Logistics of Letter Deliveries

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I want to get clarity on the whole letter delivery issue, as I am still unclear exactly how it all works despite reading through many explanations. I sponsored years ago when everything was still snail mail, and am wanting to understand more about differences in timing, etc.

If I am understanding what I am reading, it seems as if letters written and sent online are forwarded onto the compassion center in that particular country for translation and printing, then given to the child. Is this correct? I have read other explanations that seem to indicate that online letters are sent to the CO office, and printed out there. It is not clear to me if letters are forwarded electronically to field offices in the country of the child (which seems would be most efficient), or if copies are still sent by snail mail from CO?

Next question is, what is general average of time for my child to actually receive her translated letter if sent electronically? Seems like even a few weeks is a huge amount of time for letters that can be instantaneously sent electronically, and translation software is easily accessible. (Unlike the "old days" where it was all done manually). I see some people even saying a couple of months.

Lastly, if I write one letter a week, will my child generally receive one letter a week? Or will several be given at once because of how processing is done? I don't want my child to be overwhelmed with 5 letters at once to respond to.

Thank you.
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Dana Parker

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Posted 2 years ago

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KristenH, Champion

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Hi Dana, things have changed so much with letter writing in the past couple of years so it can get confusing!
Every letter is sent to the country office to be printed and translated. Even snail mail letters. If it's a snail mail letter then it's scanned and sent on to the country office to be printed.

The letters are then translated. They're using translation software, but each letter still has to be double checked for accuracy before it can be sent on to the local centers.
Depending on the remoteness of the center or the distance from the country office, your letter can take a while to reach its final destination.
I've personally seen some letters from my child take just a few weeks to reach me and others a few months.

Most centers have mail day once a month, so if you are writing weekly your child will probably receive a few letters on each mail day!
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I sincerely apologize for the confusion! As Kristen mentioned, the letter writing process has changed significantly in the last few years. Depending on how old the responses you were reading are, you might have gotten a different picture for how the letters are translated and delivered. 

Previously, we would print all online letters here in our USA office as we mailed everything to the country office and then to your child. Basically, everything would be physically mailed in this previous process. The length of time that letters took with the old system was between two to three months. 

Now with the new process, the majority of mail is scanned and sent electronically to our country offices. This significantly cuts down the time that it takes for letters to travel to and from your child. Once these scanned letters are received at the country office, they are translated by human translators using a translation software to speed up the process, printed, and then sent to your child. The whole process takes between a few weeks to a few months. 

We do still mail some items, including stickers, bookmarks, musical cards, and pop-up cards. If there is writing on these items, they are scanned for translation prior to being physically mailed. We will connect the translation with the item on the other end before giving the items to your child. This process of mailing physical paper items takes several months as we no longer mail items as regularly. 

The timeline for how quickly your letters will be received also depends on how far her center is from the country office. In some cases, centers are quite remote and they may only have a delivery once a month. This would mean that if you wrote once a week, your child would receive four letters once a month. In other cases, the center may be just across town from the country office and perhaps your child would receive a letter a  week. However, please keep in mind that your child will not write back that quickly. We have scheduled letter writing days in all of our center to ensure that the children are writing on a regular basis. Your child will write to you two scheduled letters and up to four reply letters for a total of six letters each year. If you are writing to your child regularly, this comes out to about a letter every two months from your child, regardless of whether or not you write weekly. Also, I typically encourage supporters to write however often they are able to sustain for the long haul. I have seen many supporters write daily or weekly and quickly get burned out. This is a marathon and not a sprint. Only you are able to decide what your limit is and how often you are able to write long term. 

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