Too many letters?

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I love writing letters to my kids! I love to imagine smiles on their faces and share with them what is going on in my life and I pray that through this communication they will know the are incredibly loved and prayed over daily.
A few days ago I read an article that explained how giving too many monetary gifts can put a family at risk in their community. I guess my question is, if my kids receive many letters each month, will this cause them to be teased or mistreated by their friends out of jealousy? I know this is a little bit of an awkward question, and I know you guys obviously can't know every child, situation, and circumstance, but what does experience tell you about these kinds of things? I sometimes encourage my kids to share words of encouragement, stickers, etc with other kids from their center so I hope that helps some!
I want my letters to be a source of happiness, not tension, so any guidance would be much appreciated.
Thank you, and God bless and keep you!
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Rebekah Bell

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Posted 2 years ago

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Sarah, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Social Media

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Hi Rebekah! It is a hard question to answer for exactly the reasons you mentioned, but I'll do my best. It can be very difficult for the kids who don't receive letters to see their peers receive handfuls of letters every month. We  do recommend that sponsors write about once a month to keep your child and the translators from feeling overwhelmed with so many letters too. Many children at the centers do share their letters with other children who haven't been receiving letters from their own sponsors. I LOVE that you encourage your kids to share their stickers and words of encouragement with their friends. I've seen my own kids do that (some even ask for extras from me at times), and I know it makes those other children feel loved. I always tell my kids to give hugs to their friends from me as well :). Each child deserves to know they are loved and cherished!
(Edited)
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Jenny Kim

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Hi Trina!

I am in the same boat. I am very passionate about building a close relationship with my children. I always want to show them how much I love them, care about them and want to talk about Jesus to them. I want to write them about what is going on in my life as well for them to get to know me better too! Sometimes, I have to reply to their letters as well. And I also want to send them many pictures and help them with their study by sending worksheets! I send them around 3-4 letters including photo pages or worksheets a month. I do try to limit myself to younger ones to make sure I don't overwhelm a little kid :)

I think sending more than 1 letter to an older child is totally fine. But, I guess we should expect them to get everything at once since letters are delivered once a month. I am going to keep sending average 2-3 letters a month, but this includes photos or worksheets as well! because sometimes more things happen in my life that I would like to tell my kids!
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Trina Harris Ezell

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Thank you, Jenny, for your response!  I am glad that there are other sponsors who are also sending much more than the one letter per month.  I just picture the smiles on their faces the day that they get their letters delivered to them, and I feel like if they have 3-4 letters on delivery day, that will make them 3-4 times happier!  I just want to make these kids' lives better and happier any possible way that I can, and for them to know that someone truly cares about them!  I'm glad you agree :).  I guess I will just keep on doing what I'm doing until someone tells me to stop.  :)


  

(Edited)
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Jenny Kim

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Yup :) And I think we can send varieties of stuffs. Sometimes I scan a few pages of the book, worksheets, coloring pages, photos, my timeline, my family tree etc. I like to be creative and I want to give them a surprise! I also found a nice musical birthday card with candle lights at American Greetings! The musical birthday card will only make sound when you actually blow it, but it will still have lights on the candle once you open the card. I am very excited about this card because many of my children live in an area where there is no electricity. I also attached my child's photo that I received from Compassion. I also enjoy alot when decorating pages for my children :D
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Trina Harris Ezell

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I think all of that is so great, Jenny, that you try to use a variety and get creative so that your kids are always being surprised!  I love that!  I am also glad you shared about the musical bday cards.  The one with the candle sounds very cool!  I will have to look that up!  I'm glad others are out there that are as obsessive about their sponsor children as I am :).  I would send them letters and other fun stuff every single day if I could.  Isn't it weird how you can not even have met a child, but still feel like you love him/her?? 


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Jenny Kim

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I found this musical light card at American Greetings! I like how when you open it, only the lights will be turn on. Then if you blow the whole in the middle of the candle then the birthday song will play! :)


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Keeli

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Rebekah - You are an amazing sponsor!!! Your kiddos are so blessed to have you in their lives. I do not work for CI so the staff might be able to shed more light. Based on my experience: I can totally relate with you!!!  In my opinion, writing often is how relationships are built which is vital to the sponsorship program and developing your child. I say write whenever your heart leads you to. Monetary gifts are totally different as that could open a family up to safety risks and crime.

With that being said, I think the staff at the centers tremendously help with this type of situation. I also think it is similar to when a child with siblings enters the program. Initially, I felt siblings would be very jealous but they aren't. They are overjoyed when their sibling enters the program as it is a blessing to the entire family. I think the same theory can be applied to letters.

I know at my child's center they have a board with letter totals, and he has received the most letters. I do the same thing as you...I have sent stickers for all the kids, words of encouragement for others, etc. Many times my child has sent me greetings from his classmates and/or friends so I have never gotten any impression from him regarding his letters other than positive statements. 

The Compassion blog has so much information regarding the impact letters have. Just by investing in one child, a ripple effect happens where others are blessed. I say keep on doing what you're doing!!! :)  

***After reading Sarah's response, I do want to add my child speaks English so we do not have a translation barrier. He is 14. I was his third sponsor, and he only received 2 letters in his first 4 years in the program. He is also an orphan so I feel he needs extra attention to fill that void in his life that others do not have. I think each child's unique situation helps with determining how often to write.***
(Edited)
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Sarah, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Social Media

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Jenny, we send every letter that sponsors write to their children. Compassion only recommends writing to your child once a month because it can be overwhelming to the translators and the children when they receive a large stack of letters.  Keeli is right, those letters are such a blessing and encouragement to the child and the family. We don't mean that you can't write more often than that, just keep in mind that most projects pick up the letters from the country office about once a month and trying to answer lots of questions in the reply letter may prove challenging for some kids. I know your letters are encouraging to your kids though, Jenny!
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Beth

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Keeli, I am so surprised to hear that the center actually had a board recording who received the most letters! They must not be too concerned about jealousy.
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Keeli

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I was too Beth. I am guessing it's a big data board like in the video on Compassion's home page and maybe they track letters on it to know when the kids need to write.
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Jenny Kim

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Keeli. Which Compassion country is this?
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Keeli

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Uganda
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John

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Hello, I'll throw this in. I think the length of the letters would be a factor as well. A longer  letter verses a few shorter letters that equal the same content, although more sheets. I write short notes most of the times. I rarely fill 30% of the field except when I copy and paste something. I also like to send non text photo/ color pages in between the notes. I have geared those around the ages and once I know a little about the family I can incorporate some for the siblings.

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