How do I become a correspondent to a child?

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I'd like to write a child. How do I get on the waiting list for a correspondent child?
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Shaina Moats

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Posted 9 years ago

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Mary Lee Marshman

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled I have time to write to more kids!.

I recently received a little boy from El Salvador to write to but he is so young, only 4. My husband Bob should be on your waiting list for a child of his own to write to, but we could actually write to a couple more. We are retired and have recently started volunteering at concerts as table workers also. Could you please put us on your wait list for a boy and a girl between the ages of 12-16 in Mexico, Haiti, Asia or the Caribbean (first choice)
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Susan

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Hi Mary! Sure thing! We would love for you to write to more children! I just added you to the list for two more as you requested. Thank you so much for all of your advocacy for children around the globe! :)
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Elsje

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I should have one more request outstanding... I'd like to make it three, if possible (for a total of four). I wrote up a letter and ordered a birthday card for Sayling yesterday (as soon as I learned about her). And change my request to be for girls anywhere between 7 and 12, and located in Peru, Bolivia, El Salvador, and Kenya or Uganda. Two out of three of the Latin American countries, and for the African child, anywhere in Africa is actually fine, but preferably a place they are learning English or are taught English in school, because I like to send educational pages and stuff. :) I speak Spanish, too, so that is why I also like writing to kids in Latin America. I do sponsor some kids with another organization, though, so that's why the specific countries are requested... to write somewhere new! :)
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Sarah, Official Rep

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Elsje, I just added you to the list for three more girls with your specifications. Your girls in Latin America will be so impressed that you speak Spanish! Educational pages are a great idea. I send those to my kiddos in Kenya and Uganda too! :) I always request specific countries too when I ask for a new child. It makes it fun to have letters coming from all over the world!
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ESmart

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Thank you! :D
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ESmart

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I don't know what numbers I am, but I will notice my new correspondent children right away from now on now that I have an account! :)
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Sarah, Official Rep

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It's a little difficult to tell where you are on the list with the way your request is listed with a group of specific countries; however, having access to your online account will absolutely help you! I'd encourage you to check it often. :) You can also use your account to write to the kids once they are added. From your Account Summary, click on "Write My Child" from the link on the left side of the page. It will walk you through the tool step-by-step. It even lets you add three pictures to the letter and choose the template! I love using it when I don't have paper handy, but think of something to tell my kiddos. :) 
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ESmart

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Thanks, I appreciate your help, but I prefer snail mailing! :)
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Angelee

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled I'd like a couple of Correspondent Kids.

I don't know if this is the place to ask... But I'd like a couple of new correspondent kids. Guatemala, or Indonesia... I'd like also one from Kenya if there is one. I'd prefer girls.
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Susan

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Most definitely, Angelee! I just added you to the list for three girls from the countries you mentioned. :)
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Angelee

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Thank you!!!
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Kristen

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Sorry to be a pain, but I seem to remember putting in a request for a child from Northern Haiti over the weekend but now I can't find it. Could you check and see what I'm on the list for? Should be an LDP student, a child from one of a variety of projects in Honduras, and a child from Northern Haiti. Thanks!!
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Sarah, Official Rep

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Hey Kristen! I didn't see your name on the list for a child in Northern Haiti or the LDP student, so I put you on the list! :) We do have you on the list for a Honduras child from one of the specific projects. 
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Kristen

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Glad I double checked! Thanks so much!
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ESmart

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I don't know how or why, but I got an email today telling me this:

Unfortunately, I need to make you aware of an error that has been made. We have discovered that Sayling, the child you recently agreed to write to, is not available for correspondence. 

