My child keeps writing the same things in the letters

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  • Updated 5 months ago
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  • (Edited)
How do children write letters? I just received one yesterday and in it, my child says the same things over and over again. (I'm fine, how are you... I'm fine how are you...) In the 3 or 4 years I have sponsored her, I don't know anything about her because all the letters say the same things - even though I ask questions in my letters to her. The only things I know about her are from the information I get from Compassion. It's a little disappointing, and it causes me to wonder if any of my letters are even getting to her. Also - there are never dates on the letters, so I have no idea how old this letter even is.
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Shayna Anderson

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Posted 6 years ago

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Susan

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Official Response
I'm so sorry to hear that you're frustrated and discouraged with your letters from your child. Please be assured that your child is receiving your letters. It is important to keep in mind that letter writing is a new concept for the children in our programs. Typically, they are more prone to verbal communication than they are to written communication. Often, they will need a staff worker or family member to assist them in writing. The project will hold a day for all of the children to get together to write to their sponsors at one time. In this situation, it is common for the project worker towrite a few things on the board for the children to copy down in their letter, in order to help them along.

To help improve the correspondence with your child, I would suggest responding to each letter you receive from Julianna. This way, your letters will be more fresh in her mind so that she can be more responsive to them. You might try highlighting or underlining your questions so that they stand out to Julianna. This will let her know that you would love to have a response to that particular question. With these suggestions, you should hopefully see an improvement in the content of Julianna's letters.

If, after trying the tips above, she continues to say the same things, and not answer your questions, let me know. We can have staff work with Julianna to help improve her letters. In this case, it would be helpful to have a sample of these letters so that I can show staff what went wrong. You can send them in any of the following ways:

-Email: Scan and attach the letters in an email to ciinfo@us.ci.org

-Fax: Send the letters via fax to 719-487-4828

-Mail: Send the letters via mail to:

Compassion International

Attn. Susan, SDR

Colorado Springs, CO 80997

(Edited)
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Addyson

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my mom's child is the same way. after 6 years why hasn't she learned better writing skills. isn't that a class at the center?
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Susan

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Addyson, I am so sorry for the frustration that you and your mother are feeling. :( I know it is difficult to write to a child and not feel like you are getting very much back. We do work with each child individually on their letter writing skills. As with all students, some kids are naturals and others struggle in this area. Add in the fact that many children in poverty in developing nations are more comfortable with verbal communication and have few literate role models in their lives. This is not an excuse but just to help bring a little awareness to the challenges we face. That said, if your mom would like us to work more closely with her child to make sure we can improve his or her writing skills, please ask her to send us a copy of some sample letters so we can show what went wrong. You can find the contact information to send the letters above. 
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Jessica Dryer

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I'm in the same boat. We hadn't heard from our child in a few months and just received a letter from her yesterday. I have two daughters, one who is old enough to be involved in praying for and writing to our sponsored child. We eaerly respond to each letter right away. Our sponsored child celebrated a birthday in October and we sent her three special cards and my girls color her big pictures each time and we always send something special along with our letters. We also always ask questions or tell her more about ourselves. We've been sponsoring her almost a year and have sent her pictures and filled her in on our family and our children and pets, etc. In her last letter to us, she asked me (because it is my name on the sponsorship) whether or not I have any children???

If she has been getting our letters and colorings and drawings and cards, I don't see any way that she could wonder if I had any children...especially since one is almost the same age as her and we've mentioned that every time. I feel disheartened and saddened that my daughter is building a relationship with someone who potentially isn't even getting the things we send to her. I just don't know what to do about it really.
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Sarah Heacock Schreffler

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That is so cool Jennifer. I am pondering a trip to Guatemala and had not even considered that the group trips will also show the background of how the letter process works after the letter hits the country!
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Jennifer

