I think there should be a better gifting option rather than just send money or stickers.

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I would like to see a better gifting option rather than just send money or stickers. I would be willing to pay for additional postage etc.. Even if the option was to choose from a list of items available at each center. At least you would feel like you did something to participate in the purchase.
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John

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Posted 2 years ago

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Elaine Weisenbarger Grove

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I agree. I have felt very disconnected to my children since the new rules re: letters and packages have taken place. I have rec'd so many thanks from the children along with pictures of them with the package contents. I would have been more than willing to include extra postage money for them to receive gifts now. 
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Katherine

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Hi John and Elaine! Thank you so much for your feedback. I can definitely tell that you both really have a heart for your kiddos and I am so grateful for you. I am so sorry that the options we have implemented for gifts have made you feel that you are not as connected with your children. We have limits on what and how gifts are sent because the Lord has called us to be good stewards with money and we want as much of the contributions as possible to go toward the well being of the children. We also do not want the packages to be stolen or somehow go missing when they're sent to the children overseas, and the probability of that happening is quite high. We also must take the field staff into consideration, as the delivery of packages would cost valuable staff time. We allow the children and their families to make the decision of what to purchase when a sponsor sends a monetary gift because no one knows what they need better than the child/ family themselves. As far as the letter limitations, those changes are a result of the process we are undergoing to speed up the letter process. Sponsors and sponsored children have been saying for years that they would like faster communication, but we had to make some adjustments to what could be sent in order to make faster communication possible. As I'm sure you all are aware, we are waiting to experience the benefits of those changes, as the communications have not yet been faster. It is our prayer for the sponsors to feel connected to their children and I am so sorry that you feel just the opposite. I will certainly pass along the feedback from both of you on this issue. Please keep this ministry in your prayers that we continue to pursue the Lord's direction. Thank you both so much for all that you do for your kiddos! 
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John

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Thanks for passing along the feedback, that was all I was asking.
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John

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Can you attach flatly 4-5 book marks on the back of a 8x11 sheet of stickers and count this as 2 sheets as it will be 2 layers? 
This is listed as what can be sent by mail.

Only the following items will be physically delivered to your child, up to the maximum "six sheets" mentioned above.

  • Stickers (flat, not puffy or foam)
  • Bookmarks
  • Musical greeting cards
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Christina, Employee

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Hello John! I definitely understand wanting to send extra special things to your sweet kiddos and finding creative ways to do this. Regrettably, attaching bookmarks to a sheet of paper would not work. Unfortunately, one bookmark is equal to one sheet of paper. You are welcome to send up to five bookmarks at a time along with a letter to your child. Please keep in mind that a letter must be sent along with your stickers or bookmarks. I'm so sorry for the inconvenience this may cause you. We greatly appreciate the love you have for your children. I encourage you to keep writing your loving letters to your children! God bless you.
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John

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I think the website should be updated to reflect that you can send 6 items not 6 sheets. I'll buy a box of envelopes to start sending stuff out 6 at a time. 
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Christina, Employee

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John, I'm so sorry for any confusion about the wording of our guidelines. We value all of your feedback as this helps us serve you and the children better. There are a couple places on our website that talk about what you can send. If you could please provide the location in which you are finding these guidelines that say the word sheet instead of item, we would be happy to update this on our website. One great place that can answer most of your questions about what can be sent is found at http://www.compassion.com/letter-writing/letter-writing-topics-faq.htm. Our hearts behind these changes have been to provide the children with more support. Thank you so much for your grace and understanding during this season of change! 
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John

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Beth

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I'm actually thrilled at the option of sending money, and knowing that the child/family will get something they really need. I have one family who has been purchasing building materials like sheet tin and concrete blocks, one family who is desperate for food, and another family who is able to get some food but also some things like clothes and shoes. Each family/child gets just what they need!

Our family packs shoeboxes for a different ministry with items that we choose (they are a one-time gift to a child we don't know). While we enjoy doing this too, I actually feel like my money is really meeting a more definite need when I give to my sponsored children through Compassion's gift option.

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John

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You all have missed the point completely. I have sent 2 letters by mail since sponsoring, so not a big deal. I use the online method weekly.  I feel like we are being forced to only give money as an option. I'm not debating what the money is used for minus the admin fee. I would like to occasionally be able to say this is just a gift. Stickers are a insult to me and any child over a certain age. Paper bookmarks are not a whole lot better. As I said above! There could be a list of needed things to choose from already at or near that center. I was refering to the children mainly but this would work for familys as well. There can be limits, just Birthdays, Christmas etc.. 
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Hilary Hopkins

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I don't think that stickers are insulting at all to children. I have met many sponsored children of all ages and they all love stickers! I'm an adult, and I love stickers too! I think your idea of better gifting options is good, but I don't think kids will be insulted by bookmarks and stickers.
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Teresa Dawn

