No response from Compassion International on an issue that has been going on for a year and a half!

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Nobody from Compassion will answer my sister's questions on what her gift money was used for...FROM A YEAR AND A HALF AGO. She left two pleas for answers on http://www.ourcompassion.org/?p=journ... and neither one was addressed. I've had issues with acknowledgement of gifts also and I WANT TO KNOW WHY SHE'S BEEN DEALING WITH THIS FOR A YEAR AND A HALF.

A portion from a message on March 27 by Michelle Rausch:

3. Communication with Compassion staff regarding issues. I have been trying for over a year to find out information about my teenager in Haiti. I followed instructions........ Copied and highlighted the letters and sent them to headquarters. Waited. After a few months, contacted Compassion, who claimed they never received the information. Which was odd.... as I sent it with items for my children and THEY received their stuff. So I sent an email with the information attached. Waited longer...... Because I didn't want to be a bother. But at the urging of fellow OCers..... I eventually called again. NO RECORD OF ANY INQUIRY BEING STARTED!?!? Totally not understanding how that could be..... I shrugged and sent the email again, with a plea to the person at the other end to AT LEAST respond to my email and let me know it was received. NO RESPONSE. So I called again....... and was told that the inquiry was taken care of and my kid is fine and she got a suitcase and underware.

For one thing........ it was another child of mine who got a suitcase and underware with some gift money. And if a sponsor sends over $60 I thought I read that it was to be acknowledged in a letter from the child???

And another thing.... my girl obviously ISN'T "fine" because she went from being advanced in school and wanting to be a nurse and loving school........ to FAILING her grade level. This was due to health problems she's mentioned in every single letter I've received from her. So I wanted to send an inquiry because I'm worried and wanted to know if there was anything I can do. But I keep getting told to "just ask her in a letter." As if I haven't done that??? :(

From March 28 Michelle Rausch
Hi Shaina, I wrote below in a post about the issues I have been having getting information on a birthday gift I sent a year and a half ago... and a $100 Family Gift I sent in January of last year. I sent information to the same person three times: once by snail mail and twice by email. I called another three times. I was also inquiring about a health issue. (all this is explained below) What do you advise my next step to be?

Because even after all this time.... I would like to know. Especially about the health issue....but about the money issue as well because it was a struggle for our family to provide the family gifts to all the kids. My husband has refused to let me send any more money to my girl in Haiti until we find out from her what was bought with the previous $125. So that means she's missed out on one birthday gift... and we are approaching another birthday. I REALLY WANT to send her a gift, but I am not going to go against my husband. He is the one who provides for our family, and he has the right to not want money to go into a "void" without even the common courtesy of a thank you note from the child.

Also, it needs to be said that it would be a GOOD thing for the children to learn to write thank you notes. Especially as they normally don't receive gifts in their every day lives.... it is a part of being in society. If they do well in school and go out into the world, this is a skill that would be highly useful!
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Marci L. Ficht

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Posted 8 years ago

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Haley, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Operations

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Hey Marci, thanks for posting this issue. I can definately see the frustration and we want to resolve this issue as quickly as we can. I have asked one of our Call Center Supervisors to call Michelle in the comming week (we are closed on Saturday and Sunday) and get her a resolution as quickly as possible. I'm so sorry for the frustration! I just glanced at Michelle's account, and it looks like the person who she was sending inquiries to is no longer with Compassion, and hasn't been for several months. That's not an excuse, just something that I found.
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Marci L. Ficht

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Thank you....I just forwarded your reply to 'chelle - at first I thought you meant that her little girl was the one no longer with Compassion (I was watching a movie while reading...not recommended!) That's why I erased my first comment. :) Thank you for taking the time to answer my post! It means the world....to both of us!
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Haley, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Operations

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Oh no! That would be a horrible thing to misunderstand. :) As far as I could tell, the little girl is just fine, and still in the program. This support community is a great place to post questions or concerns because we are alerted via email to each post and can address them quickly. We try our best to monitor the OC journals, but there is no auto-altering feature when a question or comment has been posted, so we miss a lot of questions or concerns that may be posted on the OC journals.
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Haley, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Operations

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Hey Marci - just wanted to check in - I spoke with the Supervisor yesterday and researched the account with him. He is planning to call Michelle today.
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Marci L. Ficht

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Hullo, Haley! My sister called me yesterday to tell me that she talked to the nicest man regarding the situation and he's going to fix everything from here forward. She is VERY HAPPY...and that's all I wanted for her! She worries, ya know? And the more she asked questions with no response, the more dejected and discouraged she became! Apparently you were right and she kinda fell thru the cracks..which we all know happens sometimes. The good thing is that there's an inquiry now and she should know something soon.

