Curious about Compassion's goals with letters

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I wanted to ask the Compassion staff if you guys have any idea what the new letter delivery process you've been working on might eventually lead to. Like do you think (years down the road) that the delivery time between letters could ever get to one month or even just a couple weeks? Also I wonder if someday we would be able to send non-paper gifts to our kids? (I started sponsoring a little over a year ago but I've heard sponsors used to be able to send more stuff and it would be really cool if that could happen again). Anyway just wondering if Compassion thinks stuff like that could ever be a reality. Thanks for working so hard to try to improve correspondence between children and sponsors! :) 
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Crazy Goat Lady 17

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Posted 1 year ago

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Susan, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Social Media

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Hi Crazy Goat Lady 17! Thanks for reaching out!

We are hoping that the new delivery system will cause letters to travel faster than ever before. This will vary but we are hoping that they will travel within a few weeks to a few months. 

In regards to your second question, we do not have any plans at this time to allow items other than paper items to be mailed to the children. The idea has been thrown around to maybe allow it once a year or for a price but we do not have any plans at this time. Right now, we just want to get onto the new system and stabilize before making more changes. 
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Crazy Goat Lady 17

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Thanks for your answer Susan :) That would be awesome if letters could travel in just a few weeks! I think that would be really cool if someday we could send packages once a year or something; totally understand wanting to get the system running smoothly before getting to that point. Keeping you guys in my prayers as you keep working through the new system :) 
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Kathy Quigley

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Hi Susan -

We had been talking about the gifts' request in our household, and the suggestion was made for a gift catalog, but where the gifts actually go to our kids.  We can certainly understand that the cost of the shipping would be astronomical and that gifts might get lost in transit, etc.  But, maybe it would be possible to have options such as  "$100 towards clothing" or "school supplies".  It could still be vague enough to allow some flexibility on the centers end, but allow us to get something that we get for our kids.  Or for our kids to pick something (My daughter thinks our kids' need new sheets since she just got a new bed).  Just my two cents on a possible compromise 
 
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Susan, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Social Media

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Kathy, I appreciate you and your family's creativity with this idea. Currently all gifts - both in the catalog and child and family gifts - are purchased in country. This not only saves on shipping costs but it helps to stimulate the local economy in the child's area. I understand the desire to make gifts more personal, but we are doing so much more good (and avoiding real harm to local economies) by purchasing from local businesses. When you send a family gift, you are more than welcome to designate them for a particular item. For example, you can give a $100 family gift and place special instructions on that gift that you would like it to be used for clothing, school supplies, or sheets. Please just keep in mind that the ultimate use of the gift is up to the family and what they need most.
(Edited)
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Kathy Quigley

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I completely understand both the desire behind buying it in country, and the desire for my daughter to pick out something that develops a relationship between her and our sponsored child.  It's a real balancing act! 

As for the catalog gift what I'm suggesting is a little different.  It would be a pick this type of thing out for my particular child, as the catalog gifts do not go to our child.  The problem with the gift catalog, in it's current implementation, is that there is no impact statement, there is no tangible picture for her to hold, story for her to hear about how her gift went somewhere in particular.  As adults we can rationalize and know something good happened, but as a young child she just see's a picture on a page.  

But, I'm not (intentionally) casting stones.  I'm just suggesting other opportunities for gift giving from the sponsor's perspective, as well as the perspective of a parent of a young child. 

As for the family gift, we recently gave a family gift, with no instructions and we are curious to see how they are going to use it.  
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Sarah, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Social Media

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Hi Kathy, I completely understand where you are coming from with the gift catalog and trying to get younger children to understand how that works. That's got to be a tough idea to help them understand! I'm not sure how old your daughter is, but something that might help her connect to her child and to Compassion's ministry in general would be the Compassion Explorer magazine and the blog as well. The magazine is made for children and does include all sorts of recipes, activities, and stories that really can help connect your child to the impact that she is making. You can find the magazine website here:https://www.compassion.com/kids-magazine.htm, and I'd be happy to get you set up to receive the physical magazines in the mail as well. The blog, though intended mostly for a more adult audience, does often share stories of how gifts that come from the gift catalog impacted a family: https://blog.compassion.com/. You can use the search bar to look for specific things like "water", "sewing", and "livestock" along with many others to find specific blog posts that may help your daughter imagine the impact of her gift the way a storybook would. Not all the blog posts are like that and you may have to do some digging, but it can be worth it! It's possible that she may not understand the gift catalog idea fully until she is a little older and that is completely ok! We so appreciate your honest feedback and creativity!

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