2019 New Year’s Message from President & CEO Susana Eshleman

Share with us! What are you excited about in 2019?

Maybe you have a sponsored youth heading off to college or vocational training? Perhaps you’re planning to visit your sponsored child? Please tell us in the comments!


Jan 10, 2019

I am disappointed with this organization and am considering removing my support. I have two children I have always supported and am happy with that. I also received from you a picture of a third child as if I had agreed to take on another. This was disappointing to me that this organization attempted to manipulate me with these tactics. Please back off with the continued solicitations to expand my support of this organization immediately. Two and only two children fit into my budget.

Jan 10, 2019

As a rebuttal to the comment above, I would like to say that my sponsorship experience with Children International is one of the most rewarding and gratifying things I have ever done. Although I occasionally receive mail encouraging me to consider sponsoring another child, I have never felt manipulated or pressured to do so. I also sponsor a couple children through another organization, and I get considerably more "invitations" from them than I do from CI. I understand that CI may automatically send a new child information packet when a sponsored child leaves the program, but the sponsor is under no obligation to sponsor that or any other child, and a simple phone call or online chat is all it takes to cancel the sponsorship with no negative impact on the child.
The programs and services offered to CI's sponsored and enrolled children go far beyond those of many other organizations to foster positive health, welfare, education, and life skills. I am amazed at all the things CI, it's agency directors, field officers, coaches, and volunteers are able to accomplish to give children around the world a better, healthier, safer life. I know I speak for thousands of other CI sponsors who have wonderfully positive experiences every day as they develop long-lasting relationships with their sponsored children, and if something like the above is the worst thing that happens to me today, it is still a far better day than what millions of children around the world will endure. Thanks for all you do, CI, and for the opportunity to make a difference in a child's life today.

Jan 10, 2019

@Susan_1ce28: I've asked a member our staff to reach out to you, and we've also made a note not to send you mailings about sponsoring additional children. Thank you for your feedback, we truly appreciate you!

Jan 10, 2019

To Susan Eshleman - thank you for your incredible leadership and passionate support of children all over the world. I feel blessed to be able to play a small part in helping your organization better the lives of so many kids. What you do makes a huge difference in peoples lives. You are appreciated!

Jan 10, 2019

So happy to hear of another community center opening. I had the good fortune to visit my sponsored child in Lusaka Zambia. I was overwhelmed with the center and services made available to the community. I can see that my american dollars go so much farther with Children's International. I love supporting you guys and look forward to making more money so I can sponsor another child!

Jan 10, 2019

My issue may not seem important but it is to me. We have been sponsors for quite a long time. Over that period you get very involved in your children's lives. Over the years we've lost a child because her parents no longer wanted to participate and a second child who was approaching aging out and CI was moving out of the geographic area. I've requested, on a couple of occasions, an update but they were not available. Isn't there some way to maintain some type of communication rather then just having someone you've been supporting for a long time just drop off the face of the earth. I'm much more interested in maintaining contact rather then take on another unsolicited child from an unrequested picture.

Jan 11, 2019

I am very impressed with the organization of CI, it is a very well run company. As a sponsor I feel I am getting a lot of bang for the buck, I especially enjoy reading from the child I sponsor and the pictures I receive that include pictures of the child and the goods they purchased with my additional contributions. Keep up the swell work and making a difference in this world for the less fortunate.

Jan 14, 2019

@bagelguy: I understand your wish to remain in contact with your former sponsored kids. I also understand how tough it is when it's simply not possible, as with your former kids in Chile. My first sponsored child moved out of the country he lived in and, after 13 years of being his sponsor, it was tough not to know where he was or what happened to him. I've check occasionally to see if he has a social media presence, but no luck so far. Maybe you could try that with your Chile children? My hope is that your current sponsored child stays in the program until graduation and then you can share your contact info with her in your final letter.

Jan 20, 2019

I concur with the lady's comments about trying to push another child onto people. That is what happened to us but we went ahead and said yes. It is hard to say not to these needy children but if your budget won't allow you it you have to say no even tho it is tough. So, don' push another child onto already those who are sponsoring unless they ask for another. Will we be getting a statement of the money we have sent to C.I. for last year?

Jan 22, 2019

@Frank_7962e - Thanks for sharing your comments. I have noted your account so that you don't receive any information on our waiting child list going forward. Please be assured that tax receipts are currently available through your online account. You will also receive a copy by mail within the next few weeks. Hope this helps!

Apr 20, 2019


Apr 20, 2019


May 21, 2019

You are wonderful for all the good you do in this world for those who desperately need the very basics in life. It is hard not to sponsorevery child we see but we always hope someone will be able to help that child. They bring so much happiness to our life!

Jul 24, 2019

I’ve been a sponsor for a number of children in the past 8-10 yrs or so. I remember receiving letters from CI of the items that were bought from my money for my sponsored child when it was their birthday’s or Christmas or any other special event. Now it seems the money doesn’t go directly to my child’s particular needs which is something that disturbs me.
Also when children graduate from the program, communication with them seizes. I would like to know if some of them are fulfilling the dreams and aspirations that we had discussed in our letters to each other. I don’t remember if it’s CI’s policy or not but some of these children I certainly miss hearing from them.

Feb 19, 2020

The percentage of actual CI donations going to the children is now down to 84% . This is concerning as it used to be 88%. Donors are encouraged to find charities that are at least 90% going directly to the actual mission.

Feb 20, 2020

Thank you for sharing your concern, p548gdnx.

In the last year, we have made important investments to continue to drive our impact. Some of those investments fall in the category of management or fundraising and not in the direct program expenses category which lowered our percentage. They are, however, critical to our ability to deliver impact for our kids and the communities we serve. Specifically, we invested in bringing in new sponsors and donors and strengthened our operating capabilities to drive collaboration and efficiencies. Additionally, it is extremely important to note that although our percentage went down, the amount per child remained the same and no programs were cut.

We are constantly striving to be great stewards of every dollar and multiply good in the world, and we thank you for all you do to help us give children and youth a fighting chance to break the cycle of poverty for good.

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