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I think visiting the national office is pretty standard, and you'd see at least some aspect of the letters (the other time I saw translating).  You also learn all sorts of other aspects about Compassion's administration, depending on the country office and who is there!  In one trip we met the president, the leader of the medical programs, and had devotions with the staff.  The other we saw the accounting/finances (such as what happens when you send a family gift) and the letter room.  All in all, during the trips they show you a lot of different aspects of how Compassion runs, and take you to different centers to see it in action!
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Hilary Hopkins

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Visiting the national office is always a treat! It’s neat to see the letter process on that side of things. One cool thing that happened in Honduras, is that there was a pile of letters waiting to be delivered and my trip leader told me to pull one out for a pic. And I just happened to grab a letter that I had written to one of my kids!! It was so cool seeing it waiting to be delivered!
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Gini Hart

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Hi Jennifer
Your comments are helpful and somewhat close to what I am hoping to hear but still not making sense to me that postage is avoided when the letters I am receiving are through the mail.  I also noticed the President's salary is $367k per year, very high; and the near 20% ratio of admin to funding is well over the high standard of 10%.  As a CFO of a non profit I learned anything over 10% is a non-starter.  I have a lot of questions here and am being advised to pull out at this point.  Hoping to hear from the company tomorrow with good answers.  Gini
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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. 
 
 
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Julie Hartland

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Does my child really get what we are sending?.


I am beginning to not trust compassion international. Our child writes and doesn't seem to know anything about us, we send pictures and give lots of details and yet she writes and asks things she and ALL of Compassion worker should EASILY know based on the pictures and ALL the details we are always writing??? A few times she thanked us for ordinary things such as stickers but recently asked if we have children??? We have talked extensively about them so that doesn't make sense? I just want to do the right thing but don't want to be taken either as we can be donating elsewhere. Thoughts?
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Susan, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Social Media

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Julie, I'm sorry to hear that you're beginning to not trust us! I sincerely apologize for any confusion or frustration we may have caused. 

I merged you onto this conversation from a few days ago because you seemed to have similar concerns. Similar to Jessica's situation, you have a young six year old girl. She probably has a volunteer helping her write her letters. The letters are usually written on a scheduled day at the center, much like a school assignment, so that tutors can be on hand to help each child. 

It looks like you've been blessed to receive five letters from Silvia and then you've sent two to her this year! One thing you could do to help improve the correspondence with your child, is trying to responding to each letter you receive from Silvia. This way, as I told Shayna, your letters will be more fresh in Silvia's mind so that she can be more responsive to them. 

If after trying this, the letters do not improve, please let me know. 
(Edited)
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William Blair

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What if the sponsor children brought past letters with them on letter writing day? That way the staff can look over the letters and better help them answer questions. I've received many letters with the same things and most of the time with more information.

I've been to visit some of my sponsor kids and you definitely step into a different world.

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Emily

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Hi William! You're absolutely right, this would greatly help the child to address questions and ensure things are not consistently repeated in each response letter. The children are allowed to take their letters home to keep in a safe place and show to their families, however. Because of this, sometimes the child forgets to bring that letter back to the project on letter writing day. We encourage sponsor's to highlight and bullet point their questions and our staff can take note of these questions in their own records so that if the child forgets their letter on writing day, they are able to better help the child in responding to the past letter. 

I am so encouraged that you have been to visit your children! I know that it is something they will never forget and I hope you also enjoyed your time with them :). I actually see that you're going on another trip to Nicaragua in March with us! Have a safe and blessed trip. 
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William Blair

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Hi Emily.Actually I'm going to El Salvador in March.In one of the posts someone said her sponsor child wants to be a doctor.Mine in El Salvador does too.I'll talk to him about this when I am there.Something must have caught his attention at the doctor's office for him to want to do this.

I was there in 2012 and met some LDP students,2 that will be doctors.I'll tell him about that also.

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Marji Hughes

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Same Letter Different Day.


