to ask for your help in writing an objection to Operation Christmas Child?

(693 Posts)
autumnwinds Sat 02-Nov-13 12:57:00

Our local primary is supporting OCC and has published a piece in the village magazine explaining how wonderful it is and how much the local children enjoy it, what a difference it makes to needy children, and inviting local residents to donate too. The piece omits any reference to the evangelical christian literature that is distributed with the parcels and the way that the gifts are used as a tool to agressively convert recipients to christianity.

I would like to write a reply for publishing in next month's issue trying to give the full picture so that people can make an informed choice about whether to donate to this charity, and to suggest some alternatives that don't come with the religious baggage.

As I don't have a child at the primary yet I'm not sure about tackling the school itself about it (they are not a faith school, so not sure they should be supporting this). DC will be starting next year so I might save that fight for next xmas!

Anyway does anyone have any ideas about a few lines I could write, something succinct and unemotional? I feel quite cross about it but don't want to come across as an equally fundamentalist atheist. I've been looking for some evidence on the web for people who want to know more but most of it is not well referenced...

fluffyduckie Sat 02-Nov-13 13:22:41

Wouldn't most people know that it was a Christian organisation though? I haven't made boxes or been involved but I know that it is a Christian charity that organises and distributes the gifts.

Is there an atheist (or non-Christian) alternative that you could suggest instead?

It is like child sponsorship - there are all sorts of options. Some teach Christianity and are religious charities (like Compassion) but there are plenty of others that don't.

Extracts from my e-mail to our head about the subject...

... the idea of "Christmas shoeboxes" such as through Operation Christmas Child. I'd like at this point to raise a plea for http://www.marysmeals.org.uk/what-you-can-do/backpack-project/ the Backpack Project. Unlike some other similar projects it is not run by a religious organisation (tying gifts to evangelism doesn't fit well with a non-denominational school in my opinion) and is more closely and obviously linked with educational projects to keep children in school, by feeding them, which is the main Mary's Meals project, and by providing school supplies, which is the Backpack Project I'm plugging today.

I'd really like you to consider this charity instead of some of the more famous "Christmas shoebox" charities [...] The school food funding and backpack provision goes on all year round in Malawi and Liberia, and it's pretty humbling to think that the price of a week's school dinners at <our school> could fund school dinners for a child in Malawi for a year.

jellyboatsandpirates Sat 02-Nov-13 13:40:13

YABU.
It's threads like this that make me wish I could afford to do a hundred shoeboxes for them instead of just the one.
Dropping mine off next week. smile

sonlypuppyfat Sat 02-Nov-13 13:46:03

I'm going to volunteer in the warehouse sorting them. I don't usually but you haters have really pissed me off.

ILetHimKeep20Quid Sat 02-Nov-13 13:47:36

You exercise your right to choose which charities to support and don't assume other people aren't capable of doing the same.

Sabotaging off is a bit of an in thing here on mumsnet.

You don't agree, you don't participate, start and end of it. Launching a one woman mission to make sure everyone else thinks the same as you is unreasonable

jellyboatsandpirates Sat 02-Nov-13 13:49:03

I'm going to volunteer in the warehouse sorting them. I don't usually but you haters have really pissed me off.

I'd like to volunteer sorting out boxes, sounds like fun smile
No warehouses anywhere near me though. sad

Chippednailvarnish Sat 02-Nov-13 13:49:28

Why don't you spend your time and energy helping a charity you do approve of, instead of trying to hurt a charity you don't.
YABVVU

jellyboatsandpirates Sat 02-Nov-13 13:49:39

You don't agree, you don't participate, start and end of it. Launching a one woman mission to make sure everyone else thinks the same as you is unreasonable

This.

ReindeerBollocks Sat 02-Nov-13 13:50:29

YABU most people know the religious elements and can choose to get involved. If it was compulsory I'd back your stance but it's not - people may or may not participate should they so wish.

Please don't write a counter argument, because even though your points may be valid it will not make you look good.

manicinsomniac Sat 02-Nov-13 13:51:06

YABU

If you don't want to support a charity then surely the thing to do is not support the charity, not undermine the work of that charity and discourage others from supporting it?

