ds1's school always does the samaritan's purse thing, which i know gets well and truly sltaed on here... alythough i don't recall anyone ever having first hand experience of what happens when they're handed out.. but still
i tend to go with, the kids get a present. that's a NICE thing. yes, it would be nice if it wasn't conditional on hearing some kind of sermon or whatever... but in the end it's still a good thing no? and you know what? does it really matter if they listen to some christian stuff? does it really harm?
There are no charities registered with the Charity Commission called "The Christian International Aid Trust". (you can search the register of charities here. And it doesn't seem to have a website if you google it. Does it give a registered charity number on the literature (it could be that its registered name is different, but that still doesn't explain the lack of website)?
If it were completely up to me, I'd definitely not do the shoebox, and would donate to the (non-religious) charity of my choice (eg Oxfam) if I was feeling philanthropic. But if this involved a school-aged DC then you have the added factor of the difficulties for them if everyone, except them, brings in a lovely shoebox and they have to explain why they haven't. I am not looking forward to this dilemna when my DD is school-aged!
I think its a real shame that people get caught up on the religous doctrination idea of these shoe boxes. They have a leaflet put inside them thats all.
It costs about £5 to fill a box with some toys,mittens etc. Just think of the ££££ that most families spend on Xmas each year. This is a drop in most budgets. Yet your child can think outside of their own Xmas present lists and consider this box could be the only present that child has ever received.
What a gift to your child,humility and gratitude that they live in an affluent country. My kids felt for the children who received the boxes and helped them consider others.
The name of the charity is The International Aid Trust (no "Christian" in its name); their website is http://www.internationalaidtrust.org.uk/
Registered charity 1086597
From a pdf that came up when googled as a Rotary Club partner (via RIBI assets) there is also the following, if you want to enquire directly as to their practices:
Contact for further information: International Aid Trust, Longton Business Park, Station Road, Much Hoole, Preston, PR4 5LE. Tel: 01772 611000. Fax: 01772 619933. E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.internationalaidtrust.org.uk