Letter authenticity

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  • Updated 11 months ago
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Hello, I wrote one letter and received one back which was terrific ... yet all correspondence is in colorful brochures with pictures of the child included. I am skeptical! I cannot imagine every letter of every sponsor and child is sent and received using colorful brochures ...??? Please comment. I don't want to disappoint by not writing but not at all in need of any kind of manipulative tug at heartstrings to continue with something that is done only for my own benefit and not real. Thanks!
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Gini Hart

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  • manipulated

Posted 11 months ago

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Are you referring to the little booklet that arrives shortly after you begin sponsorship? I can assure you that the children are real. I just visited one of the children (in Peru) for the second time. I have met ten children and, by the way, they almost always save every letter you write. The conditions of the kids are not exaggerated either. Today I saw my sponsored child's house. It was one room, about 10'x 11' with two beds (4 people) and no water or electricity. I was a little put off by the slick booklet at first, but now I look forward to updates.
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Gini Hart

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The booklet actually has pictures of "my" child on it.  It's at least 7 pages on two sides.  It's beautiful but that's the problem.  First it's tough to believe a new booklet is made for each child and their sponsor.  The cost of that would be astronomical.  If true, the money spent is not wise at all and could be going towards the families instead with original letters sent on original paper which would be very effective so can't understand why not unless it's a scam. 

Then the letters, too?  Each is on card stock, with pictures of the child and at least 2 or more pages.  I received two of the same in different envelopes in response to my first letter.  It is just not feasible that these are individual and thus authentic. 

I honestly did not expect and do not need this level of personal touch.  I certainly don't want to be asked to correspond with a fabrication.  Would have been willing to contribute without any personal contact.  But this feels manipulative thus leads me to believe I cannot trust the organization. 

I'm truly very glad you've had such a positive, meaningful experience.  Yet, forgive me, but your words are just words through a computer and my questions remain unanswered by the company.  I just feel I don't know this organization well enough to continue at this point and am not hearing back from them as of yet on this very real concern.  I'll give it a day.  If not soon convinced I'm wrong I will look for another resource for my contributions.  Thanks very much for your input.  I hope you continue to support your children directly as you seem to be doing.
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Shannon Massey, Employee

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Hi Gini, 
I am so sorry for the delay in our response! I pray that I can help you understand a bit more about how Compassion works, what things cost; and in the end, help you gain faith for our ministry that allows you to feel confident in continuing sponsorship. 

I would like to explain a bit more about what I believe you are calling a brochure. If I am understanding correctly, these are the welcome packets we send out when you first choose to sponsor a child. We feel these are very important because they provide you information on the child and can help you begin your sponsorship with knowledge of the child you chose. which in turn helps you write your letters and build your relationship. We have also had feedback from sponsors that they really like having this as a nice, "welcome" and that they keep this, rather than just tossing it. 

The letters you are speaking of, do come on sturdy paper, printed in color, as you said. However, you can opt out of receiving physical copies of your letters and just view them online if you would like. This is what many supporters have chosen to do. You can also opt out of receiving any billing communications on printed paper as well. 

We have recently changed how letters between a sponsor and child are processed. Research showed that the greatest frustration among sponsors and children was the length of time it takes to receive letters. This new process enables letters to be received up to fifty percent faster. Previously, it took up to three months for a letter to travel one direction. Now, all original letters between sponsors and children are scanned, translated, and delivered to the child's country office or to Compassion's USA office, digitally. The kiddos also receive high quality prints of sponsor's letters. Sponsors all receive letters by email, and if you so choose, a scanned printout by postal mail (again, this is optional). Letters are also stored online in the sponsor's My Account where they are immediately available after translation and remain there so that you can go back and view them at any time.
In regards to your concern about printing costs, I would like to give you some statistics on what kind of costs we are up against. Based on the letter or printed element (welcome booklet, appeal, etc.) and quantity of pages, the price can vary from 12 cents to 20 cents per piece for printing and production. Postage can also vary depending on how we mail the piece and the discounts that we receive. These costs can start at around 14 cents and go up to 38 cents. So an item can cost from 26 cents up to 58 cents per piece, but we try to keep the costs closer to the 26 cents per piece.
We are happy to answer any other questions you may have about this. We greatly appreciate you taking the time to speak with us about your concerns! Please know I will also copy my answer to your other post, for your convenience.