Ending our sponsorship after a year and one letter from our child. Sad to go but this is beyond unacceptable.

  • 7
  • Problem
  • Updated 2 years ago
  • Solved
Archived and Closed

This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies and is no longer visible to community members.

Sadly, after a year of sponsorship, and giving of nearly $600, we will have to give up our sponsored child in Haiti. When I went to my first Compassion event, I thought it would be a great way for my son to learn compassion, and so we sponsored a child in Haiti about his age. But after 15 letters sent, many of which I simply went ahead and translated to French for you, to facilitate their quick arrival.  Christmas gifts, special family gifts for the emergency after the hurricanes, we have received one letter, ONE, the first letter on the form sheet that each child writes. And, we only received this after coming to this site and someone doing something to prompt it being sent. 

We do not feel like our gifts or our words are reaching our child, nor have we been able to build any type of relationship with him whatsoever. Our conversations are all just one way, us writing with no responses. My child has begun to doubt the existence of this child. My husband says that we could drop money on the sidewalk and have a better idea that someone who needs it get it. The program is not working as it was advertised or promised for us, and the fact that so much money has been spent without photos or accountability makes me now question where our funds are really going.  And please do not say that it is difficult due to distance, politics, customs, etc. We all knew this when we signed on.  However, you are not keeping to the word and spirit of your agreement to at least let us know where our special gifts go.   We have gone well beyond what is reasonable or even patient in receiving any sort of validation or even contact from our child. 

I will be writing Neider and making some excuse as to why we cannot continue any more, so he does not hold you at fault and maybe he can get a new sponsor. I will hope that you will forward our last letter on to our child, including our contact info, should he or his family wish to contact us without having to go through your organization. Also, if I could make two recommendations, it would be that you drastically improve communication to and from the children, and you stop wasting so much time, money and our patience on the many many many mailings you send home asking for more.  You have a lot of people here and on Facebook pages specific to each country sponsoring children.  You have a huge pool of loving, compassionate people.  And I think you are trying to do your best.  But we all do it with the desire to know those children and build some sort of connection.  Until you solve that problem and the communication flows, then I will have to work with other organizations who are somehow much more successful in these areas, all over the world. 
Photo of Linda Baker

Linda Baker

  • 33 Posts
  • 55 Reply Likes
  • very sad and disappointed

Posted 2 years ago

  • 7
Photo of Marci L. Ficht

Marci L. Ficht

  • 74 Posts
  • 36 Reply Likes
My sister and I are close to doing the same thing. It's difficult because we've sponsored for years...myself personally since November 28, 2009 and my sister for several years before that. It is very, very hard for us right now because we are so disillusioned and upset over everything that has been happening. Compassion used to be a fabulous organization. The "improvements" have taken ridiculously long and all you get is assurances that they are doing what they can on the IT front and people telling you to keep the faith and trust that God will get your letters through and be patient and blah blah blah. Wrong. That would apply had this all taken a normal amount of time. IT'S BEEN OVER A YEAR. The only thing keeping me so far is that every once in awhile a letter makes it to me...like today's letter...and I love my children so much the thought of losing them HURTS. So, I'm stuck. 
Photo of Christina

Christina, Employee

  • 1318 Posts
  • 294 Reply Likes
Marci, I know that you have shared your concerns on another thread on this page, and we wanted to make sure that you received a response to all of your concerns.

I completely understand your concerns regarding the very thoughtful mailings your sister has sent. Please rest assured that we are looking into this for her, and we will be responding to her post on our Compassion Correspondents Facebook page as soon as possible. We are so thankful for the love, time, and effort that you and your sister put into your letters and gifts for your children, and we are committed to resolving this issue promptly.


We are deeply sorry that our system updates have taken significantly longer than we had anticipated. Please rest assured that Compassion has several teams of IT professionals working hard toresolve these system issues as we speak. We believe that prayer is an integral part of what make any effort a success. But that doesn't take away the responsibility to also work earnestly towards that goal.
(Edited)
Photo of heather o

heather o

  • 362 Posts
  • 265 Reply Likes
It saddens me to see that people are losing faith in Compassion. I believe they are working hard to fix the problems in the new system upgrades. IT systems for Compassion have to be built specifically for them and small scale testing doesn't always uncover all the bugs. I RECEIVED A LETTER YESTERDAY THAT WAS WRITTEN ONLY 20 DAYS AGO!!! It is getting better. I have always received my photos and letters, though sometimes it is late. I went a year + with one particular child's letters never making it to my door. The staff helped meany times to try to figure out the issue, ultimately it was with the USPS. I believe that was a test of my patience and willingness to stick with the calling God had put on my heart. Compassion is working hard every day on the issues and have offered many apologies for the issues. Computer programming is very complicated and often fixes cause more issues. Compassion International has been doing an amazing job for many years and I believe they deserve grace, mercy, and patience during this season of change (which in any large business can take a very long term to be perfected). God bless!!
Photo of heather o

heather o

  • 362 Posts
  • 265 Reply Likes
Linda, my husband also has worked in the IT field so I have that inside line also. I work with a program that has been "adapted" to my field of work and there are still issues with that system after a year. So no, due to personal experiences with a program that was just adapted not built from the ground up, I don't find it ridiculous. Yes, I do remember a time prior to the upgrades; the upgrades are what finally allows me to receive letters from my child that kept getting lost in the mail.