My sponsored child recently graduated from the program. In the beginning, I believed strongly in this ministry, going through the training to become a volunteer child advocate & working tirelessly to increase awareness & help raise up sponsors. After a few years however, I began to loose heart. From the outset of the relationship, every letter I received from my sponsored child (and I have saved them all) had the same content - none of which was ever response to the content of my letters - not one of my questions was answered - not one attempt to connect was successful. I found myself essentially answering the same questions each time I wrote a response, only to have him ask them again as if it were the first time we had corresponded.
I contacted Compassion, but was given simplistic and what felt like evasive answers. While I continued to pray for the child and provide financial support, I eventually stopped writing letters and working as an advocate. I have lost confidence in Compassion and am therefore unable to commit to sponsoring another child - and that makes me sad on so many levels.
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Stephanie Joan

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agree
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Sierra, Employee

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Kellie, I'm so sorry to hear that this is your impression of our letter-writing and sponsorship process. If you would like direct answers for all of your specific concerns (your child switching genders in letters, etc.), please let us know and provide us with your sponsor number, and we'd be happy to have a discussion with you. We are so thankful for your sponsorship and support of your sponsored child.
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Gini Hart

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Sarah and Sierra, 
I think you are missing the point here.  If Compassion is willing to manipulate this process, we cannot trust they are also behaving with integrity in every other manner, including the funding of the children.  Financial reports can be manipulated to look good.  In the end, trust is needed to be involved in something like this.  I can't blindly offer support to an organization that proves itself to be anything less than at least painfully honest!  I will wait to hear the response from my post made today before cancelling but at this stage it's unlikely I can continue without strong support of the authenticity of the letters.  I am told in the correspondence they come with that each child has only one sponsor.  Yet color brochures and pictures in professionally done literature with each letter makes it more than just a bit difficult to believe.  Sponsors likely want to support this type of effort.  But if we cannot trust the process, we cannot trust the organization.  Thanks for listening.  I sincerely hope to find out somehow I am wrong about Compassion but it is going to take some explaining, not sidestepping, in order to get there at this point.  Thanks again.
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Gini Hart

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P.S. I think I saw somewhere on the site there are over 1 million children in this program.  8x11 color copies run over $1/page.  At $1 per 8x11 color copy, which is actually low, that's $1 million per page per letter.  I get at least 2 pages back, so if that's typical, that's $2 million per child per letter sent ... hard to imagine that's possible.  Much more likely these are not single copies but each sent out to lots of people.  I'd like to help, but not if the organization feels they need to do this kind or manipulation to get funded.  Also super disappointing it's considered a Christian organization.  I sure hope to become convinced I am wrong.  Next reply from the org needs to be much more than hand holding and side stepping the real concern here.  Thank you 
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Shannon Massey, Employee

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Hi Gini, 

I am just going through your posts now to consolidate your concerns and will be responding above shortly. 
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abbyhick.8

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
help getting to know my child.


I have been a sponsor of a boy in Ghana since Aug 2009.  In those 6 years, with writing letters and him responding I still hardly know him.  It is really frustrating me - I pray that he will tell me something about himself - something different than what he has been telling me for years.  I guess I'm struggling to connect with him which is disheartening to me.  

Do you have any tips for me on how to connect better with him? 
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Emily

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Hi Abby! I am so sorry that you are not feeling connected to Augustine after having sponsored him for several years now. I merged your conversation because other sponsor's have also struggled with building a relationship with their child. We understand that the letter writing process can be frustrating. We appreciate the commitment you are making to bless his life with your letters despite the lack of information he tells you in his letters. We always encourage sponsors to consider this your own personal ministry to your child. While his responses may not be full of quality and value, you are still impacting his life in such a positive way. They do not always know how to express their thanks, or communicate their feelings, schedules, hopes and dreams to us in a letter. I encourage you to keep feeding love into Augustine and like Kaitlyn suggested, asking more specific questions to get him to open up. Even highlight or bullet point your questions to make a point of them. I pray that your relationship with him only continues to grow and become deeper as he gets older and the more that you write and respond to his letters. :)
(Edited)
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abbyhick.8

