These "improvements" to Compassion have been going on for over a year. OVER A YEAR. Why is it all taking so long?

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These "improvements" to Compassion have been going on for over a year. OVER A YEAR. Why is it all taking so long? It makes no sense whatsoever. Billing issues, numerous types of letter issues, missing matching fund issues, not being able to send money to correspondence children issues...they're all things that should not take this long to sort out for a large organization. How can these possibly be considered improvements? The letter writing was supposed to be faster yet I've been waiting on letters from two of my kids that are "in process" since the beginning of February. And they're in ENGLISH so they don't have to be translated.
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Marci L. Ficht

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  • frustrated and fed up.

Posted 2 years ago

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Shannon Massey, Employee

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Hi Marci, 
First of all, I want you to know that I completely understand why you are frustrated. To be completely honest, we are all very frustrated as well. We strive to serve our children and our sponsors to the very best of our ability, but in times like this we feel like we are completely unable to do so. With that said, we are are very sorry. There are many reasons that we are behind, but there are two main ones. First of all, Compassion has been working on this major upgrade for many years. We needed to completely design a special program that we could use that would allow us to serve the growing amount of children and sponsors in our program. With that said, because we literally had to build this program from the ground up, we integrated the new system in steps, and like you said we began doing so roughly a year ago. As we began to use the new system, like all things, we discovered some bugs that needed to be worked out. And thus, we have been working on those. Regrettably, because the system was designed for Compassion and is different than all other programs, it takes some time to get these figured out and fixed so that they do not continue to happen. On top of implementing the new system, we are going through a massive loss with India closing. We are currently processing the exit of roughly 145,000 children in India, which is the same amount that we process in an entire year. This in itself has caused some delays and backups in processing. Nonetheless, we are counting on our supporters to be just that, supportive. We know this hard, but it is hard on all of us. We sincerely apologize that things are taking so long. In the long run, we are confident that when all the bugs are worked out we will be able to far exceed any expectation that you have of Compassion. We all look forward to that day! Thank you for sticking with us as we get through this very rough time!
(Edited)
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Marci L. Ficht

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STEVE!!! STEEEEEEEVE!!!!! I hope you see this. I answered you yesterday...I have no idea where my response went?! 

Basically, thank you for your response and I think it's fabulous that you got to see your children!!!!! I wish I could do that but for now, I rely on stories from those that have visited their poppets to make me smile and see the good that we do for the children. You said April 15th...does that mean you just got back? Can we read about your travels anywhere?! And I will never give up on Gadiel...even if we never, ever exchange another letter or photo, I will always sponsor him and will always send him family gifts to help out his single mom and younger brother. I love this family.  

Please let me know if you have a blog or something where you post pictures and stories? :)
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Sarah, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Social Media

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I'm so glad I could get those letters to you! I also discovered one from Gadiel, which I am going to email you as well :)! I completely understand what you mean with your relationship with Gadiel. My girl in Bolivia has always been such a great writer, and this past year has been difficult for us with the changes. It is getting better slowly though, and I am praying that it will for you and Gadiel as well!
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Steve

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Thank you for your interest in "my" kids. No, I don't have a blog. I thought about creating one, but I feel like a proud grandfather always showing off pictures of his grandkids. I'm also not sure about privacy concerns. I would love to post pictures of my oldest girls in their new rooms. If it works, here's a link to pics from our visit this month in Peru.
https://www.facebook.com/steven.j.ben...
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Steve

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Thank you for your interest in "my" kids. No, I don't have a blog. I thought about creating one, but I feel like a proud grandfather always showing off pictures of his grandkids. I'm also not sure about privacy concerns. I would love to post pictures of my oldest girls in their new rooms. If it works, here's a link to pics from our visit this month in Peru.
https://www.facebook.com/steven.j.ben...
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Marci L. Ficht

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Sarah - GADIEL'S LETTER WAS EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED!!!!! THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!!!!! Oh how I miss that kid. :)  I pray that your own correspondence gets better, too. If you read the message below from Mr. & Mrs.Hughes, we might get lucky and get letters as quickly as a few weeks in the future!!!!!! 
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Mr. & Mrs.Hughes