My kids are correspondents to children, including my 7 year old, I prepared them before starting that letters may be few and far between at times. It has done wonders in teaching them patience and made them very much aware of the plight of others. My 7 year old has had her little girl for a year and has received and 2 letters. She writes and waits, it has been amazing to see her actually practice patience, since she is not a very good at waiting.

Form letter are normal for younger children and especially introductory letters. Granted you should have received more than one letter but I have noticed a significant slow down on letters from Haiti since Hurricane Matthew. I imagine recovery took many resources and the amount of letters increased substantially. As far as translating so Compassion doesn't have to is a nice gesture but the letters still have to be reviewed. This is for the protection and cultural sensitivity of the children. I can't tell you where God is leading you, and I am deeply saddened by the distrust you have for Compassion. Compassion sent a sincere and very apologetic email and letter here recently addressing the issues. I hate to see the children lose their sponsors because of these issues. Grace, mercy and patience during this season is a must if we are to help these children. God bless!
Photo of Linda Baker

Linda Baker

  • 33 Posts
  • 55 Reply Likes
Photo of Linda Baker

Linda Baker

  • 33 Posts
  • 55 Reply Likes
 I think after 16 letters, my little boy has shown a lot of grace and patience.  And it is not just an issue of getting the warm fuzzy.  We have sent over $150 in extra financial assistance which should be accounted for by Compassion, in how it was spent or what the family did with it, as they were gifts.  Being compassionate or Christian doesn't mean being bad at accounting.
Photo of Marci L. Ficht

Marci L. Ficht

  • 74 Posts
  • 36 Reply Likes
KristenH and heather o - I'm happy that you get your letters in about 20 to 25 days. That must be really, really nice.
Photo of Denise Bailey

Denise Bailey

  • 199 Posts
  • 182 Reply Likes
Maybe we all need sponsorees from those projects, lol!
Photo of Linda Baker

Linda Baker

  • 33 Posts
  • 55 Reply Likes
While there may be an issue with their computers, I do not understand why there are no letters even in the pipeline to us.  It appears that the children are only told to write on a certain day occasionally, and so it would seem that that would feel like a chore that they must to, to keep their money rolling in.  I have said before that I read and speak French, the native language of my child.  There is no need to translate them even. But we have received one letter in over a year and there are none coming or pending or in translation  I do not want to sponsor someone who sees having to contact me as a chore or job.  I wanted to build a connection with this child and for my son to know him for a long time.  If the program is working how it was originally presented to us, then there would be at least 6 letters or more somewhere?  We were worried sick when Haiti experienced hurricane direct hits last fall.  But it is hard to remain so emotionally tied to a situation or a child who has had his aunt fill out a form for him.  So you see it is not JUST an issue with the technology challenges and upgrades.  It is a problem with how the program is run in general, as well.  I have friends on a Facebook page dedicated to Haitian children sponsors via Compassion and other programs and they only have these issues with Compassion.  And today I got a letter from Compassion, (not my child, mind you) apologizing for all these issues.  And my first thought was how long did it take to write this letter, how much labor did it cost to get all these envelopes stuffed and how much postage did it cost to send them to every single sponsor.  What a huge waste of funds that could buy chickens or medicine or malaria nets.  If I wanted to continue my sponsorship I would say STOP APOLOGIZING and just get it fixed. 
Photo of Linda Baker

Linda Baker

  • 33 Posts
  • 55 Reply Likes
As I look through other, much older posts I see this has been an ongoing problem for over two years.  In this post from a year ago, a sponsor says they had the same issues as I am having now.  And of course the reply is to be patient and wait it out.  If this sponsor did this, she may have waited two years for a letter.  Also, it is so sad to me to see Adam say that children are REQUIRED to write twice a year.  So that confirms my belief that they see it as a chore and not something they enjoy.   This post is very old yet the problems are still the same.  This is why I dont think "being patient" is effective 
https://support.compassion.com/compassion/topics/i-havent-heard-from-my-childin-a-while-and-am-wonde...
Photo of Linda Baker

