School Cancels ‘Operation Christmas Child’ After Warning From Atheists
A Kansas Middle School canceled its participation in Operation Christmas Child after an atheist group filed a complaint against them.
A Middle School in Kansas has caved to demands from atheists and stopped its support of Operation Christmas Child because it is organized by Christian nonprofit Samaritan’s Purse.
Samaritan’s Purse, which is led by Rev. Franklin Graham, sends shoeboxes filled with gifts to underserved children in 160 countries. For many of these children, this is the only present they will receive.
Freedom From Religion Foundation
Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) wrote to Pratt School District Superintendent Tony Helfrich stating that Liberty Middle School’s participation in giving these gifts to poor children “violates basic constitutional principles.”
Today we’re kicking off @SamaritansPurse @OCC_Shoeboxes #NationalCollectionWeek! This year we hope to collect even more shoebox gifts for children around the world. Will you join us? https://t.co/6eSphOHcyC pic.twitter.com/vMFAUjbgbX
— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) November 16, 2020
The letter also demanded the school “cease participation in Operation Christmas Child or taking any other actions promoting Christianity like including religious references over morning announcements.”
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Operation Christmas Child is a way to pay it forward to children in extreme need. And, you don’t have to be Christian to participate.
You just have to provide items for the box. However, the atheist group does not want these children to get these gifts from Liberty Middle School students.
Helfrich agreed with the atheists and immediately suspended the program. He promised Freedom From Religion Foundation that he intends “our schools to follow the constitutional principle of separation of church and state.”
And just like that, this charitable act to help children was scrapped.
40 Years Of Shoeboxes
Samaritan’s Purse said for over 40 years it has “done our utmost to follow Christ’s command by going to the aid of the world’s poor, sick, and suffering. We are an effective means of reaching hurting people in countries around the world with food, medicine, and other assistance in the Name of Jesus Christ.”
Receiving a shoebox does not force anyone to become Christian, though a booklet about Jesus Christ is included. There is no religious requirement to donate either.
The children are just happy to receive something. These children have very little so the gesture of gifts from people in the United States is exciting.
People from around the country pitch in to help with fill these shoeboxes that will bring joy to thousands of children. Knowing that strangers care about them may bring them some joy during the holiday season.
Last night, our Bucs packed boxes until every last stuffed animal, pencil, and toothbrush had a home. Kids around the globe will experience a tangible expression of God’s love this #Christmas season.#bucspack pic.twitter.com/EWgr1ndvWe
— Charleston Southern (@CSUNIV) November 13, 2020
It’s disappointing to see that this group would go after this project and deny children gifts.