Therefore, I am quite upset. I had written up a letter to her and had it printed up in a birthday card I ordered for her online. Please still assign me 4, I guess, with my requests for ages and countries (now including Nicaragua again as an option), but please please be sure the child is available for correspondence. I don't know how a child is accidentally assigned to me for a month, especially when I wrote to Compassion about her more than once and the error was not caught.
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Susan

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Hey everyone, especially ESmart. I am so sorry for the hurt, confusion, and anger we may have caused with this recent error in our correspondent assignments. This is a sad day for us too. :( We hate that this error happened. Basically, we run reports on all of the financial sponsors who have not written to their children in a long time. We assign correspondent sponsors when the financial sponsor has given permission. Our report will say whether that particular financial sponsor has given permission and therefore that child is available for correspondence. We had a staff member who had been reading this report incorrectly and we regrettably didn't catch the mistake until now. This means that some of the children we assigned were not actually available for correspondence, even though we had officially assigned those children to you. It's true that we may have emailed back and forth with you about those same children as if they were yours because we didn't discover this mistake until now. Again, I am so sorry this happened to all of you. :( We are taking measures to make sure this doesn't happen again. 
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KristenH, Champion

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Susan, bless you for your transparency in this issue. As correspondent sponsors we know these kids may only be in our lives for a short time as it is. While it is sad that this happened, I am thankful that Compassion was forthcoming about the mistake. I hope that we, as sponsors, can extend grace to the person who made this error. I for one am just thankful for the chance to pour God's love into the child I lost, if only for a short time. What a blessing this ministry is, to both child and sponsor.
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Beth

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Thank you for the explanation Susan. Is there any way I could join the correspondents group on Facebook?
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Susan

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Beth, I just sent you an email invite to the Compassion Correspondents Facebook group. Welcome to the group! :)
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Beth

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Thanks so much, Susan! 
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Miriam Wisner

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Today I lost 5 of my correspondent children. If they ever become available for writing again, I would love to be their correspondent.

I know I am on the correspondent list again for 5 more kids but I would like to change that request.

I would like to be on the list for a girl age 8 or older from each of the following countries:
Bolivia
Ethiopia
Guatemala
Thailand
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Kathy F. Boe

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I think I read somewhere that Compassion does contact financial sponsors who haven't written in a while, but I'm not sure what form that takes.

Maybe this unfortunate situation can be used to emphasize to non-writing sponsors just how much letters mean to the kids and to open their hearts to either writing themselves or agreeing to allow one of the many enthusiastic correspondents here to take over. 

I'm wondering to myself why a financial sponsor wouldn't agree to a correspondent if they weren't writing themselves.  Is it because they do still want to receive occasional letters from the child?  If so, would more people agree to release the child for assignment to a correspondent if they were to still receive a copy of an annual or semi-annual update letter from the child?  Maybe that is just more confusing and complicated for CI to orchestrate.  I lost 5 correspondents in this mix-up and the 2 I'd heard from seemed genuinely thrilled to finally start getting letters.

I hope CI won't discontinue the correspondence program because of this snafu.  I'm sure it takes a lot of time to administer this program, but I am really impressed that CI makes such an effort to see that the children's emotional needs, as well as financial ones, are met. 

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Susan

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Miriam, I have your mother's replacement requests noted down. She will receive the children she lost back should the financial sponsors ever request a correspondent.

We do not currently call very many sponsors who have not written to their child in several years. However, we are planning to contact more sponsors who have not been writing their children to encourage correspondence and educate them on the correspondent program as an option. 
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Susan

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Kathy, many financial sponsors look at the letters as proof that their donations are getting to their child and making a difference. This is why many sponsors do not want a correspondent assigned. Also, many sponsors know the importance of letters and keep saying that they will write letters but then they never do. They often feel guilty about this but what can you do if they say they want to write their children? Lastly, in some cases sponsors have absolutely no clue how important it is to the child that they write even though we try to educate them as much as we can. 

We are not planning to discontinue the correspondent program in the future because we still believe very strongly in the importance of letters in a child's life. We're willing to go to considerable efforts to make sure as many children receive letters as possible. I trust that the program will just continue to grow despite this snafu. :) 
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Kathy F. Boe

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Yes, there's probably not much that can be done regarding those who have good intentions but don't end up writing much or at all.  I was just thinking that the option of having an occasional update letter from the child to the financial sponsor might help tip the balance for those who are reluctant to release a child for the correspondence program because that financial sponsor doesn't want to completely stop receiving all letters from the child. 