Linda Baker

  • 33 Posts
  • 55 Reply Likes
As you can see from this post from 10 months ago, others have the same issues and concerns as I do. that the child they think they are sponsoring is not getting their letters or that replies are just generated for kids.   https://support.compassion.com/compassion/topics/no-introduction-letter   While I am pretty amazed with how quickly the team seem to respond and answer questions, what I see most often in all these replies is how when you complain, suddenly, a letter appears and is waiting. So I think that the ONE letter we got was actually written after we asked why we hadn't ever gotten one.  And while they are quick to respond, it seems like they have a huge team handling this PR nightmare, instead of a huge team handling their IT problems. 
Photo of Linda Baker

Linda Baker

  • 33 Posts
  • 55 Reply Likes
How long would you continue if your letter log looked like this  16 + 1 today, so 17 sent.  ONE reply after we complained in January or February, that came, the form letter only.  Since then, nothing and last month I found out that a letter from 6/2016 is now showing as PROBLEM.  After being translated and everything?  What is the problem, give it to him!  So  if I believe this, he has gotten at least 14 letters from us, a $100 gift in October, a Birthday gift of $30 and family gift of $50 in November and other than the one letter, N O T H I N G.  It is pretty hard for an adult to be disappointed like this but it is even harder for my son, who is doing a lot of this writing. 


Photo of Linda Baker

Linda Baker

  • 33 Posts
  • 55 Reply Likes
Calling these CONVERSATIONS is kind of a joke, wouldn't you say?
Photo of Denise Bailey

Denise Bailey

  • 199 Posts
  • 182 Reply Likes
Hi Linda, that's amazing you write so often.  I am another sponsor and I decided to look and see how many letters I received from my boy in Haiti and it says I only received one last year and I wrote 9.  So far this year I have only written 4 and I just received one from him May 5.  2015 he wrote 5.  I didn't realize it because I sponsor and correspond with quite a few.  My girls in Ethiopia only write twice a year no matter how many I write.  Last year I received 4 from an older gal I sponsor in Kenya and 5 from a sweet teen girl I sponsor in Guatemala.  I think I generally hear at least 3 times and some 5 times a year from my various kids.
  
Linda, I want to add that Haiti has had some weather issues this past year and I wonder what other sponsors have hearing from Haiti this past year.  
(Edited)
Photo of Linda Baker

Linda Baker

  • 33 Posts
  • 55 Reply Likes
Thank you Denise, I hoped to get more than one in over a year.  And it bothers me that it was the form letter and it bothers me I only got it after waiting almost 9 months and complaining.  I would think I would not have gotten any had I not done that, even. 
Photo of Mr. &  Mrs.Hughes

Mr. & Mrs.Hughes

  • 43 Posts
  • 27 Reply Likes
The younger children especially write on form letter stationary. The front has different questions for them to answer, and the back has a small space to write, and space for drawing a picture, then another space for the translation. That's because small children have short attention spans and they do try to have the child dictate the letter. Older children have more room to write, and teens get quite a lot of space I guess. But I guess you could call the stationary form letters, but compassion did that to try to help the children tell more information about themselves. I get a little frustrated that the tutor spends so much space thanking me, etc. Instead of giving me news, but that comes as the child gets older and more comfortable with you and the letter writing process. They're not ungrateful, they're young children with lots of adult stuff to deal with. You should have gotten s
a picture however, maybe the bad weather and other problems Haiti has experienced have delayed things.
Photo of Sheri Brebner

Sheri Brebner

  • 6 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
I'm sorry but I'm unable to reply to Linda Baker's post. No reply button. I just want to say to her and hope she can read this, I too was a sponsor for a year. I totally am with you and feel the exact same way you do. I sponsored a 5 yr old girl from Haiti for a year, up until just a few days ago I cancelled for the same reason. There was very little communication with her. It would be months after sending a letter, before I would get a reply  and when I did, it was only generic answers to questions. I gave extra for birthday and christmas but never once did I receive an answer as to what was given. After several attempts to find out, I received an email stating a chicken was bought with the birthday money. Was it a pet chicken or a chicken that was used to make chicken stew?  Sorry, I'm being sarcastic now.  They said I could write a final good-bye letter which I intended to do today, but I am now blocked from doing so. 
I will pray this organization will work on the issues you mentioned.
Even though I don't agree with how they are doing things, I will continue to pray for them and that my little girl will get another sponsor.  
Photo of Madison

Madison

  • 312 Posts
  • 43 Reply Likes
Hello Sheri. I am so sorry that you did not experience the relationship that you had desired with your sponsored child. It looks like we did already address the issues with you in a different post. Let us know if you have any further questions and we will be happy to assist you. 
Photo of Denise Bailey

Denise Bailey

  • 199 Posts
  • 182 Reply Likes
Linda, Just want to add that sponsors should receive pictures of any gift $60 or more within six months of the gift.
Photo of Linda Baker

Linda Baker

  • 33 Posts
  • 55 Reply Likes
Thank you Denise I thought that I remembered something like that and hoped we would!
Photo of Denise Bailey

