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Jason and Teresa - Dallas, Texas

The Joy of Child Sponsorship

by Teresa L.

My Compassion sponsorship story begins when my mom came home from a Michael W. Smith concert with a needy little Indonesian boy’s picture. “I went to the concert as a volunteer for Compassion and on the table I was working at I saw this little face that I couldn’t leave behind, he didn’t get sponsored tonight so I brought him home for you to sponsor,” she said. As a teenager on a babysitter’s “income” I wasn’t sure if I could afford to care for this precious little person in the photo. My mom explained how through Compassion’s program, kids in need would receive daily meals, clothing, medical care and an education but best of all, he would learn about Jesus. “All that for $28 a month,” I asked? “Yes, and they will even write you letters,” she assured. So began my wonderful journey with helping children in need with Compassion.

Today, ten years later, my husband and I are the proud “parents” of 5 Compassion children. I can’t begin to tell you what a joy it has been to watch our kids grow and mature into beautiful children on God. Each child in need has a different personality and circumstance, but they all share the same ray of hope that is Compassion. They are experiencing a life they probably wouldn’t know if we didn’t allow God to use us through Compassion. Our sponsorship experience has been life changing not just for them, but for us… learning to be grateful for all we have been given and using it to bless others. It’s taught us about what is really important in this short time we share this earth together. I would encourage anyone reading this today to just take a look at the children in need waiting for a sponsors and see if you find a little face you can’t leave behind… you’ll be so glad you did and if nothing else, think of it as changing the world without even having to leave your house!

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Compassion International's Christian child sponsorship ministry exists for one simple reason: to break the cycle of poverty for children everywhere.

This vision stems from Rev. Everett Swanson who, in the early 1950's, developed a system for caring people to sponsor Korean children for just a few dollars a month. This provided Korean children with:

  • Food, shelter, and clothing as needed
  • Education and healthcare
  • Christian training and personal attention

That work has continued, and grown, for over 50 years. Today we are helping over 500,000 children in over 20 countries.

Sponsor a child today and help release children from poverty in Jesus' name.

>> Yes, I want to change
a child's life today!



Christians take their giving seriously, and are careful about each donation decision. recommends Compassion International, the trusted leader in child sponsorship.

To search for a child now, CLICK HERE, or read more about Compassion below...

Compassion International Frequently Asked Questions

About Child Development

About Compassion

Financial Integrity

What makes Compassion stand out among other childcare organizations? 
As a Compassion sponsor, you'll discover Compassion's distinctive values:
  • A focus on child development: Our program targets the needs of individual children first. Many organizations focus on the needs of the community first. Both approaches have value but we believe Compassion's emphasis reminds everyone staff, sponsor and child alike that everything we do is based on the needs of the children we serve.

  • Working exclusively through local churches and Christian fellowships: We want sponsored children to view the benefits of Compassion sponsorship as an expression of God's love for them. We also want to equip the Body of Christ in the countries where we work with effective child development ministries so that church leaders and members around the world can become effective child advocates in their communities.

  • A goal of child discipleship: We believe the most loving thing we can do for children is to introduce them to Jesus Christ. Here's why:
    1. When children discover their worth to God, their self-esteem blossoms.
    2. Children who recognize their roles as disciples are a strategic part of today's Church.
    3. Children discipled in the Word and ways of God become our most potent weapon against tomorrow's poverty because they are tomorrow's Church.
Our goal, then, is to take a child from the brink of survival to abundant life as a disciple of Jesus Christ.
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Do children have to become Christians to continue receiving help from Compassion? 
No. Children are welcome to participate in a Compassion project regardless of their faith. Compassion's programs, however, are unapologetically Christian and every Compassion project is connected to a Christian church or ministry. While we want children to have the opportunity to see living faith in action, hear the gospel and have an opportunity to be discipled in the ways of Christ,  neither they nor their families are under any compulsion to become Christians.

