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Is National Others week another Operation Christmas Child

(21 Posts)
kittens Tue 05-Nov-13 19:31:10


Just wondered if anyone knew if National Others week which is part of Global Compassion (part of the Christian Outreach centre) is a group similar to the Samaritans Purse lot. My Children's school are taking part this week and they asking for donations of money, it was only today when they brought a flyer home about it I realised it was a Christian group. If its a group that help people regardless I'm fine with it what I don't agree with is where they indoctrinate the people in exchange for help. Does anyone know anything about them?

LindyLouise Sat 09-Nov-13 09:32:42

Hello Kittens, I'm new here! I'm sure you will have checked out their website but I think they are an Australian organisation? Do they even operate in the UK? The only thing I'd offer is to make sure you know who is to benefit from your donation!

Surrey123 Thu 14-Nov-13 08:37:29

Hello Kittens,
National Others Week (the UK arm) partnered with Global Compassion as their charity this year. The money (post cost) will go to help the humanitarian aid which supports people irrespective of faith or no faith etc. Something that is mentioned on their website.
I don't believe that NOW asked for money but gave children the opportunity to purchase a wristband as an act of kindness to which net income would go to Global Compassion.
You may have received a speedier reply if you had emailed the contact details on the NOW website regarding your query as we have only come across this question by accident.

prh47bridge Thu 14-Nov-13 09:14:55

Samaritans Purse helps people regardless of faith. The shoeboxes are distributed with no strings attached. Contrary to what some people would have you believe they do not put Christian literature into the boxes nor have they ever done so, although they do offer Christian literature with the boxes in many (but not all) of the countries where they operate.

jomidmum Thu 14-Nov-13 15:27:22

Samaritans Purse / Operation Christmas Child have in the past put Christian literature with their boxes! I lived overseas for a number of years and we received many of these wonderful boxes each year for the children in our care. There was no obligation to respond to the literature at all though. Boxes were distributed fairly and in a really responsible way. Very few of the local people we worked with could read anyway!

FannyMcNally Thu 14-Nov-13 16:14:34

From what I can make out SP put Christian literature into all boxes. They make an exception for the UK where the literature is put in at the point of delivery where as in other countries it is put in at source.

prh47bridge Thu 14-Nov-13 16:39:22

Was it in the box or just with the box? According to OCC it should not have been in the box.

mrz Thu 14-Nov-13 18:27:37

mrz Thu 14-Nov-13 18:50:35

There are a number of videos placed by SP which seem to support the idea of indoctrination

aghteens Thu 14-Nov-13 19:10:49

I've often wondered whether the people who receive these boxes feel that it's inappropriate - I've see pieces in the Guardian, New Statesman etc but never from the other end. I've always felt that anything that makes children think of others is a good thing and that this seems pretty harmless, although I know not everybody feels that way.

mrz Thu 14-Nov-13 19:58:00

I think there are a number of charities that do the same without any strings aghteens

souperb Thu 14-Nov-13 20:00:48

The US version of the Samaritan's Purse website is a lot more up front about the purposes of the boxes.

I simply don't believe that the message of Jesus is to use presents as bait to children to hear the Gospel.

prh47bridge Fri 15-Nov-13 12:56:41

As I said on another thread, SP do offer a book of Bible stories with many of the boxes but they do also distribute boxes in countries where they are not allowed to do this. They say the books are not in the box and the child will receive the box regardless of whether or not they take the book. They also offer discipleship courses but again these are not a condition of receiving the box and the child can only go on the course if their parents consent. Having watched the video linked by mrz I can't see anything there that contradicts SP's claim that the boxes are distributed with no strings attached but with these other things offered alongside to those who want them. Having said that, I suspect that the vast majority of children accept the book of Bible stories if it is offered to them.

Whether you regard this as indoctrination or spreading the message of Jesus depends very much on your point of view.

mrz Fri 15-Nov-13 18:40:09

Really prh47bridge? Not even when the narrator said "these shoeboxes are really the segue, they are opening the door for us to teach these children about Jesus." ? Or the graduates from the 12 week discipleship who had received a shoebax which planted the seed ...OCC has done everything in it's power ... etc

Hulababy Fri 15-Nov-13 18:47:25

I refuse to do OCC.
We do a shoebox for a local homeless person's charity instead.

prh47bridge Fri 15-Nov-13 23:57:06

Yes really Mrz. I heard those quotes. Yes, OCC use the shoeboxes to open the door but that does not mean they force children to take the book of Bible stories as a condition of taking the shoebox, nor does it mean they force children to take the discipleship course as a condition of taking the shoebox. The comments on that video were in no way incompatible with offering the shoebox with no strings with the Bible stories book as an optional extra and the discipleship course offered at a later date, which is what OCC say happens.

To use a different example, I am forever receiving letters from the Red Cross containing a pen and other items. There are no strings attached to their gift of a pen but they are using it to open the door to talk to me about the Red Cross in the hope that I will give them some money. That doesn't mean I am forced to give them money in return for the pen. The pen genuinely comes with no strings attached.

mrz Sat 16-Nov-13 06:28:04

Presumably you as an adult have the knowledge and maturity to make those choices that a young street child may not.

mrz Sat 16-Nov-13 06:34:27

prh47bridge Sat 16-Nov-13 11:07:05

I suspect that most children take the book of Bible stories as would most adults in the same situation. Parental consent is required for the child to go on the discipleship course.

You clearly regard offering children a book of Bible stories as indoctrination. I don't.

mrz Sat 16-Nov-13 13:48:29

Parental consent isn't required as many of the children have no parents to give consent ...No prh47bridge I don't regard offering a child a book of Bible stories as indoctrination, I regard giving a shoebox full of gifts as a lure as indoctrination.

souperb Sat 16-Nov-13 19:39:04

It's not just a "book of bible stories".

This is the booklet OCC give out:-

As well as selected bible stories with "commentary", it contains the story of the conversion of a young boy who then exhorts the reader to join him, a "sinner's prayer" for conversion and a pledge card. In the publishers own words the booklet is "PROVEN and effective to lead anyone, anywhere to the Lord Jesus Christ".

The extremely evangelical nature of OCC is really downplayed to the UK market. So not only are gifts used to "bribe" children into attending conversion courses through a reciprocation effect, but these gifts are donated by people who largely have little idea of the true nature of the scheme. Add to this the large salaries drawn from the charity by its board (eg Franklin Graham $483,000 in addition to $633,722 from the Billy Graham Foundation HERE ) and it is all rather concerning (to me anyway!)

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