Denise Bailey

  • 199 Posts
  • 182 Reply Likes
Linda, you may need to do an inquiry if you don't receive the picture because not all projects are as proactive about the pictures as they are supposed to be. Compassion won't know to do the inquiry if we don't tell them.  
Photo of Tammy

Tammy

  • 108 Posts
  • 42 Reply Likes
You definitely should have gotten more than one letter in that time. I have one girl who I've been sponsoring for two years and she only seems to write when I send an inquiry, but my other girls write every 2-3 months. I admit it is harder to have a relationship with the one I don't hear from often. I told her in my last letter I would love to hear from her more often, so we'll see. :) I am sorry your experience has not been a good one. :(
Photo of Stephen

Stephen

  • 233 Posts
  • 42 Reply Likes
I am sorry that you are very frustrated at the present situation and you have every right to be but we must be mindful that they are diligently working on this issue

As Denise said I will ask Compassion to do an Inquiry I will pray for you and I hope you prayerfully reconsider stopping your sponsorship of your child I hope in the future you will have a better experience with Compassion I will be praying for you and God bless you forever and always
I understand how you feel and I do agree with you Linda this is so very unacceptable and it makes me sad that you are frustrated
(Edited)
Photo of Linda Baker

Linda Baker

  • 33 Posts
  • 55 Reply Likes
Stephen, I think that they have been "diligently" working on this issue for over a year now, as I see posts a year old with the same issues and those people were told to be patient as they work through their season of change, etc.  If I thought this was some isolated thing, that maybe a few of my letters didnt go through one way or the other, or maybe after having an issue initially, the letters began to flow, at least two a year, I would have more hope But even after we tried to our contribution and send large gifts for the Haitians when they needed it after Mathew, 9 months later and we have no response even from that.  It isn't just about the money, as we really had wanted to care about this little guy.  That is what makes me so sad, to think we will have to tell him we will stop sponsoring him, hoping he gets another sponsor. I wrote him today just saying how are you giving him an update and mentioned "job problems" with my husband, in the hope of segueing into maybe a couple more weeks saying we can't afford to.  But the truth is we can, we would, but at this point we doubt even the legitimacy of the program overall, with no proof otherwise   Please pray for our child, Neider in Haiti, that he will be taken care of no matter what. 
Photo of Stephen

Stephen

  • 233 Posts
  • 42 Reply Likes
I will be praying for your husband to find a job have you heard of Oscar Mike before
Photo of Linda Baker

Linda Baker

  • 33 Posts
  • 55 Reply Likes
He's former Navy so yes, no doubt.
Photo of Stephen

Stephen

  • 233 Posts
  • 42 Reply Likes
I mean Oscar Mike. Org a company my friend started it's a 100% made in America by veterans and it is only made out of a 100% American made materials. Its a American made clothing line and Veteran owned and the Ceo is a Marine
(Edited)
Photo of Denise Bailey

Denise Bailey

  • 199 Posts
  • 182 Reply Likes
Linda, we have been sponsoring with Compassion for 15 years and I am have joined around six or seven Facebook groups related to Compassion.  One of them is Compassion Sponsors Haiti.  I also belong to several other groups related to the various countries where we sponsor.  If you are on Facebook you could try searching for the group called Compassion Sponsors Haiti and ask to join.  

You could tell Compassion for now you are not going to pay for several months and you will give the center some time to improve their responsibility of helping the children write letters.   I totally look at it as the center's responsibility to have the students write letters, especially when they are under 14 or 15.   My understanding is if the sponsor don't write, and many do not, the kids are still required to write and I thought it was two letters a year.  

I support whatever decision you come to, however, please don't give up on sponsorship.  There are some other organizations out there that encourage relationship and the kids do write.  I know of some but don't want to say it on here because it is a Compassion site.  

When you write your final letter, think about kindly telling the center that you are not continuing because you never hear from your child.  I totally think it is them and they need to know that their lack of attention to detail has cost them a sponsor.  Especially if it is form letters with a paragraph on the back!  How weird is it that they cannot send more of them out?  I get quite a few form letters but always there is a paragraph on the back.  I sponsor at 420 in this country, where do you sponsor?
Photo of Linda Baker

Linda Baker

  • 33 Posts
  • 55 Reply Likes
Hi Denise, we are in the same Facebook group!  My child is at center 765 near Melinette in Haiti. See my post in the Facebook group there Oct 11 and Dec 9th,   

I had not thought about not paying for a while, I assumed that if I stopped paying, they would not let me write him any more.  If I could continue to correspond to try to stay connected to him, until this is resolved and I see letters and what has been done with gifts to date, I might begin to trust and resume. I worry in the meantime that he will miss out on things if I am not paying, though?

