Contact and Sponsor concerns.

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First I want to say that I love and pray for the goal that Compassion has.

I am new to the sponsoring with this group and want to share a couple of disappointments or concerns.

It doesn't seem that the letter writing is functioning well in a couple areas. It is VERY disappointing that children have four months to answer and THEN the nonsense of it taking so long to process a letter. Why so long for a child to answer? Why is there not more emphasis on the other end to be involved? Why doesn't the child write monthly or in response to each letter received? I just learned that I may probably receive two letters a year! I've had better experiences with other agencies.

It also seems wrong that if we choose to send certain gifts, that "our" child may not be the one to receive it!! While I appreciate that other children/children's families may not receive a "gift", if I choose to send it would be nice if we had a choice. Sends animals? I might love to! But it wouldn't go to my sponsored child's family.

So it all comes down to that it seems as if we just contribute but do not REALLY get to develop a relationship with the child. And I haven't decided what I might do about that. I want to keep my commitment, but I don't see Compassion doing their part.
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Michelle Robin

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Posted 11 months ago

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Teresa Dawn

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Hi :) I'm not staff but I can answer some until Compassion office hours are open again.  I'm just a sponsor but have many kids and have done it for many years :) (I currently have almost 50 kids but over the years have written to about 100 total (many which have graduated or moved away etc.  I don't sponsor that many but Compassion has a great correspondent program too if you are interested.  This is like sponsoring without the financial commitment and is a volunteer program, because sometimes companies or individuals want to sponsor a child financially but can't write for whatever reason so they ask for their child to have a correspondent to write the letters and build that relationship with them) Btw, welcome to Compassion and sponsorship. 

Children only write "2x a year" IF you don't write to them.  It saves kids that never get letters the disappointment of asking questions over and over again and not getting a response and having them wonder if their letters aren't good enough etc.  If you are writing to your kids, you will hear back more often!  I hope that helps!  Kids have a letter writing day every 60 days at their project and if they have received a letter FROM you within those 60 days they WILL write back to you :) I write a lot to my kids and hear from them on average every 2 months each.  (Note that's the average... the odd letter gets stuck in translation a bit longer but then the kid still writes again and I get 2 letters within days of each other or something odd like that.
  
As for the gifts, if you send money to the Christmas Gift Fund or the Christmas Gift Catelog, then no those are not specific to your child (though your child WILL get a gift through the gift fund, all kids do)  If you send a Child Gift, Birthday Gift, or Family Gift to your child, your child and their family get that gift, no one else.  a small fee of 10% is subtracted to pay for staff wages to help your child shop for the gift, and to pay for the fees on currency conversion but the other 90% goes completely to your specific child.  You can't go out and by your kid a goat, but you can send them $50 or whatever and they might buy that with it.  (I've had kids by livestock often, mostly my African kids).  You can even suggest they use it to buy a goat and they might do that.  (Usually I find they do listen to suggestions, but not always, the family knows what they need/want best and it's up to them)

I have a wonderful wonderful relationship with most my kids.  That being said, some kids are naturally better letter writers than others, same as you'd find in any classroom here too, so some I've been able to build better relationships with than others, but they do all write often :) 
If for any reason you were ever to go 6 months without hearing from a child (it happens but very very rarely I find), Compassion is really quick to check up on the kid for you and find out if a letter might have gotten lost or what happened, but usually you'll hear every couple months, as long as you write too :) 

Hope that helps
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Shannon Massey, Employee

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Good morning Michelle,
Thank you so much for taking the time to voice your concerns with Compassion. We truly appreciate hearing feedback so that we know how and where we need to focus as we continually make updates to our program. 
Teresa, did a wonderful job of explaining quite a bit of how the program works, (thank you, Theresa)! :) However, we want you to know that your concerns are heard and that we would love to make sure you understand how each part of the program works so that you never feel mislead, or that we do not do our part to invest in your relationship with your sweet kiddo!
Please know that the one thing we value most at Compassion is your relationship with your child. We know that the more love, encouragement and positivity that you can pour into your child, the more the child will thrive. We have seen time and time again that the children who receive letters on a regular basis do better in school, stay in the program longer and in turn become strong adults who have the ability to truly impact their communities. So, I want to thank you. Thank you for the desire to build that type of relationship with your child! We know how priceless that is. However, we know that the relationship you have is not all one sided and we absolutely want you to know that our kiddos do have a writing schedule to follow to ensure that if you are writing, you are receiving letters more than twice per year as well. In addition, we just recently implemented a whole brand new letter translation process to decrease the amount of time it takes to translate letters. We are still in transition to this new system at this time, but we do expect this change to make a big difference in how long it takes from writing the letter to being received by the other person. We are already seeing a wonderful change. :)
Secondly, as you inquired about and Teresa touched on, there are multiple ways to give gifts. If you would like more details on these types of gifts, please let me know and I would be more than happy to explain more in detail. As with any other question, if you are still having any doubts or concerns, please let us know and we will be more than happy to help! :)

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