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Thank you, I appreciate it.  I have not lost hope in Compassion I truly believe in your program and I am excited to be apart of it.  
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Chuck Welch

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It is easy to wonder if this is a legitimate ministry. Do the children even exist? and if so, Do they get the benefits promised through sponsorship? We were invited to "visit" our child in Uganda, but the trip was not even to Uganda. I am confident I will never be able to visit Uganda and meet her in person, so trust is crucial. Hopefully there are administrative explanations, but it is very understandable to question the credibility of Compassion.
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Hilary Hopkins

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I do not work for Compassion, but I can tell you that the children most certainly do exist. I have gone on trips with Compassion and I have met 17 of my sponsored children. They have all shown me letters and pictures and gifts that I had sent them. I hope that a Compassion employee will reply to this and help to regain your trust in Compassion.
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Emily

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Chuck, I am a huge advocate for researching ministries I partner with before I invest time and money into them. We value you as a sponsor and I am saddened that our invitation to you has caused your trust in us to waiver. We are a ministry founded on Christ and as such, we value stewardship and integrity and want you to be confident in the impact you're making in your child's life. 

Without seeing the invitation you received, I am unclear as to what it said specifically. Was this an email invitation? If you're able to send us the email you received to socialmedia@compassion.com, I would be happy to take a look at it to clear up any confusion. If any links we provided you were incorrect, I deeply apologize and will pass this information along. Compassion has multiple trips throughout each year and often times the invitations to our sponsor's lead to the tours and visits page on our website. This page provides information on multiple upcoming tours to many of our countries, including your child's. Please know that our intention was not to provide you with inaccurate information. You can view our upcoming January 2015 tour to Uganda, here.

Although we do provide the opportunity to meet your child and see our projects at work first hand, we understand that this is not possible for everyone. Therefore, it is important to us that you have resources providing information on how your money is used and assurance that the investment you're making is helping to pull a child out of poverty. 

If you have concerns about our financial integrity, I would encourage you to please check out our ratings on Charity navigators or check our our budget. You might read this article in which a third party organization looked at the effectiveness of our programs in the 80's and 90's by interviewing former sponsored children.

I want to encourage you that Eva is a real child with value and potential. Your support is going towards programs that benefit Eva specifically in the four areas of holistic child development - economic, social, physical, and spiritual.  Most importantly, she is hearing the gospel and being told that she is loved and treasured by Jesus. I pray this information helps but please don't hesitate to let me know if you have any further questions about our ministry and we are happy to answer them for you. 
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Lindsee

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I don't work for Compassion either, but I trust in Compassion wholeheartedly based on the letters I have received from my sponsored children. I have not been able to visit any of my girls, and have only sponsored for a short time (less than a year), but I'm confident that the girls are real and that they receive my letters. So far, in the letters that I have received, the questions that I asked have been answered. I've also heard from others of funny questions or comments made by the children that I seriously doubt could be made up by an adult writing these letters as fake.
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heather o

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I think it is important to remember our kids don't have the same opportunities to do different things on a day to day basis that we do. It is also important to remember that our kids may not be able to express themselves well, whether it be because of age, shyness, or personality. I have had the pleasure of writing two wonderful young men in Uganda. They would repeat a few things in each letter but there were different points too. I can to realize the stuff they repeated was the stuff that was very important to them. One wrote of his dream to be a doctor and continually thanked us for a small gift we sent him and the letters, pictures, and stickers we sent. The other loves to update us on his grades and farming (we have that in common) and thank us for his gift, letters, pictures, and stickers. Both boys wrote wonderful letters but they were very different. One is very open about his life while the other a bit more reserved. The type of letters you get depend on a number of things, mostly the child's personality, age, and communication skills. The important thing to remember is to write your child and let them know that you and God love them and believe in them.
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Margie Manchester Scotten