We have another option, as one of the other MAJOR christian children's sponsorship programs has its corporate office in my city.  They host letter writing parties and events for sponsors to meet even.  So if we do end with Compassion, we would go with this company as they seem to be highly open to sponsors, input, and have a high level of transparency.  

Thanks for your input and perspective.  
Photo of Marci L. Ficht

Marci L. Ficht

  • 74 Posts
  • 36 Reply Likes
Hey, Linda....Could you please find me on facebook (I'm the only Marci L Ficht) and message me so I can ask you a question? 
(Edited)
Photo of Linda Baker

Linda Baker

  • 33 Posts
  • 55 Reply Likes
Sure Marci, message sent.
Photo of Briana

Briana

  • 86 Posts
  • 16 Reply Likes
I have sponsored a 21 year old in Haiti for what will be a year on Saturday. She has written to me once, after I inquired, and I have written eight letters to her. I also sponsor children in the Philippines and Thailand who write back quickly. (In the case of my youngest child, who is 4, her mother writes back quickly.)

When I was a child, my parents sponsored a girl in Haiti who was my age through Sonlight Ministries. I wanted to write to her, but at 8 years old was too shy. I remained too shy to talk to her until after her graduation. It was only this past year that I finally found her and we connected. It was a reconnection on my part and a first connection on her part. We were 26 by then.

Who am I to judge the correspondence of another, especially a child in poverty? I was a middle class child, and I didn't have confidence in my abilities to write a "good enough" letter. How much more could this apply to a child in poverty, struggling for education and nutrition -- and struggling against terrible odds for a sense of self-worth?

When I did get a letter from my oldest Compassion child, it was a beautiful and sincere letter. There was a format, but she very much came alive for me as she detailed her heart's prayers. She is a young adult, of course, so it's to be expected she is better at personalizing forms than someone much younger.

One big point I am trying to make is that your sponsor child treasures the letters he receives, but writing may greatly intimidate him. Knowing the years were going by without my writing made me feel guilty and more afraid to write, not less, when I was a child myself.

I do think some countries have slower delivery than others for multiple reasons, as well, from what I've experienced.

Please know I'm not judging you. I am empathizing with your boy in Haiti.

I'm sorry your son is disappointed. I'm sure that is among the last things your sponsor child wants.
Photo of Denise Bailey

Denise Bailey

  • 199 Posts
  • 182 Reply Likes
It is the center's responsibility.  Some of my centers write on behalf of my younger kids because there is only so much time at the center and with younger ones it probably is time consuming.
Photo of Linda Baker

Linda Baker

  • 33 Posts
  • 55 Reply Likes
I understand what you are saying and agree that he may have trouble writing or have bigger issues.  I just want some verification that he is getting our help.  I have asked even for him to send a drawing. But I agree that there are probably much more important things he and his family may need to be doing to survive than write us.  
Photo of Adam

Adam

  • 503 Posts
  • 565 Reply Likes
Linda, I've gotten frustrated before because I wasn't hearing from one of my kids and I hadn't received a few gift acknowledgements but when I told Compassion about it they helped me get all of the gift letters and I've got a ton of letters from all my kids in the past few months within just a few weeks of them writing them. If you're having problems Compassion will always try to help you. Some of my kids write a lot and some don't. We're not dealing with robots and this is not a business, it's a ministry to kids in poverty. And if you want to cancel your sponsorship all you have to do is ask. There's no need in all this. My hope and prayer is that the Compassion organization doesn't change and that the employees don't lose their compassionate hearts because of seeing these kinds of angry posts. I love Compassion and I want to see Compassion be here for a long long time. This world needs Compassion.
Photo of Linda Baker

Linda Baker

  • 33 Posts
  • 55 Reply Likes
Hi Adam, I understand your perspective but I think that you have misread my post if you feel it is angry.  I am profoundly disappointed that the ministry is not working as designed and that my concern is that if it is not working on MY end to get me the things it said it would, that my child is not getting the things that he needs on his end, as well.  The letters are a way of verification of this.  I have been hearing this new technology, new process, have patience line for months now and have pointed out that for some it has been going on for over two years.  As for contacting Compassion, isn't that what I have done? I had to do it to get my first letter? Should I have to do it for every letter?  Why do they  need to dedicate staff to putting out fires and addressing problems instead of focusing on not having the problems and issues?  I have the right to be concerned and I also have to right to express my disappointment and dissatisfaction.  I would hope that you would  reconsider before presuming or even contradicting how I feel, as I noted that I felt very sad, NOT angry.  I think many people struggle with this issue and it goes unsaid, but that doesn't mean that it is not an area where Compassion needs to improve greatly and should be aware of my disappointment.  I brought this to Compassion's attention in other ways as well as this, in the hope that I would get some official response and resolution.  However, I did it publicly so that others could add their Me Too responses or give advice, not judgement.  I am a person who values honesty above all else.  If they had said, you are going to send money to a child, you won't know which child and you probably wont hear from him but our center staff will send a letter maybe one or two times a year, that would at least have been accurate. This may be a charity and a ministry but it does not have the right to misrepresent itself and how the program works, not how they would like it to work. 
Photo of Adam

