How long does it take for my letters to reach my sponsored child?

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When I write my sponsored child, how long does it take for them to receive my letter? Is it faster when I write on the website?
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Shaina Moats

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Posted 8 years ago

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Shaina Moats

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Letters take approximately two to three months to reach your sponsored child. Writing the letter on Compassion's website can shorten that time by 2-3 weeks.
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Lynell Blanchard

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How do I send a letter via the website, when I can't seem to set up an account?
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Shaina Moats

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I'm sorry you're having trouble setting up an account. You will need one in order to write your child on our website. To create one, please follow this link and enter your sponsor number and email address that is on your Compassion account. Your sponsor number will start with a 1 or a 2 and will be 6-7 digits long. Do not include the letters or the number after the dash. If you are still having issues, please contact us at ciinfo@us.ci.org so we can help you setup your account.
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Brett Goodlin, Stewardship Specialist / Finance Division

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Typically, letters will take 2-3 months to go each way. A good way to determine how long your letters take is to make note of when the child wrote their letter and compare that to the date you received it in the mail. If you can do that for a few letters from your child, you should have a more accurate average of how long your letters normally take.
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Debbie Skacel Tovar

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No, you shouldn't wait to write.  The kids are required to write every two months IF they received a letter during that two month period.  All kids are required to write twice a year.  So, if you wait to receive a letter, you could be putting about a six month gap in-between letters.  Some kids are really good at answering questions, etc., and some aren't.  Usually writing about once a month is good.
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Stephanie Barnard

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Oh okay. Thanks for the information. I just started sponsoring my first child in Jan 2015 and have only received the intro letter so far. So I wasn't sure what was best. 
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Adam

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Hey Stephanie! That's not an odd question at all. There's actually been some discussions on here lately about how often to write and it seems like a lot of people aren't sure. How old's your kiddo? Our family sponsors a 5 yo and we write all the time. I like knowing that she always gets a letter on letter days and I also love sending her stickers and coloring pages and stuff like that and sometimes the letters are just a good excuse, lol. :) Since she's only 5 so I don't really expect a pen-pal relationship but I think that might be a little different with the older kids. It's really just up to you how much you want to write. Once a month is probably a good place to start like Debbie said. Good question!
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Stephanie Barnard

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She is 13. Do you know how often letter days are?
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Adam

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I believe that letters are handed out once a month in nearly all the centers; twice a month at most depending on the location. It sounds like you're starting your sponsorship at a great time in your child's life as she's just entering into her teen years. She will be so blessed by your encouragement and support during this time in her life. I wouldn't worry about overwhelming her. I kind of look at it like this, the more that you write to her the more she will know about you and that might help her to feel more comfortable opening up when it comes time for her to write, you know.
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Shaina Moats

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You should receive a minimum of three letters per year from your sponsored child. If you don't hear from them for 6 months or longer, please contact us at (800) 336-7676 so we can contact the field.
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Adam

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Using the Compassion website used to shorten the delivery time by 2-3 weeks. As of 9/16/2011, the website now provides high quality color letter templates (including the ability for sponsors to upload photos) that are printed in the US and mailed to the field offices. So the delivery time is longer, but the letter quality and options are much better.
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Bibi Schell

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so is the delievery time longer or shorter? you mentioned both in your reply...
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Shaina Moats

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Using the email template online shortened the time period before we updated the website. Now, since we print the letters in our US office, it takes about the same time as if you sent a hand written letter.
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larissacroes

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Compassion translates the letters of and for the child. Is there a possibility to ask not to translate the letter if the child and I speak the same language?
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Shaina Moats

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No, unfortunately we can't accommodate that request. When the letters are translated, the translator checks for quality and appropriateness. It's also possible that you speak a different dialect of the same language.
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Gabby Ocañas

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If you are sending something to your child how long will it take to get there?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Birthday Packages.
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Lizzie, Champion

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Well, you can only send paper things to your child, so it would take as long as a letter, which is 2-3 months. Compassion suggests that if you send something for Christmas to your child you do it by October 31. That gives it 2 months. Sorry, for not replying sooner. Hopefully this helps! Lizzie
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Krizty Miller Hansen

