Video: Toys for Tots mom complains about crappiness of presents

posted at 7:03 pm on December 24, 2006 by Allahpundit

It’s the feelbad story of the year. Click the image to watch.

tots.jpg

Can’t leave you hanging there on Christmas eve, so here’s something to balance it out.

So here Kelly and Allen were, three days before Christmas, loading the gifts into the cruiser and driving 28 miles to the Limerick home of Ed Candelmo, Christine’s father.

There, sitting at the dining room table with her arm in a blue cast, they found Courtney. Little Nolan, who remained at Maine Medical Center with head injuries until Tuesday, is now with his father in Bangor.

“First and foremost, we brought you some presents,” Kelly told Courtney with a broad smile.


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Screams of prejudicial presumptuous speech.

geckomon on December 25, 2006 at 8:08 PM

Wow! I’m impressed. I’d almost think you for a socialist with that remark. Are you hoping to compete for next year’s “Word of the Year” award? Should we pass legislation outlawing “prejudicial presumptuous speech?”

After that … I’m intimidated to argue with such an obviously superior human being, so I’ll just run away and hide. Say hi to Constantine and Grebrook for me.

Gregor on December 26, 2006 at 1:48 AM

Once again, you display a lack of class. This debate is not about you. Go stroke your ego over at DU.

geckomon on December 26, 2006 at 7:21 AM

Say hi to Constantine and Grebrook for me.

Gregor on December 26, 2006 at 1:48 AM

How presumptuous of you to think I keep company with those two! Lol.

Really, I’m not sure of what your latest comment has to do with the conversation. Am I now the target of your insults? Cuz this thread is not about me either.

geckomon on December 26, 2006 at 8:10 AM

I think it is all about the fact that the media wanted to find YET ANOTHER WAY TO BASH THE MILITARY. This was a tenuous thread to the MARINE Corps.

TENUOUS, but one I am certain was readily made worse by an ungrateful hag who got scratched from Jerry Springer at the last minute, but was dressed and wanted her TV time, by damn.

seejanemom on December 26, 2006 at 9:20 AM

Why is this crap news? That’s all I have to say.

KennyB on December 26, 2006 at 9:48 AM

Let me get this straight, this woman is complaining about the quality of the DONATED gifts she received? Excuse me, but that is just plain stupid! How much would she complain if no one donated any gifts at all? This wasn’t some unwanted and/or unneeded gifts from family and friends, these were gifts DONATED to those who otherwise wouldn’t have any gifts to give to their children by those who wish to help. That in itself is a great gift and should not be unappreciated.

What was this woman thinking anyways? She,or the news, missed the greatest gift of all, and that is the fact that there are originations like Toys for Tots who are willing to spend the time and effort to collect and distribute DONATED gifts to those whom would otherwise be unable to give something to their children. That is the true gift, and not the quality or quantity of the DONATED gifts. In other words, be thankful for that which you have, and not for that which you wish. After all the true gift is in the giving.

RedinBlueCounty on December 26, 2006 at 12:19 PM

Laura,

You speak of this woman sacrificing her pride, but how much pride does she display by appearing on the news and complaining about the gifts she received, gifts that were donated to her so she may have something to give to her children whom would otherwise not receive anything at all? Isn’t that the idea behind charity, to provide to those whom would otherwise be without?

This woman shows very little pride at all. If she were a truly a proud person, she would have thanked people for their charity and not complain about what she believes is their failure to provide her with the adequate quality of charity she apparently demands.

RedinBlueCounty on December 26, 2006 at 12:41 PM

Red, again, I don’t approve of her reaction. And I freely admit that I may be reading too much of my own past into this situation. My perception is that she sacrificed her pride by going to TfT to begin with – something she had done once before, and not recently, so it’s not like she makes a habit of this. And evidently they received nice gifts the first time, or she would not have come back the second. This time (again, my reading of the situation which may well be flawed) is that she sacrificed her pride by going in the first place, got the sort of gifts that TfT *does not normally give out* and then was angry enough to call the news. No, she didn’t display any pride during that interview. She’d already spent what little of it she could afford to have. And just because she seems to be an unpleasant person doesn’t make me pity her less. I’ve seen too many people – especially poor folks – react with anger and fear to take a sharp tone at face value.

