Press Release

Atheist group demand kids stop packing Christmas boxes for needy kids “It must be stopped!”  they say, “It is too religious.”

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Ryan Colby 202-349-7219

Additional Information

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In an almost unbelievable act of Christmas time stinginess, this holiday season the American Humanist Association went to court in Colorado in an effort to stop public school children from volunteering for a program that sends care packages to children in need. AHA wants to stop the distribution of these shoe boxes packed with items such as toothbrushes because the boxes also contain religious messages about the meaning of Christmas.

The non-profit that coordinates the volunteers and sends the boxes, Operation Christmas Child, has been offending the AHA for years.  The perpetrator of good deeds asks volunteers to pack shoe boxes for children of various age groups with items including stuffed animals, small toys, school supplies, and basic hygiene items like toothpaste and soap. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has provided more than 100 million shoebox gifts to children in more than 130 countries.

“These boxes are filled with school supplies and basic hygiene items,” said Kristina Arriaga, executive director of Becket. “It’s heartbreaking enough that there are children who will receive nothing but a toothbrush for Christmas. The American Humanist Association would deny them even that?”

AHA has been on a crusade to stop public school children from volunteering for such programs since 2013, when they sent “letters of warning” to school districts in Colorado and South Carolina where Operation Christmas Child was invited into public schools.

Every December Becket gives a lump of coal to a person or organization attempting to take religion out the holidays, fittingly titled “The Ebenezer Award.” Congratulations to this year’s Ebenezer: The American Humanist Association!

“We’re talking about school children putting together care packages for other children who are in need. If we can’t support that at Christmas, we are truly living in Scrooge’s world,” said Arriaga.

Perhaps the AHA could give it a rest during the season of giving. For our part, Becket wishes a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, and a Happy New Year to all! In the words of Tiny Tim: “God bless us, every one!”

For more information or to arrange an interview with a Becket  attorney, please contact Ryan Colby at or 202.349.7219.Interviews can be arranged in English, Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.


Becket  is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions and has a 100% win-rate before the United States Supreme Court.  For over 20 years, it has successfully defended clients of all faiths, including Buddhists, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Native Americans, Sikhs, and Zoroastrians (read more here).