Adam

  • 503 Posts
  • 565 Reply Likes
Linda, the reason I assumed you were angry is because you posted multiple times about the same issue in multiple threads only to, what seems like, end your sponsorship and let others know about your frustrations. That seems kind of like "shooting our wounded" to me. Obviously Compassion knows that there's a problem. They're sending out apology letters to sponsors. They are doing the very best that they can. I honestly believe that. There's nothing wrong with asking for help and getting a resolution or even letting Compassion know that you're frustated, but the Compassion "organization" is made up of the employees. Words matter and I can only imagine how discouraging this whole situation is for them already. Compassion is doing a whole lot of things right too. I am getting letters from my kids and a lot of other sponsors are too. I hope that you will give Compassion another shot and let them correct this for you.
Photo of Linda Baker

Linda Baker

  • 33 Posts
  • 55 Reply Likes
Adam, I went looking at other threads because I worried/wondered if my issue was isolated.  I wanted to find out if I was the only one and to see proof of these great relationships people formed prior to the "season of change" IT wise.  I found some of these yes, but other posts where issues were flagged as Solved or Answered where people complained about the same issue I had over a year ago, yet I didnt see the resolution for the long term.  Create in inquiry, and they will answer.  Great.  But really should each and every sponsor have to take a secondary step each time to get a letter or make sure theirs arrived? As they say, once is a fluke, twice is a trend, three times is policy/a choice.  I wanted to see what their resolutions or suggestions had been that worked.  I don't want another apology, I want a solution.   If I were Compassion, I would have gone out into the corporate world by now, contacting some major IT companies who would have probably helped with a solution and given a heavily discounted or free help for such a worthy charity.  This is pretty easy technology.  This is taking paper and making it electronic.  You can take great pictures with a cell phone these days and save as .pdf files.  You add a barcode to track them.  I have converted manuals over 1000 pages into fillable forms in pdf.  

This is document management and repository, this is not the cure for cancer.   The part of getting the letters created by sponsors and by children should be the difficult part, not the part where Compassion gets them to where they need to be.   If they can't manage that part, then just give us the addresses to the centers and let us put airmail stamps on our letters and send them ourselves. Have compassion staff on site at the centers who can translate using simple programs like Google translate.  Even a fax machine and landline would work better than this system.  I am not one to sit around and whine about a problem and apologize.  I believe every apology should come with a resolution to make it right, like the AA steps program.  You say you are sorry and make amends.   Where are the amends.  I got the apology electronic, on the website, in my mailbox.  When you say you are doing "everything you can" you have to be able to consider working out of the box on a solution, asking for help from other competitive organizations who seemed to have worked this out years ago, or find out who their technology champions are and using them.  
Photo of Steve

Steve

  • 73 Posts
  • 56 Reply Likes
Linda, I have a suggestion. You have advised Commpassion of your specific concerns. Put your sponsorship on hold. See if Compassion can turn arround your experience. I felt the same way you do, LAST YEAR. Instead of dropping my sponsorship I followed through with a planned trip to visit two of my kids. I saw the work Compassion does (at least in Peru and Ecuador). I've met staff who work behind the scene in country and in Colorado Springs.

It's clear the transition in systems was, I'll just say it, a failure. There were mistakes made and many people are involved in solving them. There are obvious problems at the project and country level, too.

I sense you care about the child you have chosen to love, support, and pray for. You are completely justified in giving up on Compassion. I have had to follow-up on gifts and received letters that were many months old. But, my relationship with "my kids" has changed my life forever. I heard the girl who only sends me an occasional form letter, pray for me in person. I had her hand me a photo of her when she 18 months old and tell me that she thanks God for me daily and feels like I have always been a part of her life.

You might not ever know what a difference you and your family have already made in your sponsored child's life.
Photo of Linda Baker

Linda Baker

  • 33 Posts
  • 55 Reply Likes
Thank you Steve for this suggestion and observations of your own sponsorship.  I hope we are making a difference.
Photo of Stephen

Stephen

  • 233 Posts
  • 42 Reply Likes
Adam I 100% percent agree with you I am glad you said this
Photo of Stephen

Stephen

  • 233 Posts
  • 42 Reply Likes
I would like to say that the staff at Compassion is at least trying to do the best Job they can do with what they have and with What God has provided them I pray for the staff at Compassion everyday God bless you all
Photo of Denise Bailey

Denise Bailey

  • 199 Posts
  • 182 Reply Likes
Adam, I believe the Center has a lot of responsibility in getting letters to sponsors.  I didn't think her letter was "angry."  Really bummed they weren't hearing from a child that they had been working with Compassion with no resulting success, yes, but angry, no.  To be quite honest, I find your reply unnecessary!