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I agree with that.  I send stickers to my teens and early 20's and they love them.  I'm 33 and LOVE stickers.  It depends on the sticker itself of course...  A teen boy may not appreciate Disney Princess stickers for example (though girls of all ages would likely love them haha)  and your 20 year old may not care about the Sesame Street ones, but they may love sports stickers or flowers to decorate school binders etc. Stickers are definitely loved by all ages though!
Photos are great to send too for sure! 
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William Blair

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I've been a sponsor for close to six years and I can tell you that after meeting some of my sponsor kids they do appreciate gifts they receive but what they appreciate more are letters. The way Compassion does this is the most cost effective way and sending gifts through the mail is risky because theft is common. I was in Bolivia last year and my carry on bag was checked three times and it turns out my electric shaver was missing. I didn't notice it until I got to Miami. Cards and stickers are accepted by our sponsor kids. They love to have these things from us. If you have ever been to any of these countries and see the poverty they live in you would see they have different priorities than we do. Just keep it simple. Here in America we have a bad habit of making things complicated. We're really just spoiled. I can tell you this for sure. God will use these kids to change everything in their countries. From sharing the Gospel to cleaning up the corruption in their countries.
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John

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Do all of you work for Compassion?
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Beth

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I do not work for Compassion. I have been a sponsor for over 3 years. But I personally know someone from a country that I sponsor kids from, and did all I could to study that country, and I learned much. It is a VERY different way of life there. I think if I had to pick one word to sum it up, it would be desperation. Desperation just to survive. Maybe this impacts my view.

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Hilary Hopkins

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No, I do not work for Compassion. Just wanted to share my experience from the sponsor tours and individual visits I've been on and encourage you that stickers and bookmarks may not seem like much to us, but the kids love them :).
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Teresa Dawn

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No, I don't.  You can tell who works for Compassion because they have a little green flag beside their name on here :)
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William Blair

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I don't work for Compassion, I'm only a sponsor.  When we send a monetary gift we are sowing into our sponsor kids and families and they pay it forward in their communities in ways we never could.  We always feel the need to do more. Read Ephesians 3:20. We don't need to do more than we already do. Our letters and prayers are enough. Our gifts are enough.  After all I've seen on group tours and individual trips to meet my sponsor kids I see this is God's work and this ministry does everything possible it stays that way. 
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John

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As I pointed out above this was a suggestion. This is an Idea catagory. I don't like stickers, they are cheap. You can't send but a few. Any child will be happy to receive openly but I would not want them to think of me and stickers in the same thought. They do no good and are not benificial. I stated PAPER bookmarks are not much better. If you could send a nice one then it would be ok. Musical cards will only work for a short time. That is where my suggestion comes in. I will not repeat a third time. I asked a question about sending the book marks and was told no and the website is worded wrong so I sent a link for that. I keep getting stories from people that really don't help and are not useful to my suggestion. I am not interested in how much other people may like stickers or how much they enjoy giving them away. I thought I could post an Idea on the Compassion site. I was wrong. My mistake. I sponsor 7 children. Age 7-20. I will not send a 20 year old stickers. I will change the settings so I stop getting emails after this.
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Teresa Dawn

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You can send plastic-y bookmarks.  Not metal or something but bookmarks are an exception to the paper rule because they sorta seem paper-y a they are flat etc.  Like, the bookmarks that you buy at a bookmark will be sent. 
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LL S

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STICKERS AND BOOKMARKS

As a sponsor for nearly 9 years, I agree with much of what you have said John.  Although, I would like to add that stickers are better than you think - the children often will decorate their 'rooms' (however 'room' is defined for the child) and decorate other things they might posess to 'fix them up' and make them look nice as well as using them in art projects.  And yes, I have seen actual pictures of this.  Personally, I would send stickers to a boy up to age 12 and I would send stickers to girls until the end fo their sponsorship - all girls, all ages love stickers.  Bookmarks I would send to all kids, varying the theme/design depending on age.

If you are looking for something a little different/better regarding stickers for younger children, go the Christianbook.com and take a look at the VBS stickers - some of them are full sheets (8 x 10, usually 10 sheets of stickers per packet) and follow a theme as they are meant to go along with a VBS program - but the stickers can stand alone.  One example appear below - the children can take the stickers and add them to a blank piece of paper and make their own special drawing or use them wherever they want.  (search VBS stickers, then click the Search Results tab to see all)

Oh, and Christianbook.com has a lot of bookmarks, too - you can search for VBS Bookmarks and then click the Search Results tab for a nice selection.  They also have non-VBS Bookmarks that I really like, too for older kids.  Other bookmarks can be found by searching Bookmarks - most of these are in a 25 count packet.  The VBS quantities vary.  Below also shows the sets of bookmarks (you get 2 sets of 5) that go with the stickers.  Stickers and bookmarks are in the "Ocean Commotion" theme.  See Christianbook.com





All of that said, I'm not crazy about a lot of the new guidelines but will NOT let them deter me from doing as much as I can for each of my kids.  I have one old boy that I was sending booklets to (from Day of Discovery) and now that I can't send booklets I am making a series of 66 letters, one for each book of the Bible, that I can send online with attachments such as maps when they are available.

Galatians 6:9
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
(Edited)

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