I AM VERY SUSPICIOUS AFTER RECEIVING FIRST LETTER

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  • Updated 6 years ago
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I recently decided to sponsor a child after CI came to our church. I really wanted to do something to make a difference . I thought this would be a wonderful way to reach out to others in the name of Jesus. Through the literature I have read over and over again that it takes months to receive or to get your letters to your child. Well it has been less than a month and I received a letter from my child last week. It made me a little suspicious and am trying to find out if this company is legitimate. I am a mother of 2 small children with a part time job. I can barely afford the living costs of our day to day living. I really want to reach out and help those less fortunate but I refuse to give money to a charity that is not legit. I am seriously thinking of pulling my sponsorship and sending that money elsewhere. The letter set off a number of red flags, not just that it came so quickly (in only about a months time) but also the content and things that I thought would be strange for a 3 year old to say. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Tisha Thomas

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Posted 6 years ago

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Lindsay

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Hi, Tisha. I'm not a Compassion employee but I'm sure one of them will respond with a more detailed message. With the first letters, the kids have something prepared that's like a fill-in-the-blank, getting to know you type of deal that they can send out when they find they've become sponsored. You'll probably notice on it that their isn't any specific information pertaiing to you, but will just refer to you as "sponsor". The letters that follow when the child actually starts corresponding with you specifically will be different and specifically to you. They'll also take longer to get.
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Tisha Thomas

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Thank you Lindsay for your reply.  Yes it was just the fill in the blank letter which was fine.  I guess my concern was that it has only been about 4 weeks since I signed up so I thought it was very strange with all the paperwork of signing up, letting whoever know in Ethiopia that this child had been sponsored, sitting down with her and writing to me, getting the letter from Ethiopia to Colorado and then off to me all within a months time didn't sit right.   It just seemed like all of that took place much more quickly than it should have.  I am more than happy to pray for her and to give money to make sure these children have the basic necessities that they so desperately need IF it is legit.  I just need to know that I am not being duped.  Thanks again for your response it is greatly appreciated.  :)  I am going to keep searching for answers until I am satisfied with what I am able to find out.  
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KristenH, Champion

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Hi Tisha, like Lindsay said above the first letter is written before a child even has a sponsor in order to get it into the new sponsors hands quicker. I would really suggest joining the sponsor Facebook group and the sponsor forums to talk to other sponsors about their experiences. Many have been to visit their child(ren) and can give first hand accounts on Compassions work in the field. http://childsponsorship.boards.net
I have been a sponsor to around 10 children and am convinced that Compassions ministry is legit based on my experiences with tem. I am not an advocate or employee of Compassion, just a sponsor giving her opinion :)
I apologiZe for the typos, I'm on my phone.
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Emily

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Hi Tisha! I am very sorry if the first letter you received from Tihune has led you to be hesitant in trusting our ministry as this is certainly not our intention. We understand the excitement of becoming a sponsor for the first time and being anxious for that first letter to get to know more about your child! For this reason, just like Kristen and Lindsay have kindly noted above, the children themselves (or a project staff member will assist the child if they are too young to write on their own, such as your child who I see is only 3) have already filled out information on template letters about themselves so that the letters can be sent out to our sponsors as soon as they are made aware that they have been sponsored.  Letters from here on out will take 2-3 months to be delivered both ways as they will be reciprocal letters to the ones you send to her. Here is a link to a blog post that was actually written specifically about when your child is first told that they are sponsored and the first letter is sent out! http://blog.compassion.com/child-sponsorship-notification/

We certainly want you to be confident in your sponsorship as we understand you are giving sacrificially, generously, and selflessly. We value you as a sponsor and the difference you're making in Tihune's life and want your sponsorship experience to be a positive one. I encourage you to check out Charity Navigators review of Compassion in which we consistently have received A ratings. I also went ahead and emailed you an invite to be part of our Facebook page for sponsors. This page is a great place to connect with others' whose hearts sing the same song as yours in wanting to impact a child's life and help us release them from poverty in the name of Jesus! I hope this information helps you and please let me know if I can answer any other questions for you.
(Edited)
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Tisha Thomas

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Thank you Emily for your quick response, that makes a little more sense to me now that the first letter is actually not written to me personally just to whomever may choose to sponsor this child in general.  This I can totally understand.  I am by no means saying that CI is NOT legit.  I just need to make sure, especially with the limited funds I do have, that the money I am sending is going for exactly what I am being led to believe it is going for.  Thanks again.
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Ruth Solomon

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I've been sponsoring for over 25 years with Compassion and occasionally the first child letter is like yours - comes quickly and is impersonal. The following letters will be worth waiting for! I'm kind of a sponsorship specialist in that I've sponsored kids with several Christian ministries over many years. Some I stopped donating to because of perceived lack of accountabilty or reliability. I've found Compassion to be one of the best I've dealt with and so I have stuck with them in a big way. I love that they want Jesus to be central in the lives of the sponsor children. That actually puts them apart from some sponsoring organizations who have turned away from evangelism and try to hide their Christian roots!
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Tisha Thomas

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Thank you Ruth ~ good to know.  I was literally just sick thinking that there was a possibility it wasn't on the up and up.  I fell in love with my little angel the minute I saw her picture.  I so much want to help her and just pray for her.  It is very important to me that Jesus is the center of this charity.  Thanks again.  

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