Your session will time out at [00:00]. If you would like to sponsor [Child Name], please complete your transaction as soon as possible.Unfortunately your session timed out at [00:00] and since that time [Child Name] was sponsored by another person. Please visit the Sponsor a Child page to find another child.
Yes. Writing online means your letter bypasses our local postal service and will already be in digital format so we can forward it directly to the Country Office. From there, Compassion staff translate, print and deliver the letters (and photos, if included) to your child.
Due to the limitations of customs regulations, only paper items can be sent to sponsored children. Items made of paper up to 8.5″ by 11″ and up to .25″ thick can be sent on. Compassion cannot send on or return items that do not fall within these guidelines. If you would like to bless your child in other ways, please send a financial gift, which your child can use to purchase something they really need. Your money will go a lot further in the countries where we work and it will help stimulate the local economy.
Examples of what you can send in the mail include: photos, greeting cards, stickers, bookmarks, postcards, colouring pages, booklets, small calendars, scripture cards, decorative writing paper, paper dolls, and paper planes.
Items which we cannot send include: pencils, crayons, balloons, gum, jewelry, candy, magnets, clothes, toys, seeds, etc.
When you write a letter online, we send it digitally to the Country Office. From there, Compassion staff translate, print and deliver the letters (and photos) to your child. We are unable to send emails directly to your sponsored child but our online letter writing process is the next best option.
Children love receiving letters from their sponsors, but we realize some people aren’t sure what to write to a child they’ve never met. Your letters don’t need to be long to make a huge impact. Knowing that someone cares and is thinking about them will encourage your Compassion child.
Here are some helpful ideas:
Things to share:
Family, friends, and pets (whatever you’re comfortable with)
Hobbies or favourite activities
Bible verses and prayer requests
Local holidays and special traditions
Words of encouragement
Things to ask:
Family and friends (ages and names)
Favourite activities at school, church and the Compassion centre
Their country, town or community and its local traditions
Please do not respond. While communication via social media might seem to save time and money, the risks this channel presents overshadow the potential benefits.
Compassion does want you to have the best relationship possible with your sponsored child, but we cannot guarantee everyone’s safety if we are not aware of what’s being communicated. While we trust that those who sponsor with Compassion are doing so out of a love for Christ, we have an obligation to protect the children in our care from sponsors who may not have the child’s best interests in mind. Because of this, we must be aware of what’s being communicated to ensure the child’s well-being.
Here are some additional factors we’ve considering when creating our letter only communication guideline:
It’s not uncommon for someone who knows a child is sponsored to create an account on a social network and posing as that child, contact his or her sponsor asking for money. In this situation, the child may be facing the threat of physical harm if the money is not provided.
We cannot protect your privacy or your sponsored child’s if we are not involved in the correspondence.
By serving as the conduit for communication between you and your sponsored child, we are able to watch for any content that may be inappropriate or culturally insensitive – no matter how well intentioned or innocent a comment may be.
Should you receive a friend request or a message from anyone claiming to be your sponsored child on Facebook or another social network or through any medium other than your letters from Compassion, please do not respond but rather contact us immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-563-5437.
Many of the children who Compassion supports have received no, or only very limited formal education prior to being registered in the project. Many are therefore not as advanced in their learning as a child of the same age from Canada. Many are the equivalent of at least two or three years younger in their educational development. If a child is unable to write their own letters, project staff will sit and talk with the child and ask what they would like to say in their letters. Writing letters is a new skill for many children and therefore many will be unfamiliar with how to go about it. The project staff will then write up the letters which are translated and then sent on to us to forward to you. Some projects will also use letter writing as part of their curriculum to help children develop their reading and writing skills, therefore the letters may seem a little formal. Please do be patient as your sponsored child learns to write and is then able to write to you personally. Many children will draw pictures or write their name or a few words that they can, to share with you what they are able to do. Rest assured that the letters you write to your sponsored child will be greatly valued, and will really help to remind your sponsored child that they are precious and loved.
If you are fluent in the language your child speaks, please feel free to write to them using that language. Otherwise, please write in English. Please include an English version of the letter as well, as all letters are scanned at our headquarters in accordance with our child protection policy before they are couriered weekly to our country offices. Writing in your child’s language will mean one less letter for the Compassion staff to translate. However, it will not speed your letter to your child as we are unable to separate individual letters from the packages. Unfortunately, it is not possible to arrange for your letters not to be translated into English as our colleagues across the world deal with hundreds of letters everyday and are unable to single out individual letters. However, you will also receive the original letter written in their language, which you will be able to enjoy reading.
