Duplicate Letters with Same Date and Different Handwriting

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  • Updated 4 years ago
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I am crushed/devastated and angry.

I have been sponsoring children with Compassion since 2001.

I received TWO letters on Friday from a child I have sponsored since 2003. Both letters were dated the same date, both claimed to be from "my" child and yet... they had different handwriting!!! On one of them, "my" child has SPELLED HER NAME WRONG. Really???

For years I have defended Compassion from those who told me it was a scam. I am truly heartbroken to feel I have been duped.

I e-mailed Compassion privately, requesting a telephone call regarding this issue prior to this posting.

They have not responded.
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Parma Ohio Sponsor

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Posted 4 years ago

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kathy.hurtt

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Hi Nancy,

I'm so sorry!  I am not with Compassion, but I wanted to offer a perspective on what might have happened.  Do your child's letters get translated?  It sounds as though it might have been translated twice - perhaps once even as a training experience or a test for a potential translator.  This is the only explanation I could think of why this might happen.  

Or, I suppose, depending on where you sponsor, it might be similar to a situation I had.  I had a girl in Uganda whose name was "Medius".  Imagine my surprise when after she graduated, I learned (from Facebook"that her name was really "Mirius".  It had been recorded incorrectly when she was first registered, and so she changed back and forth between names her entire time in Compassion!
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Kelly Peterson

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We sponsor more than one child- i pray this is not true.  If it is- can someone please email me? kelly@equipment-jobs.com 
God Bless
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Lindsay

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Hi, Kelly.

I'm just another sponsor and while I have no doubt in what the original poster experienced, I'm sure that there's a completely sound explanation for whatever happened such as what Kathy suggested above. I can guarantee that Compassion is a wonderful organization. I've been fortunate enough to have traveled to meet some of my sponsored children and can speak personally for the great work the organization is doing.

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Kelly Peterson

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thank you for replying Lindsay-  I feel the same, reputable.  but ive read that there are 10 people sponsoring one child and that the replies are the same and it makes me wonder after reading so much negative...   just want to support kids that are in need. we love all of ours!
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Lindsay

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I saw that post, too. I'm curious to see where she had heard that, but it is 1:1. There are some circumstances in whish a group of people opt to go in together to sponsor, such as like a youth group or something like that, but there would still be one person designated as the head of the group or something, and that child certainly wouldn't be sponsored by anyone else. I'm anxiously awaiting to see where that other thread goes.
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Ceri Bowen

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Yes, that might explain it!  I was wondering where this idea of 10 people sponsoring a child came from, knowing that each child only has one sponsor. If there are a group of 10 people such as a Youth Group, each contributing £2.50 / month to make up the £25/month that would explain it.  The child would have one 'group' sponsoring him/her as opposed to one person.  Our Church sponsored a child in this way, but one person took on the role of writing to the child on behalf of the church.
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Parma Ohio Sponsor

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Compassion telephoned me (as I requested in my private e-mail message) and they have asked to have the letters scanned and e-mailed to them.  

I will post an update when I receive an explanation.
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newsponsor

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May be the child had 1 sponsor and 10 correspondents? Having more that 1 sponsor  per child would be a violation of Compassion policy. It would be discouraging if it turns out to be true.
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Jennifer

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I have no doubts about the integrity of the organization as a whole, but every once in a while, you see something weird. After visiting my teenaged child, I received a letter soon after that was not in her own writing and wasn't the type of thing she would write. It was disappointing, especially after all the impressive things I had seen on the trip. However, the date coincided with when she would have found out I was coming, so I figured they were busy making arrangements, she missed the letter writing session, and someone decided to be "helpful".

Another thing I saw while there is that all of my girl's letters had been painstakingly copied by hand by someone else into her records! So for the duplicate letter, it could be that someone for some reason thought that the first one had been lost and decided to write out another copy themselves (with their own writing and bad spelling.).

