Lost letter?

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We sponsored Kayitesi Jolly (RW8500045) in late July. We wrote a long detailed letter (contained photos) in August. We just received a letter from her stating that she hadn't received a letter yet. What happened to our letter? I have the letter saved on my computer so we can resend it if necessary. We intended to send a Christmas letter but I don't want to send anything if she isn't going to get it. We are very disappointed. Did she get presents from the money we sent for that?
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Anita Lawrence

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Posted 5 years ago

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Photo of tbmgvd


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Hi Anita,

I am sure that a Compassion representative will get back to you on Monday, but just so you don't have to wait that long I thought I'd pipe up. I've been a sponsor since 2000, so I've gotten familiar with the process. The letter-sending process is actually pretty complicated, so it takes several months for a letter to go between you and your sponsored child. For example, for many years I received letters from my sponsored child in Kenya (who just graduated from the program!) four months after she wrote them (later the lag was about three months, I think because the area got some better roads). She lived in a remote area without regular postal service. I'm not exactly sure of the whole process, but you can imagine how long it would take for her letter to get to me ... first it would wait at the center until someone could travel to a larger town to mail all the children's letters. Then it would go to the country office, and a translator would translate it (and hundreds of other letters from children!). The letters get sent in bulk from the country offices to the central office in Colorado in order to save on postage, so my child's letter would wait there until the box was full and ready to send. Finally the letter gets to the Colorado office, and the staff there checks it for any problems and records it, and finally mails it off to me. And the process in reverse is similarly lengthy, with checking for problematic content, bulk mailing, translation, and transport to a remote area.

To sum up, I always expect letters to take a good 3-4 months to go back and forth. So if you sent a letter in August, you could expect your child to receive it in November or December. If you receive a letter, you can expect it was written several months previously. This means that it can take about six months to get a response to a specific letter, but if you keep sending letters in the meantime, you eventually have a pretty good flow going back and forth.

Hope that helps! Letters are such a blessing, but it definitely takes patience! :-)
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Anita, I am so very sorry that you're disappointed with the letter you received from your child. I completely understand that it must have been very discouraging to send such a personal and lengthy letter to your child only to receive a letter from her saying she did not receive one. I certainly want to clarify any concerns this may have caused for you. 

Please rest assured that Kayitesi receives every letter, sticker, and sweet photo that you send to her! Our records indicate that you sent one letter in the middle of August and one letter towards the end of November. We appreciate you investing in building a relationship with her! To elaborate just a bit on the kind explanation tbmgvd gave above; because it takes 2-3 months for letters to be delivered both ways, your letter that you sent in the middle of August would have reached Kayitesi sometime towards the end of October/beginning of November. I see that a letter was received in our office from her on November 24th. This means that she had most likely written this letter sometime in September and she would not yet have received your letter that you sent in August. For a letter written in August, you can look forward to receiving a response to that letter sometime in the beginning of February. I apologize for any confusion and I certainly hope that this clears up any hesitancy this situation might have caused you. 

I see that you gave a very generous gift towards our Christmas Gift Program on November 24th. With this fund, we purchase a meaningful gift specifically for each child and help purchase gifts for children who are not yet sponsored or whose sponsors are
not able to give. We do this because we want every child to receive a gift and to be included in a special Christmas celebration at their church-based center.

The deadline for Christmas giving is October 31st to ensure the gifts reach the children on time for Christmas. A gift has already been sent to your child and the money you gave at the end of November will reimburse the fund that was used to give your child a Christmas present and will be used for Christmas gifts for next year. What matters the most is that Kayitesi will be told and know that the gift she receives is from you - making it even more special. Last year, we were able to provide each child with a gift of approximately a $15 value - thanks to generous sponsors and donors like you. And as always, 100% of your donation will be used for Christmas gifts. Nothing is ever taken out for
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Laura Evans

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Why hello Mrs. Lawrence :)  Let me say that mom and I have worked with Compassion for a very, very long time!!  I can guarantee your child receives everything you send her.  What probably happened is she wrote that letter before she got your letter.  (as stated above).  I am so excited for you that you sponsor a child through Compassion.  You will not regret it in the least!  Say hello to everyone for me and have a great Christmas!!  Laura  

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