Online – you can submit a photo through the letter section of your My Compassion account. Just above the box where you can type out your letter to your sponsored child, there is an “Upload a Photo” button. Use it to select the photo to add to your letter. Once you are ready to send the letter, click on the “Send Letter” button
Printed Photos – If you want to send in a physical copy of a photo, simply include it in the mail with your next written letter. It is helpful if you can write your supporter number and the child’s name and number on the back of the photo. Please do not include any photo descriptions as these will not be submitted for translation.
Children are required to write to their sponsors a minimum of two letters a year. If there is something wrong with your sponsored child, we will contact you. If it has been 6 months since you have received a letter, please contact our office. We may have an undeliverable address for you and have been unable to send your sponsored child’s letters through to you.
You can reach us by phone at 1-800-563-5437 or by email at email@example.com
In many countries where Compassion works, letter writing is not a normal part of the culture. Therefore, the letters written by your sponsored child are probably the only ones ever written. Our Compassion centre workers endeavour to teach the children how to express themselves in writing, and will often use the letter-writing days as an educational activity. Many children write what they think their sponsor might want to hear. If your sponsored child is young, please be patient while he or she learns how to write. In some cultures, it is not common to discuss personal things like hopes and dreams, or even what daily life is like. Your sponsored child may need your help to understand that you are interested in the small details. You can help your sponsored child to understand that you want to know him or her better by asking lots of questions in your letters, and telling your sponsored child about your own life. You may consider highlighting the questions you would really like answered.
Children don’t necessarily write back to you on the same day that they receive your letter. Instead, they reply on a scheduled day when all the children at the project write to their sponsors. Your sponsored child may have proudly taken your letter home to share with family & friends and may not have it handy to remind them of the questions you answered. Please remember that it can take up to two months for your letter to be translated (if needed) and delivered. Please check the date of your sponsored child’s letter so you can work out whether he or she would have received your questions before they last wrote. In some cultures children are rarely asked about what they think and do, which may explain why your child doesn’t always answer your questions, or has difficulty expressing an answer. Compassion is working on a program to ensure that questions are recorded by project staff, so they can ensure that the children answer them. You can help in this process by underlining or highlighting your questions in your letter and making them easy to understand.
Many sponsors have requested that opportunity. For years, we have discouraged such efforts due to the potential abuses of personal information (i.e. addresses) exchanged outside of a monitored relationship between a sponsor and a child. The potential for abuse is real. But, so is the potential for healthy communication between a motivated sponsor and a young person who is launching into adulthood. We encourage you to pray about your decision and then contact our office. You will need to sign a release form, and include it with a final letter to your sponsored child.
Children don’t necessarily write back to you on the same day that they get your stickers. Instead, they reply on a scheduled day when all the children at the project write to their sponsors. They may be writing back some weeks or even a month after they receive your letter, so may not remember whether they have already acknowledged what you have sent them. Please remember that each letter may take up to two months for translation and delivery. Please check the date of your child’s letter to work out whether he or she would have received your stickers before they last wrote back to you. Compassion is working on a process to ensure that every child acknowledges every piece of mail they receive from their sponsor. If you are in doubt whether your sponsored child has received your mail, you are welcome to write and ask.
Children don’t necessarily write back to you on the same day that they receive your letter. Instead, they reply on a scheduled day when all the children at the project write to their sponsors. Your sponsored child may have proudly taken your letter home to share with family & friends and may not have it handy to remind them of the questions you answered. Please remember that it can take up to two months for your letter to be translated (if needed) and delivered. Please check the date of your sponsored child’s letter so you can work out whether he or she would have received your answers before they last wrote. Compassion is working on a program to ensure that answers are recorded by project staff, so they can ensure that the children know them. You can help in this process by underlining or highlighting your answers in your letter and making them easy to understand.
There are a number of reasons why we ask that you do not communicate directly with your sponsored child. One of the important features of our program is that it enables centre workers to understand the child’s struggles and to provide help and support. Having your sponsored child’s letters processed through Compassion allows the centre staff to become familiar with your child’s needs, and to help them appropriately. Corresponding directly with your sponsored child would prevent the centre staff from knowing what support the child is requesting and may limit their ability to act on any child protection concerns. By limiting all correspondence through Compassion centres, we are also able to protect sponsors from receiving unsolicited or inappropriate requests from members of your child’s community who may otherwise gain access to your personal details. Most sponsored children speak other languages, so by having the correspondence go through Compassion, we are also able to translate the letters, from your child, for you.
Communication within many of the countries where we work can be extremely slow. All letters to and from the children can take two to four months to arrive. They are couriered to the Compassion office in each country where they are translated. As projects are often very remote, the head office will wait until they have received a reasonable number of letters before they are delivered to a particular project. A member of staff will then hand deliver them as mail systems can be very erratic and unreliable. Many sponsored children do not have a postal address in the way that we do in Canada. Please be assured that we will do our best to make sure that your letter will arrive as soon as possible. The exchange of letters is a crucial element of sponsorship and it is an area we are constantly working to improve.