Let’s get to work and figure out what we can send to our kids with the new Compassion letter guidelines

PGFE Bookmarks

As the dust (and shock) is starting to settle with the announcement of the new letter guidelines, now it’s time to start thinking about how we can make it work for our kids. Here are some ideas to kick-start our creativity…

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IMPORTANT CHANGES TO LETTER GUIDELINES FROM 11 APRIL 2016

First, just to get things clear in my own mind, let’s do a recap. Okay, as I understand it from a careful read of the new guidelines, we now have a maximum of 6 sheets of paper to work with (8.5” x 11″) but can fill them up back and front. They must be completely flat and able to be easily scanned. One page must include a personal letter, otherwise it will not be sent. But we no longer have to leave any blank spaces for translation, so we could easily add something extra onto that page. The “6 sheets” rule is replacing the 1/4” thick rule.

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FROM US TO OUR KIDS

The following items are now the ONLY things that are ‘approved attachments’ and will be physically delivered to our kids:

  • Stickers  (flat; no puffy, no foam)
  • Bookmarks  (flat, paper only; but they can be laminated)
  • Musical greeting cards

Sponsors are already starting to think creatively: e.g. giant bookmarks, and what they can write or glue on the back of them; or what can be written or glued inside a musical greeting card or on the back of a sheet of stickers.

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FROM US ~ DIGITALLY ~ TO OUR KIDS

We can still send other paper items as we have been doing, but they will be scanned and then sent digitally (i.e. emailed) to your child’s country office, where the scanned copy will be printed and then delivered to your child. The originals will be discarded. They include things like:

  • Letters
  • Photos
  • Postcards
  • Greeting cards
  • Coloring pages
  • Paper crafts

Also items like:  Articles for kids, puzzle worksheets, devotional snippets, maps, apologetics snippetsBible posters, Bible wallet cards (sent as a whole sheet), Bible verse cards, a colourful sheet of Bible verses, Bible study snippets, Bible cartoons, learn to draw, drawings, disassembled paper dolls, disassembled origami, etc. They are looking for completely flat, scan-friendly paper items that will not get stuck in their machines. They would like to avoid items that are smaller than 8 1/2″ x 11″ or that have glitter or other products that could interfere with the scanner. That means no more pockets, flaps, or loose items, etc. Think: straight from the printer. They advise that it helps with scanning if items are a standard paper size, but items do not need to be that size. They will accept any size photos, etc, as long as it is 8.5″ x 11″ (or less). We could make up a scrapbook collage of photos for our kids, so long as they don’t come adrift in the scanner. All of my free printables (e.g. Bible wallet cards) are scan friendly and fit the guidelines. Check my index page for lots of free printable ideas. I’ve been sending my older kids back issues of the fabulous Creation magazine that has been so helpful in building my own faith. We can still do that, but now have to choose only 5 flat pages at a time. Plastic sheet protectors will not go through to our kids, so we have to be sure to label everything; and we may like to staple things for each child together. Laminated items may not scan well, so they recommend not to (other than bookmarks, which will physically go through to the child). They also advise that all children have access to glue and scissors. Phew, is that everything?

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SO WHAT CAN WE SEND?

So as I understand it, we could send combinations like these:

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Sample 1

  • 1 letter
  • 5 bookmarks = 6 sheets

Your child will physically receive a scanned copy of your letter, and later, the 5 bookmarks.

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Sample 2

  • 1 letter
  • 1 colouring page
  • 1 craft activity page
  • 1 bookmark
  • 1 (normal) greeting card
  • 1 sheet of stickers = 6 sheets

Your child will physically receive a scanned copy of your letter, colouring page, greeting card, and the craft activity, and later, the actual bookmark and the actual sheet of stickers…

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Sample 3

Okay, let’s have a look at an example of what we can send, say if we want to do a theme, and use both front AND back of those 6 sheets of paper:

  • 1 letter (scanned)
  • 1 article for kids (scanned)
  • 1 colouring page (scanned) filled with a compilation of smaller colouring pages – here’s an easy tutorial to show you how to do that.
  • 1 puzzle page (scanned) with a compilation of smaller puzzle pages – using the same tutorial above
  • 1 paper craft activity (scanned)
  • 3 sheets of printables (scanned), e.g. 1 sheet of Bible wallet cards, 1 sheet of colourful list of Bible verses, 1x Bible poster, etc

we have 4 sheets so far, back to back… so let’s see what else…

  • 1 sheet of stickers (physically sent)
  • 1 bookmark (physically sent)

= 6 sheets… is that right?…this is doing my head in.  :o

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QUESTIONS?

