This is a bitch about thank you notes. Ye be forewarned.
I just got a thank you card in the mail, for gifts that I sent last Christmas. I made and sent packages to the girls in a girls' home in Mexico that is affiliated with a mission. I made individual bags for each of the girls at the home with homemade soap, lotion, and lip balm and gourmet chocolates, and I also sent kids' books in Spanish and art/school supplies. I sent it to the US address in San Diego that I was told to send it to, and then they forgot to pick up their mail at the post office for a month and a half (during which they made several trips to San Diego, btw; I did this because I know someone who volunteers with them part time). Then after the package was finally picked up and transported across the border sometime in January I was promised pictures and a thank you note. I did see pictures - of the girls opening and using the gifts that other people sent, but not of the stuff I gave them. I did not request pictures, btw, but I was assured that they took pictures of the girls opening their presents and they requested my address (which was on the box...).
I gave up on both the pictures and thank you note months ago, and decided that I simply would not be sending them anything else. I didn't do it for recognition, but the whole thing just left a bad taste in my mouth. I spent a good chunk of time making the products and putting the package together, and an even larger chunk of money on the supplies and the shipping, and as a graduate student it's not like my budget is overflowing with superfluous funds. I'll find other groups this year to spend my time and money on.
So today I get a thank you note in the mail, with pictures on the front - once again of gifts that other people gave them, and not a single one of the gifts I sent. On the inside the girls wrote generic things like "Thanks. - Name" and "Thanks for the gift. - Name" There is, again, no mention of any of the actual presents I gave them. On the back is a typed note that says "Thank you for your generosity and kindness to us this past Christmas! God bless". The post mark says it was mailed on Monday. The return address sticker was, bizarrely, put on backwards - on the inside of the envelope flap so that when the envelope was closed the sticky side faced outward and stuck out from inside the envelope. Better late than never, I suppose, and better something than nothing, but I'm still not planning on donating to them again.