With more and more people wishing to find an alternative to Samaritan’s Purse* (often thanks to the controversial beliefs and actions of Franklin Graham) we’ve put together a list of alternatives to the Christmas shoebox appeal you could use with your church.
1 – If you still want to put together a shoebox!
Filling a shoebox is a fantastic opportunity that children, young people and families all engage with and so many people still want an opportunity to do the same activity but to support a more ethical cause.
If this is you then you might want to:
- Check out local charities – Many local charities that operate in other countries still do shoe boxes. I live in Essex and a couple of local charities encourage people to put together shoeboxes for countries like Romania. This local link is brilliant as you can often hear stories of how your gift has made a difference first hand…you could also arrange a mission trip for some young people to join the trip to hand out shoeboxes.
- One example of the above is Essex based charity Cry in the Dark. Check their appeal out here.
- Google Search your town and shoebox appeal. For example a quick google search for ‘Southend shoebox appeal’ tells me that there’s a shoebox appeal to help local homeless people.
- Link to Hope – This Christian charity organises a shoebox appeal – Details here
2 – Other Ideas
If the idea of a shoebox doesn’t bother you then here are a few other ideas for making a difference in the lives of others at Christmas.
- Salvation Army – Each year the Salvation Army run a Christmas Present Appeal. This let’s you buy a gift for a child or young person which is donated to your local Salvation Army centre and given to a child or young person who may not otherwise get something. This is a brilliant way to make an impact in your local community. Details here.
- Refuge – Refuge supports women and children who have suffered domestic violence. They run an appeal that lets you raise money to buy a refuge parcel. Details here.
- Oxfam – Oxfam let you buy gifts that help others. You could raise money to buy a goat, safe water, support a refugee or do all sorts of things. Details here.
- Pick another charity! – Pick a charity your church, youth or children’s group are passionate about and do a fundraiser to raise money for them this Christmas (or just encourage people to donate on top of their Christmas spending)
*Don’t get us wrong…supporting the shoebox appeal of Samaritan’s Purse still makes a huge difference in the lives of children…but there are other options!