Thank you, Haley....BIG TIME!!!! You have no idea what you've done...and I can't tell you on here because I'll get yelled at by somebody again who doesn't "get it" and just jumps into the conversations (like on blogs and OC). You get four thumbs up and an "Oh yeah! Go Haley! Go Haley!" from us. * insert BIG grin here *
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Haley, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Operations

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Yeah! That makes me happy! We definatley have a heart to help and I'm glad that we could get her taken care of. If you guys have any more questions - this is certainly the place to post them so that they get quick attention!
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Marci L. Ficht

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P.S. It still says the mood in here is a sad face....that's not right! We're very happy!!! Can you change that to a smiley face up there on the right? :)
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Haley, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Operations

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Oh, sadly no. It's OK though because it acurately represents how you felt when you posted and that is a valid feeling.
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Michelle Rausch

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Hi....... I'm the Michelle Rausch referenced above. I DID get a phone call from a lovely man who promised to help me send the inquiry about my Mircleje.

However, it has been 3 months and I haven't heard anything..... I called a week or so ago and was told I had to wait longer. I thought an inquiry was supposed to be six to eight weeks response time? I've read of others who sent their inquiry in long after I did... and they've gotten a response!

I'm in MAJOR panic attack mode as I have also not had a letter from Mircleje since the one she sent back in October saying that she failed ninth grade and that she was still sick. I'm dying to know how she is......... and the longer this drags on the more upset and fearful I am getting on her behalf. I just want to know that my girl is alright.....

Can anyone PLEASE help me???
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Shaina Moats

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Hey Michelle! It looks like we sent the memo to our field office on April 5. We just heard back from them on June 15 and sent a letter to you with the details of what we found out. You're welcome to give us a call if you would like to know now what the field replied with. We also processed a letter from Mircleje on June 4 that you should receive soon.
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Michelle Rausch

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Thank you for getting back to me Shaina. I couldn't wait.... so I called. :o)

The lady on the phone was able to tell me about Mircleje's health... The news isn't good. But at least now I know what she is dealing with and that Compassion is seeing to her medical bills.

However, the lady had no information regarding the financial gifts previously sent.... I'm hoping that the letter will address that. Or that Mircleje's letter says what was purchased.
I was told that if they don't.... to call back and they'll do another inquiry......

When you say that the letter from Mircleje was "processed on June 4th"...... does that mean that it was processed in Colorado? Or in Haiti? (I'm hoping Colorado)
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Shaina Moats

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The letter would have been scanned in Haiti and normally arrives in your mailbox 6-8 weeks after that date.
I checked in again on the memo we sent the field, and it looks like they did send us the information regarding her health but not the gifts. We've requested that information again in a reminder to them, no need to do another inquiry. I hope to have that information for you soon.
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Lizzie, Champion

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Hey just wanted to say I will be praying for your little girl. I hope she is better soon!
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Michelle Rausch

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Lizzie.... Thank you! That means a LOT to me!! I'm writing to her today and I'll add your name to the list of people who care and are praying for her. m really hoping and praying that something will get done to help her....
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Michelle Rausch

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I have been waiting a VERY long time and I am trying very hard to be patient and understanding.... I know mistakes happen and I am aware that I "fell through the cracks."

However. Every time I try and get this taken care of I trust that something is being done and yet I sit here with more questions now than answers.

1. I never received the letter from Compassion that was supposedly sent on June 15th. It has been 10 days..... surely I should have received it by now?

2. I did receive the letter from Mircleje. She is seriously sick. Has been hospitalized and goes to the doctor frequently. She could die. I know Compassion is helping her, but I am REALLY hoping the letter-I-haven't-received-yet sheds some light on her exact condition and what has been done to help her and what can be done to prevent further hospitalizations and such. More information would be Greatly Appreciated!!!

3. The lady I spoke with on the phone last week said that when the health inquiry was sent out.... they neglected to ask in the inquiry about the birthday money and the family gift money. She advised I wait to see if Mircleje mentioned it in her recent letter.

Mircleje did not.

I really want to know if she received this money! When I had sent it, I had hoped it would go towards something to help her feel better. Now that her condition is clearer to me, it seems like something needs to be done to help her prevent further outbreaks. Did the money go towards that? If I raise up more money to send so she can get clean water and live in more sanitary conditions..... HOW do I know that money will get to her?

I've been with Compassion for years. I have always trusted them. I have no issues with my other children, but this account is upsetting me. I have been trying to obtain this information since MARCH of 2011.

The reason I am typing all this out on this problem forum is that the ONLY time I get action is when I "go public"......... I've called many times since March of 2011. I've emailed. I've snail mailed. What am I supposed to do here???? I belong to OC and I read of other members doing inquiries and getting answers that they seek. WHY is my situation so different????

Prior to three months ago I tried to do this as privately as possible. I am generally a low key sort who hates to make waves. So.......
I've prayed about this. I've cried over this. I've consulted fellow sponsors. I've done everything recommended by them AND Compassion staff..... and 15 months have passed.

