Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Letter to the Editor

Today, I did something I don't usually do: I wrote a letter to the editor of my local newspaper. I'm sharing it here with you.

I am writing in response to the article “Some take advantage of others’ generosity” in which Greenfield Police Chief John Jester seemed to excuse parents who double-dip from local charities such as United Christmas Service and Shop with a Deputy. He stated that “A pair of jeans is 25 bucks,” and kids coats are $40 to $50.
I’m not certain where our Police Chief shops to buy jeans for $25 and coats for $40 to $50, but it apparently isn’t at our Greenfield Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart brand boys jeans cost $10 per pair. On the Wal-Mart website, I found a kids’ 4-in-1 coat / jacket system for $24. A simple down coat was $14. Why is the hard-earned money of generous donors being spent foolishly? These funds could go further if they were spent wisely. My husband and I have six children and we do not spend $300 per child, nor do we have grandparents who supplement, yet our children are not lacking in anything. In fact, they have more than they ought, and our income would probably qualify us for WIC. A few more minutes spent shopping for bargains as well as a gratitude for the gift (yes, it is a privilege to receive aid, not a right) would make the money go much further. Perhaps that is the root of many of our culture’s money troubles. How much do we really need? We have monthly cable expenses that bring filth into our homes. We have clothing bills for fashionable designer labels that bring arrogance into our overstuffed closets. We have video game purchases that bring violence into our families. We have grocery bills for alcohol that bring inebriation into our decision making. We have monthly cell phone charges that bring idle chatter and discontent into our hearts. If a “needy” family thinks they “need” brand names, they can’t be that needy.
Please do not misunderstand. I’m not saying that there aren’t families truly in need. There are plenty. What I am saying is that perhaps the need need not be so great if a little more frugality was applied to the decision-making process. Which would be better: a frugal lifestyle with less need and less financial frustration, or an excessive lifestyle with economic stress and turmoil? The better our financial decisions are today, the more secure our financial future will be.

How much do you pay for a pair of jeans for your child? 
What about a coat?
What do you think?

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1 comment:

  1. I get my childrens jeans at Target for $8.00 a pair and I have gotten them for $2.00 a pair on clearence. I think parents lack in teaching their children responsibility and being content with what they have. My children do not lack for anything. Also there are thrift stores you can buy things cheap. Our family does not have any video games( they are a waste of time and only make kids lazy). We used to have cable but realized it only brought about bad behavior and there were no good shows to watch. Thats what happens in a greddy world.Also what is wrong with used clothing.


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