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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Corporate Grinches and the Feminization of America

When I was about 10 years old, my dad came home from work one day close to Christmas, and asked me if I would give him an electric car that I had. It was one of those things you charge with a wall charger and you can ride it for 5 minutes before it needs charges again. I had recieved it a couple of years before at Christmas, and really didn't use it. The point is that he asked if he could have it to give to a friend at work who was poor. Poor, broke, and had nothing with which to buy Christmas gifts for his kids. My dad wanted us to give it to him so his kids could have something, anything, for Christmas.

The man gave my dad a little horse with a cowboy. It cost probably less than fifty cents at the time, and it was one of the most treasured things my dad ever owned. It sits on his library shelf as a reminder that no matter what we have, no matter how little we have, there are those with less. Yet poverty doesn't have to mean lack of character. This man who I don't remember gave my dad a gift in return for his generosity. He refused to accept something for nothing. A true instance of "It is the thought that counts." One of my most treasured memories from childhood.

Which doesn't exactly fit in with the title here, but maybe I can stretch it. The title link is a FoxNews story about Target banning the Salvation Army from seeking donations at it's stores. Yes, I know that Target is donating a million dollars, and they are giving all the proceeds from the sale of a Salvation Army Christmas ornament, but it is the last part of the story that makes me ill.

"Target stopped allowing Salvation Army bell-ringers in 2004 to make its policy against fundraising at its stores consistent. It also wanted to spare shoppers the potential discomfort of being asked for donations."

Discomfort? I have never been asked for money anywhere by the bell ringers. NEVER. They stand there and I look for cash or change when I go by. (I rarely have any, I live off of my debit card)When I do have some I give. It isn't uncomfortable. It isn't embarassing, and it isn't even an incovenience.

One person cannot possibly give to every cause that wants money. I don't. I give annual donations to 4 places, plus a significant expenditure for Toys For Tots at Christmas. I also drop a little bit to various causes that present themselves through the year. The point is that I am not uncomfortable when I walk by without giving because I give other places. I also may have just left a store where I gave all of my remaining cash to another bell ringer. I guess the only people who are uncomfortable are those who feel guilty because they won't drop a couple of bucks for those who need it.

I am not suggesting a boycott. Besides, if I did and everyone who read this obeyed it, then Target would lose 3 customers and about $50 in annual sales. A friendly e-mail to them might go a ways though, or mentioning it at your local Target.

We have to get over the feminization of America and making everyone comfortable. When you do see a bell ringer at Christmas, drop off those pennies that are cluttered under your car seat. Or better yet, thank the Wal-Mart manager when you go by there to shop!

1 Posts From Readers:

Brooke said...

Good post.

I, too, live off of the debit card, but my kids always seem to have change (it must be easier to spot when you're so close to the ground) and are overjoyed to give the bell ringer whatever change they have.

I don't think the PC movement, however is about feminizing America, I think it is all about political expediency, and used as a means of censorship by our internal enemies.

But don't get me wrong, the feminist movement is definitely a farce!

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