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Don't Western sponsors raise unrealistic expectations among poor children in developing countries? 
Children around the world are bombarded with images from Western media that promote materialism and highlight the disparity between the rich and poor. Sponsorship provides a bridge between cultures and connects those from different worlds on a very human, caring level. Sponsors receive materials that provide guidelines for their contacts with children and staff screen correspondence for inappropriate or culturally-insensitive materials. Because a sense of hopelessness is at the root of poverty, we want our programs to raise the hopes and expectations of children. We encourage sponsors to emphasize the rewards of faith and family and values such as health, productivity and generosity, rather than Western possessions or accomplishments.
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Why does Compassion focus on individual child development rather than broader community development work? 
Compassion has been involved in development work for over 50 years. During that time, we have tried various approaches to break the cycle of poverty in children's lives. We've seen that changed circumstances rarely change people's lives while changed people inevitably change their circumstances. Community development is important work that addresses the external circumstances of poverty and is an important complement to our work. However, our primary focus is individual child development an inside-out, bottom-up approach that recognizes the God-given value and potential of each individual child. Very often, these children grow up to become positive influences in their own communities.

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How did Compassion begin and what is its current status? 
In 1952, evangelist Rev. Everett Swanson was preaching in Korea. Moved by the plight of Korean war orphans, Swanson established a program through which caring people could provide food, shelter, education, medical care and Christian training for those orphans. Rev. Swanson's program became the basis for what is now Compassion International.

Nearly one million children have been sponsored through Compassion; its history can be traced through more than 40 countries.

Compassion's Christian commitment has never wavered. We are keenly aware of the part we can play in fulfilling the Great Commission. All of our employees are committed followers of Jesus Christ, dedicated to developing children worldwide and we are working exclusively through local churches and fellowships.

Currently, Compassion serves over 500,000 children in more than 20 developing countries.
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Is Compassion affiliated with any church or denomination? 
Compassion works with local church partners and fellowships representing more than 65 denominations. Our statement of faith is the same as that of the National Association of Evangelicals.
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What is Compassion International? 
Compassion International is a Christian not-for-profit ministry dedicated to the long-term holistic development of children in poverty.

Our ministry of Christian child development is two-fold:
  1. We work through the local church to provide child development programs that release children from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty, enabling them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults.
  2. We speak out on behalf of children in poverty, informing others of the needs and potential of children and motivating and equipping them to become increasingly involved in holistic child development.
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In which countries does Compassion work? 

In Africa, we work in Burkina Faso*, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
In Middle America, we work in the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and Mexico.
In South America, we work in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
In Asia, we work in India, Bangladesh*, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.

*We will be registering children in July 2004.

Learn more about where we work.

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Does Compassion send assistance directly to children and their families? 
In most cases, no. Such direct aid can lead to misuse of funds, children's unhealthy dependency on an outside organization and difficulty in monitoring individual development goals. Compassion funds church-based programs that provide developmental opportunities and benefits agreed upon by the church and Compassion. The standard is that funds are used on meaningful developmental opportunities for the program's children.

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How does Compassion ensure that funds are making a difference in the lives of children? 
Compassion seeks out local partners who share our passion and vision for ministry. When they are as committed to the children as we are, they make sure that the funds are used effectively. In addition, we train and equip project workers so that they understand effective child development and good financial management. Compassion is totally committed to earning the trust of our donors and sponsors. Integrity is not only a commitment but a value that drives our whole organization. Besides an annual audit of Compassion by an independent auditing firm, we regularly conduct our own audits to make sure that funds are properly received, tracked and managed in every project for every child.

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How much of a sponsorship gift goes to a child's program? 
Compassion is committed to seeing that 80 percent or more of our expenditures are used for program activities, including cash grants to projects, field training, program evaluation, communication between sponsor and child and other critical activities. We are also committed to carefully managing our administrative and fund-raising costs in order to provide the most effective and meaningful programs possible.

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Are my contributions to Compassion, including my sponsorship support and other gifts, tax-deductible? 
Yes. All contributions to Compassion are tax-deductible in the United States. As a requirement of the 1993 Revenue Reconciliation Act, we verify that no goods or services of value are given to you for your contribution.
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Can I see a copy of Compassion's most recent audited statement? 
Yes. Compassion is audited each year by an independent accounting firm. We publish this report in its entirety and make it available to anyone at any time. Accountability is a commitment and a value that drives our whole organization. We are committed to earning and keeping your trust.
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Compassion International is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Compassion has been recognized for superior financial integrity, and is
listed by the American Institute of Philanthropy listing of "Top Rated Charities"

Your child sponsorship contributions to Compassion are tax-deductible in the United States.