Christmas Shoebox Appeals

At this time of year, filing shoeboxes with toys to be send to vulnerable children in other parts of the world is a popular form of charity. But one of the most well-known organisations supporting this work, Samaritan’s Purse, is very problematic. 

As explained in more detail on Humanists UK’s website, alongside the packages the charity also adds religious literature which aims to convert children to Christianity. What’s even more concerning is that in previous years the head of the charity, Reverend William Franklin Graham III, has gone on the record as being racist, homophobic and anti-Muslim.

But fortunately, there are alternatives.

TEECH has a similar shoebox appeal, but is completely non-religious – their website can be found here:

Another option is the shoebox scheme run by the Christian charity Link to Hope at as ‘they don’t place any literature in the boxes and promise not to discriminate in who the boxes are given to’.

The Aquabox scheme at is a popular charity amongst humanist groups and many schools. Welfare items from a recommended list are collected to fill a water treatment box, which costs £50.00. This then becomes a useful kit that can be sent quickly to disaster areas. Each box is numbered and linked to the donor, so that you can find out where your box went.

Refuge runs a parcel scheme targeted at women and children escaping domestic violence, including children’s parcels and emergency parcels to help people rebuild their lives.