How are kids told they have a new correspondant sponsor?

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I was just assigned as a correspondant sponsor today, and I'm wondering how are kids who are assigned a correspondant sponsor told they have this new sponsor.  Are they told in the same manner as financially sponsored kids, just that they have a new sponsor?  Or are they told they have a new "Correspondant" sponsor and know me as such, while at the same time knowing they have a financial sponsor who is somebody else.  I guess I'm wondering because it seems like it would be a delicate conversation to have with child to explain that their financial sponsor does not want to write to them.
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Anne Oliver

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Posted 4 years ago

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Elaine Weisenbarger Grove

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I just rec'd a little girl last week also. I just introduced myself in my first letter as her correspondent sponsor and told her I was excited about sharing with her. I included pictures on the online letter and told her I would write her on a regular basis. I was told that her financial sponsor requested that she be put on a correspondent list from the beginning. I don't know why. I am honored to be part of her life because I picture the other children getting letters, pkgs. etc and she not receiving one. My plan is to write her twice a month (like I do my sponsor child). and then send her paper/craft packs once a month. I didn't make a big deal about the sponsorship just told her I was excited to be chosen for her. Told her that I felt God picked her for me.
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Anne Oliver

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Hi Elaine! I wrote my first letter to my correspondent child today, and your suggestions/tips really helped.  I especially liked how you said you are "honored to be part of her life", so I told her just that...thanks so much!
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Emily

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Hi Anne! When a child has both a financial sponsor as well as a correspondent sponsor, we leave it up to the project to decide how to handle this communication. Because our staff know these children very well, we trust them to discern whether this information should be shared and if so, the most appropriate way to go about communicating it to them in a way they understand. Of course, we don't want these children to feel as if their financial sponsor doesn't care to write them. Often times, this is not the case as some of our sponsors simply do not have the time to write or just feel led to give financially and allow someone with a greater passion for writing, build that relationship with their child.

When children are sponsored, they eagerly anticipate receiving that first letter and is are excited that someone is invested in their life! When they don't receive one and their friends do, this can be very difficult for children to understand and so when a correspondent is assigned to them, they get so excited to receive a letter and will view them as their sponsor :). Their tutor may decide they are old enough to understand that they are both being supported financially and also will have a relationship with someone else who wants to write to them and may explain this to them. Other staff members may not see it beneficial to the child to try and communicate this in a way the child will understand and so that child will just be told that you are the sponsor that they're now writing to.

We have seen situations in which the child is confused at first when they receive a correspondent and address their financial sponsor in a letter by mistake because they were so used to writing to that person. In these cases, we just encourage our sponsors to gently tell the child that they are going to be writing to them or we will have our staff remind the child who they're writing to. Thinking of these scenarios, you're right; this might be a sensitive subject that the staff work hard to handle carefully so the child understands their financial sponsor still loves them but they cannot write to them and so someone else who also loves them very much, will be writing letters back and forth with them. 
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Anne Oliver

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Both of these replies were very informative!  Thanks for replying...  Now I have a better idea on how to write my first letter to her and I can't wait to write to her tomorrow :)
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Karen

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How many children are currently on the list waiting for a correspondent sponsor?  Does this number change drastically from week to week or month to month, or is there somewhat of an average?  Or percentage? 
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Debbie Skacel Tovar

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There are no kids waiting for a correspondent sponsor.  It's the other way around.  There is a list of a few hundred requests for correspondence kids, many waiting several months now.
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Susan, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Social Media

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Karen, we have a waiting list for children waiting for a correspondent sponsor but all of the children are assigned right away so this list goes down to zero on a daily basis. However, the list of sponsors waiting for a correspondent child, as Debbie said, is much longer. This list changes daily too as children are assigned and more requests are added. Right now, we have 520 requests on the list. Correspondent sponsors wait anywhere between a week and several months depending on whether they currently have correspondent children, which children become available, and how specific their request is.
(Edited)
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Karen

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Well that is actually really good news for the kids and speaks volumes for the staff and the sponsors who are compassionate about Compassion!! I guess the only way it could get any better is if every sponsor would be dedicated to write regularly and if they are not doing that, put their child on the list for a correspondent, because we obviously have a great group of people who are ready and waiting to fill that gap!!  Thank you, Jesus, for this ministry!
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Teresa Dawn

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520? Wow that is way down from the last I heard!  It is wonderful to know so many more Correspondents and kids have been matched up lately!
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Teresa Dawn

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When I've told my kids I was a correspondent, I usually word it in a way similar to "I am excited to be your new correspondent.  Let me tell you that you have two sponsors who love you very much.  One of them supports you financially, but they were unable to write letters and they cared about you enough that they wanted you to get letters so they asked Compassion if you could have another sponsor too, a writing sponsor, and that is me!"
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Mary Kinsley

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In my introductory letter to my new correspondent kids (most under age 12), I wrote, "I learned today that I now have the privilege of writing letters to you and receiving letters and artwork from you! I am very happy to be your new friend!"  In my letters, I just refer to myself as "your friend" and haven't used the terms "correspondent" or "sponsor."
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Jenn Leasher-Lucas

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Little different of a question... If we are correspondent sponsors to a child and their financial sponsor is no longer able to sponsor them, are we given the opportunity to be their complete sponsor or is the child put back into the system?
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Teresa Dawn

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First they are removed from your account, but they are put on hold for you.  Shortly after they are removed, Compassion will get in touch with you and ask if you want to sponsor them.  You can take up to a month I think to decide.  As soon as you answer though, they either put them back on your account as a financial child, or put them back in the system (depending on whether you said you'd sponsor them or not financially) but yes, you are definitely given that first chance :)