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I can really understand all of that but we have sent pictures, asked very easy questions and still no response but things like "I go to school, I pray for you, I like _____ sport, we celebrate ______ holiday."   He is now 14 and I just think he could respond a little more which is why I am asking if my child is getting the money and or none is going to him.  We answer his questions. I am not doing this for letters or self gratification, I am doing it as a way to serve the Lord.  By the time my child ages out we will have supported him for 11 years.  This has not been easy as jobs have changed, lost, money decreased, medical bills in the thousands and putting a child through college.  We have not used our  money in a careless way and we have no debt but for the medical bills.  Even though it would be so easy to take the money we give to Compassion and pay those bills we are still committed to give this child money.  So you see, we really are giving to us, very much money.  I thank you for your reply. 
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Emily

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Margie, I understand your frustration and we certainly want to make sure Yader is doing alright and is receiving help in improving his letters. Your family has been so faithful in sponsoring this child for such a long time. You have had the opportunity to watch him grow and I want to encourage you that your child is still receiving assistance at the project through the support that you send. Please rest assured that if there ever comes a point when there is a change in your child's status in our program and he is no longer attending the project or receiving your support, we will be sure to contact you directly.

I know that Susan and I have been exchanging emails with you regarding your concerns and please know that we have contacted our field staff in Nicaragua regarding this issue. We are still waiting to hear a response from them but a few days ago I followed up with our country office and should hear back from them very soon. We will contact you as soon as we receive a response. 
(Edited)
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Emily

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Margie, I have heard back from our office in Nicaragua and have sent you an email with new letters from Yader and additional information :). Please let me know if you do not receive this email. Thank you SO much as I know you have been very patient with us regarding your concerns. Merry Christmas!
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PJ Martins

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I'm in the same boat, the child I'm sponsoring in Mexico is 13 years old, she also asks the same questions over and over, I had just sent her a letter earlier this year about a trip I went on in Mexico for vacation, yet the letter I received today asked if I've taken any vacations recently. In some of my letters I've even written in spanish with what I've learned from my wife and my trip to Mexico.
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Adam

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PJ, I'm so sorry to hear that you are frustrated and don't feel like your relationship with your sponsored child is developing the way you would like for it to. Please know that you are making a huge impact in your child's life and that she values and treasures every letter that she receives from you. Most of the time when children in the program receive a letter they immediately take that letter home and put it in a safe place to save them. I've heard of many children saving every letter that their sponsors ever send to them. Your child might receive a letter from you but then not sit down at the center to write you a letter until several weeks later and most likely they would not have the last letter you sent to them in front of them at that time. Also, each child is different but many children living in poverty in developing nations are much more comfortable with verbal communication and some may struggle with the concept of communication through writing. Your sponsored girl probably has a volunteer helping her with writing her letters to you and they may suggest certain topics or questions to her to ask or say in her letters. She may not know how to really express her thanks, or her feelings or all of the things going on in her life in a letter yet. I would just encourage you to view this as your own personal ministry to your sponsored child and keep on sending encouraging letters to her reminding her that she's special and that you love her and that our Heavenly Father loves her and treasures her deeply. Poverty tells children that they don't matter and that their lives won't amount to anything, but your letters are helping your child to not believe those lies and they help to give her hope for her future. Your child probably thinks the world of you. If you have a specific question that you would like answered in a letter, I would encourage you to highlight it or maybe list the questions in bullet points so they stand out more. I know it takes patience and the process can be frustrating at times, but please know that you are making a positive impact to help and bless your child even if she is not really able to communicate that to you yet.
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CherynP

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We're in the same situation as others commenting here. We have received 6 letters in 2 years of sponsorship. We've sent stickers, family pictures, and our children have drawn pictures. Not once were any of these items mentioned nor our Christmas or birthday cards. Hearing what was received for a gift (Christmas & Birthday) chosen by Compassion would be fantastic. We've also not received answers to any specific questions. We did start this as a family project. To be honest if it weren't for the automatic charge to our credit card we would long ago have lost heart in monthly contributions. Our church is having a rather large financial campaign right now. I've had to pray and search deeply to continue this sponsorship over a larger contribution to impact children here at home.
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Susan

