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Operation Christmas Child - requested donations ''For boys, trucks and cars, for girls, dolls, clip on earrings etc.'

(20 Posts)
howdidthishappenthen Thu 29-Sep-11 09:34:25

I've just emailed the above charity (fresh from reading 'The Equality Illusion') to comment on how inappropriate this suggestions is in their leaflet - given that 90% of those living under the poverty line are women, primarily due to their low status as carers and their lack of authority over their own bodies. Giving gifts to condition girls as carers and sexual objects is clearly a little ill thought through. Those with children at schools supporting this 'shoebox of christmas gifts' project (or indeed, any of you!) who feel similarly, might like to also contact your local rep with your views: www.samaritans-purse.org.uk/contact. The charity sends the boxes to children in Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. We will of course be donating a box anyway - just one with out any dolls or earrings!

ThePosieParker Thu 29-Sep-11 09:42:08

I'm not sure I agree with you in the slightest, the children receiving these gifts are more than likely those that would enjoy the types of toys that are being asked for, ffs.  Sometimes feminists need to bang a more important drum.

My kneejerk response is get a grip.

Portofino Thu 29-Sep-11 09:45:40

I thought Samaritan's Purse was frowned up as they seem to insist on Christian worship/conversion in return for pressies? You'd be better off making a donation to Save the Children.

ThePosieParker Thu 29-Sep-11 09:47:00

Samaritans nothing to do with Samaritans purse?

PeachyWhoCannotType Thu 29-Sep-11 09:48:04

There are a lot of problems with Samaritan's Purse (give it a google or search on here), the cars one i probably relatively minor though I do see your point.

Personally I dropped it years ago and give to a refuge or one of the other campaigns, of which there are many. The school doesn;t abt an eyelid and the boys ahve just as much of a lesson choosing gifts for other children (which is how we do it) whetehr they are to be pakced in a shoebox, sent o random mumsnetter, dropped off at superdrug (they did a collection point last year) or handed to a refuge. I would have thought refuge in particular would be appropriate for this section.

PeachyWhoCannotType Thu 29-Sep-11 09:49:00

AFAIK the samaritans and Sp have no links, no. Which is a shame; Samaritans are fab. SP- ah not so.

seeker Thu 29-Sep-11 09:50:23

That is the least of the problems with Operation Christmas Child, believe me!

pookamoo Thu 29-Sep-11 09:50:39

Operation Christmas Child is a very contraversial appeal anyway. Porto is right - although they say they don't insist, they do put religious literature in the parcels, and distribute them in areas where other religions are often more prevalent. Do a MN search - it comes up every year! A MNer in a non-Christian area actually received one of these boxes one year...

howdidthishappenthen Thu 29-Sep-11 09:56:48

Interesting - thanks for the info, I wasn't aware of the other issues with the charity. I shall do some more research!

exexpat Thu 29-Sep-11 10:01:21

There was another thread on Samaritan's Purse last week - here.

It doesn't surprise me that they have very fixed gender ideas, but I agree that is the least of the problems with the whole Operation Christmas Child shoebox thing. They don't make it clear that their main aim is to convert children to evangelical Christianity, and receiving a shoebox is the first step in a 'discipleship program' for young children. See their website here.

PeachyWhoCannotType Thu 29-Sep-11 10:06:03

Yes, a discipleship program ina reas where culturally becoming a Christian woudl see you estranged from your community. Where desperate three year old without a warm hat are encouraged to attend.

Sorry but not with my money thanks all the same.

KRITIQ Thu 29-Sep-11 12:44:58

Thanks for the link to the other thread, exexpat. This "charity" makes me seethe, not just for the gender stereotyping aspect, which of course would be expected from an evangelical Christian missionary organisation, in any case.

How on earth do they get to even step a foot inside any publicly funded school in the UK? Their methods both for collection of materials for distribution to other countries and for using distribution as a means of getting conversions is absolutely ghastly.

PeachyWhoCannotType Thu 29-Sep-11 13:08:38

KRITIQ becuase in all their literature they look like alittle harmless gifitng charity, it's only when people dig really deep they find the rot.

I am a huge supporter of gifting charities- my boys are far from well off but I think they learn a lot about decency from these things. But only for charities that actually do good work. Not sure who we will support this year- don't know if MNHQ Secret Santa is running - but we will find something

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 29-Sep-11 13:10:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Insomnia11 Thu 29-Sep-11 13:35:20

I did a SP shoebox two years ago at school, had no idea about these issues.

PeachyWhoCannotType Thu 29-Sep-11 13:59:38

When I did do them anyway the kids got a fairly plain hat, socks, non gendered teddy bear, ball, crayons.... the stuff most kids want most are the elast gendered ime, a bear is a comfort or a doll or a superhero or a missing parent or a nurse or......

AlysWorld Thu 29-Sep-11 18:57:32

I don't know the ins and outs of the issues, but to say the gendered dimension is the least of our worries irks me. Women all too often put their own interests lower down the priority list, cos we're conditioned to do that. Gendering of toys is a problem. The OP is right to highlight it. There might be a gazillion other problems, but that doesn't mean this one ceases to be a problem. Particularly on a feminist board about feminism.

PeachyWhoCannotType Thu 29-Sep-11 19:04:04

Alys they are tempting small tiny children into meetings with these boxes that potentially could cause the child to be ostracised and abandoned.

Feminism matters: basic survival matters more.

I don't think anyone said this wasn't an issue though, most f us agreed: but given the boxes shouldn;t exist anyway, what's in them is somewhat a redundant argument.

Takver Thu 29-Sep-11 21:02:12

DD's school does the Rotary shoebox scheme which I think is OK and not associated with any evangelical religion?

Although there is an option for 'suited to boy / girl ' IIRC there is also an 'either' option as well as 'teenager' so I don't think they are so overtly or unpleasantly gendered in their requests either.

Maybe another option to suggest to your schools?

solidgoldbrass Fri 30-Sep-11 17:43:24

It doesn't surprise me that they are sexist. I wouldn't call it the least of the problems with this disgusting fake charity, just another indication that they are shit and should be boycotted.

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