Mom insulted by hamper short on holiday fare
What was supposed to be Christmas dinner sat on Karen Morin’s kitchen floor Thursday. The disabled single mother of seven didn’t know what to do with the canned, wrapped and boxed food she received in a Salvation Army Christmas hamper this year.
[...]She eagerly awaited the hamper’s arrival on Wednesday.
But this year, she says she received food from someone’s “root cellar.”
Inside the boxes that arrived was an assortment of non-perishables that were way beyond the expiry date.
“Mom, this expired before I was born,” one of her kids, who is 12 years of age, said after pulling a can of soup out of one of the boxes.
There were 15 Halloween candies, a medium-sized ham, 10 packages of macaroni and cheese, 10 lbs of pasta and nine boxes of Pop Tarts — not what Morin calls Christmas fare.
Read the rest of the article here, where it also lists what else was included in the food box.
I was intrigued by this article and the responses that Wendy and some others had to the woman complaining about the food donation. Who’s really the “grinch” in this story?
Some would say the role of the green-eyed monster belongs to the woman who received the charity. After all, why is she complaining about a gift? Shouldn’t she be thankful for what she’s received, and in turn, be resourceful with whatever her food hamper contains? By her complaining about the contents of her food donations, is she diminishing the charitable acts of the givers? Is she too busy acting entitled to better material goods rather than being grateful for what she received?
I don’t think so.
I’m not out to lambaste the efforts of community organizations and groups that work together to produce these Christmas hampers of food. I’m sure none of the organizations would willingly condone this type of donation, and would also work to rectify any wrongdoings to the recipients.
However, I do think that this woman had a right to be disappointed and complain about what she received, despite the fact that the hamper was considered “charity.” (I’m still not sure that going straight to the presses was the most ideal way of resolving the issue — but at least this way the issue would get some public attention and hopefully wouldn’t be repeated again for another family next year)
I don’t think that complaining about the contents of her hamper shows a materialistic dark side to her or her family — I think the “grinch” role is more deserving to whoever or whatever group put this hamper together and allowed dented cans and expired food to be included within its contents. Those contents alone send a message not of love and giving, but one that is both insulting and uncaring.
I don’t think that any charity is necessarily good charity. If I give money to homeless people, knowing that they’ll use it solely to buy drugs and/or alcohol, then I’m not really helping them out of the situation they’re in. If, instead, I buy them a meal, work in a soup kitchen, or financially support a local help agency, then my giving of charity is doing what it’s supposed to — help, not harm.
The woman who complained about the contents of her holiday hamper had some legitimate concerns about the contents of her “gift” — and because she had received this type of service before, she knew what type of standards to expect in whatever was included in her food collection.
I think the fault here lies not in the protesting woman and family (who some may label “ungrateful”) but rather in the people who put this basket together. What’s the point of helping someone out if you’re only willing to give them your leftovers (or worse yet, items that even you wouldn’t consume)?
I think this could be a really good learning opportunity for different groups who do take the time to donate items to the community. Rather than painting this scenario in an ungrateful, grinchlike light, I think we should talk about what it means to give to someone else in need — and discuss what authentic giving looks like.