!
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Steph Paxton

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Thank you! Glad to hear it looks like it would be fine to send, because there is a lot of those type of little books that I could send in the future too!
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Shannon Voigt

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I saw that origami was on the "yes" list. I'm assuming it means the flat paper and directions to fold it, and not already folded?? The reason I'm asking is I make quilled snowflakes which are made from strips of paper and are 1/8" thick. I would love to send each of my girls one. If I could mail them in a paper CD mailer, they would possibly make it without getting crushed. Do you think this would be allowed?
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Judy Bare Siler

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HOW AWESOME YOU ARE SOOOO VERY TALENTED!!!! B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L :)
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Karen Busch

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Very pretty, hope it went through!
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Karen Ardagna

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This is beautiful! Did you send it?
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Shannon Voigt

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Thank you everyone for the wonderful compliments. Yes I did send one to each of my girls....one in Peru and one in India. They both sent me a letter saying that they received their snowflake. Very excited!!
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Danielle Harvey

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Shannon...can I order a snowflake from you?
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Shannon Voigt

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Oh my.....I had no idea that the photo would be that large......:-) sorry!!!!
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Jenn Leasher-Lucas

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Shannon, are you still doing these? I would love to send one to the 4 children I mail to. Can you email me, jennllucas721@gmail.com
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Haley, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Operations

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Wow, Shannon! That is absolutely beautiful! The intent for sending origami is, as you assumed, the flat paper with instructions on how to fold the items. Once this snowflake is put together, is it thicker than 1/4"? . I will send your inquiry down to our correspondence team supervisor to get his official opinion on how this might fit within the guidlines. I will respond here as soon as I receive the answer.
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Shannon Voigt

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Thank you Haley...when it is complete, it is less than 5" in diameter and 1/8" thick. It has silver thread as a hanger, which can be left off if it doesn't meet "the paper" rule. They are delicate yet pretty sturdy at the same time and could possibly survive the trip in one of those cardboard type CD mailers. Thanks for the quick reply!!
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Joshua Boyd

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Can i send small Bouncy Balls OR silly bands?
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Susan, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Social Media

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Joshua, we cannot send Bouncy Balls but can send silly bands. 
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Lydia Larsh

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What about a inflatable beach ball?
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Lizzie, Champion

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Nope. Only paper can go through. This keeps done on the cost, since Compassion ships it from Colorado. Sorry.
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AnnetteG

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I would like to know the most appropiate gift to send my child in Haiti, age 5 1/2. I am fairly new to sponsorship and am looking forward to what God has placed on my heart for such a sweet little boy.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Appropiate Gift.
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AnnetteG

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Thanks for all the comments on sending a package. I have gotten things straighten
in my mind, and won't need any more comments. Thanks to every one at Compassion for all you do for the children of the world. If I have any further questions, I will post again. Again, Thanks !
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Lizzie, Champion

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You could send him some animal stickers or a nature bookmark. Maybe something with bright colors. I bet he'd like some cute band-aids. Be creative. Even though only paper is allowed, there are still many exciting things you can send.
Lizzie :)
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AnnetteG

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Sorry, not wanting to send a package. Something from the catalog gifts listed online
to send through Compassion. Would it be best if I call Compassion's 800 number?
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Shaina Moats

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Hi Annette,
The catalog gifts can not be sent to your sponsored child. Those gifts are given to the family that needs that item the most. If you would like, you may send a monetary gift to your sponsored child and their family. When the gift is received, the staff at the project will help them purchase what they need- whether that is an animal, food, or items for their house.