Saturday, December 24, 2011

2 very contrasting views of Christmas gifts

The images are a bit embarrassing.

In cities across the United States, people fighting in line over a chance to get the new Air Jordan $200 plus sneakers. Fights. Stabbings. Pepper spraying. Arrests.

Now, contrast that with an interview I conducted at about the same time. A story that got much less attention. One that I'm sure was being played out across the nation as well.

In Hazlet, New Jersey, a decade-old charity called RAINE, answering letters from needy children. Making sure each has a Merry Christmas. At least one gift under the tree.

Many of them also have clothing on their Christmas list. Not $200 plus sneakers though. Basics. Like bras. And socks.

And one, heartbreaking case, RAINE co-founder Patti Dickens told me. A boy, nine or 10 years old, asking for a blanket and a pillow for Christmas.

Which Christmas story - the fights over sneakers or the desperate pleas of needy children, ought we be focusing on?

7 comments:

Deidra said...

In my humble opinion, Christmas is a time of Sharing. Sharing love, joy, good fortune and warmth will far out-last a pair of Air Jordan Sneakers.

The gift of peace & comfort it is far more valued and durable.

This year, I choose to share my peace and love with those who surround me. That sharing extends to the write of this story.

Happy Holidays Gary. I wish you and yours the best this season can possibly bring

peace-lover said...

Merry Christmas to all!

It would be nice if the needs of the needy were addressed during Christmas. In the USA, Christmas is a time of celebration despite the commercialization, hopefully some of those needs are met by people whose hearts are opened at this time of the year.

May everyone have a wonderful holiday season with friends, family and take a moment out to think of and help those less fortunate.

God Bless us all!

daniell said...

very poignant article gary

Anonymous said...

Sometimes we need a story like this to humble us and bring us back to reality. Most firehouses have bins for toy drop offs for kids and it is an easy way to help.

Ralph

Anonymous said...

Its sad we have got lost in the commercialism of Christmas and we have taught our children to be greedy.

What happened to Teach your children well'

Allen said...

Yes Gary this kind question make you thing witch one is confusing if you ask me neither they just live in different world even they are in same one as this morning when I was listening to local news they were in highest one of the high dollars hotel in down town Dallas with to night suppose to have 200 homeless stay in the hotel and feed them dinner and breakfast for tomorrow morning while the hotel manager was interviewed he was ranting about how they like to give them a taste of what good life is I could not stop the rush of this taught to my had what would this poor homeless will think when they have to go back to cold street and sleep in box ?

Anonymous said...

The Christmas/Holiday Season often turns the public's attention to the plight of the "unfortunate" and "homeless". It is unfortunate that the public's attention is not more alert all year long on these matters. America's attention span for those things not quickly or easily resolved has diminished, blinded by the "quick and easy" of commercialism and materialism. I hope we can extend our collective sentiments to this issues all year long.