Thursday, November 30, 2006

Charity By Force

As I was leaving the YMCA this afternoon, a woman stood between me and the exit. She was asking people, in a some what forceful, not-gonna-take-no-for-an-answer kind of way if we'd like to participate in the annual Giving Tree Christmas Extravaganza. The gist of it is that you pull a random star off of a tree and buy the child that corresponds with the number on the star a gift from their wish list. Now I may not agree with the woman's tactics, but honestly, how can you argue with buying a gift for a child in need? So I pull me a star, and they rifle through their big book and give me the child's wish list. I got Girl 17, who is 14 years old, and for this Christmas she wants:

1. An iPod
2. A pair of K Swiss sneakers, white, size 8
3. Gift certificate for 1 or 2

I'm not trying to be evil or anything, but is this kid for real? Maybe she thinks that because this Y is located in a very affluent area, dropping a hundred bucks is no big deal to most people. She's probably right, but I'm not one of those people! We aren't even buying Christmas presents for each other because funds are a little tight, and Sam's really only getting what his grandparents bought for him. (Which is plenty for a kid who lacks the ability to grasp the concept of Christmas anyway.) We usually don't even spend that much money on our siblings.

So now I'm faced with a dilema. Do I suck it up and fork over the dough for this kid? Or do I just get a gift card for $25 to Lady Footlocker, like the YMCA charity bully suggested when I balked at the list? Help me Internets, help me!

Stumble Upon Toolbar


Kara said...

an ipod? seriously? I'm over 30 and I saved for one bit by bit over the course of a few months. Every time I had the money for one, the kid went up a shoe size or I needed new brakes. Bye bye ipod, hello reality.

Shoes? I'd buy.

The ipod? Not so much.

And no, that doesn't make you a scrooge. It makes you fiscally responsible.

Heather said...

Shoes? Maybe. ipod? Definitely not.

Susan said...

I'd tend to side with the chairity bully on this one. $25 is a great start on the path to her K Swiss, white, size 8. I can't even begin to count the number of times I heard "You'll appreciate it more if you earn it yourself." Given the rates I've been paying for babysitting, it shouldn't take Girl 17 that long to make up the balance!

super des said...

I say make her a tea cozy out of wicker and dried flowers. Oh wait, you're trying to be a good person.

Go with the gift certificate. I understand that she's "in need" but she needs to learn the limits of charity.

Valerie said...

$25 is a great amount, she is asking for way too much.

I'm 30 too and still don't even have an iPod!

janet said...

um, i say gift certificate...when i was 17 i had a job. i feel so bad saying that, but its true. i also was confronted with the tree at my Y. i could pick though. i saw at least 3 "ornaments" with the word bike on it. one even wanted one of those huge kitchen sets with all of the accessories listed. its sad...

Amy Jo said...

Thanks for all the help, lovely internet friends! I think we've decided on a gift card to Foot Locker, amount to be decided sometime before the December 13th deadline!