Most people know the OCC is a Christian charity and (in real life, not on MN) most people seem happy to support it anyway. I don't think it's one of the best examples of charitable work out there but it doesn't cost much money and is a good way of teaching children to think of other children at Christmas.

Don't like it, don't do it. Easy. There are thousands of charities I don't give to, everyone has to choose and prioritise.

jellyboatsandpirates Sat 02-Nov-13 13:51:55

*Why don't you spend your time and energy helping a charity you do approve of, instead of trying to hurt a charity you don't.
YABVVU*

Exactly. There's so many different charities to choose from. Trying to bend people to your way of thinking is definitely unreasonable, and I'd be mightily peed off if my kids started doing shoeboxes at school, all excited, and then got it all called off because of one single person getting all outraged at it.

Squidwardtenticles Sat 02-Nov-13 13:52:04

Christmas is a christian thing so surely you would expect some christian literature?

cardibach Sat 02-Nov-13 13:52:48

I don't think everyone does know how evangelical Operation Christmas Child is, though. All the OP wants to do is give people information.

puntasticusername Sat 02-Nov-13 13:53:26

Harsh, guys. OP only says she wants to offer fuller information so as to support people in making better informed decisions. There's nothing wrong with that.

Personally I'm glad to have read about the other "side" of OCC on mn; it's not something I'd ever thought about before, but now I know it definitely affects what I think about it all.

AnyCrunchyCarrotFucker Sat 02-Nov-13 13:53:48

I have to knock up a similar letter for school before Monday.

There are so many better causes they could support. Shipping plastic tat in a shoebox with fundamentalist literature is just....argh...wrong on so many levels.

So I know they're Christian, but what exactly do they do wrong? I know there's a lot of carping on the interconnect but then there is about most things...enlighten me please, as our nursery is running the scheme, and I'd like to choose whether to do that or something else.

Incidentally, does anyone know any charity doing boxes for the Syrian refugees? I have about 10m baby blankets...

jellyboatsandpirates Sat 02-Nov-13 13:54:08

I don't think everyone does know how evangelical Operation Christmas Child is, though. All the OP wants to do is give people information.

Lots of people DO know though. And would still like the option to be able to give instead of being told what they should be thinking and doing.

fluffyduckie Sat 02-Nov-13 13:54:34

I follow their FB page and they had one of the Duck Dynasty men on packing a box.

You exercise your right to choose which charities to support and don't assume other people aren't capable of doing the same.

Exactly this!

HettiePetal Sat 02-Nov-13 13:55:55

I think it's perfectly acceptable to raise consciousness about this issue.

How anyone can think that it's OK to use vulnerable children as a tool to spread their religious message is beyond me.

Because that IS what they do - it says as much in their literature.

Plenty of other organisations around manage to do similar things without such an dubious aim.

Horry's letter is a good template, Autumn. Take no notice of the silly "haters" nonsense.

jellyboatsandpirates Sat 02-Nov-13 13:56:56

There are so many better causes they could support. Shipping plastic tat in a shoebox with fundamentalist literature is just....argh...wrong on so many levels.

Christian literature in a Christmas shoebox?! shock Whatever next? Shocker.
Anyway, if you bothered to read the blurb about the organisation, you would see that they do NOT routinely out them in shoeboxes, only in places where it is deemed appropriate - like for example a church handing them out might put one in.
Oh, and what the hell's wrong with plastic tat? My kids and every other kid I know LOVES plastic tat. grin

scaevola Sat 02-Nov-13 13:58:48

I think once the school has decided, and once local publicity has begun, there is little that can be done.

The root issue is that the school has chosen a charity of which you disapprove. It won't further your aim here and now, but seeking to influence the choice for future years might be more achievable.

Do you know how the school reached its decision this year?

puntasticusername Sat 02-Nov-13 13:59:56

jellyboats "being told what to think and what they should be doing".

Can you point out to me where the op said that's what she intends to do? Because I don't see it.

IDontDoIroning Sat 02-Nov-13 14:00:56

Yanbu I agree with you.
If you discount the evangelical component, what children in the third world need is not boxes of plastic tat which has travelled half way round the world. What they really need is sustainable help.
Christmas only means something to us in the western because we have the luxury to make it different. To them it's just another day without clean water or decent food etc.

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