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I used the writing tool on line and wrote my child two weeks ago and I was wondering when I could expect to hear something back from the child.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
When will I hear from my child.
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Lizzie, Champion

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Well, Krizty, it depends. If your child is from Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, Nicaragua, Peru, Rwanda, Thailand, or Tanzania (reciprocal writing countries), you should get a responce letter to every one you send. It takes 2-3 months for each letter to go each way. So if your child is from a reciprocal writing country, you should get a reply to your letter by April or May. Also, the day tht your child found out that you were sponsoring him/her, he/she wrote you that very day. If your child is not from a reciprocal writing country, you will get three scheduled letters a year. But, of course, they are always aloud to write more if they want to :)
So, in July, all of this changes. You can read of the changes here- http://blog.compassion.com/changes-to...
And remember your letters are so very important to your child!
Lizzie
http://madefromscratch4u.etsy.com
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Steph Paxton

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Are Ecuador, Ethiopia and El Salvador reciprocal now, or will they be next year?
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Shaina Moats

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All countries will be reciprocal starting July of 2012. Some countries have already switched to the reciprocal model, but all are required to by July. All of the changes are highlighted in the article Lizzie gave above.
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Zhu Yating

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Hi, it has been months that i have last heard from Darlin. Just want to check if she and her family are fine. Lastly, if i want to send a package to her, do i send it directly or to Compassion International first. Please advise. Thank you!

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Is Darlin okay and enquiry on sending package.
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Shaina Moats

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Zhu, it takes 2-3 months for your letters to reach your child and 2-3 months for your child's letters to reach you. If it has been six months or longer since you heard from your sponsored child, please contact us using the tab above. You can find more information about sending a package here: http://support.compassion.com/compass...
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Jasmine Kelly

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We just sponsored 2 boys from Kenya and 1 of them has a birthday coming up. About how long does it take a letter from Washington state to get there.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Birthday letter.
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jkdickerson3

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We want to send our child a birthday letter and gift. His birthday is August 10th...what is the right timing to send the letter and gift?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
How long does it take for child to receive letter?.
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Jonathan Cauley

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I heard that all countries are supposed to be reciprocal. Does this mean that Guatemala teaches children how to write? Cause I got a photo update of my child in Guatemala, but I didn't recieve her own letter before then.
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Shaina Moats

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Yes, all countries are moving to be reciprocal, but aren't currently. It takes a little while to get everyone trained correctly and the process implemented. :)
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Ashley Hensley

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What about Dominican Republic? Does it usually take a long time for the letters to come through there? I have been to the country several times (which is why I chose to sponsor there). I really hope my child is able to send more than 3 letters a year...
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KristenH, Champion

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Ashley all of the countries are moving to a reciprocal letter system. Once all of the kinks are worked out of it your child will have the opportunity to write 2 a year and then up to 4 more times a year to respond to letters you've written. So, to get more than those 2 letters a year it is up to the sponsor to initiate the writing. I would suggest writing once a month so that your child will get a letter on most Mail Call days and so that they are able to write back every other month. I hope this helps explain things a little :-)
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Ashley Hensley

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Thanks KristenH!
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Ashley Hensley

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So will they come through email or by mail? Hand written or typed? I am very new to all of this (I've been a sponsor for just 2 days now!) and I'm so excited and just trying to get as much info as I can!
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Lizzie, Champion

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The letters will come through the mail. The child will hand write the letters. The translator may either type or write out the translation. You can write letters online through your account. Or you can write them out and send them to:
Compassion International
Colorado Springs, CO 80997
Make sure to include your child's name and number and your name and sponsor number on the letters and all other things you send. You can send anything paper, btw. If you have any questions, just ask! Welcome to the Compassion family!! :)
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Ashley Hensley

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Thanks Lizzie!
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Amy

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So I guess it doesn't really make a difference whether or not we hand-write it or do it online?

