Salvation Army Statement on Toy Donation and Distribution


Toronto, ON December 9, 2010 – In response to recent media reports about toy donation and distribution, The Salvation Army states:

“Recent media reports about The Salvation Army’s toy donation and distribution are not reflective of the organization’s national policies. The Salvation Army has no policy against distributing Harry Potter or similar toys and, in fact, these types of toys are donated and distributed in some areas. Decisions about what to distribute are made at the local level, often in consultation with parents of recipients and based on years of feedback. The Salvation Army is sensitive to what parents feel is appropriate for their children and choices sometimes have to be made. In cases where donations are not usable by The Salvation Army, these toys are generally given to other organizations for their use. The Salvation Army is extremely grateful for the donations it receives from individuals and corporations. These gifts help thousands of marginalized children and families have a happy Christmas each year.”

– 30 –

For further information please contact:

Andrew Burditt
Territorial Public Relations Director
The Salvation Army



Don PoapS

We are in the worLd but not of the world. We forget that it’s about Jesus. Not ourselves, Not the Church or Organisation. Jesus said if you give a cup of water in my name. You did it for me. It’s all about Jesus

Sarah Stelfox

This is a quote from Capt. Pam Goodyear, of the Calgary Salvation Army, in the Herald today:

“The Salvation Army doesn’t support witchcraft, witchery and black magic,” she said.
“That’s not a ban, it’s our stand.”

This isn’t a local office responding to the “needs of the community,” this is a representative of the Salvation Army saying that the organization doesn’t support “witchcraft.”

I wrote the following letter to the Calgary Herald regarding Ms. Goodyear’s statement:

Capt. Pam Goodyear says the Salvation Army won’t give children Harry Potter or Twilight toys because “the Salvation Army doesn’t support witchcraft, witchery, and black magic.” These are toys that are inspired by books which are works of fantasy, not fact. I hate to be the one to tell you, Ms. Goodyear, but wizards, werewolves and vampires are pretend creatures, they don’t actually exist, just as fairies, dragons, and mermaids are make-believe as well. By your definition, if a book about wizards “supports” wizardry and black magic, then a book about fairies like Tinkerbell “supports” Paganism, as fairies are part of Pagan storytelling. What about the evil queen in Sleeping Beauty? Should she be outlawed because she casts a spell? Surely this is an example of “black magic”? The point is, children’s literature, and children’s toys, are full of make-believe creatures, and they help tell stories. Harry Potter doesn’t promote the practice of “black magic” any more than Sleeping Beauty or Snow White does, they are simply stories with good and bad make-believe characters. The important thing to remember, Ms. Goodyear, is that witches, wizards and black magic are pretend things, just like mermaids and dragons, you don’t need to worry about “supporting” things that don’t actually exist.


The line between imagination and reality is so fuzzy…witchcraft and the occult is, indeed, alive and flourishing today. It gets confusing to navigate these waters, because what is presented as fantasy and make-believe really DOES appear to be harmless, initially. However, it is very real, and when you find yourself in deep, it is very dark and dangerous…not at all pretend. Kudos to the Calgary Salvation Army for taking their stand.


Perhaps in future regional managers can communicate a list of banned toys. Branded toys are always more expensive, they are status items and must haves with kids. The givers of these toys really committed to helping children, wanting to give the most popular toys to your drive.

Personally I’m embarrassed I gave all thoseRichard Dawkins actions figures this year.

Dismissing charity is not what I would expect from the Salvation Army, its actions like these that hurt the goodwill that NGO’s have been gaining in the past few years.

Acceptance, creativity and support – strive for these things.

Merry Christmas,

Ryan Thomas


Why are people attacking what we believe and stand for? The Salvation Army has its doctrine and dogma by which it adheres to. Why are those in opposition trying to change what we believe in? Those voices in opposition do not try to change the Muslim, Buddhist, or Hindu, but they attack Christian morals and ethics. It seems that those loud voices of a small disrespectful group have a double standard in their philosophy. The Salvation Army is a faith-based organization…in particular, a Christian faith-based ministry. Not everyone agrees with the Sally Ann, but please show dignity and respect to those who are trying their best to help the marginalized.


