By: The Crown Editor | November 20, 2018
By: Kristen Borgdorff, editor-in-chief
Operation Christmas Child is an organization that fills shoe boxes with toys, personal hygiene products, school supplies, and other items, and then delivers them to children in developing countries. Along with the items in the shoebox, they also provide churches and ministry partners with curriculum to teach the gospel.
This organization’s mission statement is full of good intentions, and it was created by people who meant well. David Schuurman, a fourth year international development student at Redeemer, says, “just because any of us have a heart for something, does not mean that we’ll be good at it.”
David continued with an analogy: he loves music, but if he were to try to organize a concert, it would flop. This is because his skills are in other areas. You can have a heart for something, without being gifted in that area.
Operation Christmas Child provides people with items rather than opportunity. David said, “it seems as though it perpetuates an unhelpful mindset in people. It tells them that they are helpless and poor, rather than encouraging people to recognize their gifts, skills, and abilities.”
Another reason that Operation Christmas Child may not be the best organization for Redeemer students to support is that it has a negative impact on the economy of the countries that receive the shoeboxes. These shoeboxes, arguably, take away from the growth and stability of the economy.
As North Americans, we are used to instant gratification; when we donate items to fill a shoebox, we feel good about ourselves.
A group of students at Redeemer has formulated a solution that still supports an organization during the Christmas season, and also has a positive long-term effect on our own community.
CityKidz is an organization in Hamilton that invests in the lives of children living in low-income communities. Around this time of the year, they have the goal of easing the financial pressure that children and parents feel during the Christmas season. There are families in the Hamilton area who work full time yet are financially struggling. When it comes to the Christmas season, it can be disheartening for parents who want to provide their child with a gift, but do not have the financial means to do so.
CityKidz’s Gift of Christmas is a toy drive that supplies personally selected gifts for children during the Christmas season. The children who attend CityKidz provide a wish list to the volunteers, who then try to gift a toy in that category to the child.
This local organization spends the year developing relationships with these children through programs for children to participate in, birthday celebrations, home visits, leadership programs, and more.
Now it’s your turn! On November 22nd and November 23rd, come to the Commons with anything from your spare change to your whole life-savings. A group of students will have a table set up to collect funds to buy gifts to support CityKidz’s Gift of Christmas.
This Christmas, be encouraged to make a difference in your local community.
Read why someone may choose not to support Operation Christmas Child this year: https://trainingleadersinternational.org/articles/618/why-i-wont-be-filling-a-shoebox-this-christmas?fbclid=IwAR1EdJoGP-uXDWemmKVft7rT0BhOo6YVRBmtufZf0tx1curI1GTmezIj1U8
Learn more about CityKidz: https://citykidz.ca/