I know...I'll be told AGAIN to call Compassion. I KEEP calling Compassion and I get really nice people on the phone who are no help! It escapes me how the eventual inquiry went out and didn't even address both issues I was inquiring about! So now I have to wait 6 to 8 more weeks for an answer to my inquiry question?

Once I calm down enough I'll call Compassion back and let them know that Mircleje didn't let me know in the recent letter what she got almost 2 years ago with her birthday money and 18 months ago with the Family Gift.......
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Michelle Rausch

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Argh. I just saw Shaina's comment above regarding not calling Compassion back.... It was "hidden" under a "more comments" clickable link thing... Sorry I didn't see it before. So maybe I won't have to wait another six to eight weeks....
After all this, I just hope I can convince my husband to send more money.....
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Shaina Moats

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I definitely understand your frustration. I'm sorry that you've had to wait so long for information. I know how much you care about your sponsored children. I'm not sure why you haven't received the letter yet. It should arrive very soon. As I mentioned earlier, I've already notified the field that we still need information regarding the gifts she received. I hope to have this information for you soon.
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Michelle Rausch

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Thank you Shaina. It totally amazes me how much I can love someone so far away.... that I've never seen, never spoken with, and only get sporadic (short) letters from... But such is the case. And that is why I'm so upset. To me, she is family.

The letter did not arrive yesterday either.... Can a copy be resent? The first one seems "lost"............

Thank you for notifying the field that I still need that information.
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Michelle Rausch

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Compassion's Water of Life system costs just $55 and supplies over a million gallons of clean, drinkable water........... Mircleje's health issues have a lot to deal with bad water and unsanitary living conditions. This system would at least deal with the water issue. Is there ANY way I can get ahold of one of these systems (pay for it) and get it into Mircleje's hands?

I know that they aren't generally sold individually.... but if I can get one I would do anything I can to find a way to find a traveler who could get it to Haiti. Or I'd pay to have Compassion get it there.

Any chance? Several articles state that Water of Life is working in Haiti. Maybe the program could stretch to her area?
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Vicki Small

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Michelle, I am commenting as one sponsor to another. I have experienced the frustrations of great distance and slow communication, when one of my girls has beein in crisis--the death of a mom, or a dad's arrest, or other situations. I've wanted to jump on the first jet to take me there and wrap my arms around the child, just before I step in to "fix" the problem (how do you bring back a mom who has died??). I really, really understand to a great extent what you're going through, except that I've never waited nearly so long for answers--and that's big.

Supporting Shaina's most recent comment, I will point out to you that, simply by your sponsorship and your expressions of love, you are providing in a huge way for Mircleje. Please hang onto that truth, and know that I also am praying for your girl.
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Michelle Rausch

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Thank you Vicki! I appreciate your prayers, and I'm sure Mircleje will too when I tell her.....

In Mircleje's case..... while her situation can't likely be "Fixed," preventative measures CAN be taken so that she doesn't get sick as often and wouldn't get so ill that she needs hospitalized and misses school enough that she fails an entire grade. As Haiti NEEDS nurses, it would seem to me that encouraging and helping a teen (who has the brains and drive to succeed) to fulfill her dream would seem prudent.

Also, in this case, something CAN be done but it seems like it isn't because for two years she has been dealing with this issue. Longer, likely. My frustration lies in the fact that I was repeatedly told that "she is fine" and that "if she is sick Compassion will be helping her." I'm still waiting on the letter to see if it tells me what they are doing to Prevent the issues..... or to see if they are just treating the illness after she gets sick.

Thank you, though, for underlining that my sending money and letters is helping Mircleje. She doesn't answer questions often in her letters, but she IS faithful in telling me she loves me and is grateful I am there for her. :o)

Thanks, again, for praying for Mircleje. She really is a sweetie and deserves to be healthy! <3
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Vicki Small

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Michelle, are you aware of the Prayer Partner Network through Compassion's GMC? I know of two? A monthly prayer letter goes out to everyone (as in, anyone who wishes) who has signed up to be a prayer partner. Each day, one praise or request is offered up to the Lord. I just printed out the calendar for July, and there is a request for prayer for a child in eastern India, who suffers from typhoid and malaria. I can't even guess the number of people who share these prayers.

Every child prayed for from the calendar is registered in a Compassion-assisted project, somewhere in the world--and the country is generally named. Also mentioned are families--e.g., a dad or mom who is very ill (pray for the child) or recently died; student centers in areas of disaster, fire or flood; project staff members; and so on.

I would think a call to the Call Center could get you directed to someone who would take your request for Mircleje. Maybe try asking to be connected, or to have the number for Mark Hanlon's office. I know he and his family were evacuated; I've no idea of their status, now. But someone will be there who can help.