Some of my centers write letters on behalf of my kids and now I know why.  They realize the importance of letters for the sponsors, too!
Photo of Denise Bailey

Denise Bailey

  • 199 Posts
  • 182 Reply Likes
Unfortunately there is a saying about shooting our wounded.
Photo of KristenH

KristenH, Champion

  • 1122 Posts
  • 695 Reply Likes
I'm sorry if you feel that is being done to you Marci. I know your sister is a sweetheart and I'm sure you are too! I don't see anyone saying people are awful for having problems with Compassion. The entire purpose for support forums is to get support from organizations when you have an issue.
Personally, my only issue on these fourms is with people *not you* who come on here and treat the employees badly or rudely. I think we can all agree that every employee we interact with on this forum does their very best to help us when we have an issue.

I do hope things start looking up for you with your sponsorships.
Photo of Marci L. Ficht

Marci L. Ficht

  • 74 Posts
  • 36 Reply Likes
Denise - You just put that song in my head....from years ago..."I get knocked down, but I get up again...you ain't ever gonna keep me down...." :)
(Edited)
Photo of Marci L. Ficht

Marci L. Ficht

  • 74 Posts
  • 36 Reply Likes
KristenH - OMGosh yes!!!! I know that the Compassion employees are going through misery over all this, too. They don't deserve it and I would never want them to think I was upset with THEM. They're doing all they can. I'm upset with the way the organization has gone downhill since a little over a year ago.

As for people coming right out and saying I'm awful...no, that's not done. It's not that in-your-face, but it's there, nonetheless. I call them the "Christian I am Holier Than Thou" people for making us feel like we are wrong for being upset. They use the words "saddened, grace, test of patience, no need, they deserve grace, mercy, and patience, I'll pray for you to find patience, I'll be the bigger person"....things like that. They're condescending and downplay our feelings and our problems. Our very legitimate problems.
Photo of Linda Baker

Linda Baker

  • 33 Posts
  • 55 Reply Likes
I kind of agree that the reaction of many posts seems to be heavily coated with the idea that there is a built in guilt that people invoke when you try to complain or express concerns about the program.  It is like they say I should be happy if just one dollar of my X dollars makes it through, because it is for the children. The truth is there are lots of kids that need help and lots of charities that are doing that.  If Compassion cannot perform the tasks they claim they will, why would I not put my love, Christianity and money towards a program that is efficiently using my funding to help my child and build relationships.   Playing the charity / Christian / guilt card doesnt really work on me because I know my own heart and what my intentions are.  
Photo of Stephen

Stephen

  • 233 Posts
  • 42 Reply Likes
I would like to say that the staff at Compassion is at least trying to do the best Job they can do with what they have and with What God has provided them I pray for the staff at Compassion everyday God bless you all
Photo of Stephen

Stephen

  • 233 Posts
  • 42 Reply Likes
We must be respectful of everyone's opinion even if they differ from our own God given point of view
Photo of Marci L. Ficht

Marci L. Ficht

  • 74 Posts
  • 36 Reply Likes
My point of view is God given, also. He knows how much I love my children and how distressing this all is.
Photo of Denise Bailey

Denise Bailey

  • 199 Posts
  • 182 Reply Likes
Thank you!   Ms. Baker has legitimate feeling and concerns which can be addressed more kindly than saying it should not have been even brought up.  
Photo of Stephen

Stephen

  • 233 Posts
  • 42 Reply Likes
Denise I agree with you I am glad Ms. Baker did bring it up because how can we all make compassion better if we do not address the problems that our wrong and what can we all do to make compassion better
Photo of Denise Bailey

Denise Bailey

  • 199 Posts
  • 182 Reply Likes
Not all the centers have the same standards for letter writing.  I do feel sad for those sponsors who happen to get a child from a center that isn't as aware that it is beneficial for sponsors to get letters, too.  I am going to write my two girls in ET that only write twice a year and ask them to write one more letter a year and to encourage their centers to do that.  They are around 14 years old now and I think they can hear that from me.  All centers in ET used to be on a twice a year schedule and I hear online from other sponsors that many kids are writing five or more letters a year now!
Photo of Linda Baker

Linda Baker

  • 33 Posts
  • 55 Reply Likes
I am thinking of writing our child and just asking for his drawings or art work, and send him some photos of my sons art work.  I hope that Compassion will let him "mail" that as a letter to me.  That would solve any language barrier, any issue with him being undereducated or difficulty in writing or being too shy or not knowing what to say.  
Photo of Stephen

