What’s not to love about a smiling child opening a box of Christmas treasures? Especially when the child is poor, Third World, and whose parents are unable to provide such wonders.
Every year millions of these Christmas boxes are sent all over the world. In the year 2016 the sponsor of these boxes was hoping to send 12 million boxes to eager children. But the boxes are most valuable to the rich people who send them out, thus making them feel generous and benevolent in a cheap sort of way. (A typical box only costs about $15-$25.).
Our church used to be one of those churches. Every year our small group put together 25 or more boxes of socks, toys, writing supplies, candy, and such. And we loved the righteous way it made us feel.
However, we did a closer inspection of what we were contributing to, and we decided that the cute boxes were actually not accomplishing what we hoped they would. We quit immediately, and here are four of the reasons we did so.
- The boxes, ultimately, help support the ministry of a man whose annual salary from the charity is $622,000. Combine that with what he receives from another source, and he makes $880,000 per year. That’s just wrong, immoral, and greedy.
- We found out that in many cases, the recipient children did not know what some of the items in the bright boxes were for.
- You can also imagine what the influx of hundreds or thousands of these boxes into a community does to the local economy.
- The boxes also encourage dependency on rich, often white, people in the U.S.
The next edition of MonoLogue will be a look at what the Bible actually says about compassion and generosity. Stay tuned.