Bah, Humbug!

Posted: December 1, 2007 in Children, Compassion, Homelessness, Money, Morality, Veterans

The holiday season is in full swing. The shoppers are out in herd like numbers. Everyone is getting into the hustle and bustle of knowing that there are only X number of shopping days until Christmas. Some of the radio stations are already playing Christmas songs 24/7. Everyone seems to be getting into an attitude of "peace on earth and goodwill toward all mankind" – even those who usually have a "Bah, Humbug" demeanor.  

One place that some folks are having a hard time showing the Christmas spirit is behind the wheel of their vehicles. For some reason knowing that Santa is going to be checking his list to see if you were naughty or nice doesn’t register in the minds of many when the get on road. They are still just as vicious as they are during the rest of the year – and in some cases even more so. Maybe it’s because they’re in a hurry to get to the shopping malls to spend their money on Christmas gifts – and end up deeper in debt for an additional 3 or 4 months.

There is one homeless gentleman I know who is up to the same routine that he was up to during last years’ Christmas season. He goes out everyday and does whatever he needs to do to put a few bucks in his pocket. He doesn’t use services at either the homeless shelter or the day center, so what few dollars he manages to scrounge up go toward putting food in his stomach – except during the Christmas season…

Over the next three weeks or so, this homeless gentleman will set aside a certain amount of every dollar he manages to come up with to buy toys for the Toys For Tots campaign. The way he views the situation is that he used to donate to Toys For Tots each year prior to becoming homeless, so why should he allow his homelessness to interfere with his giving.

This year he’s added one more item to his list of things to do: Operation Homefront – which is partnering with Dollar Tree stores nationwide to insure that the children of active U.S. Military personnel will receive at least one toy this Christmas.

Like last year, between now and Christmas, there will be days that he will deny himself a meal so that he can afford to buy a gift as a donation for some child somewhere.

Actually, I wanted to post his name so that he could at the very least get some credit for his acts of generosity despite being homeless, but according to this gentleman he’s not doing it for the pat on the back or any type of recognition for that matter. In fact, he’s not all that comfortable with my writing about it. As far as he’s concerned this is something between himself and his conscience so, I’ll let it go at that.

Still, I can’t help thinking about all of those people who will spend $3 and $4 for a cup of designer coffee every morning, but will walk right past a donation box to help needy children without so much as a small pang of their conscience. And yet, here is a gentleman who is homeless and most definitely on an "strained" budget but, who will not eat today or perhaps even tomorrow just so that he can buy a toy as a Christmas gift for some child somewhere that he will never meet.

What bothers me about all of this is that no one really cares if one of the designer coffee type of person walks right by the donation box – they will still be accepted by the rest of society. On the other hand, this gentleman who, once again this Christmas season, will deny himself even the most basic of needs just so that he can afford to purchase toys throughout the holiday shopping season will continue to be ostracized by the majority of the community – and all because he just happens to be homeless.

It’s enough to make me want to say "Bah, Humbug!" myself.

  1. Mabel Darling Phipps says:

    I donate to my local food pantry. I give but perhaps not enough. I live alone so I have no one to share the bills. I do earn a good income so I am not in pain in any way whatsoever.

    This is not a very self-complimentary comment because, I could be doing so much more, yet I am not.

    I say I’m doing well but, I have a house that is eating up all my money. I am spending a lot of money just now to make my home handicapped accessible being disabled this is a need for me.

    I give to people in need but never like the man in your story.

    I spent the first 38 years of my life doing volunteer work to help the homeless. Now I have a nice job where I focus on building a comfortable retirement that will all too soon be upon me. As an ophaned person without family I must fend for myself. I am stockpiling now in hopes I will avoid being homeless when I retire. What’s so sad is their is no housing network.

    I wish there were places on the Internet where good homeless people who are just down on their luck could place a “room needed” ad. Maybe then good people who have an extra room going to waste could meet up with them to resolve homelessness in some special cases.

    I know its pie in the sky but, I look at that extra bedroom in my small house going to waste each night while out there on the streets millions go without. In the winter months some homeless people even freeze to death due to exposure and there was a bed in my front bedroom I never use going to waste.

  2. AnAmerican says:

    Isn’t it amazing how some people with so little in the way of earthy posessions have such a richness of spirit? Whoever this gentleman might be ,he needs to know that his compassion towards the true meaning of Christmas is an inspirtation to many!

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