Laura on December 26, 2006 at 1:03 PM

I have no pity for this woman at all. First, she displays very little understanding of what charity is and how to appreciate that. Second, as she said she will return the donations and purchase gifts herself, she is apparently abusing the TfT program as she can afford gifts for her children and therefor is not in need of this type of charity. Third, she could have kept the donations and used them as ‘stocking stuffers’ in addition to those gifts she purchased for her children. Fourth, growing up in a poor family myself, I understand the gift that charity provides and I see no need to complain to others about their lack of ‘acceptable’ levels of charity they provide.

I do have pity for her children tho, as this woman appears to be shallow and condescending to those who provide charity and to those who require it. I would not want my children to grow up under the guidance of such a person as I want my children to understand the concept of charity and what it can and can not provide.

Charity should not be expected nor demanded and one should never complain about any level of charity shown to them,one should be grateful for any charity provided for without such charity you would have nothing. After all, charity is not a right, but a blessing. It is the greatest gift of all.

RedinBlueCounty on December 26, 2006 at 1:20 PM

yes. I have experience working with under priveleged kids. Mostly from church, and one things church watch very closely is whether or not those who give are dumping their garbage, or giving of their best.

I’ve BEEN one of those under priveleged kids, and I was poor enough to take someone’s garbage and … eat it, litterally. Those who need appreciate when they really need. Those who give should give their best, or quit dumping their trash on people who are as deserving of the very best as those who happen to already have it.

themz my guns. I’m sticking to them.

One Angry Christian on December 26, 2006 at 1:37 PM

Is anyone considering the idea that the items she received were provided by those who could not afford to give more expensive gifts? Perhaps they were provided by poor people who understand the concept of charity as they were recipients of this type of charity in the past and wish to show that same charity to others. Perhaps this was all the people who donated these gifts could afford. If so, we should all thank these people and give them prayers of blessing for their charity. I, for one, will.

RedinBlueCounty on December 26, 2006 at 1:38 PM

Red, as I said way earlier in the thread, it’s very possible that she intended to delve into the grocery budget for the gifts for her kids. My mother did that more than once – insisting that she wasn’t that hungry, and only eating macaroni and cheese while my brother and I had a full meal. As I child, I didn’t realize that’s what happened, looking back as an adult I can see what went on. So let me just state my case in defense of this woman, hopefully more succinctly than I did further up the thread.

1. Toys for Tots is a wonderful organization whose normal standard is a gift valued at ten dollars, and is age and sex appropriate. This is not in dispute. The source of the dollar store toys is unknown and irrelevant.
2. This woman received dollar store toys of the sort she could have probably purchased on her own. This is not in dispute.
3. She should not have called the news; it was, at best, tacky. This is not in dispute.
4. She’s not pampering herself with manicures, haircuts, nice clothes and jewelry. This is my opinion, based on how she looks, but I doubt anyone disputes it.
5. She’s used the program once before, years ago. So she’s struggled with poverty for a while and this is a bad year. But she hasn’t been hitting the system regularly. From this I conclude that she doesn’t like asking for charity.

Here’s where I speculate: She is criticized for saying she’d buy the toys herself – I suggest that we don’t know *where* that money is coming from, whether it is the grocery budget as my mother did, high interest payday loan, loan shark, winning scratch off ticket, or she’s an liar who has had money all along – we have no idea whatsoever. So why assume the worst?

Here’s where I opine: Asking for charity is hard. I’ve done it. And to ask, and not receive what you’ve been given to expect *by the standards of the program* you’ve asked for help (a gift valued at ten dollars, age and sex appropriate) is frustrating, and hurtful. Anger is an understandable reaction. (Going on the news is not, but the feeling of anger is.)

Bottom line: she’s not asking for more than Toys for Tots originally promised. Her reaction was bad, but her expectations were not out of line.

Laura on December 26, 2006 at 2:24 PM

Your example of the “few kids” who give is sweet but ancedotal. … Give me real evidence. I speak from years of volunteer work and have seen the best and worst of the “givers.”

geckomon, when asking for something more substantial than anecdotal information, providing that for your side might be considered appropriate.

an·ec·dote – a short account of a particular incident or event of an interesting or amusing nature, often biographical.

Example, “I used to work at Salvation Army (ARC, etc.) and people dropped off bags of trash as ‘donations’” would be an anecdote; and not statistical or real evidence.

And One Angry Christian, demanding one “give of their best” when giving to charity is a good way to get misunderstood. Fortunately (for my peace of mind) I deleted the other two paragraphs I had, but if you want charity, making demands of exceptional quality seems questionable at best.

