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Thursday 24 October 2013

Alternatives to Operation Christmas Child

My daughters brought the following leaflet home from school recently that instantly made my heart sink:

On the face of it it's a lovely idea - you pack a shoe box full of small gifts that are sent to a deserving child in a third-world country.

However, there are many reasons not to support Samaritan's Purse who run the programme, not least because their main mission is evangelical, rather than charitable.

In fact, instead of me listing those reasons, I'd urge anyone interested in finding out more to please, please read the following; Reasons Not to Support Operation Christmas Child , which offers a far more eloquent and well-researched list than I could probably muster.

I'll be writing to my children's school with my objections, which obviously come too late for this year, but I hope that they will reconsider their support for future years.  I have also discussed it with my children as best I could, and together we have decided to make a commitment to sponsor a child via PlanUK instead - which I hope will give them a more lasting insight into life in the 3rd world, and instill in them the message that charity is not just about presents and is not just for Christmas.

However, if you do feel strongly about an alternative and can't afford to make a lasting commitment, you can still purchase more of a one-off gift from organisations like Save the Children, who have some great Christmas gifts that can make a real, practical difference without a hidden agenda.


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