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I for one am getting really excited about the new system. I started sponsoring as a teenager, perhaps fourteen years old. That was to many years ago to think about.it was in the early seventys. The changes that the new system has made already are huge. Just the fact that there is this site to go to and get help is a big difference. The letter turnaround time has been cut from six to eight months to three months just three years ago, to a few weeks.. I received a letter from Guatamala on March 31 that had been written in early March. Maybe I can see the difference because I had to take some time off, and have just come back last fall. If you have continued steadily, or have just begun, the improvement may not be as apparent. Also a year isn't that long to build a it system, the corp. I'm working for has been trying to upgrade for more than two years and still isn't right.
(Edited)
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Marci L. Ficht

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Thank you for your reply. I'm so very happy that you are getting your mail so fast. You are very lucky. The letters that Sarah so wonderfully just emailed me were written before Christmas. I would be OVERJOYED with letters with a two or three week turnaround. I would be happy if they would just go back to the two-month turnaround before the "improvements." Hopefully that will come to pass for EVERYONE and not just a few. Because while I'm happy for you (I am!!!), it just makes me all the more frustrated that I have to wait for a letter for five or six months. 

Regarding the IT issues - you're not the first to have said that (see above). I've always worked for the government and the last place I worked was for Social Security. I can't imagine if the upgrades to our system for a complete overhaul had taken a year with over a year of issues like these. Two years would have been unimaginable. We just overhauled our entire system with numerous new programs and software to expedite things for our customers and to track operations for quality control. It only took us approximately a month to work out the kinks. They got everything completely running parallel to what we were doing BEFORE switching over so the transition was relatively painless and quick. If there is a problem, it doesn't last long before it is fixed. Ditto for the United States Army where we are constantly making major changes to keep up. I can't even count the number of major overhauls there were in the 23 years I was enlisted.

Again - I am very happy that you get letters so fast and I think it's wonderful that you've been sponsoring children since the 70's. I didn't even KNOW about Compassion until I was in my 40's!!!!  

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Mr. & Mrs.Hughes

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Back then, I was using the money from lawn mowing, and I sponsored very much against my parents will. I had to use my best friend's address so the statements and letters wouldn't come to my parents box. Maybe that was part of the enjoyment, I didn't rebel, ever. I knew the consequences. I learned about compassion from magazine ads. I tried three other charities who used the sponsor format, but compassion was, for me the best. I wasn't boasting about the letter that I got so quickly, I was just trying to encourage you and the team. The letters from Brazil haven't done as well. Maybe it depends on the project and country. I think that the government probably works differently than civilian companies. Especially this rinkydink place I work for.
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Marci L. Ficht

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That is the best "teenager rebellion" I have ever heard!!! Wouldn't it be wonderful if all teenagers "rebelled" in that way?!? How exciting that would have been for you!!! That's awesome...

Yes, rinkydink places would have a bit more difficulty implementing huge IT changes. :)  
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Mr. & Mrs.Hughes

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Back then, I was using the money from lawn mowing, and I sponsored very much against my parents will. I had to use my best friend's address so the statements and letters wouldn't come to my parents box. Maybe that was part of the enjoyment, I didn't rebel, ever. I knew the consequences. I learned about compassion from magazine ads. I tried three other charities who used the sponsor format, but compassion was, for me the best. I wasn't boasting about the letter that I got so quickly, I was just trying to encourage you and the team. The letters from Brazil haven't done as well. Maybe it depends on the project and country. I think that the government probably works differently than civilian companies. Especially this rinkydink place I work for.
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Mr. & Mrs.Hughes

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Back then, I was using the money from lawn mowing, and I sponsored very much against my parents will. I had to use my best friend's address so the statements and letters wouldn't come to my parents box. Maybe that was part of the enjoyment, I didn't rebel, ever. I knew the consequences. I learned about compassion from magazine ads. I tried three other charities who used the sponsor format, but compassion was, for me the best. I wasn't boasting about the letter that I got so quickly, I was just trying to encourage you and the team. The letters from Brazil haven't done as well. Maybe it depends on the project and country. I think that the government probably works differently than civilian companies. Especially this rinkydink place I work for.
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Mr. & Mrs.Hughes

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I just reread your post and realized that you have served our country for your entire life. Thank you very much for your dedication and service to We the People. You are very much appreciated. Cathy
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Marci L. Ficht

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You're welcome.  I love our country and the people in it. :)  

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