December 13, 2007

Santa Claus Fund

Okay, I think the Toronto Star's Santa Claus Fund, which delivers thousands of Christmas boxes to kids in need in Toronto is a wonderful thing. For 101 years now, it has seen families through tough times, and provided children with a sense of love and hope at what can be a difficult time of year. It's an excellent charity to donate to. They do great work.

But today, I am slamming my head against the keyboard in disbelief. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, the paper features a daily story on who the boxes are helping. Sometimes they're stories of people who donate now, recalling harsh years when the Star box was the highlight of their year. They're quite touching, and I usually sit here crying like an idiot.

Not today. Today's story features a 20-year-old woman who is expecting her first child on Christmas Day. And because she grew up in an impoverished family of 11 kids who received boxes each year, she wants to carry on this great tradition. Those are her words: "I thought it would be a great tradition to pass on."

No. It. Would. Not. Get it through your skull that you don't plan to be unable to care for your child. Charities like this one are to assist those who find themselves in tough times, not those who purposefully put themselves there.

"I want to do it for my son," she continues. Waaaaahhhhhhh? Carry on the tradition of not having enough to support a child? Carry on the tradition of what, planning on being too poor to provide for a child that isn't even here yet? Are you kidding me?

Having a child is a monster obligation. That child must come before everything else, and you owe that child. Life can thwack a curveball at your head in an instant, and for that I'm thankful for charities like the Santa Claus fund and dozens of others that step in to make sure all the magic isn't sucked out of a child's life. But I have to shake my head at what some are now characterizing a 'tradition'. This is an act of kindness; this is a spot of happiness in a tough world; this is a break for parents who got hit with that curveball.

But please, this is not a tradition you decide on before you've even had the kid.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

People like this make me sick. Carry on the tradition??? Why is this woman bringing a child into the world that she obviously can't care for? Its like those people on welfare who have another child to get more money. Its sad. Some people should be spayed or neutered. This is exactly why I have little sympathy for the poor. While some are legitimately in need, others put themselves there and don't even try. I hope people write into the Star and make it known how pathetic this woman is.

December 13, 2007 9:31 AM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

While I'm not going to climb on board with your 'spayed or neutered' comment (that's too harsh, even for me), I do wish people would understand what an undertaking it is to have kids. I so want all of our children to thrive and do well, and as parents, we have a massive obligation to provide. You don't owe your kids expensive shoes and iPods, but they need to be clothed, nourished, housed and loved. If you can't lay a base for that, you need to secure one first.

I'm still thrilled at what the Star provides - it's a wonderful cause.

Oh, most of those that find themselves 'poor'? Believe me - they don't want your sympathy - but a little empathy might be nice.

December 13, 2007 9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was harsh what i said about "spayed or neutered" but lets be honest, some people shouldn't be allowed to have kids. My sister's good friend has adopted 2 children in the last year and a half from this crack whore 18 yr old who can't seem to stop having babies. And these weren't her first kids. She has another couple and those ones were given away too. Its sad. I've worked with and known many down on their luck types over the years and my experience says that many of them don't deserve sympathy or empathy. They're users, lazy and scammers. Not all, but many. This woman appears to be a user and lazy. Nice example she's setting for her kid, how to use a charity and don't try and do better for yourself or the next generation, lets keep this tradition of poverty alive and well! Thankfully there are charities out there to help but many don't get the help because these types are bleeding the system dry. She may be "in need" but from the looks of it, she never tried to amount to more than her family was and now she's following in their footsteps by bringing babies into the world they can't care for properly. I may sound harsh but I'm only saying what many people are already saying even if they lack the courage to see it in print in this PC world.
BTW Lorraine, I love your work! Its one of my favourite stops along the digital highway.

December 13, 2007 2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The tide just went out in the gene pool...

December 13, 2007 3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps this single mother should consider enrollment in the Condom-of-the Month Club? This too, through Family Planning, would also be "free" and would definitely be a worthy tradition that this "proud" mother could continue to support. A few dollars a year for birth control over thousands in additional welfare and allowance payments from everyone elses's pockets seems like a cause just about anyone could consider supporting -- perhaps even the Toronto Star??

BTW, she states that "It's not just about getting. It's about giving, too." Just what exactly is she planning on giving in return for all she's getting over the Holidays -- and beyond?

And before all you bleeding heart liberals start in on me about her contribution being loving her child, may I submit that, and I dearly hope that I'm wrong, this child will, in its own way, become a source of revenue for years to come to this woman. By her own admission, this boy may be doomed to a fate that no-one should aspire.

December 13, 2007 3:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can just hear what this girl is going to croon to her newborn child: "You have so much to look forward to ... every year, there will be a present for you from The Star Santa Claus Fund. Isn't that great?"

How appalling. Really.

December 13, 2007 5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yee ha ... it's the Rush Limbaugh show ... I've never read such a bunch of self-righteous bullshit ... typical soapbox crap from neo-conservative dickheads who are the first in line for handouts when their luck runs out ...

December 13, 2007 8:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And the NDP with Jack Layton will be on her doorstep wishing her a Merry Christmas and the best in he years to come...Oh the Bleeding Heart Syndrome has too go...Oh for Christsakes, give it up woman... You do not need to have anyomre children...a tradition??? WHAT??? A traditon of what may I ask???

December 14, 2007 7:16 AM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

Well. Considering I'm usually fending off charges of being called a bleeding hard lefty, the 'neo-conservative' tag is a change of pace.

Get real, whoever is hiding behind 'Fed Up'. Since when does wanting people to recognize how difficult, important and expensive it is to raise kids constitute a bad thing? Rush Limbaugh? I'll stop laughing, soon. Maybe.

I'll reiterate for the slow-learners: it is one thing to find yourself in tight circumstances. It is quite another to knowingly put yourself there.

December 14, 2007 7:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That Darth Vader-like noise we can now all hear too clearly is "Fed up" breathing through their mouth...

December 14, 2007 10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

aaarrrrghhh!! That's me laughing my ass off. mouthbreathers, love it.

December 14, 2007 4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, I know there are people somewhere waiting for me to weigh in.
Sad fact is, we now have 3rd and forth generation assisted people out there. And in some cases, you can get trapped in the cycle, because the system makes it very hard to get out.
When I drove cab, we called them "Month End Millionaires" and I made a great deal of money from them. I also resented it, as I was working 60-80 hours a week, to get not much more than they did.
Is it up to us to support the truly disadvantaged? Yes.
Is it up to us to help them out of the system? No, thats the government's job. No amount of money can replace self esteem, and if that is what is lacking, then there has to be more incentive.
I can tell you too, that it is a very big swallow for some to go to the food bank, or seek other help. Some others don't have that issue, because its all they've known.
I have been on both sides of the tracks, and I keep the tracks close so I can see the other side.

Remember...there but for grace...


December 14, 2007 7:30 PM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

What DJ said...

December 14, 2007 7:34 PM  

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