If you have any queries about what you can or can’t send, please contact Compassion staff directly. I know that not all my readers are Compassion sponsors and most items that I post are already scan friendly (although some crafts will now not be suitable), so I will keep posting as I have been doing, while keeping an eye on the new guidelines. However, I will be adding things like giant bookmarks for some additional fun. And maybe some free printable stickers or even scrapbook pages, too. We’ll see. Like everyone else, I’ll initially probably be concentrating on bookmarks and stickers for my kids. But let’s not stop there. Let’s think of ways we can make things fun for our kids, knowing that they will still receive them, even if it’s not our original piece of paper. There are ways we can keep our costs down while still making our pages look interesting (e.g. using lots of white space, smaller graphics, paler colours, shrinking things down like colouring pages and puzzle pages and fitting more on one page, scattering graphics around our pages, or even just doodling on them ourselves, etc). And hopefully they will consider allowing us to email our packages to Colorado in future, and then they could just check them and then email them on to our kids. Imagine the possibilities… our kids could receive our letters in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, let’s get creative and see what we can all come up with…

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RELATED LINKS

FREE Bible bookmarks

PGFE Bookmarks

Make your own bookmarks  why not have a go at making your own giant bookmarks with this easy tutorial and add your child’s name

Free printable Bookmarks for kids Free printable Bookmarks for kids Free printable Bible Bookmarks for kids

Make your own stickers  it’s as easy as grabbing some address labels, printing (or writing) some of your favourite Bible verses out on them, and then start doodling to decorate them with this easy tutorial… too easy!

Stickers18 Stickers16 Stickers15

FREE Articles for kids

PGFE Warrior & Wimp Article for kids about King David & King Saul; free printable FREE PRINTABLE Panda article for kids giving glory to God as designerBaby in Womb ~ Article for Kids ~ Add your child's photo

A ton of Bible verses  (sent as a whole sheet)

A Ton of Bible Verses; free printable list

FREE Bible posters  upload as a normal photo when you write online to your sponsored child

FREE Kangaroo Poster with Bible verse Nehemiah 9:17 FREE Bible poster; I am the Good Shepherd; free printable FREE Bible Poster; Tropical Beach scene with ice cold drinks; Bible verse from John 4:13-14; free printable FREE Armour of God Bible poster for kids with Bible verses from Ephesians 6:10-18; free printable FREE Dare to be a Daniel poster for kids (Daniel in the Lions' Den) with Bible verse from Daniel 1:8; free printable FREE Bible poster with Bible verse from Psalm 148:5; blue butterfly on lime green background; free printable

FREE Bible wallet cards  send as a whole sheet

Happy Sail Boats FREE printable Bible Wallet Cards for kids A4 FREE Biblewallet cards with Bible verse from Psalm 148:5; blue butterfly, koala, pink roses, macaw; lime green background; free printable

FREE Bible verse cards  these could be shrunk down into a collage and sent per sheet, too

Giraffe Free Printable Note Cards for Kids A4

FREE Bible cartoons

Castle Victorious cartoon  Joyful Toons - Bible cartoons

Devotional snippets

pixabay-book

Apologetics snippets

pixabay-puzzle

Bible Study snippets

Bible with lots of markings

Learn to draw

child painting  child painting

Jazz up your online letters

Jazz up your online letters by hisheartofcompassion

Check my index page for more ideas; and everything on this site is free printable unless otherwise stated.

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Tell them about Jesus!

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11 thoughts on “Let’s get to work and figure out what we can send to our kids with the new Compassion letter guidelines

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  6. This site is wonderful! Thank you for all of the ideas! I’m so excited to get busy for our boy, Parfait! Do you know if colored copies are scanned in color? Thanks a million and God’s blessings! Julie

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    • Hi Julie, Thanks so much for your encouraging comment. It is my understanding that scans will be in colour, but just to be sure, you might like to check with Compassion staff. They can be contacted at the link at the top of this post or on Facebook. Let me know if you need the links. How old is your boy and what country is he in?

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  7. Thanks for breaking this down for us! I am disappointed that kids won’t get the original letter, as we had been encouraged to write some “old fashioned” letters and not just use the online app

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    • It was so confusing, doing this helped gel it in my own mind. :~ And yes, it is disappointing isn’t it? But if we can only send tiny packages, maybe it will spur us on to write more often… maybe! What country is your child in? Thanks for your visit today, Jen. (I love your yellow polka dot background!)

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have a sponsored child in Brazil … Age 7 and a correspondent child soon to be 16 in Kenya. Both girls. We write frequently because DD corresponds with the 7 yo and I with the 16 yo. We are fairly recent to Compassion but are 100% committed. It’s been interesting for DD to have an opportunity to encourage someone else, especially with regard to faith.

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        • Oh, cool. Our Estefany (from the blog name – she’s 18 this year) is in El Salvador and we have two in Kenya… Kefa and Ann. And a few more scattered around Africa and then there is Dhori in East India. Love them all. Can’t believe how fast they all grow up! We have three turning 20 this year! And our two ‘babies’ are 12 and 13! It’s so great that you have DD involved. Kids love writing to kids. :)

          Liked by 1 person

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