Every year at around this time, I receive a letter from the school asking for the boys to fill up a show box and give a donation of £2.50 in order to participate in operation Christmas Child. We do not take part for a number of reasons:
- Samaritan’s Purse who run the show box scheme are essentially christian missionary’s and I feel uncomfortable. Their mission statement includes the words “seeks to meet the spiritual and physical needs of people suffering from war, poverty, disaster, disease, and famine, with the purpose of global missionary work attendant on humanitarian aid”. For me charity and christianity do not have to go hand in hand.
- Evangelical literature is placed in the boxes or handed out along side them.
- A lot of what people send is tat from the pound shop which has been exported in the UK, only for us to send elsewhere. Where is the common sense in that let along having to give a donation of £2.50 to help pay for transport of the box.
There are lots of alternatives avalable to people who are looking at donating this Christmas
- Oxfam unwapped, which I advocated last year by simplifying your Christmas. You can buy someone a flock of chickens or a camel, or textbooks or dinners for a third world school. For these and many other life-changing or life-saving gifts.
- Save the Children. Where £3 pays for life-saving treatment for eight children with diarrhea.
- Children in Need. Every penny from the money you raise or donate will go towards helping disadvantaged children and young people right here in the UK
- Annual Blue Peter Appeal, which is something you can usually do as a family.
- Send a cow. Recommended by the lovely Victoria Wallop from It’s a small world after all, who has recently returned from a nine month round the world trip with her children.
This is not a judgmental post, just one that I hope will make you think about how and why you give.