You should be able to sign up for this Calendar online, if you want, but I don't know how to direct you there, on the new website. Wait--click on About, and see if you can find a way, there; otherwise, are you a good surfer?
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Michelle Rausch

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I knew there was a Prayer Network, but didn't know anyone could join in! I found the link to sign up for the monthly prayer journal ...... http://www.forms-compassion.com/praye...

I will have to call Compassion like you suggested to see if I can add Mircleje though.... as I couldn't find a link for that. However, I found a lot more things on the site than I had ever noticed before!!! Which makes me wonder what else I am missing out on!!!

Thanks for this Vicki. I appreciate the suggestion! (((((HUGS)))))
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Vicki Small

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No, I've never seen a link for submitting a request, either. I used to send e-mails to a friend who was in Mark Hanlon's role, and then she moved to a different department. I haven't been in touch with her in a couple of years, either, so calling is your best route.

Oh--you're welcome! :)
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Marci L. Ficht

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Michelle. You have been dealing with this situation with your worry for Mircleje for entirely too long and this is beyond ridiculous. I AM FURIOUS RIGHT NOW. I don't know what happened to Haley who was the ONLY ONE who appeared to be making headway three months ago (Shaina was no help for me, either, with my issues), but you need to do something else because they sure as heck aren't listening to YOU. I used to be afraid of upsetting people, too, but now I just don't care because this is WRONG.

I've had it with Compassion. I'M MAD and if you don't do something about this, I WILL. This is the kind of thing that make people doubt whether these kids are really assigned to just us and whether they actually get the money we send. YOU'RE TOO NICE AND TOO PATIENT (EIGHTEEN MONTHS?!?!? SERIOUSLY?!?!?! EIGHTEEN MONTHS.) and you shouldn't be going through all this stress in your state of health. They've been brushing you off for way too long. I know you told me not to get involved but I'm furious that you're going through this and keep getting the run around.

I highly recommend you contact Charity Navigator and I would definitely send a certified letter to Wess Stafford. I certainly will be. You've been following the rules and trying not to make waves. After eighteen months of worry I do believe you are entitled to make waves. I know I'm going to make some now...I'm headed to facebook to rant a bit. I have a few friends who have been messaging me in private asking about Compassion. I'm sending them to His Hands for _____________ (fill in the blank...there's a bunch of them and I now have a kid in Haiti and the Congo...both of which I love deeply) and the program is wonderful. It's a lot cheaper, it's religion based, and you can actually mail packages. YOU COULD MAIL MIRCLEJE A REAL WATER SYSTEM. Actually, let me check with my Haiti crew and see if Pastor Noel has a way of getting one to her. She's south of Cap Haitian, right? Tell me her city. Oh, that's right...Compassion just tells us the name of their neighborhoods, not the actual city....the His Hands programs give you ALL the information on your kids so you can mail them things....like clothes, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soccer balls, shoes, toys, candy, etc. As long as it fits in a bubble envelope and is under 5 pounds, you can mail it.

I love you and I'm sorry you've been going through this. I didn't know...I thought it was all settled months ago. You should have told me. I'm praying for your little girl and her family. They need a source of safe water and mosquito nets. I will pray.
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KristenH, Champion

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Thank you Vicki,l that was very well said and I agree. I have been praying for your situation Michelle and for your sponsor child.
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Marci L. Ficht

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Vicki!!!! I was all cranky and you made me laugh, because I don't know if you have an English accent, but when I read this you DID: "We're all broken people, yes?" I even had a vision of your tilting your head in inquiry. And yes! I'm definitely broken! I will answer you tonight or tomorrow...right now I'm getting ready to go to work. But you are wonderful...thank you...I needed to laugh.
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Vicki Small

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Nope, no English accent. I was born and raised in southern California and have lived nearly all of my adult life in Arizona. We don't have accents; those are for people in other parts of the country, where they aren't taught to speak correctly. :-)
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Michelle Rausch

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Thanks Vicki, you helped me and I don't care about typos but even if I did.... I can't see them and please forgive mine! (I broke my glasses last week... so I am seeing out of one lens!)

Thank you both Vicki and KristenH for the prayers. I truly do appreciate them and believe they make a difference. :o)
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Marci L. Ficht

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Hello, Vicki! Yes! I definitely love my sister...way more than “very much.” And I worry about her all the time because without her...well, I can’t imagine going on. The order of our birth....well, I’m five minutes older but she insists that it’s only because I stomped on her forehead to keep her in so I could make it out first. I will always do battle for her.

Wow. Your story about your account mess up was very distressing...I can’t afford those kind of mess ups right now. My accounts are topped out now until I graduate and find employment. I’m happy you were able to get it straightened out and that it didn’t cause you to bounce or anything.