I can understand financial sponsors seeing the letters as some validation their contributions are going to good use.  Maybe that concern could be met while still allowing the child to have a correspondent.  Perhaps the child could write one letter a year that gets sent to both the financial and correspondent sponsors.  As a correspondent, I'd be happy to simply get a copy or scan of such a letter.  Just brainstorming here, but it seems like there might be a way for the financial sponsor to get the necessary validation in terms of child communication, and for the child to actually get some letters and personal encouragement too.

I'm glad Compassion is committed to working through this and continuing the correspondent program.  Obviously there are many people who want to write to these kids!

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Susan

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Kathy, you have some excellent ideas here! I appreciate you putting your mind towards helping us figure out a happy medium for sponsors and kiddos. :) We are currently working on some changes to our program. I'll certainly pass along your ideas as we go through this process.
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Lindsay

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Hello, ladies! Wow, what a day for the correspondent program, huh? I'm not sure how this is being handled but at this time I would not like to have "replacement" assigned to my account at this time. I have to have surgery later this month and my mother is due for another operation on her back so who knows what all types of turmoil I'll have to deal with. I'll write in when I'd like more. Thanks, and best of luck to all of you trying to sort through today's upset.
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Susan

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Wow, it sounds like this happened at the right time for you, Lindsay. I know that God has a plan in all of this even though it is awful for so many. I made a note to not add any replacement children for those that you lost. Thank you for letting us know where you are at and I'll be praying for you and your mother as you go through your surgeries. 
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heather o

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I got the same notification as did my daughter. If any of our kids do become available for correspondence I would like them to be assigned to us if possible. My concern is about these wonderful children, they will now go back to not receiving any letters and they will have no idea why. I appreciate the explanation and understand.
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KristenH, Champion

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I read somewhere..possibly on one of the FB groups, that the centers are going to explain to the affected children what happened. There are so many discussions going on about this is so many different areas that I can't locate where I read this.
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Susan

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Heather, should the financial sponsors ever request a correspondent in the future, we will be assigning them back to you. :) Regrettably, the centers are unaware of this issue. I would recommend sending a Final Letter to the children you lost to let them know that you are no longer able to write to them but that you will continue to pray for them.
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heather o

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Thanks, Susan. Robby, Rheannen, and I will sit down tonight and write our final letters to the kids we lost.
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Denise

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I was a correspondent sponsor to three children and I received a notification that I was no longer their correspondent sponsor.  Why is this so?

And in the meantime, may I please be added to the list for a girl aged 10 or older from a French-speaking country and a Spanish-speaking country?
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KristenH, Champion

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Denise, Susan posted this explanation above: "1 day ago
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Susan, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Social Media
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Hey everyone, especially ESmart. I am so sorry for the hurt, confusion, and anger we may have caused with this recent error in our correspondent assignments. This is a sad day for us too. :( We hate that this error happened. Basically, we run reports on all of the financial sponsors who have not written to their children in a long time. We assign correspondent sponsors when the financial sponsor has given permission. Our report will say whether that particular financial sponsor has given permission and therefore that child is available for correspondence. We had a staff member who had been reading this report incorrectly and we regrettably didn't catch the mistake until now. This means that some of the children we assigned were not actually available for correspondence, even though we had officially assigned those children to you. It's true that we may have emailed back and forth with you about those same children as if they were yours because we didn't discover this mistake until now. Again, I am so sorry this happened to all of you. :( We are taking measures to make sure this doesn't happen again. "
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Emily

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Denise, I know this was heartbreaking for many of our sponsors and we're so deeply sorry that you lost three children :(. Thank you for posting Susan's response, Kristen so that Denise can have an explanation as to what happened; Denise I hope this clarifies the situation but let me know if you have further questions.

