Scanned Copies

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Hi, I received a scanned copy of my child's letter and artwork yesterday with a note that explained the updated system. All well and good. But the note doesn't explain if our children receive our handwritten letters the same way. Also, paper gifts. Is the artwork I create for my little girl (sometimes after many days of hard work) being sent as a cheap scan, or does she receive the real thing? Post cards? When I buy these for her on roadtrips, will these now be sent as scans? I'm asking so I can decide how to adjust the gifts I send. Many thanks!
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Posted 4 years ago

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Gayla Reed Wingate

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Very good question.
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Jamie Riemersma

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You should find the answers to your questions in this post:

Below is some information from the post linked above that should help answer some of your questions.  Hope this helps!

Beginning April 11, 2016, all original letters between sponsors and children will be digitally scanned, translated and emailed. Children will receive high quality prints of your letters.

In order to facilitate the digital letter delivery process, Compassion has made the following changes to our letter writing policy:

  • All of your correspondence should include a personal letter to your child. Enclosures received without a personal letter cannot be sent along to your sponsored child.
  • Your letter and any enclosures should be completely flat and made of paper. 
  • Letters and small paper gift items should be no larger than 8.5” x 11."
  • Total number of items (including stationery) should not exceed six sheets of paper, including your letter to your child. 
  • If we are unable to send an item or if the items are in excess of six sheets, we will make every effort to notify you via email. These ineligible items will be donated or discarded at the discretion of Compassion's child correspondence staff. 

Compassion provides translation for the letter you send to your sponsored child up to the maximum of six sheets per letter. The “six sheets” rule is replacing the 1/4” thick rule that has been our standard in the past. Please note, only the following items will be physically delivered to your child, up to a maximum of six sheets. 

  • Stickers (flat, not puffy or foam)
  • Bookmarks
  • Musical greeting cards
Some flat paper items enclosed with your letter will be scanned and sent electronically with your letter. The following scan-friendly items will be scanned first, digitally sent to your child’s country office for printing, and then delivered to your child:

  • Letters
  • Photos
  • Postcards
  • Greeting cards
  • Coloring pages
  • Paper crafts
Photo of Cortny


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That's really, really sad and disappointing. Especially given that original artwork and postcards will be trashed. Thank you for the link. That clears it up.
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Cortny, I'm so sorry that you're disappointed with the new direction we're going with our letter writing system. As others have kindly expressed, our intention is not to discard the love and creativity you're putting into the items you send to your children. But rather, because we have come to understand over the years the incredible impact words have on a child, our goal with this new system is to help enhance your relationships through better efficiency by speeding up the process so that you have more fluid conversations and up to date information, along with better stewarding our resources so that we can reach even more children.

I hope the responses others have given have encouraged you and helped you understand our heart behind this change a little better, but I definitely understand that change is also hard. As we go through this transition together, please know that we value and recognize the time you spend putting personal touches in your letters to your children. We want your creativity and thoughtfulness that you put in each craft to continue! Although most items will be scanned, they're very high quality prints that will still be very special for your child. As employees here at Compassion, we're sponsors too and are also diving into the conversation with you all, discussing ways to still be original and unique with the new updated guidelines. There have been some wonderful ideas over the past few weeks such as sending paper dolls and other crafts that your child can cut out at their project, for example :).

We'll continue to update our Pinterest page frequently with ideas we or you as sponsors come up with, as well as our blog to do our best to help you along the way. My hope is that once you begin to receive letters back and forth with your child through this new system, you'll experience the positive impact we believe it will have on your relationships with them. 
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Gayla Reed Wingate

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I vote to remove stickers from the list of items that will be physically sent to children replace that item with reasonable size 8 1/2 x 11" ( or at minimum postcard or greeting card size) original art and handmade cards. If that is not feasible, then I suppose we will need to do our art in book mark size and put inside a musical greeting card. Blessings
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Hi Cortny and Gayla. I'm another sponsor like you, and I just wanted to share that it sounds like you both have wonderful hearts for the children that you sponsor and love to spend time making artwork for them to make them feel special, loved, and to bring joy to their hearts. I'm so sorry for the disappointment that you both are feeling with the new system. I want to encourage you that I believe Compassion has worked very hard to make the items that we send our kids that are scanned and printed as high quality as possible. I know that the artwork that you have made and sent to your children are treasures to them and I'm sure that they will be such a blessing to them as a printed copy with the new system if you decide to continue sending those items. Please do continue sending your children your artwork. I imagine that it is so inspiring to their own creativity and something that brings beauty into their world of poverty. If I may, I just wanted to share another perspective about the new system that I hope will be an encouragement. The Bible says in Proverbs that "Death and life are in the power of the tongue," and I wanted to share that verse as a reminder of how important our letters are to our sponsored children. The words that you share with them are so powerful and we have such a great opportunity to bless and encourage our sponsored kids and speak hope into their lives with our letters. My hope is that you will see this new letter system not just as a limitation, but as an opportunity to build a closer relationship with your sponsored children through your letters. God bless you both for helping to release children from poverty in Jesus' name.
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Julie Alton Porter

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I am not understanding why people are upset about this--and I am a working artist, so I do know the value of original artwork. But the important thing here is facilitating a relationship between sponsor and child. The increased speed that this system represents will only strengthen that relationship-building. No more getting a 3-month-old letter that asks you to "pray for my mother, who is sick".... 

If you read any of the articles on the Compassion blog about the importance of letter-writing, it is always about the messages sent by the sponsor. As an artist, it hurts to say this, but here it is: Your words are so much more important than any creative or artistic expression. Photocopied, photographed, or copied badly by a forger: It's the meaning that is important, not the medium.

I get that people are sentimental about original drawings, handwriting, etc. But isn't that trumped by being able to have a more natural back-and-forth conversation between you? Not to mention having an online archive (once they work out the kinks--my scanned letters still look like sanskrit!). Not to mention saving oodles of money mailing physical letters back and forth. Money that can certainly be put to better use.

I am right with you in having put a lot of time into trying to send "gifts" within the confines of the restrictions on what could be sent: I've bought books on making pop-up cards, haunted Pinterest, even blogged myself about some of the cool projects my daughters and I concocted to send out to sponsored kids. And we can still figure out ways to send messages that are visually beautiful as well as meaningful. But please remember what's most important here! 
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Haley Whelan

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I wonder if it would be possible for me to still receive the originals from my kids? I very much appreciate the decrease in the wait between letters, but maybe it would be possible for sponsors to receive both? 

Like, at the end of the year, get a packet with all of the original letters from all of my sponsor children that were written within a 365 day period. That way, the speed wouldn't be impacted. . . I just love their letters, and copies don't feel quite the same. :( 
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Hilary Hopkins

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Haley, if you go onto your online Compassion account, on the right hand side, there is a spot that says letter preferences. If you click on that you can choose to have the originals sent to you. You will still have the letters in your account as well so you will get the letters quickly too. I was so excited when I saw that I could receive my child's original letters still cause that is so important to me :).

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