In any organization you have people who make decisions, good or bad, with poor intentions or good ones. Stuff happens, but meeting my kids who looked just like their photos and who had personalities that matched their letters (always in the same writing except for that one time) was enough for me.
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Susan

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Nancy, I am so sorry for the hurt, confusion, frustration, and anger you are feeling right now. I can confirm that both of your inquiries have been sent in regards to your concerns and we will notify you just as soon as we hear back from our field offices with some answers. For now, it looks like others have given some plausible explanations for what might have happened here. I know when I heard your story, my first thought was that maybe two different children with similar names and possibly even the same tutor wrote letters to their sponsors and you received both of them by accident. Either way, I am so so sorry for our mistake and particularly that you had two things go wrong at the same time. I pray that we will be able to earn back your trust and support. Please let me know if I may be of any further assistance. 
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Steve

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Nancy, I suspect that it will be a while before you hear back about what happened. I share your frustration with the letter writing process. I have three letters and a gift at the 6-month mark and only the word that something has been sent.


But I have spent a ridiculous amout of time studying Compassion. I don't think for a second that it's a scam or that there is anything that isn't "on the up-and-up". You have been a sponsor longer than I have. I know you must care about "your kids" and I pray that you don't give up on them. Maybe the fact that we get frustrated or angry indicates we care.
(Edited)
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Parma Ohio Sponsor

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I submitted the letters to Compassion this morning, as requested.  

I am posting them both here (with my name and sponsor information covered).

Both letters contain my full name -  first, middle initial, and last on the first line.  

The letters are dated the same and arrived in two separate envelopes 2/20/2016.  

They do NOT contain the same content, they are two different letters. 
(Edited)
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Teresa Dawn

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In seeing the two letters side by side... I would say it is the translator's handwriting that is different from your child's.  The handwriting from the child looks the same in both to me.  The different spelling of a name is common in other countries where they don't care so much for proper spelling and sometimes don't have birth certificates.  I'm guessing this is Indonesia.  My boy there alternates between "Chris" and "Cris" all the time.  Looking at the two, it would seem your child wrote two letters on the same day.  Maybe she wrote one and then asked to write more as she remembered something else she wanted to tell you?
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Beth

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I agree, in some other countries, they don't pay as much attention to details like the proper spelling of names. I have not personally seen this with my Compassion kids, but I have noticed that they tend not to really know how old they are! In the U.S. these details are very important to us, but that may not be the case in the countries we are sponsoring kids in.
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Beth

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I would also say that it may be awhile until you hear back. I mailed a copy of a letter in to have retranslated, and it was a month until I received notification that it had reached the desk of the Compassion staff it was addressed to in Colorado.
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dtun

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I agree. The child's handwriting looks the same to me, it's the translators handwriting that is different.
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KristenH, Champion

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I agree with the others, it looks like your child wrote you two letters <3
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Tammy

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In agreement here, too.  If I were to guess, I would say your child received two templates on letter writing day, so she wrote two letters.  (Maybe she had missed the previous letter writing day or two templates printed out for her for some reason).  This has been an interesting thread!
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Lindsay

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I typed a reply earlier while I was standing in my bathroom getting ready for work and don't see it. As I generally operate in a stupor until about noon, forgive me if that post is 1) already hidden in this thread somewhere or 2) pops up somewhere in a totally unrelated post. Oy... Anyway, I was reminded of something last night regarding letters from my own sponsor kids that may very well be the case here. On a lot of the letters we receive, the date is not actually the date written but the date of translation. It's very possible that there was a slight backlog on translations and two or more letters were translated on the same day even though they had been written perhaps weeks apart. If a different translator took a letter that day, dated it and put in in the mail, that would explain everything. It may be a completely different story, mind you, but it's an option.
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Adam

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Lindsay, I just have to say that the first part of your post totally cracked me up. :)
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Beth

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I agree - that would be me in the morning too!
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Erik Davison

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Once my child sent me the exact same letter two months later. Even though the content was identical, you could tell she had written it twice from slightly different variations on the handwriting/drawing. Turns out she had "messed up" the first and wanted to try again. Later they found the "messed up" copy and sent it again not realizing they had already sent the same one. I met my child last friday and I can assure you Compassion is not a scam. I watched her draw pictures of her family in the EXACT same way she drew them in her pictures she sent me

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