We already added you back to the waiting list so that you could receive another correspondent child, but I updated your request so to be a girl that is 10 or older from one of the countries we work in that speaks French or Spanish.
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Hilary Hopkins

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Hey, I was wondering if I could be put on the correspondent list for a girl 11 or under from Thailand? I originally had said no replacements, but I've never had a child from Thailand and I'm interested in that country. Also, I was wondering where on the list I am for a girl 8 and under from Honduras? I was put on the list for that request over a month before the big correspondent incident so I am thinking I should be hopefully nearing the top. Thanks so much!
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Emily

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Hi Hilary! I added you to the list and you're correct, you're nearing the top! Your request for a Honduras girl is number 28 on the list. :)
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Lindsay

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Hello, ladies! Prior to the hubbub with the mis-assigned correspondents, one of my newer girls (Ana from CO) came off my account and I was never contacted to give me the specifics of what happened there. Would someone please be able to let me know? Thanks! Also, I had asked previously to not have more children assigned to me at present as correspondents to replace those that were removed. However, if any of those same kids end up in need of a correspondent, I'd happily take them back to try and maintain some continuity in their experience.
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Emily

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Hi Lindsay! I'm so sorry if you never heard from us :(. Our records show we tried to call you but were unable to reach you. Regrettably, she had an unjustified absence from our program for two months. The tutor had really tried to get her to come back to the project. They visited her home, made phone calls, and even the program specialist and the director visited her home to try and encourage she and her grandmother of the benefits of our program. However, her grandmother requested that she be removed from the program. We gave her one more month after these multiple visit attempts in case she changed her mind but she never returned to the project. In these situations, we want to honor the guardians request.

Please rest assured that our automatic procedure for this situation is to contact any of the original correspondents for these children if their sponsors ever allow us to assign a correspondent to their child. We know how much these kiddos meant to you and want to give you the first opportunity to write to them should they ever become available again. Thanks for letting us know!
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Miriam Wisner

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May you please let me know which of my requests are still on the list? With losing and gaining correspondents I am a little confused :P
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Susan

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Miriam, we are happy to help! I can imagine that this could get confusing. ;) We currently have three requests on the list for you. The requests are for a girl from Peru, a girl from Guatemala, and a girl from Thailand all over 8 years old. 
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Miriam Wisner

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Thank you! I would like to add a request for a girl 8 or older from India please :)
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Emily

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Certainly, Miriam :). I have added your request to the list this morning. Have a blessed day!
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Rachel Perkins

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Can I be put on the list for another child? 
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Emily

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Good morning, Rachel! Absolutely! I have added you to the waiting list this morning. We will assign you another child at the next available opportunity. I know you're anxious to write to a child after losing yours recently, so thank you for your patience!
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Rachel Perkins

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thank you!
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Esther Wisner

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Hi! I know I have two general requests for kids to write to, since I lost two recently, and I would like to replace those with a request for a girl from Togo and a girl from Ecuador both age 3-10 years old. 
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Emily

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Esther, I'm sorry you lost these two kiddos and I pray you're doing alright as I know it was hard news to receive. I have made your requests to be two young ladies :).
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Debi

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Good morning! Would you please add a request for me? I'd like to correspond with a student age 9 or older from Uganda.
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Susan

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Debi, I am happy to add a request for you! I just added a request for a correspondent age 9 or older from Uganda. :)
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Victoria PsR

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Hello, i would like to be put on the list for a girl, i don't care about age or place. Sponsor number 3399551. Thank you
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Emily

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Great, Victoria! I'm so excited that you want to be part of this program! :) I have added you to the waiting list for a girl, today.
(Edited)
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Kristen

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Can you tell me how long my new correspondent child (HA7750243) has been with her current financial sponsor and if she has received financial gifts from them in the past? Thanks!!
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Susan

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Hi Kristen! I am sending you an email with this information about precious Fabilie! :)
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Kristen

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Thanks!!
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Elsje

