WinShape Foundation

24 03 2011

After blogging about the Pennsylvania Family Institute, I thought I would include a couple other organizations that Chik-fil-a has gotten heat over supporting. One of the bigger organizations, WinShape Foundation is the main charitable arm of the company.

According to their website, The WinShape Foundation was created in 1984 to help “shape winners.” The foundation supports a variety of programs, including a long-term foster care program, a summer camp, a scholarship in conjunction with Berry College and marriage enrichment retreats.

Looking through the foundation’s website and reading through the different aspects of the foundation, I feel that the organization tries to paint this perfect picture of helping while it leaves out who they do not help.

Since the foundation was created by the founder of Chik-fil-a and still remains a close to the company, I’d like to point out that while the foundation, tries to “create winners,” those winners that they are referring to are individuals and groups who are “wholesome christian people.”

WHAT does a wholesome christian person or group look like? How do they act? Is there a guide about being wholesome? This is where I want to break it down and show how truly exclusive this foundation is to people who do not fit this “image”

From college programs to foster homes to an international sectors, the WinShape covers all ground. From looking at how an individual benefits from the programs offered, the main aspects are  lessons on being a good christian. An example would be in the college scholarship description page states, the original basis of the funds relied on academic achievement, leadership potential, community service, MORAL LIFESTYLE and SPIRITUAL GROWTH. The description then goes on to say, The commitment remains to equip college students to impact the world for Jesus Christ by following him and living out his unique calling for their lives. Now last time I checked from applying for different scholarships did I ever encounter such obvious religious guidelines.

Another example would be through their foster care program where they state, WinShape Homes are Christ-centered, family oriented, and dedicated to the development of the whole child.

I want to focus on the *Christ-Centered portion of the program and how they define it as: ” WinShape Homes exists as an extension of the ministry of Jesus Christ. WinShape Homes strives to minister to children in a manner that will bring glory to God in meeting the needs of the children under our care.” Having been in a couple of different foster care homes for half of my adolescent life, it truly saddens me of the number of foster kids needing a loving home and them being turned away or forced to change in order to live pure lives.

A huge portion of that number are kids who have been kicked out for being a part of the GLBT community. I do believe the mission of the foundation is improving children lives, but I don’t feel that the message they put out there is very inclusive of different types of children from different backgrounds. Which I understand that it is at the discretion of the foundation, but  a program that is purely rooted in Christian teachings I feel would exclude certain children not only in the GLBT but those who may not agree with Christian teachings or whom have never practiced a religion before. How that ties into my topic is that by creating and/or supporting organizations like these, it is hard to claim to be open to all people when you seem to be consumed in your religion and use it as a moral compass.

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2 responses

20 04 2011
T'Sharvan Bell

In the Christian community, homosexuality is viewed as a sin, making gay people the same as all other people, sinners. There is nothing that makes them worse or marginalized based on which sin is committed. I know this isn’t the reality in some communities, but the fact is that if a Church is teaching that gay people are any different from everyone else it is teaching non Biblically. If the WS Foster program discriminates based on this criteria, then its probably because they know that the child’s life and their own principals would cause friction and issues. The Winshape homes are also full, so there are always kids that get the spots. Why despair over the program? Are these other children not as worthy to receive a home? There is not an atmosphere of gay hate at Winshape, they believe in traditional marriage and teach that, but they are not a political group bent on forcing their opinion on others through law. I know in the past they have partnered with groups who do seek this goal, but that is not the purpose of WS.

23 04 2011
jamleslie

Thanks for the insightful comment. I do understand your point of view, and i was merely trying to point out the different associations of chik-fil-a.

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