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Cheryn, I wanted to let you know that I received your email and sent the inquiry just a few moments ago. Thank you for providing those letter copies! I will be in touch shortly with what we find out from our office in Kenya. 
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Teresa Dawn

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I don't know if this makes a difference or not... but Cheryn, you mentioned mailing several things at the same time... The child would receive them together because the projects only get mail once a month for most projects. 
Is it possible these are being counted as one mailing? 
I am happy to hear it's being looked into for you though! 
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Emily

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Cheryn, I pray you had a blessed Christmas! We have received a response from our office in Kenya regarding your concerns about your letters to and from Joyce. Susan is out of this office on holiday this week but I wanted to get this response out quickly to you. I sent you just send you an email with the information we've received. 
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CherynP

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I received you email. Thank you for looking into this.
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Emily

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Our pleasure, Cheryn! Thanks for your patience with us as we worked with our field staff and your child. God bless you and have a blessed rest of your week :).
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Jeremy

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I have all the same questions. I've written letters to our child on behalf of our family, and my daughter, 11, who was 7 or 8 when we started sponsoring our child, has written letters as well. Every time  we receive a letter they are addressed to me...my first name, even though I always ended our letter with all of our names. Letters my daughter has written, we've yet to see a reply saying anything like, "Hi Lily, thanks for writing me" or something more personal like that; like my daughter's letters are being read by our sponsored child and that she understands my daughter is writing her specifically and responding to answer her specific questions. I understand the differences in culture, shyness, etc. However, it is a little bizarre.

The red flag to me was that since I set up the account,  is my first name being used by default in responses? Is a child, my sponsored child, even writing my letters? It seems a little scripted... robotic...and impersonal. There has been nothing answered to questions we've written. In addition to always asking specific questions about school and family, we wrote and sent pictures of our family and pictures our new baby boy. Our replies contain nothing referencing what we've asked. I mean, being her sponsor for 4 years or so, you'd think that a reply would contain some kind of excitement or reference to our new baby boy. I'm not saying I need our child to say anything about our baby, but it would seem like a legitimate response if ANY letter contained something that seemed like our letters were being read and comprehended by a live person. Also, my latest letter was addressed, "Hi dear sponsor"... never "Hello Smith Family!" or something a real person would write that we've been writing for 4 years or so.  It also is casting a cloud of doubt over my daughter who I'm trying to instill good values, that giving to a charity is a responsibility we are fortunate enough to be able to take part in. Also, why do the letters seem like scans? It would be nice to get the real letter... and feel real crayons being drawn on the paper... it's weird.

(Edited)
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Cathee Kancel

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Can you make copies before they take them hom
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Christina, Employee

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Hi Cathee! We greatly appreciate your helpful feedback and suggestions :). Each church that we partner with typically has a couple hundred children in their program. Regrettably, many of these programs do not have the resources available to make copies of every child's letter to keep at the student center. This would require a lot of time, paper, electricity, storage room, etc. We want to ensure the field staff are able to invest their time and efforts into providing holistic support to the kiddos. I understand your desire to receive more answers from your child. We have seen some great results from supporters listing out their questions, numbering them, or even highlighting their questions :). This will bring more attention to the questions your child should be answering, and it will make your questions stand out to the tutors as well. I hope this is helpful! Thank you so much for your patience, grace, and understanding, and we are happy to take your feedback into consideration :). Have a blessed day! 
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Jennifer

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Some centers keep crazy good records. I was shocked when visiting my child and seeing her records: they had handwritten a copy of every letter she wrote to me for tracking purposes. I don't think we'd have patience for that here!
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Meg

