To want to know why Mumsnetters are so against the christmas shoeboxes?

(111 Posts)
MrsWinnibago Tue 19-Aug-14 09:22:24

As far as I can tell, it's due to the religious nature of Operation Christmas Child and Samaritan's Purse....from previous threads I've seen that people resent the fact that the volunteers pray with the kids and include religious leaflets in the boxes.

But is this really enough reason to not send a box? I can't help but think, if my kids were in a war torn country and had nothing...no toys or anything...they'd rather hear a few prayers and get their box than NOT hear a few prayers and get nothing.

Or am I missing something?

CoolCat2014 Tue 19-Aug-14 09:24:07

I'm not against it, I think it's a fantastic idea!

FreeSpirit89 Tue 19-Aug-14 09:24:38

It's more the pushing there religion on people I think, good people help people because they can not for the chance to convert them x

LadyLuck10 Tue 19-Aug-14 09:24:46

I think it's a great idea too.

NynaevesSister Tue 19-Aug-14 09:25:08

That is the aspect that gets up my nose. Why should they have to hear a few prayers just to get toys? In what way is it ok to say to people you are in bad circumstances so you should just suck it up?

RustyBear Tue 19-Aug-14 09:27:08

There are charities that do the shoebox thing without the prayers - one of our governors found a local one and our school used that.

Shakirasma Tue 19-Aug-14 09:27:08

It because the charities primary aim is not about gifting toys to these children, it's about religios conversion using these boxes as a tool to gain contact and trust.

SuffolkNWhat Tue 19-Aug-14 09:27:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

QOD Tue 19-Aug-14 09:27:20

Trying to bribe non Christians into Christianity is poop

I don't care if they're Muslim, Hindu whatever, if they have nothing then a gift is good

However, perhaps a bit different with the Xmas ones, being as it's A Christian holiday and all grin

MrsWinnibago Tue 19-Aug-14 09:27:58

Nynae well until some NON religious people are willing to send and organise boxes, I can't really complain about those who ARE giving their time to ensure that the children get some gifts.

MrsWinnibago Tue 19-Aug-14 09:29:15

Suffolk I didn't know about the weeks of classes. Is that definite? I think Christmas is not important...it's the gifts of toys and practical things I like the idea of sending.

MrsWinnibago Tue 19-Aug-14 09:30:09

I want to send loads.....I read that they're always short of boys boxs aged 10-14...can anyone share details of any other charities that do this?

SuffolkNWhat Tue 19-Aug-14 09:31:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsWinnibago Tue 19-Aug-14 09:32:37

Rotary schemes? Backpacks? Should I google?

SuffolkNWhat Tue 19-Aug-14 09:33:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Tue 19-Aug-14 09:33:35

Aside from religion, are lots of very good reasons why shoeboxes are not a good way to help poor children in other countries. These have all been extensively discussed on the many threads on this topic.

If you want to help alleviate poverty donate money (or charity shop items) to the relevant charities. There are lots of non-religious ones too.

HoldenMcGroin Tue 19-Aug-14 09:36:06

Yes what they all said

Conditional gifts, hell no

WhereforeArtThou Tue 19-Aug-14 09:40:57

Great link Suffolk

I don't do the shoeboxes either.

wigglesrock Tue 19-Aug-14 09:42:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SaucyJack Tue 19-Aug-14 09:44:13

I'm not against them, tho I never get round to actually doing one.

I was on a different forum ages ago when this topic came up, and from the data I could find at the time they are sending them to countries that are already overwhelmingly practicing Christian/catholic anyway so I don't believe the hype about it being done for the purposes of religious conversion.

MrsWinnibago Tue 19-Aug-14 09:46:18

Saucy yes...I'd like some definite "proof" of the hellfire stuff really.

ILovePud Tue 19-Aug-14 09:46:59

I didn't know any of this, I just hadn't given it any thought, very grateful to have the extra information and the link, last year I didn't support the school's drive but gave a donation to Oxfam instead, but this was because I thought it'd be a more efficient way of giving. I did feel a bit mean afterwards because the children had felt a bit left our when others had taken stuff in. This year I might see if I can highlight it to the school or organise an alternative for parents and kids who don't want to be a part of this.

As others said, there are plenty of alternatives.

I think there's something dehumanizing about treating children in poverty as if they don't deserve the same religious freedoms everyone should get. There is a long history to religious imperialism and it's horrible. That's somebody else's culture and religion - it's theirs. Not ours to do away with.

Chillycamper Tue 19-Aug-14 09:47:35

Ok here goes. This is my opinion! These are my concerns:

Using loads of fuel and other resources to drive mainly plastic tat made in sweatshops by the world's poorest including children (and imported by the container load- more pollution) to war torn/poverty blighted largely non-Christian areas of the world to leave rubbish in places without the infrastructure to deal with it plus a religious 'message'.
I just can't imagine religious groups going into UK schools and giving out religious books with Starburst or Yugio cards and that being acceptable.

Personally I'd rather donate to a charity working locally supporting water, education or buy fairtrade products supporting better working conditions. Oxfam have a nice scheme where you can make a donation towards play equipment for schools etc, Save the Children. Lots of other options better in my opinion than the polluting boxes of guilt relieving tat while we enjoy our Christmas of excess...

The vicar of Putney with some religious objections:

www.theguardian.com/world/2003/nov/10/religion.society

Some alternatives here:

https://humanism.org.uk/humanism/humanism-today/humanists-doing/good-causes-and-charities/samaritans-purse/

Runs for cover

gordyslovesheep Tue 19-Aug-14 09:48:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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