Every year as a child in Church and School we would be encouraged to fill up a shoe box full of toys and goodies to send to Children in 3rd world countries who were not as fortunate as those in The West. I have also volunteered a couple times with Samaritans Purse who is the organization who heads this operation. The task I was put to was going through the shoeboxes making sure That They meet their "standards". In short we had to remove Chocolate candy, pokemon cards, Harry Potter stuff, and any Japanese anime stuff because it was considered offensive to the ministry. However, that's not why I don't support them anymore
1. The shoeboxes are often filled with items that the Children in most of the countries don't have any use for. Most boxes include Hats, Scarves, gloves, and winter wear. Most of these boxes go to nations in Africa, The Caribbean, Asia, and South America where the people have no use for them because the climate is too warm for these items.
2. It disrupts the local economy. Many toymakers, candy sellers, and vendors who sell their wares in those nations are often challenged by the introduction of cheaply made toys and candies introduced into their respective area by the shoeboxes. Most of these children have probably never seen a toy that runs on electricity or batteries in their lives. Most kids may not even know how it operates.
3. The organization itself is rather pushy of religion in countries where Christians are not exactly the majority or welcomed. Most schools do not add religious material or tracts to the shoeboxes, but once they get to the sorting center it is AUTOMATICALLY included in ALL boxes regardless. There is a tract that is added with this exact quote: "that all those who do not believe as they do will be eternally, consciously tormented in hell forever by God" Do we really want to include that into a gift that is supposed to be about loving and caring? Oh, and the boxes are distributed months after December often in Summer months and in order to get a shoebox children often have to attend a religious service or Bible School for a whole week. So really what good is it?
I'm not anti christian, in fact I am a Christian myself. However I don't like the idea of shoving my beliefs down others throats or being evangelical. I'm also not anti charity because they do need support. There are a lot of domestic and international charities that help people that support a great cause. I'm sure that the people who pack shoeboxes are well meaning and want to help out, but there are better ways to do it. I might end up doing another mytake later on good charities to help during the Holidays.