Duplicate Letters with Same Date and Different Handwriting

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