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What doesn't make sense to me is that Compassion International insists that writing letters is a foreign concept to the children in their programs, and the kids can't remember photos or questions they received in letters from their sponsors (because the kids only write back on letter-writing day.) After many years, older children should be able to remember basic information about their sponsor and his or her family (whether the sponsor has children or pets).  The youth I sponsor through other Christian-based programs are able to write and to respond to questions, even though their command of English is not perfect. They acknowledge the bookmarks and gifts I have sent.  I sometimes also receive photos of my sponsored child, holding the most recent letter I sent.
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Christina, Employee

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Meg, I am deeply sorry for any doubts or frustration caused by our responses to these types of questions about child letters. I hear your concerns, and I respect your perspective and opinions. We are grateful for your heart for this ministry and your desire to foster relationships with children in need. Please know that our desire is for every sponsor to have this opportunity to develop a meaningful relationship with their child. I am glad to hear that you are having a good experience with writing to your other children, and we’re happy that you are fulfilling the calling God has placed on your heart. We appreciate you asking these questions, and I’m happy to help.

When we say that letter-writing is a foreign concept for many of the beneficiaries in our program, we are usually referring to the younger kiddos because letter-writing is typically outside their experience and knowledge. Of course, there may be many reasons for a child to not write well or not know what to say. For example, many children may feel timid or have a lack of confidence when it comes to writing. It is also quite common for children to be behind in their schooling due to a lack of opportunity or funds to pay for school fees. Therefore, we have the younger kiddos write using form letters where they can fill in blanks and circle their answers. As the child gets older, they will begin to write their own letters without the assistance of a tutor. Also, as they begin writing, they might rely heavily on the subjects or topics recommended by the tutor, so their letters may seem similar. Our hope is that their confidence in writing may grow stronger over time. 

When a sponsor is writing regularly, about once every 1-2 months, a good letter-writing relationship should be built over time. If this is the case, then I completely agree that older kiddos should begin to remember some information about their sponsor and be able to answer questions. However, to err is human, and they might still forget some answers to questions previously asked. I know that I have asked my own sponsor child some same or similar questions a couple of times, and he might think the same thing of me. I don’t always have the time or the ability to go back and re-read all of his letters, which may result in similar topics being discussed. My hope is that he will be gracious and understanding of my forgetfulness :). 

Please know that even if your children have not acknowledged each letter or bookmark in the past, they have indeed received everything you’ve sent. If there were any reason we were not able to deliver your letter or items to your child, we would have notified you and let you know why. I completely understand your desire to receive a confirmation since you were sending letters to children across the world, but please rest assured that your items were indeed successfully given your children. When a monetary gift over $20 is sent, the child is required to write a special letter to thank their sponsor and let them know what was purchased. Due to the time required for gifts to be processed, delivered, and utilized, it may take up to six months to receive a thank you letter.  

I cannot express how sorry I am to hear of the doubts you have about Compassion and that your letter-writing experience did not meet your expectations. We sincerely look forward to earning your trust and proving our hearts for serving our sponsors and children with excellence.
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Teresa Dawn

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I am not staff but if it helps, the kids Address letters to whoevers name is on the account as that is how they are instructed to do so at the projects. You can get your daughter's name added to the account to and then letters would be addressed to her as well if you want to. Also as far as the letters being scanned, they are now scanned in order to save money on Postage and time for delivery so that we can get them quicker. You are able to request that you got the original letters though and if you log into your online account it gives you the option to get the letters as scans or Originals. If you get the original letters it will have the child's crayon accept her on it but it might take several months longer to reach you as it will not be mailed until there is Enough original letters going out at once to save money on postage. Also the original letters are not translated because the scanner is what translates them, so if your child is writing in English that would be fine. Are there way the letters will be available on your account and they should be translated to there the translation will just not be written on the original letter. You would also be able to see them ahead of time on your account and you would get them on the account before they arrive in the mail. Anyways like I said not staff, I'm sure somebody that works for compassion will be able to help you more tomorrow
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Sierra, Employee

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Thank you, Teresa! That's some awesome insight. :)