My child will be 4 in May...how much writing will she be able to do? Will the workers at her center take dictation from her so we can still talk?
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KristenH, Champion

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Amy, since your child is unable to write for herself, someone will help her write the letter. Usually someone at the project, but sometimes a relative like a parent or older sibling can help as well. Under the new writing guidelines you will receive at a minimum 2 letters per year, and up to 6 letters per year if you are writing her on a regular basis.
You are correct that it doesn't matter whether you do it online or through the mail. I like to do a little of both because it's so easy to do online and attach pictures that way. Sometimes though I like to send a handwritten note with stickers, coloring pages, etc. so it just depends :-)
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Amy

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Thanks!
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Erin Weatherman

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I wrote an e-mail to my spouncer child and I was wondering how long it takes to get an answer?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
how long does it take to get an answer from my child over e-mail?.
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Bonnie Pedder

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Why does it take so long for letters to reach our sponsored child?
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Susan, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Social Media

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Hi Bonnie! Your letters will take two to three months to reach your child and it will take two to three months for your child's letters to reach you. When your letters to your sponsored child reach our Colorado Springs office either by mail or through our online letter tool, your letters are processed, checked to be sure any attachments are within size limitations, and sorted by country.

Letters are mailed once a week to each country office. After the letters go through customs, the country office receives and distributes them to translators. Once the letters have been translated, they are sorted by child development center and placed in each center’s bin.

How far the child development center staff members are located from the country office will determine how often they are able to pick up the letters – anywhere from weekly to once a month. The next time each center meets they will distribute the letters to the children. Your child’s letter takes a similar process back to reach you. 

We are working to make this process quicker but we have to update our systems first. You will see the turn around times for letter delivery cut dramatically in the next few years. 

I encourage you to take a look at our blog for more information on how the letter delivery and writing process goes here at Compassion. There is a whole section on letter writing that you might find interesting.

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Amy

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This was very helpful and interesting, Susan! Thanks!
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Mental326 .

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I suspect many sponsors like myself are very excited about this opportunity to enrich and become enriched by these amazing young souls throughout the world. However, it is discouraging that the letter communication process is so lengthy. We the sponsors grow encouraged from personal feedback and knowing that these children are indeed benefiting and prospering as a result of these sponsoring efforts.

Although I'm sure CI is using every recourse to address this I hope it becomes a reality in the very near future! Thanks.
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Susan, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Social Media

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Thank you so much for taking the time to share your feedback with us! We hear you! We know that the letter writing process right now takes a long time, and we are working to improve this process. We are currently in the development stages for these changes to our systems so I can tell you that we are actively working on it and it will happen in the next few years. Stay tuned! 
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Caro Leake

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
How long does it take for my sponsored child to receive my letter?.
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Sarah

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
How often do the children receive letters (if they were written to)?.


Maybe I've missed an article or previously asked question, but how often do most centers hand out the letters that are sent? I saw somewhere that one center only hands them out every 4 months, which I can understand with the slowness of mail, but if I wrote to my children every week, or twice a month, would they receive all the letters at once, or as the letters were processed and sent to their country? Just curious. :)  Thank you! And special thanks to you Compassion employees who answer so quickly, and politely! I have been spending a lot of time looking at the message boards the past couple days and I'm really impressed with how well you all take care of this part of the site! :)
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Andrea Watt

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In case you didn't see it above the centers will hand out letters as frequently as they pick them up from the central country office, weekly to monthly depending on the difficulty of reaching the project. So at the slowest they would be handing out letters once a month.
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Emily

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Hi Sarah!

I have merged your question with this conversation because it was similar to others in the past.  If you look at the above posts, Susan explains in more depth how our letter writing process works and gives the timeframe of when your child received letters. I hope this answers your question and clears up any confusion there may have been about our letter process! I want to encourage you that you are welcome to write more frequently than once a month but please keep in mind that because letters are normally distributed to the children once each month, your child may receive multiple letters at once if you write as often as once per week.  I usually write to my child once each month so that she receives a letter each month and we can build a great relationship but she does not get overwhelmed and is able to keep up with our conversations. Thank you so much for blessing your child in such a tangible way!
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Nartanong Chinda

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
How long does it take for my letters and gift to reach my child?.


I sent my gifts (coloring pages, storybook pages, magazine and bookmark) to Compassion just yesterday and I think you should be receiving them on Friday.  Now how long does it take for my gifts to reach my child in Thailand?  Thank you.