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AIBU to be annoyed at DC daycare (nursery) about Operation Christmas Child?

(11 Posts)
Whowouldfardelsbear Fri 04-Oct-13 06:04:06

My DDs' daycare participates in the Operation Christmas Child shoebox campaign. I hadn't heard of them until last year when they had some shoe boxes and leaflets by the reception area. I took a box home and after reading the leaflet, researched them a bit on the Internet. I didn't like what I read and decided not to bother. All well and good - DD was none the wiser and never asked about it

They are doing it again this year. However, this year they seem to have pushed the idea onto the children. DD was really excited about it when I went to collect her and asked if we could take a shoe box home as "some children don't get any Christmas presents". I told her no, and used the excuse that she is about to leave daycare to start school and her school maybe doing something else.

The last three evenings I have picked her up she had asked about us taking a shoe box home and I keep saying "no". I witnessed another boy in tears when his dad told him they weren't taking a box either.

I am annoyed that daycare have been pushing this on to the children and am considering complaining. The daycare is part of a national chain and the decision to partipate in OCC is made at a national level. Is it unreasonable to complain?

I would also appreciate any advice on how I can explain my reservations (which are the evangelising and comments made about other religions) about OCC to DD (5) in an age appropriate way. I am atheist and god had never really come up in our lives before. I don't really want our first discussion around god to be about this!

By the way, I am in New Zealand if it is relevant. I assume that OCC get everywhere!

HouseOfGingerbread Fri 04-Oct-13 06:59:31

They do get everywhere and get lots of positive coverage in local news etc. Many people - including schools etc running the scheme - don't know the background. Complain to the nursery.

It's not just their dodgy propaganda methods either -some families may not be able to afford to fill a box. Their children shouldn't feel bad because of that.

ImATotJeSuisUneTot Fri 04-Oct-13 07:04:22

DD1s school does it every year.

Every year I write and tell them, quite clearly, why we will not be involved.

Every year DD gets guilt tripped about it, because Christmas is a time for charity don't you know?

I agree with the PP - it costs about £5 to fill a box - money some families really don't have to spare!

Wowserz129 Fri 04-Oct-13 07:11:36

What is the issue with doing a shoe box? Just curious! I agree they should not be pushing it on your DD. These things if done should be optional and I am sure we all have our individual charities/causes we would/do give to already. As someone else said £5 to fill one is a lot of money to some.

HouseOfGingerbread Fri 04-Oct-13 07:11:49

Collecting small wrapped gifts for a local women's/family shelter or similar would be a nice alternative.

I'm an atheist too but wouldn't mind giving a gift to be distributed by a religious group, as long as it was done without strings. Lots of churches etc manage this successfully, genuinely doing good work for people.

Whowouldfardelsbear Fri 04-Oct-13 07:15:27

Yes to the cost issue as well. IIRC last year the leaflet also asked for a donation of $15 (about 8 pounds) to cover admin and transport costs. I will pick up a leaflet on Monday and check on this - maybe this is just something they ask in NZ.

I deeply object to my money being used by an organization to find their evangelizing (with a few show boxes of trinkets thrown in on the side).

HorryIsUpduffed Fri 04-Oct-13 07:17:59

Is there another scheme you would consider? eg donating directly to a local charity or shelter?

Last year a few of us at school informally collected a box of nice toiletries, hot water bottles, accessories etc which one of us arranged to drop at the local women's shelter. There are similar schemes for getting toys to deprived children.

If you were able to say "no we won't fill a shoebox but how about choosing a whole toy for a child instead" would make DD feel better?

I have contacted school to ask the head to swerve OCC in favour of Mary's Meals, which works all year round in Malawi and Liberia to provide school meals, clothes and supplies to the poorest children who otherwise wouldn't get an education at all. No evangelism involved.

Whowouldfardelsbear Fri 04-Oct-13 07:18:11

Thats a good idea Gingerbread. I may get the DDs to do something similar for Women's Refuge.

I don't have a huge issue with donating to religious organization in this way. I always donate a toy to the City Mission which distribute them to needy local families (with no god on the side).

mumofweeboys Fri 04-Oct-13 07:32:03

I would get her to do a shoe box and give it to the charity of your choice

Whowouldfardelsbear Fri 04-Oct-13 07:36:20

Ah - I've just googled them. The Australasian branch OCC are asking for $9 to cover "all project costs including staffing, warehousing and shipping in Australia and New Zealand to our receiving countries".

So that's about 5 pound just to send the box before you even begin filling it.

I am going to research some alternative schemes and suggest the daycare looks at supporting them.

OwlinaTree Fri 04-Oct-13 07:42:45

I second mumofweeboys just let him fill a shoe box and donate it to another charity. If he's pre school he's not going to pick up the god message bit.

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