Amid all the negative headlines surrounding Black Fridays kick off to the Holiday season we were wondering if Santa really does have a naughty and nice list, is the nice list shrinking. The most prevalent headlines on Black Friday would seem to indicate that is just what is happening. “Man punched in face pulls gun on line cutter”, and yes even “Two shot in Wal-Mart parking lot dispute”, and these were only two of dozens of similar incidents around the country. Google “Black Friday Violence” and page upon page of headlines appear. Google” Christmas Giving”, on the other hand, and you are met with less than inspiring results.
While they do not garner the headlines as a mob brawl at the local box store over this season’s must have toy, there still are individuals that shine through this holiday season, reminding us of what we wished the season could be about. There’s the nine year old girl, who for her birthday requested nothing but donations for the SPCA. Then there is the ten year old girl, who followed her inspiration and requested the same. There is the twelve year old girls who set up at lemonade stand to benefit the a local shelter. And yet when you search for Christmas cheer online, the results you receive mainly reference charities struggling in hard economic times or a drop in volunteerism.
Will the Grinches of the season over shadow the spirit of the holidays? To counter this growing trend we are going to spot light those that remind us of what we all wish the season represents. If you know of that nine year old boy whose only request for Santa is toys for the local shelter, or the child that takes time out to raise money for Toys for Tots, let us know.
For all you scrooge’s out there, we’ll see your “man pepper sprays shoppers to get latest tech toy” and raise you with “Veteran continues tradition of providing toys for local shelter”. In Virginia Beach, Virginia, a twenty year military veteran continues a tradition started on a Navy Ship. Ten years ago Sailors and Marines decided to assist a youth shelter with a food drive. The food drive morphed into a toy drive as well. One year, turned into two years, and then a third year. Five years later after leaving the military he decided to continue the tradition, even if had to do it on his own. Instead of missing trips back home due to deployments, he was missing them to save money for the bags and bags of presents, some for children that had never received a gift before. Sometimes coworkers will chip in, or bring in a present but that pales in comparison to telling a few hundred sailors and marines “Hey we have some kids that need help” and watching it just happen, immediately, without hesitation or doubt.
This year a campaign was started on the fundraising site Indiegogo. You may remember this is the site where thousands of people from all over the world donated over $700,000 to a bullied bus driver. It will be interesting to see how we react to a small shelter, with a few dozen needy children in comparison. Six days into the campaign has garnered thirteen visits and $5.00 in donations. What does the founder think? He’s elated; he doesn’t see that as only $5, he sees it as smile on a little girls face that opens up a bath lotion set he picked up on sale for $4.99. The campaign can be viewed at http://www.indiegogo.com/Christmasgiftprogram?a=1702092. Whether the campaign brings in $5, or $100, he will still deliver the presents, one way or another, it’s just what he does. So let’s add one to Santa’s ‘Nice’ list. So tell us, what is your local Christmas Spirit story? Let’s show Santa that list needs to be a little bit longer, leave us a comment.