Letter cancelled for “no photo”

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  • Updated 1 month ago
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Recently I noticed that a letter from one of my sponsored children was “cancelled” so I called Compassion to discover why. Apparently the child had not included a photo of herself (or her family) with the items she had purchased with one of my family gifts.

I feel dismayed that this is Compassion’s policy. What I give to these children is a GIFT with no strings attached and no expectation/proof required that I’ll see (via photo) what was purchased with the money. Unfortunately, it seems that Compassion is “forcing” them to write a thank you letter AND include a photo. In fact, I was told that the child will be asked to REWRITE the letter and include the noted photo.

I sincerely ask Compassion to reverse this policy. The greatest joy I get from sponsoring children are their letters, even if it’s a few sentences about whatever is on their mind. Now this child is under some obligation to thank me, which probably makes her less excited to write and less excited about our child-sponsor relationship in general.
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Brent Sorrentino

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  • dismayed

Posted 1 month ago

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Mackenzie, Employee

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Hi Brent! Thank you so much for contacting us! 

I really appreciate your giving and generous heart  to bless Jhailin with a birthday gift. Your attitude towards sponsorship and gift giving is very rare, and we appreciate the fact that you want to give freely with no expectations of getting something in return. 

The reason we have the photo and thank you letter as a requirement is so that we can ensure your donations are being used correctly and with financial integrity. Jhailin will not be required to send you a photo of the gift, but she will let you know how her gift was used. I apologize if you received different information about the photo when you called. 

I want to encourage you that Jhailin is not in trouble for not including the gift items in her letter. During letter writing day, our staff most likely forgot to remind her to write her thank you letter, so we understand that this happens from time to time. She definitely won't be punished or shamed for not including a thank you letter. 

Thank you so much for the letters and gifts that you send to your children. I appreciate the trust and generosity that you share with your children. 
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Laura Allen

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Personally, I am thankful that Compassion has this policy. Knowing what a child got with gift money helps me understand more about my child’s needs and their life in general. Knowing, for example, that gift money was used to purchase a pig or goat means that I can ask the child about their animal in future letters. Also, I treasure every photograph of my child and, when I receive one, their family! It helps me feel so much closer to them!