How do we know "our child" is benefiting from our sponsorship?

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We are in the process of sponsoring a child and are wondering how the process works?  How do they get the money for extra food, school clothes, education, medical care, etc?  Does the money go into one big pool, or does it go directly to the child we sponsor?  
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Carol Ann Pittman

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Posted 8 months ago

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Sarah Heacock Schreffler

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Your money does not go directly to the child you sponsor.  Even when a gift is sent, they do not give money to the child or their family.  They work with them to find out what is most needed, then buy the items(s) chosen and gift those to the family.  If they gave the money directly to the child/their family, then it would no longer be a charitable deduction through the IRS plus there would be no guarantee the money would be used for the child's benefit.  The money going to a center is pooled together and used to provide benefits for all the children attending the center.
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Carol Ann Pittman

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OK, so the money we send to the pool for our child doesn't directly benefit our child?  It benefits all attending the center?  How do they get extra food if they need it?  Do they only get food when at the center?
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Jennifer

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Hi, I’m just another sponsor, but I have visited. Yes, it is a program, but the program itself directly benefits the child and family. For instance, they get regular medical checkups, but if found to be malnourished, they get supplements and extra food for the family. If not already free, the center supports education through uniforms and school fees. They have really awesome training in a variety of areas of socioeconomic, physical, cognitive and spiritual topics (all of them thorough), and they have special training sessions for the parents depending on the needs in the area. This adds a lot over the course of years! They also teach the kids goal-setting and provide vocational ans post-secondary support. Sometimes they get money for special projects, eg when I was in Burkina Faso they were buying mosquito nets for all of the families in the program. I loved the phrase that all the children were “known, loved and protected”. They know the kids at their centers and do their best to meet their individual needs.

If you send extra monetary gifts, 90% of that goes directly to the child/family. My kids have mostly bought food and clothing.
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Stephanie Corley

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Oh wow you have been to Burkina Faso? I am sponsoring 2 children from there
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Sarah, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Social Media

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Hi Carol! Thank you so much for choosing to sponsor a child through Compassion and for asking these critical questions as well! Welcome to the Compassion family! Sarah and Jennifer have both been so helpful in answering your questions, and I think it's extremely valuable to hear from other sponsors who have sponsored for a while and been to visit as well. (Thank you to both of you for helping!) Let me know if you have further questions after reading Jennifer's response as we would love to help you find the answers to any questions you have.
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Arnie

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Carol, we met several church leaders who either worked for Compassion or worked at Compassion sponsored projects while we were in Brazil on a mission through our church. After seeing firsthand the needs and the desire of these leaders we decided to sponsor a child in Brazil. As it turned out no one we had met in Brazil knew anyone connected with the project our child was in. They barely knew of the projects whereabouts, but Brazil is a large country with a large population. We have been back to Brazil many times for mission work over the years and I always try to break off from our group to meet with the boy we sponsor. I have met our child's family and been in their home. I have met our child's project leaders and toured their facilities. I have taken our "adopted son" shopping for gifts for him and his family. I can tell you from first hand experience I have seen what Compassion can do with the small amount each sponsor donates each month. Because of the caring individuals involved in these projects our gifts are multiplied immensely as they are used to feed, nurture, and help the children grow.
Over the years through my work I have also had the opportunity to meet and work with several individuals from Brazil. I have always kept a picture of our "son" on my desk and sometimes it has become the topic of some of our conversations. Once the cat is out of the bag and they learn that we sponsor a child in Brazil through Compassion there has always been an outpouring of admiration for the work of Compassion. I cannot tell you how many times they have told me how much Compassion has meant to them personally or what they believe it means for the wellbeing and future of the children in their country.
By all means sponsor a child. You will also have as many opportunities as you choose to have to give extra gifts to the child, his family, or his project. And if you ever have the chance to visit your child do so without a second thought. It will mean more than you will ever know to your child, their family, or the staff and volunteers at your child's project. The hidden bonus is that you will be deeply rewarded beyond your wildest imagination 
May the Peace of Christ be with you and yours 

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