How do I get books into my child’s home?

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  • Updated 3 months ago
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Terri Lawrence

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Posted 3 months ago

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Sierra, Employee

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Hi Terri! Thank you so much for reaching out to us and for your desire to bless your child with books! Regrettably, Compassion cannot accept packages for your sponsored child, and books are too large to be sent with a regular letter. We can't accept packages for the following reasons:

1) Everything we send to our country offices is declared at customs as a document. If custom officials find anything in a box of letters that isn't a document, we are assessed a hefty fine and the box will be held for weeks, possibly months. 
2) There is a high incidence of theft when sending packages to the developing world, and shipping items overseas can be quite costly.
3) The high volume of child letters Compassion processes every day makes it impossible for us to also process packages. 
4) The delivery services in developing countries are rarely as operational as they are in the U.S.

I am very sorry for any disappointment this may cause. Please let us know if you have any questions!
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Hi Terri:

Another option is to give a family, child, or birthday gift and specify that it be used for books.  There are a couple of caveats here -- depending on a family's needs and abilities, books may not be their top priority.  The gifts selected by families I've donated to have almost always been food or clothing, and the most "frivolous" things I've seen have been a few candies or package of cookies.  I also wonder about the availability of books in some of the areas that Compassion serves!  I visited a teen child once and gave her a novel in her language.  I asked if she had ever read a novel before, and she said no.  I'm sure that she would not have had access to a library.  Whether she is the one who read it or not, I have no doubt that someone in the community enjoyed it!

Recognizing the intention behind your idea, if you are able, perhaps you could give a little extra, and specify that a portion of the gift be used for books.  However, past Compassion answers suggest that ultimately, the decision of what is most needed is up to the family (with support from center staff.)
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Sarah Heacock Schreffler

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I have one boy who loves to read but I've sent three birthday gifts and all were used for clothes. I hope to visit Guatemala and take him a book to read when I visit. But until then, I have to realize the family knows better what they need.