What is an appropriate amount for a family gift?

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I wanted to send a family gift, but wasn't sure what amount to send. I sent a gift once before and they got a lot of animals. Is there a way to find out what they need first? My child Mutethya has mentioned they need a new house. What amount would this require? Also, is it possible to send a family gift to a correspondent child?
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Douglas Root

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Posted 4 years ago

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Sandy Montoya

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Hello Douglas, I am a sponsor & correspondent and I've found that it mostly depends on what country your child is in. I have a child in Rwanda I correspond with for a man in my church who pays the sponsorship. Our child also said his family needed a house so I asked Compassion how much would be needed & if they could find out more about the family's needs, but they weren't allowed to ask that. They suggested I write and ask the child some questions. I was cautious how I worded my questions but I did write our child and asked where they lived and the response was they rented a house but hoped to build their own. Ultimately, his sponsor & I pooled our money and came up with a little over $300 and sent that. The family bought a cow! They sent a great family photo. For one of his birthdays with a much smaller gift the family bought a door, I'm assuming for their home.
I have also sent family gifts to correspondent children and either mail a check to Compassion with instructions or call it in. I've done this as I feel led when I read or sense needs in their letters and begin praying about it. Most of my family gifts are $100-150, mainly because that's all I can afford as I have a lot of kids I both sponsor & correspond with. $100 in African countries often buys livestock, cloth, food, cooking pots & food. In South American countries they've usually bought clothes and shoes, and once in Colombia my little girl's family bought a mattress so all three children could sleep on the mattress instead of the floor. It is such a blessing to these families and I do wish I could afford to send family gifts to all my children. Whatever you send will bless the family and could even be life changing if it allows them to produce income to support the family.
God bless you.
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Jennifer

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One comment that I had wished I'd seen before making donations was to look at the average monthly salary in the region... It appears somewhere in the info about your child's region. What many of us would consider a modest donation is often a month of salary. I kept doing what I was doing with the one child, but when I picked up more I dialed things back a bit with them (not much, admittedly.). As much as I want them to be able to have things that improve their lives, I don't want be their most significant source of income... Likewise, I had thought it was best to be consistent and predictable in my donations, but on a sponsor tour I found out it's better to be more random. You don't want them to be counting on the fact that you normally send donations 3-4 times a year to pay their rent! It's better for them to use what you give to ease the burden towards becoming financially independent.
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Beth

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Interesting. I just give a family gift once a year, but it has been about the same amount each time. Do you think that's too predictable?

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Jennifer

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I doubt it!

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