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Hello. Sponsor #3759972. I've been on the waiting list for months now, it seems, between receiving a child incorrectly and not having ever gotten an actual one. I don't know what numbers I am on the list. My request, I believe, was for 4 girls. I can take it down to three. Age range 7-12 (but could also be expanded) and one from Uganda or Kenya, the other two please choose from Bolivia, Peru, El Salvador, or Nicaragua.
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Elizabeth York

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Hi E. Smart! I know that the more specific the request for a child is, the longer the wait will be. It can seem like sometimes it's a long time to wait for kids to write to, but in the end it's worth the wait! Thanks for your willingness to write to kids who need some encouragement! :) One of the wonderful ladies that monitor this forum will be able to help you soon! :)

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Sarah, Official Rep

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Hello E. Smart! I apologize that the wait has been so long for you. Elizabeth is correct in saying that more specific requests can take longer to fill. The wait can be about a month for general requests, but it gets longer when you narrow down the attributes of a child. I don't have any girls waiting for a correspondent right now who fit within your specifics. I currently show your requests at numbers 33, 93, and 94. Numbers 33 and 93 are  for a 7-12 year old girl from Bolivia, Nicaragua, Peru, or El Salvador. Number 94 is for a 7-12 year old girl from Kenya or Uganda. Hopefully, you will see a new face on your account soon. :)
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Rachel Perkins

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Can you please tell me where i am at on the list?
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Sarah, Official Rep

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Rachel, your request is number 754 :).
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heather o

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Could I please be added to the list for 4 more correspondents? That should bring me up to 5 requests, which will bring me back up to where I was before. Thanks and God bless!
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Sarah, Official Rep

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Good Morning, Heather! Your email address is linked to several accounts. Which account are you wanting me to put the requests under?  
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heather o

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Hi, Sarah! Please put it under Rob and Heather. Thanks!
(Edited)
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Sarah, Official Rep

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I've got it taken care of! :) Also, I just added a correspondent child to Rheannen's account this morning! I will send you an email with the photo of Jeyanthi in the next few minutes. She is a fourteen year old precious girl from India. :)
(Edited)
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heather o

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Thank you, Sarah! Rheannen was very happy to get a correspondent again. Jeyanthi is beautiful!
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Elsje

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Still waiting for any correspondent children!!
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Susan

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E. Smart, I am so sorry for the wait in receiving correspondent children. It looks like you are down for three requests for girls from specific countries. It can take several months for children to become available that match specific requests at a normal time. However, our list is very long right now due to the correspondent assigning error. This means that regrettably it is taking longer for people's requests to be fulfilled and especially for specific requests. I did want to ask, however, are you saying that you would take any child who becomes available? I would be happy to change any of your requests or add a request for a general request if you would like. That way, you would receive a child sooner. :)  
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Linda

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I'm sponsor #37752783. This morning I signed up with Chris over the phone to become a correspondent for 1-2 children (no preference). What is usual amount of time it takes to be assigned a child? Will I first hear about this through the mail? Any more info welcomed.
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Emily

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Linda, you already support three children with us and are such an encouraging sponsor and wonderful letter writer! Thank you for wanting to also write to a child that currently doesn't get letters. Our correspondent community is full of sponsors like you who are passionate about the importance and power of speaking hope and truth into the lives of these kids!

Unfortunately, I can't give you a specific time that it will take for you to receive a child. However, because you don't have any correspondent children yet, I can tell you that you will be placed as a priority so that you can get your first kiddo! However, we currently have a pretty long waiting list and so when you receive your child depends heavily on when and how many children become available and need a correspondent sponsor. Because you don't have any specific preferences such as gender, country, or age, this will help you get a child quicker than if you wanted a certain child.

When a child becomes available, we will add them to your account and mail you information on that new child as well as details on being a correspondent. You can also check your My Account on www.compassion.com every so often and you will be able to see your new child immediately when they're added and can even begin writing before you get the information in the mail.

We're so excited to have you write to a child. The importance of letters is very special and dear to our hearts as we've seen the impact it makes on their lives. Your role is so important and I can't wait for you to get started!

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