As for tempering my anger ...I did that. For over a year. While I watched my sister’s distress over her girl’s health and while she wondered what happened with her monetary gifts. We were both patient. And nobody was listening. So I told my sister that I had had enough and I was going to be the “bad guy” if that’s what it finally took to get attention and things to finally be resolved. Because I love her. And it appears that it’s working. Look at all the comments on here! And she’s been sending me the private emails she’s getting (I sure wish they would write on here instead of staying in the background). So, FINALLY she’s getting somewhere.

Regarding ‘not slandering or libeling them because they aren’t perfect”...what did I write that was a lie/false/untrue? Please tell me because from what I can see, every word I wrote was true and able to be backed up with proof.

You’re right....I would LOVE to meet my children and I plan on it someday. But not everybody can afford to do so. I might not be able to, either! Especially if I keep sponsoring children and sending money for food, goats, medical care, etc.! I’ll never be able to save up enough money!

I know that a water system wouldn’t fit in a bubble envelope...I wrote that after a long shift at the hospital (same now, so I hope I’m making sense). It’s possible that Pastor Noel would be able to arrange to get it and see that she gets it if we sent money. Even though she’s not a part of their organization, they are very loving Christians and I believe he’d help if he can. As far as I know, none of their packages have ever been hijacked by thieves or customs agents. I’d have to ask on the group forum, but everybody seems to have no issues with what they mail and they receive letters thanking them, so I believe their system works. I just recently sent a bunch of gifts over a period of three months - soccer balls, a pump to put air in the balls, shoes, underwear, shorts, t-shirts, Matchbox cars, puffy stickers, a shirt and canvas totes to use at the market for his mom, etc. I’m not living in my normal home at the moment so I haven’t received my mail...but I’m confident that my little guy got all his presents.

I have definitely NOT thrown rotten eggs at you...and I wouldn’t!!! :) We all have our opinions....it just seems that only “good, happy, touchy-feely, complimentary” opinions are welcomed on anything dealing with Compassion. When someone has a problem, everyone jumps all over the person who is upset. I’m okay with that in this case, though, because I just want my sister to find out what is going on and I’ll do whatever it takes.

Okay, regarding the address thing. When I first started sponsoring Arthur I was confused over the fact that he was listed as living “15 km southeast of Recife”...but that’s the ocean. So, I wrote the following to Compassion:

“According to the information provided, his location is in Ceu Azul which is 15 km southeast of Recife. I can't find that on any map. I found three locations named Ceu Azul, but not one of them is located near Recife. The closest is about 500 km west of Recife and the others are down around Rio. Recife is on the coast...but it says Arthur lives in a mountainous area. I'm confused. Could you please provide some clarification? Thank you!

Here are the locations I found:

Céu Azul - PR, Brazil – over 2,000 km away from Recife...Southwest from Recife

Céu Azul - PE, Brazil – about 500 km away from Recife directly to the West

Céu Azul, Belo Horizonte – MG, Brazil - about 1,000 km away from Recife...South - it’s closer to Rio”

I received this in reply:

“Ceu Azul is the community name (rather than city name) where Arthur's project is located and is most likely not going to be listed on a map. This area is southeast of Recife. Recife is a coastal community, but Brazil has many mountains not far from the coast.”

I have since found out that Arthur lives in Camaragibe...northwest of Recife. NOT southeast in the ocean. That isn’t too much information...it’s a relatively large community/town. That information allowed me to look into places that I can rent nearby so if I can ever afford to go down there, I have a place to stay for a week. It’s also just really wonderful to know where my little guy lives on this planet....

Yes, you helped me...you made me smile! And I CAN HELP YOU, too!!! Regarding your typos and the silly page jumping all around.....type in a Microsoft Word document and then cut and paste it into the box. That way you can see what you wrote while not going slowly insane! While I still end up with typos, at least I’m not wanting to bang my head off the desk everytime I have to try and find the bottom of the message! :D
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Kees Boer

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I'm sorry you all had this difficulty. It looks like something is falling through the cracks... Which could happen with a huge organization like Compassion. That's not to say that it should, but it could....

If I were to be in a situation like that, I would probably call every week.... I would also asked to speak to "a lead." (Basically, someone, who is like a supervisor)

Shaina is a great person to talk to. When my mother was dying with only hours to live a few years ago, she organized a lot of people to pray for her and now my mother is still alive!!! So, I'm always grateful for her. She is dear to our family.

Also, realize that the staff in the office in Colorado Springs only can do so much. They request things from the country office in another country, who have to request things from the local church partner. I think sometimes, things can get lost in translation. Especially with the large volume of requests..... I could also imagine that in a country like Haiti, they might be in a constant crisis mode... But I don't know about that...

Marci, as far as wondering whether a sponsor is the only sponsor, I can assure you of that. Gadiel does not have another sponsor. He knows you are the sponsor, the center knows that you are the sponsor (as a matter of fact, they know it well and they love you very much)

When you talk with the people in Colorado Springs, do pray for them at the same time.... You might be talking to a person, whose house might be on fire as they speak to you.... Many had to evacuate in the last few days.... I know from having to do that with the hurricanes here in Florida and I'm amazed as to how much grace they have when talking with sponsors while this is going on in their own personal lives...

So, call the center. Try to get a lead to work on it. Try to call every week to the lead to keep on top of it. You can ask for the person's extension.... That way, you'll get the same person and they are well aware of the situation. Do realize that sometimes it can be difficult to get a hold of a person, whose job it basically is to be on the phone all the time.... They might have to call you back....

Then this is an old Chinese story that I wrote to my children a year ago or so.... (I got some funny replies back from them). The wind and the sun had a contest. They saw a man with a coat on and both of them said that they could make the person with the coat lose his coat. The wind said that it was much stronger and could do it by force easily. So, the wind blew and blew as hard as they could get. The more the wind blew, the more tighter the person held on to his coat. Finally, the wind gave up.

Then the sun got his try. It started to shine and surround the person with gentle warmth.... It was so pleasant for the man, that he took of his coat himself.

I learned from this story. Proverbs says that kindness can break a bone. So, I learned that persistent kindness with a situation like that can really make a huge difference. I'm sure that it will all be straightened out real soon.... :-)
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Marci L. Ficht

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Kees. You know I love you dearly....but I have to say, it doesn’t sound like you read what we wrote right. This isn’t a “could” have fallen through the cracks...this is a “DID” fall through the cracks....SEVERAL TIMES. We are not heartless monsters who enjoy causing controversy. We HATE controversy.. I like happiness, sunshine, smiles, optimism, etc. We’ve been very, very patient. Michelle HAS been calling....for twelve months!!! And of course Michelle has asked to speak to a supervisor and she does know about phone extensions. I do not dispute that Shaina is a great person and great to talk to. I do know for a fact that she didn’t help me much in the past with my problems and she always dodges Michelle’s by agreeing that something is wrong, saying she’ll look into it, and then nothing happens.

I understand that there’s only so much an office can do. However, IT HAS BEEN EIGHTEEN MONTHS. Any office than cannot get an answer to two simple and very important questions in EIGHTEEN MONTHS needs to find out what is wrong with their organization. As for the crisis in Haiti mode, others sponsor children in Haiti and they have requested information on gift money that was sent or the health of their child and have received an answer within a reasonable time frame.

I didn’t say that I was wondering if I was the only sponsor for Gadiel. I have never had any doubt that we are the only sponsors, what I wrote was, “This is the kind of thing that make people doubt whether these kids are really assigned to just us and whether they actually get the money we send.” I know Gadiel and Arthur are only sponsored by me and they always will be. I have had people compare Compassion to other organizations and they are doubtful that we are only 1 sponsor to 1 child...and it’s because of things like this.

We have been praying for those in Colorado who are affected by the fires. I think it’s awful and my heart goes out to them. But my sister has been dealing with the issues for a year now (18 months if you include the first 6 where you wait to hear what happened with the money in the form of a letter.) and the fires started within the last few weeks. I don’t doubt that they are going through some very rough times right now in Colorado and at the organization and I have been praying for them.

I really loved your story and it makes sense! ‘chelle tried that for over a year, though, and her “real soon” has not arrived yet.
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Michelle Rausch

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Marci.... I'll contact you privately. Thanks for caring.....

Kees, thanks for responding. I feel so badly about this entire situation. Please believe me: I am usually the "sun." I've been the sun up until 10 days ago when I wrote my first message above. I've been the sun going on two years.... What you read on my end is my "furious".... My sister is much more blunt, but she also tends to get more results than I do. "Persistant Kindness" has me 18 months down the road with few answers!

I'm at a total loss about this entire situation. I thank you for your suggestions, and will respond individually:

1. I've tried calling frequently. Not every week, mind you..... but enough. I used the chat function. I was made to feel like I was being a bother and was flat out told (by Several People) that the information they have on Mircleje said she was NOT sick and that she was just FINE. (Obviously that was NEVER the case......) I was told that the Compassion would notify me if there was a health issue. Bear in mind that in EVERY single letter Mircleje mentioned her health. When I said this, I was brushed off and one guy had the audacity to tell me that all teenagers complain about being sick and missing school and that it wasn't likely something major!!!!

2. After Marci wrote above, Haley DID get a supervisor to call me. He was the first person who took me seriously. He was the first person to agree that there seemed to be an issue with Mircleje's health and it needed looked into. He also said that I deserved to know how the money I sent benefited Mircleje and her family. At that time (three months ago) he put in the inquiry. I did not know that the inquiry he put in neglected to inquire about the family gift and birthday gift.... He assured me the inquiry would be sent and as I had waited so long already that I'd get a response in a little over a month. I aim to try and contact him again this afternoon. And I understand how phones work and that I may have to wait for a call back.. ;o)

3. Shaina IS a great person. I'm glad she is part of Compassion. I'm still waiting on the letter that was supposedly sent 15 days ago. I asked her if she would please send another copy as I truly fear it is not coming, but I didn't get a response to that question. I also don't understand why she can't contact Mircleje's center (another inquiry) and find out if she has a water system as the response time "Should" be a lot quicker than her suggestion that I ask Mircleje myself. As Mircleje suffers from malaria as well, I would love to know if she has a net. But as she is SO sick, I will have to spend money that isn't easy to come by for our family and try and find a way to snail mail a water filter and mosquito net to Mircleje. Because I truly do fear for her life and I don't believe this is a case of wait for an answer in the mail and be patient....

4. I'm fully aware that Colorado Springs is on fire. I've been sending many prayers up on their behalf..... In all due respect, however, the fire is a really recent development. Even the letter supposedly sent 15 days ago should have not been impacted by the disaster.....

In fact, that is one of the reasons WHY I haven't been calling constantly and seeking answers by phone this past week. I feel for everyone going through this. I hate to put more stress on anyone, because I have health issues and this situation with Mircleje is stressing me out and making those issues worse. So I don't want to do that to anyone else. Therefore, I am venting on here and as this is supposedly a forum for seeking help/answers I was hoping to get a resolution.

5. And finally.......... It is Compassion Headquarters that has dropped the ball on this issue all along. The project in Haiti never received an inquiry until Randy finally sent one out three months ago...... The Haiti Project DID reply to that inquiry, it is just that I not only haven't received the letter that I hope has more info in it than I got on the phone, but that that inquiry Did Not contain the inquiry on the gift money so I still don't know about the money Shaina said she sent out another request for that info.

But all along it has been Compassion on this side of the pond that has told me "not to worry, she isn't sick, well then send me this info via the postal service and then we'll start an inquiry, etc." It is Compassion I sent that requested info to...... THREE times. It is Compassion I called and used the chat feature regarding these issues to many times. It is Compassion where I actually spoke to a supervisor and trusted that HE at least would get the answers I sought..... and even he didn't manage to accomplish the entire inquiry correctly!

I'm getting emails from other sponsors who are reading this and not commenting here, but talking to me privately. I'm getting a lot of support and no one can figure out why this has dragged on so long...... While I was fearful about speaking out, I DO feel comforted and understood by those who are writing to me. So thank you to all of you who are praying for my girl and my situation and who understand why I am venting on this issue. I totally appreciate you. ((((HUGS))))
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lmiles179

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Hi Michelle -- I've been following your saga and it sounds like there are two issues that you're waiting for answers on: 1) what the $125 you sent in 2010/2011 was used for, and 2) what is the status of your sponsored child's health.

Based on what you've posted it sounds like you have other Compassion kids and have been sponsoring for years and have had no problems. The only one you've had problem getting info on is this one child in Haiti, for about the last two years. The earthquake happened in Jan. 2010 and it sounds like the problems have been post-earthquake.

Does that sound accurate? If I'm going to pray, I want to make sure I understand what I'm praying for. :)
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lmiles179

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Hi Vicki -- Thanks for the birthday greetings for Ava via Facebook. That was so sweet. :) I need to come over to your blog and say hi.

Alright, let's be prayer warriors for Mircleje and Michelle... :)
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Marci L. Ficht

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You two are wonderful....prayer warriors.... :)
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Vicki Small

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Lisa - you and Ava are so welcome!

I think we are only two of an army of pray-ers, on these needs, but even if we were the only two, God would be in our midst and hearing our prayers. I believe He is "on" this, Michelle and Marci. As in, all over it.
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Marci L. Ficht

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:)
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Lizzie, Champion

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You are right Vicki- you are only two prayer warriors. I am praying for Michelle and Micleje too. I am glad that things are seeming to be resolved!! :)
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Michelle Rausch

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UPDATE: Shaina sent me an email while I was out at the optometrist. She apparently send me one days ago with a copy of what the letter-that-never-arrived said. I don't know why I didn't get that email.... but she DID send it and she also added on to it with a new message:

She sent an inquiry asking if Mircleje had received a filter AND a net!!! :o) She also sent the inquiry regarding the money several days ago.....

So, the inquiry is on its way to Haiti.... and I'll have to wait another six to eight weeks, but that is an itty bitty amount of time compared to doing the snail mail thing. So I should be receiving info by September. That gives me enough time to try and gather some money together for the filter and net if she still needs them.....

So NOTHING is left to be done for the next two months. I'm going to sit back and leave it in God's Hands and just continue to pray for Mircleje and her situation. Any person who wants to join me in prayer, would be HIGHLY welcome and appreciated!!!

Peace Out. (dates me, but hey.....) ~Michelle
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lmiles179

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Hey, I was at the optometrist this morning, too. I hope you got better news than I did. I need bifocals! Aaack. :)

I think you're smart to wait and see what news comes in the fall. And God's hands are the best hands for the situation to be in. As you've said, there are a lot of people praying for this young woman. She's clearly being brought before the Lord in a big way.

In the meantime, enjoy your summer! It's such a beautiful season and a gift from God in itself. :)
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Michelle Rausch

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Hey! Guess what??? :o)

I need bifocals tooooo!!! lol I'm 44 years old and the doc said now that I'm "old" I needed them. Then proceeded to call me "kiddo" for the rest of the exam... I think he was about 90, and a dapper gentleman he was!!!

Did you get lines or no lines? They convinced me to do the no lines..... I have to wait two weeks to get mine. How about you? Normally that would not be a problem, but I can only see out of the monocle that is left of my glasses..... But I can't wait till I can read an actual book again. It really makes me think of all the people in all the countries around the world who can't get glasses and imagine what they go through on a daily basis.

We are definitely in the heat of summer here.... Pool time for sure! Thanks, Lisa is it? Enjoy your summer too...
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lmiles179

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Oh, you're kidding!! What a coincidence. I'm 43 and I don't know who that doc is calling old. I think we're in our prime. :) My optometrist looked like he was about 18 -- so to him I probably am old. :) Right now they're having me get bifocal contacts with the lens for the close-up stuff in the middle and the far-away stuff around the rim. Apparently it's new technology in contacts. I'll get the bifocal glasses the next time I replace my current frames. Fun, fun. You are so right, though -- we're blessed to have these services readily available.
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Vicki Small

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I've had bifocals for . . . well, none of your business how long; I'm a lot older than you two! :-) I've had them with the line only once, and I think I took them back. That line drove me nuts, especially in front of the computer.
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Marci L. Ficht

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'chelle! Are you SERIOUS?! I wonder if that's why I've been getting the headaches...with all my studying. Is that why I see better if I pull my glasses to the end of my nose? This is very distressing news. I don't want bifocals!!! I can't believe they make them in contacts now...mind boggling trying to figure out how that works! Oh, geeez....
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Kees Boer

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Well, I'm glad that this is being solved. It should be solved and there should be very clear communication in the fieldmemo. I think that Compassion mail, although it goes through the regular mail has some sort of other stop in between, delaying it several weeks. But I'm not totally sure about that.... But I seem to recall something like that and sometimes mail that has been sent to me takes a bit longer than normal.....

I should be seeing Emily in a couple of weeks. I hope to take some more photos of her. :-)
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Lizzie, Champion

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Kinda off topic, but are you going to BO559? I know you go to Bolivia, and the centers near Cochabamba, which is where it is. I just started sponsoring a girl there a couple months ago.

I am soo happy that the problem is being resolved as well :)
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Kees Boer

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Hi, Lizzie, (I used to have a lot of friends who acted in the Lizzie McGuire Show). I won't be in 559.... You are right, it is in Cochabamba area.
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Apache Susan

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Michelle,
I'm very sorry to hear about this situation!! I've read all the comments and responses, and I'm rather shocked this has gone on so long. I'm sorry about that! Is there an update on your sponsor's health? I hope she is alright! Whenever you get a moment, an update would be great! Hoping the best,
Susan
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Michelle Rausch

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Hi Susan! Thank you for writing.... I really appreciate it! :o)

I'm going to post a final update below! (good and bad news... but it is news!)
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Michelle Rausch

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FINAL UPDATE:

Shaina has been in contact with me via email, and I actually received two emails from Mr. Mark Hanlon! (Senior Vice President, USA) I have been very pleased and satisfied with how communication improved and I feel my concerns were understood and validated.

Here is the news:

* Mircleje has been seriously sick, however Compassion has helped her with doctor visits, hospitalizations, and medicines. The project director says she is recovering and he/she believes Mircleje will be all well in the near future!!!

* In addition to medicines, she has received a water filter! :o)

* The family gift was used to purchase a pig. However, the piggie died some time in the past year.... :(

* Mircleje is writing me a thank you note for the gift.

I feel really bad about the pig, but I'm VERY glad Mircleje is doing so much better. Also quite happy that she has a filter and has been instructed how to use it.

So after a long wait, I am at peace and can move on with things. I am happy with Shaina's help on my behalf, and quite tickled that Mr. Hanlon wrote to me. :)
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KristenH, Champion

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Michelle, I am so happy that you have gotten your answers that you've been requesting for quite some time now. I pray that Mircleje will be all better soon. Thank you for sharing your update with us.
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Michelle Rausch

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Thank you Kristen! Prayers are much appreciated... :o)
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Shaina Moats

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Michelle, I'm so glad I could help you get the information you needed. I really appreciate your commitment to your sponsored child and know that you love her (and others) quite dearly. Thank you for being a great sponsor!

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