New Letter Policy

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  • Updated 4 years ago
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I contacted Compassion in March and asked about sending
photos printed on photo paper.  I was told to keep the total thickness
less than 1/4".  Nothing was said about a new policy.  I spent
over $500 in print costs to have several hundred photos printed.  In April, I sent several printed photos to my sponsored children.

In May I received the notice of the new policy. Any honorable CEO would have given a projected effective date. The Compassion CEO decided to implement the new policy without any chance for me to send the photos that I had prepared.  Had a reasonable time frame been delineated I could have sent the photos to my sponsored children. 

Compassion clams to have the children’s’ best interest in mind, but I believe the reason for this change was to save money so the CEO could grant himself a pay raise.  Has he ever held a real photo in his hands? 

 

1.    What will happen to the photos I send?  Or should I bother to send any photos?

2.    Will the photos I send be scanned?  This will degrade the quality.  As a photographer, a scan of my photos is an insult.  Why deprive the children of the joy of holding a real photograph on photo paper? 

 

I have not heard from my sponsored children since I sent the printed photos.  I doubt if they received them.  What happened to the photos? I also wrote to them in January and I have not had a reply.  I doubt if they received the letters.

I also received a letter from Compassion that stated that there was a problem with the government of the country in which one of my sponsored children lives.  Does this child receive my letters?  I have not heard from him in over seven months.  Where does the money I send to this child go, since he is not able to receive the funds, according to the letter.

Compassion seems more concerned about maintain sponsors than it does about being honest and transparent. I am suspicious that the sponsored child with the government problem is no longer in the program. If that is the case, please inform me.

I tried the new letter writing tool. Why am I forced to crop my images?  Why can't they be scanned in the aspect ratio I intended?  If you are going to make a change, at least do it right! 

With this new system I am not able to explain the location or anything about the photos I sent.  My idea was to send a note with each packet that explained each photo. 

When do my children age-out? 

 

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Robert

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Posted 4 years ago

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Adam

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Hi Robert. I’m sorry that you’re upset with Compassion’s new letter policy. I don’t work for Compassion, I’m another sponsor like you, but hopefully I can help to address some of your questions and concerns. First of all, thank you so much for taking the time and effort to take photos and have them printed and send them to your sponsored children. I know that those photos will be a huge blessing to them and those may have been sent under the old guidelines rather than being scanned. I’m sure that one of the ladies at Compassion who manage this forum will be able to give you more information when they are back in the office on Monday, but I know that Compassion will inform you if they’re ever not able to send an item that they receive from you for one of your sponsored children.

Under the new system, we are able to send up to six sheets at a time, including a personal letter, to our sponsored kids and all of those sheets will be scanned and sent electronically with the exception of stickers, bookmarks, and musical greeting cards. I hope that you will continue to send photos to your sponsored children, and I want to encourage you that the scan quality of the new system is exceptional and your children will be so glad to receive them.

I truly do believe that Compassion prayerfully makes decisions with the best interest of the children they serve in mind. I know that they have received a lot of feedback over the years from sponsors about the length of time that it takes to send and receive letters and so I believe this new system was put in place to try to address that issue and foster better communication and relationships between sponsors and sponsored children as the new system will move letters back and forth much faster than the old system. I understand that you’re upset, but Mr. Mellado is a very kind and respectable and honorable man and I believe that he does a wonderful job leading Compassion. Please do not disparage his personal character or make unfounded accusations about him because you’re upset about Compassion’s policies. I’m sure that the decisions that were made were thoughtfully made by many intelligent people and based on more information that you or I have available to us. I know that Compassion does their very best to serve the children in their programs as well as us as sponsors.

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Robert

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When  new policy is implemented it is a small consideration to inform those with a vested interest and to impose a timeline for implementation.  This was not done.  You are right, I have no way to know the true character of the CEO.  However, I can tell enough about his leadership skills to gain some insight into how he runs this operation.

I have not heard from my sponsored children in over seven months.  This is not typical.  That is why I wonder if they received the letters I sent with the printed photos.  I suspect there is a problem and I am not being informed.

Today I tried to use the new system and it forces me to crop my photos.  Also, I have no way to choose the size.  They will receive a small scan of my work.  I am a skilled photographer.  I selected the photos I wanted to share and at considerable expense had them printed on photo paper and a nice size.  I sorted them into envelopes and wrote a description of each photo that was included.  Now, for the sake of time, all of my work is for nothing. 

I doubt if a scan can match the quality of a printed image on photo paper. 

What will happen if I send the photos that I have?  Will they be scanned or discarded?

And what disappoints me the most is that the children will not be able to hold a real photo in their hands.  I am willing to pay the postage to send them the printed photos. 
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Christina, Employee

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Robert, I’m so sorry for the frustration and confusion these new changes have caused. We recognize that we could have communicated these updates better, and for that we are deeply sorry. Our heart and mission around these updates has been to increase our efficiency as a ministry and to serve our children better. Our goal has been to help sponsors have closer relationships with their children. I apologize for the miscommunication about when this new policy would have taken effect. Rest assured that anything we received by April 11th was sent according to the previous guidelines. We don’t mean to take anything away from the children, and we understand that a scanned image will not be the exact same as the original. However, they will be high quality prints. We respect your art, and we greatly appreciate that you wish to share your art with your sweet boys.

I’m so sorry you haven’t heard from your children in so long! I have sent inquiries for both Jardesom and Sharath to write you a new letter. We will be in contact with you as soon as we hear back from the country offices. This can take about 6 weeks. I guarantee you that your children have received your pictures, and I’m sure they were so excited and happy to get them! They must feel so treasured by you!

I understand the concern you must have for Sharath in India during this time. I’m so sorry you feel we weren’t fully transparent about this situation. I assure you that Sharath is still in the program and receiving your letters. We are
currently pursuing opportunities to protect our work in India and doing everything we can to resolve these issues as soon as possible. We anticipate having updating information to share by late July or August. In the meantime,
most of our centers in India are still operating, and letters are still being distributed. We are currently unable to send these funds to the programs. Instead, the money will go towards a general sponsorship fund that benefits other
Compassion children living in poverty. We would greatly appreciate your continued support. If you would like, we can provide you with a refund or credit your sponsorship account for this period.

We understand that there have been many limitations with the new letter writing system. You are welcome to send a full page photo, so you won’t have to crop it. One suggestion has been to make a collage in another system and add captions to them. Then, you can upload that collage as a full page photo template.

I can hear your concern and heart for your children, and that you just want to be able to share with them the things you love the most. We appreciate your valuable feedback, and we are exploring the possibilities of allowing sponsors to send things if they are willing to pay a little extra to cover the postage.

Thank you so much for all the love and support you have given to your precious boys for the past 5 1⁄2 years! Your love and care for them is very evident. The graduation age in both of these countries is 22 years old. Jardesom’s estimated graduation is in April of 2020, and Sharath’s estimated graduation is in March of 2022.

Again, we are deeply sorry for all the frustration this has caused you. We acknowledge that we did not handle these new updates in the best way. Please know that all of your feedback is valuable and it is being used to help us better communicate changes in the future. 
(Edited)
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Beth

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Robert, Regarding the size of the photos, I actually found that the new online system has a feature that allows me to send photo pages just like the ones I had been sending by postal mail. I just use PowerPoint to arrange, resize, crop my photos and add captions as I desire. Then I save the whole page as a photo and upload it onto the photo page when I do an online letter. I love sending photos to my sponsored children, and this feature actually made it easier for me. I'm sure your children love seeing all your beautiful photos!

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