the grinch

Salvation Army Won’t Give Kids Witchcraft-y Twilight Or Harry Potter Toys This Christmas

In the USA, the Salvation Army is watching its holiday bell ringers take in a lot less cash. To the north in Canadaland, the Salvation Army apparently has the resources to be discriminating: it will not be distributing any non-Christian toys to kids this year. Take that, Twilight franchise!

And you too, Harry Potter.

All this vampire and sorcery commercialism isn’t part of the message Sal’s wants to send children this year, so any toy identified with warlocks and wizards is off the list. Even if you’ve been a good boy! But fear not, wee ones. If you don’t like what the Salvation Army is handing out, you’re free to get your Bella doll elsewhere, reports the Calgary Herald.

It’s not that toys aren’t needed, a spokeswoman said, rather some items aren’t in step with the Christian aid organization’s principles. “There are just certain items that parents have asked not be included in the gift bags,” said Capt. Pam Goodyear. “Items that have come to my attention include the Twilight series and we also don’t give out toy guns.”

Last Christmas, the Sally Ann distributed 6,000 gift bags for underprivileged children and teens in Calgary, made possible through donations to the annual Toy Mountain campaign. Donated toys not distributed to needy children through the Salvation Army are passed on to other, unnamed agencies for “distribution in another manner,” Goodyear said Wednesday.

“They are given out in an open setting, and that way parents can decide if they want that.” Goodyear said the decision to not distribute such toys is simple. “The Salvation Army doesn’t support witchcraft, witchery and black magic,” she said. “That’s not a ban, it’s our stand.”

Ooh, I like that phrase, “That’s not a ban, it’s our stand.” Somebody should put that on a Christmas ornament. With fangs! Now does anybody know if Avatar toys are off limits?

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  • TimBo

    I have a friend who manages a Salvation Army Thrift Store here and they sell whatever toys come across except for anything of a violent nature.

    But after reading this post makes you wonder. They are happy to accept the donation and to resell it to make money for charity but discriminate on toys given to children who need charity.

    Seriously talk about hypocritical!

  • CJ Maciejeski

    They are a christian organization. I don’t see why it’s offensive that an organization specifically designed as christian aid for the destitute chooses what to distribute and not distribute to it’s beneficiaries based on christian principles. So what? YOU can choose to donate to charities that are pro-gay, why should they be castigated for following their own stated mission? Aside from federal funding issues, it just doesn’t seem to be any of MY business how an organization chooses to operate. Sure i think that their panties are a little tightly knotted about the “witchcraft indoctrination” but the status of the underthings of the board of the salvation army is none of my business, either.

    I’m more concerned with the oversexualization of tween-focused media and toys than i am about witchcraft indoctrination. Witchcraft and Christian myth are both big ol’ buckets of hooey, as far as i’m concerned, anyway. What scares me is the very real negative effect of marketing 15-17 year old sexuality the way Twilight has. Kids aren’t really gonna fly around on brooms or become undead immortals. They can and will develop serious self-identification issues based on media portrayals.

    In short, Taylor Momsen scares me WAY more, when it comes to what messages we send our children than J.K. Rowling.

  • AndrewW

    The Salvation Army is NOT a charitable organization, it is a “religious organization” and is not held accountable by the IRS or charity-rating services. This group takes in $3 billion a year and has never been audited. This holiday say “no” to the bell-ringers.

    If you want to be charitable, don’t give to religious organizations – give to authentic local organizations.

  • Red Meat

    I think its important o bring up that Goodwill is just as bad because they are own by a little church that goes my the Latter Day Saint.

  • Casper_O

    Where can I get the doll in the picture though?

  • Sug Night

    Just say NO to the red kettle.

  • Daez

    Start bitching when you get off your ass and do something about it. Seriously! You can’t sit there and bitch about the SA unless you are willing to go out there and start your own organization catering to homeless and disenfranchised people. Who the fuck really cares if the kids are getting Twilight dolls for Christmas when at least they are getting something. Oh, and that something didn’t come from you.

    tl;dr: You have done nothing to earn the right to bitch about those doing everything.

  • Daez

    @AndrewW: How dense are you? You honestly believe that religious groups are not accountable to the IRS? They still have to file as a 501 C in order to get any money at all given to them. They have a strict charter of what they can and can not do in order to keep their status as a religious group and as a charity. They don’t need to be audited unless it is actually believed that they haven’t followed those charters. Do you have proof that they haven’t? I did not think so.

  • Daez

    @Red Meat: Don’t make accusations you can’t back up. I don’t think you really understand how Goodwill operates at all, and yet you spill out vile truth. Goodwill is a rehabilitation services organization. They are not for profit, but since the vast majority of their funding comes directly from the federal and state governments they can’t exactly discriminate.

  • AndrewW

    @Daez: Google it. The Salvation Army is exempt under Internal Revenue Code from filing Form 990 as a “church or convention or association of churches.” They don’t have to provide financial information so rating agencies like Charity Navigator cannot determine how well the money is spent or if it is even spent on “charitable purposes.”

  • fredo777

    On a slightly unrelated note, that doll looks remarkably like the real Mr. Lautner. Only tinier, + plastic.

  • freewriterguy

    @CJ Maciejeski: It does matter how a charity operates, for example 9 out of 10 of them take the donations and pay their top people hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in salary from donations intended to help others in need, not to help others to help themselves to cash.

  • freewriterguy

    My favorite loser charity (next to the salvation army, who never reports the money they collect what they do with it) is St. Judes Hospital cause they took in 550 million dollars and paid out in salary and wages over 313 million leaving only 81 million dollars that actually went to helping children. Isnt that just sickening?

  • CJ Maciejeski

    @freewriterguy: And then it becomes a matter of legal record, if they are violating the rules of their tax-exempt status, or people are embezzling, and at the least a matter of moral outrage on the part of donators. However, that has little to do with the religious aspect. Fiduciary concerns don’t really factor into the debate on whether it is wrong to exclude harry, hermione, and jacob from being distributed to kids as part of a toy donation program or for purchase with funds appropriately allocated to buy toys for kids.

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