Stephen

  • 233 Posts
  • 42 Reply Likes
Let me be the bigger person and personally extend a heart fill apology to MS. Baker I am sorry for the grief and frustration Compassion and some people have caused you I am also upset that you only gotten one letter and spend close to 600 dollars to care for a child and your time, energy,money and they had no respect to send you more letters or anything or to keep you updated on what is going on with your letters or your sponsor child
(Edited)
Photo of Marci L. Ficht

Marci L. Ficht

  • 74 Posts
  • 36 Reply Likes
Linda
Photo of Stephen

Stephen

  • 233 Posts
  • 42 Reply Likes
Hold up hold up I know that was not a shot at me
Photo of Stephen

Stephen

  • 233 Posts
  • 42 Reply Likes
I was trying to end this problem I am not holier then anyone
Photo of Stephen

Stephen

  • 233 Posts
  • 42 Reply Likes
Or conflict is what i was trying to do
Photo of Stephen

Stephen

  • 233 Posts
  • 42 Reply Likes
I think we must be aware that sitting down and writing a letter is a new concept for children in poverty so we must be patient as they get use to doing it they may know and we must be aware that if you never written a letter you do not know what to say and if you are just now going to school you have get caught up so you may not know what to say or how to write or do certain things
Photo of Linda Baker

Linda Baker

  • 33 Posts
  • 55 Reply Likes
I appreciate all the comments, no matter the opinion.  I would like to point out that to date, no one from Compassion has responded or contacted me despite posting this in both this area and on their Facebook page.  I really would like a resolution to this and these replies have given me some good ideas so that we can continue.  But right now I feel like I am the only one at the table to discuss solving this problem, where is Compassion? 
Photo of Marci L. Ficht

Marci L. Ficht

  • 74 Posts
  • 36 Reply Likes
I noticed this myself. I'm still looking to see if they responded to you. I got a message above on your posts, but I haven't checked on my post to see if anyone bothered to answer. 
Photo of Jenny Kim

Jenny Kim

  • 176 Posts
  • 54 Reply Likes
I am frustrated that there is a problem with my letter tab and after 6 months, it is still not fixed. When I asked Compassion, they said they are working hard to fix it, but they dont know when it will be fixed. For me, I cant even open a letter that comes from my children. I have to ask Compassion to email me my children's letters. But I dont want to cancel because I love my children and its hard to think our relationship will end. My sponsorship is all less than a year. I got 1 introduction letter from a child I sponsored for 7 months. I sent him a family gift, a birthday gift and 10 letters as well. From other children less than a year, I got 2 to 4 letters the most. Did you request an inquiry for a letter? I was not getting a letter from one of my children and when requested an inquiry, I got a letter in 2-3weeks. For the gifts, I sent to a couple of children and the letters all came after 6 months. (Beteeen 6months and 2 weeks to 8 months)
Photo of Marci L. Ficht

Marci L. Ficht

  • 74 Posts
  • 36 Reply Likes
I had turned off the paper copies until I lost my boy Arthur...once his center was removed from Compassion, he and everything regarding him was removed from the site. All the letters...everything. Now I want paper copies so I have something if I lose a child again.
Photo of Shannon Massey

Shannon Massey, Employee

  • 1919 Posts
  • 328 Reply Likes
Hi Marci, 
I did just want to let you know that if you would like any letters from Arthur or pictures of him, we would be happy to send you them via email. Although you cannot see them once a child has completed the program, we still have access to them. This is also something we are working on, so that this will be still be available to our supporters after the child has completed their time with Compassion. 
Photo of Marci L. Ficht

Marci L. Ficht

  • 74 Posts
  • 36 Reply Likes
Yes!!! YES PLEEEEEEEEEEASE!!!! Oh that would be lovely....thank you so much!!!!!! I would love anything you have.... <3 :) 
Photo of Christina

Christina, Employee

  • 1318 Posts
  • 294 Reply Likes
Hi Marci, I am emailing you now with Arthur's pictures :). Regrettably, since we began scanning letters in April of 2016, we are unable to send you Arthur's letters. However, we do have plans to make future children's information available after they are no longer in the program :). 
Photo of Julie Alton Porter

Julie Alton Porter

  • 11 Posts
  • 31 Reply Likes
I don't get paper copies (save a tree and all that). When I get an email saying I have a new letter, I open the letter and "print" it as a PDF, and save it on my Google drive in a folder called "2B answered." I name the file with the name of the child and date I received (eg, "Jemsi-5-31-17"). After I answer them, I can upload a copy of my response as well as move the letter to an "answered" file. Works for me!
Photo of Stephen

Stephen

  • 233 Posts
  • 42 Reply Likes
I agree with you a hundred percent but maybe they are silent because we have been bickering and attacking each other like little kids
Maybe they are just monitoring and seeing how we treat one another we have to love each other as Jesus does so if I offended anyone I am sorry and I ask for your forgiveness
(Edited)

This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies.