Possible Idea for Compassion?

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  • Updated 7 years ago
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Wouldn't it be great if there were an online store to buy our children gifts? I have been to almost all countries in Central and South America and I understand that customs can be difficult. However, purchasing things from the countries themselves can be very inexpensive. Why don't we have an online store with basic gifts that someone could buy at the markets. For example, jump-ropes, dolls, backpacks, teddy bears, books, soap, school supplies, etc. I went shopping for a child in Antigua and my money went much further- and we were able to provide a backpack filled with all kinds of goodies including bibles and Jesus stickers and bookmarks. Here is how it could work:

Someone would purchase these items in advance. Compassion would have a stock of basic items for children. Sponsors would go online and pick things for their child like a ball or a jump rope. Since we cannot expect markets or stores to always carry the exact same item, we would just have to understand that we would be ordering a doll or a toy but we would not know exactly what it looks like- and that's ok. We could even make first and second picks in case the item we wanted most is not available at that time.

Since it is SO very cheap to purchase these items, you could charge us extra in order to cover the costs that it would take to implement this. We could even have a flat fee that goes with the process of ordering items. Monetary gifts are great and are very much needed but it would be awesome to surprise our child with a bag of goodies!

If a system like this is already in place, please let me know! I just want to surprise my child with something a little different. :) I know that I am very ignorant in this department as I do not work for compassion nor do I understand how the whole program works for please forgive me if this is in place or if it is impossible. Thank you!
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Adriana Boerema

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Posted 7 years ago

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Becky, Champion

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Hi Adriana! I can see that you put quite a bit of thought into what you proposed implementing. I am curious how familiar you are with CI's monetary gift program as it essentially does what you propose on a scale that works for CI (with over 1.2 million kids in numerous countries it would be super challenging to implement exactly what you propose!): Sponsors select a monetary gift amount and can provide additional information to suggest what gift is purchased with the knowledge that on the ground that specific gift may not be available or the child may need a different object more (we suggested a toy but they need new shoes or food or a pillow). CI doesn't charge extra for sponsors that suggest a gift in the additional instructions although it does delay the gift's arrival for additional processing to ensure the sponsor request is sent along. CI does not hand the children money and they always get some goodies that are purchased with the child and family's needs in mind. Sometimes it may be what the sponsor suggested although other times it is something else that fills a more pressing need or want (maybe your kid really doesn't want a jump rope but wants a soccer ball instead). As the project staff work with the kids directly, they know the family's situation much better than we do from the descriptions in letters.

CI gift program: http://blog.compassion.com/give-a-gif...

You can surprise your child with a bag of goodies too-through your letters! You need to be a bit creative to ensure the items are flat, made of paper, and do not have value (i.e., a book is flat, but if you send a book with a cover then it has value and can be confiscated (or fined!) during customs).

Sending goodies to CI kids-CI advocate's blog:

Michelle has lots of other links on the sidebar about other suggestions to send goodies for older children and more ideas.

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