Friday, October 10, 2008

Just an opinion question

Alright I have a question for you.  My daughter just got invited to her friends birthday party.  For the last several years they've asked that instead of presents "everyone please bring a filled shoebox or shoebox fillings to donate to those less fortunate through the Operation Christmas Child program", then they gave us a brochure on what can and can't be given.  Now I think that it's a great think that this 7 year old is willing to forgo her presents so that others can get some, however here's my problem.

To fill these shoeboxes it costs about $10 ( more if you want them really full), then in the enclosed brochure, my friend is highlighting the part about us also having to donate an additional $7 for the handling charges for each box.  So now we have a total of $20 that we are supposed to spend, and to top it all off this friend wants us to bring the stuff wrapped or in a gift bag for her daughter to open as gifts and then they'll be given to the charity.

I know this is for charity but this isn't the charity I really believe in.  Don't get me wrong, it's a good charity, but according to my friend these boxes go to children who are "Christian" and come to the missions, otherwise they wouldn't get them.  My other concern is that I think there are enough children in the US who are surrounded by the idea that if you're good Santa brings you gifts, but if you're not he doesn't.  So my preferred charity at this time of year is Toys for Tots, because my heart breaks for the children here who don't get a gift because his family can't afford it, and think it's because they were bad.  I actually shop clearance toys all year long so that I have a large stash of good toys to donate.

So is it wrong for me to feel a little railroaded into this?  This is my daughters good friend, we can't not go to the party.  We can't not bring something, so we have at least the $10.  Is it okay to just ignore the additional $7, since this was their idea to fill these boxes.  With my bargain shopping I find great gifts for way less than this.

Please let me know your opinion.

1 comment:

Janet said...

I'm afraid that the time may have come for you to have this conversation with your friend. This isn't the first year the subject has come up and it probably won't be the last. It might be a nice idea to have the kids work in teams and each contribute half the postage and half the contents. I think your friend might not have totaled the expense of the gifts she's hoping you'll bring. Very nicely (can you be anything different?) ask her if she'd spend $20 on a birthday gift. Then explain that while her charity is a good one, there are lots of good charities, and your family supports Toys for Tots as your primary charitable giving for the year. Or better yet, remove your last post about her and give her your blog address. Hmmm... or set up another blog and only put the stuff you want her to see on it... make up a new username too.