Operation Christmas Child

(38 Posts)
moniker Tue 05-Oct-04 12:52:14

I'm trying to get this organised a bit at work as I've done it before but have had a couple of comments about the religious side of it that have got me thinking. I'm not strongly religious myself but I do like the idea of sending the Christmas boxes. What do you guys think? I'd be really interested to know and here's the link:

http://www.samaritanspurse.uk.com/occ/what-is.asp

I'll do a proper link when I can read the (instructions!)

steppemum Thu 07-Oct-04 16:04:51

I'm sorry, feel as if I have hijacked this thread somewhat, didn't mean to, just thought you might like to hear about the receiving end

I'll keep quiet now!

Thunderbird1 Thu 07-Oct-04 21:18:18

Thats really interesting Steppemum - we have done boxes for the last couple of years & although I have requested some feedback as to where they end up, I haven't had any. I've just picked up a form from nursery & will be doing another box or 2 this year. Keep up the good work!

soapbox Thu 07-Oct-04 21:55:26

Interesting Steppemum. However, I'm not too bothered in what context they are given or received, but that a child somewhere experiences the excitement of some new toys and other bits and pieces that he wouldn't otherwise have had

JanH Thu 07-Oct-04 22:05:36

Steppemum, that's a great explanation (and softfroggie too). I suppose it's debatable whether kids in a place like Zazakhstan will get much benefit from commercial Western presents (like the McDonalds toys), but for them to get toys and games they wouldn't otherwise get, and hats and scarves and gloves and things that they really need, is wonderful.

I think calling it Operation Christmas Child is basically just brilliant marketing from the Western end. Obviously there is a year-round need for help like this but if not tagged on to Christmas it would be much less likely to happen. Reading steppemum's post makes me want to do it much more! Footballs are never going to fit into a shoebox, sadly - unless deflated and I don't suppose there are many football pumps kicking around over there - but I bet any kind of ball would do?

JanH Thu 07-Oct-04 22:06:00

Kazakhstan, even

hana Thu 07-Oct-04 22:08:51

steppemum - how are you doing? I remember reading about your m/c last year....hope things are ok with you and your family.
hana

hana Thu 07-Oct-04 22:09:26

don't mean to bring up bad memories, maybe should have worded that differently

steppemum Fri 08-Oct-04 16:37:48

Hi - sorry for attributing soft froggies explanation to jollymum!
Hi hana, thanks for you good wishes, I am now 17 weeks pregnant, so have rediscovered mumsnet, and am doing really well, thanks for asking.

I hope I haven't put you all off shoeboxes, you are right, a good bit of marketing gets results, so I shouldn't moan. The kids who get the boxes do appreciate them, so go for it.

I know footballs are not possible, but a smaller sturdy ball (that could be kicked around) would do wonderfully for most of the kids here. They usually play football with an empty plastic coke bottle. Other things that go down well are things like plastic farmyard animals (for younger ones obviously) Very durable and lots of imaginative play and no instructions needed. (I was in my neighbours flat last night, watching her 5 year old with very few toys playing, and thought how much he wouls appreciate something like that).

hana Fri 08-Oct-04 17:58:20

Fantastic news Steppemum!! Really pleased for you and your family. I'm preg again too, and am nearly 30 weeks. Lots of luck for a wonderful ( rest of) pregnancy!

Marina Fri 08-Oct-04 20:13:48

Steppemum, good to hear from you on all fronts, especially lovely news about the new baby. Hope all continues to go well.

Fdubourt Sun 11-Nov-12 18:13:00

I felt like I had to really respond to this. I am a volunteer for Operation Christmas Child. We do not send anything religous in the shoe boxes and we also make sure that there is nothing in the boxes which would offend any other religion.

nextphase Sun 11-Nov-12 18:20:06

if you want to know where your box ends up, you can donate the money on line, print off the barcode they generate, and then include that in your box. You'll get a message regarding where (but not who) your gift ended up.

confuugled Sun 11-Nov-12 18:39:26

Moniker I was just wondering what made you want to send a box through operation christmas child rather than any of the other charities that send out stuff at christmas - or indeed throughout the year?

Before jumping into operation christmas child - which does have a lot of publicity but does have quite a lot of bad publicity too (and if you read their american site rather than their UK one, you'll see that the shoe boxes that get sent by the Americans are actively used to evangelise rather than to give a present to a needy child altruistically with no strings attached) have you checked out any of the other schemes? summary of some of the problems with operation samaritans purse

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against christian people sending out christmas boxes and saying Merry Christmas when they do. However I do object to paying for the contents of a box and then paying towards the delivery of the box when it is going to be used towards paying for evangelical fundamental christian missionary work and the boxes are used as rewards for those who have to listen to the missionaries to get their boxes, when there are lots of strings attached. I also understand that they are quite careful with their words - so whilst they may not put their literature in the boxes, it is put on top of them - ie it is very difficult to get the box without the literature!

There's quite a few good ones that others on MN have recommended including
+ mary's meals - which have several schemes including a backpack project where you send out a backpack with things in to help a child to attend school when they wouldn't be able to otherwise (or stuff towards helping fill other backpacks, they have a list of what's needed) and a big blue mug project where for £7 you can buy a big blue mug from them - and that's enough to feed a child for a year in Malawi

+ Rotary shoebox scheme- operates all year round and uses the rotary network to distribute the boxes

+ aqua box - who send boxes with equipment that enable a family to filter water to make it safe to drink for a good couple of years

and I'm sure if you look at some of the other threads about operation christmas child you'll get lots of other ideas.

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