I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt here, and guess you didn’t mean that the way I read it.

Oh, and Laura, that last post (26th, 2:24PM) covers your argument much better than you have before. First post here that made me think any better of this lady. Still tacky, but she did (based on having an agreement of sorts with TfT) have a reason for expectations of gifts other than what her kids received.

gekkobear on December 26, 2006 at 5:18 PM

Thanks, gekko – I really made a hash of it all the way around, but I guess the one thing we can all agree on is that taking her complaint to the news was out of bounds.

Laura on December 26, 2006 at 5:39 PM

Yes, of course! No one should donate to charity unless it of ‘their best’. If you have an old couch that is still in great shape, but you don’t need it because you bought a new couch, don’t you go trying to drop off your TRASH at the Salvation Army… how rude of you! Much better if you just put it at the curb a day or so before trash pickup, so those poor people who don’t need your TRASH can go get it out of the dumpster in the dead of night. Ditto with the baby clothes my 8 month old son has grown out of in the space of weeks. Those are TRASH too, and I’m going to put them right in the trash, where they belong. Far better that, than for some unemployed single mother to suffer the indignity of clothing her child in hand-me-downs.

If people only donated things they needed, you’d see a lot less donations everywhere. People donate items that they don’t need, but that they know could be useful to someone else. It’s true I’m not doing it out of the goodness of my heart. Deal with it. When I drop off old designer clothes at the Goodwill, I’m not doing it thinking “Now some poor woman can get an outfit to wear to a job interview.” I’m thinking “My ass got too big for this skirt, but it’s expensive, and it’s in great shape, and it would be a shame to throw it away. Maybe someone with a smaller ass will want it.”

The woman who went on TV to bitch about the quality of donated gifts from Toys for Tots has even less class than uncharitable little old me. TFT offered to take the toys back and give her something that was appropriate – she declined the offer and went on TV to say that since the free stuff she was getting wasn’t good enough, she’d just go buy gifts on her own. So in one stroke, she turned her nose up at the help that was offered, and made it clear on TV that she hadn’t really needed the help in the first place. People like her and One Angry Christian are why I don’t feel bad when I don’t donate. If I just leave it at the curb, I don’t have to listen to self-righteous speeches about how the quality of my charity leaves much to be desired. If someone wants my stuff, they’ll take it before the trash man comes. I don’t need their thanks, and I’m not interested in hearing them bitch.

I just feel bad for that woman’s kids. I’m sure being teased in school for being not just poor, but in-grateful poor, is going to really do a lot for their popularity.

celeste on December 26, 2006 at 6:16 PM

geckomon, when asking for something more substantial than anecdotal information, providing that for your side might be considered appropriate.

gekkobear on December 26, 2006 at 5:18 PM

True, but I wasn’t really asking for it, I was pointing out that his story was not a fact in this situation. I said my ancedotal sentence to show how easy it was to conuterpoint with something opposite. I did not take the time to point that out, I assumed it was obvious. Sorry. ;)

The points that Laura layed out and her “bottom line” make a perfect conclusion (for me at least); I don’t think anymore can be said. We could have gone back and forth all day sharing what we all have done or seen or experienced.

Bottom line: she’s not asking for more than Toys for Tots originally promised. Her reaction was bad, but her expectations were not out of line.

Laura on December 26, 2006 at 2:24 PM

The emotional aspect will always be present, but when the facts are stated and understood, the debate should have been less aggressive. I was uncomfortable with how easy it was for some commenters to start insulting and degrading the woman (and dissenters as well).

geckomon on December 26, 2006 at 6:32 PM

Am I now the target of your insults? Cuz this thread is not about me either.

geckomon on December 26, 2006 at 8:10 AM

First off, I’ve noticed that you love to play the victim game by claiming to be “insulted” or by accusing anyone who says you are clueless of using “personal attacks.” The bottom line is that your arguments make no sense. You seem to be arguing simply to argue and your arguments are about as accurate as those made by Senor Juan Hernandez on the Michelle Factor.

Secondly, you have indeed MADE yourself the target as you are one of only two people in the entire thread – and possibly the entire nation – who believe that this woman was justified in being angry over the quality of her FREE gifts. You’ve also made yourself the target by responding and arguing with every single comment made, which has in effect … made this thread about you.

Congrats!

Gregor on December 27, 2006 at 11:49 AM

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