To cp:
Whether “witchcraft and the occult” is “flourishing” is a matter of some debate. The link between glorifying violence with toy guns and a sensitivity to violence in adolescents is not.

With all due respect, get your priorities straight.

The concern I have about this situation which may or may not have occurred. My issue is with any institution which appears to apply a pre-condition of supporting their theological ideals to people in need.

carmen ranta

I am a follower of Jesus Christ, and I am so pleased about this stand against occult toys that I will look into ways to support this organization! Please keep up the wonderful work Salvation Army!

Trish Bjornson

Well Merry Christmas, here’s an angry mob for you! The fact of the matter is that this news story was written not to inform, but to cause an emotional response from the public “Look everyone, so & so is intolerant, let’s get em!” What’s sad is that people are so worried about voicing their indignity they completely forget about all the good this organization has done. I hate to break it to you but this is a Christian organization, they have a RIGHT to say what they will or will not accept. It would be like making a dinner for a Vegan and getting angry that they won’t eat a lamb chop that you put in front of them, they have their beliefs who are you to judge?

I would like to thank the Salvation Army for the work they have done, the world would be a better place if we had more people like you and the individuals from the Lion`s Club or any charity for that matter. I grew up with a father who suffered from a highly aggressive form of MS, and without these wonderful groups of people, he wouldn`t have had the care or equipment he needed. Thank you so much for the support that you gave to my family, bless your hearts.

I for one will still be putting my donation in every black pot I see, just like I have always done. Why? Because, that little girl opening donated gifts Christmas day was once me.

Merry Christmas


No one is disregarding what the Salvation Army has done for people, they have obviously helped a great deal of people. It’s just sad that the pre-teen to teenaged group is being penalized because the most sought after toys and books for that age group are Harry Potter and Twilight themed. Kids don’t read the Hardy Boys anymore…


The occult is very real. I was involved with TM, Raja Yoga, and The Art of Living. And I have experienced schizophrenic psychosis, PTSD and anxiety/depression as a result. The Sallies have been wonderful to me thus far, unlike the occult dibble dabble dobbling, which has done nothing but cause pain, suffering, and darkness. Any similar stories? Thank God someone has the integrity to take a stand on occult toys, I wouldn’t want my kids around the lies of the false hope and fairytales of Satan either. And horror movies and heavy metal rock and the like are scary, not to mention violent and disturbing, they get implanted on the screen of one’s mind-causing many people go down this dark path to institutions of both kinds-psychiatric and jail, and get caught up in cults as well, which the Salvation Army is definitely not. The Bible says it’s dangerous to leave oneself wide open to occult influence, and all the Sallies are doing is trying to protect people from this, charity is not merely people pleasing, it’s about standing up for the truth.


When I first read some of these comments, I thought people were joking. I read on, and realized that people were being serious. “Occult toys”? “[Horror movies and heavy metal rock and the like are scary, not to mention violent and disturbing, they get implanted on the screen of one’s mind-causing many people go down this dark path to institutions of both kinds-psychiatric and jail, and get caught up in cults as well…”, I am pretty sure that most of the millions of children who read Harry Potter and play with the toys will not end up in jail. In fact, the majority of people that I know who are most likely to end up in jail most likely haven’t read Harry Potter, or many other books for that matter. Reading and imaginative play encourage the development of critical thinking and intelligence, factors that help develop the scientists, doctors and engineers of tomorrow, not cult members, criminals and people mental illnesses.

Perhaps some people here are not sure exactly what Harry Potter is. It is a book about a kid who learns magic. He is born with the ability, and does not preform any devil worship or similar acts. He opposes bigotry and racism, which I think the majority of christians believe is a part of their faith.

The Salvation Army is an important organization that helps a great many people, and is recognized as such. I would hate for religious zealotry to effect their service of disadvantaged people in many communities.

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