Sep 4, 2007 at 9:26 pm #1224913
Ladies and Gents –
Every year around the holidays at my work we assemble gifts for the impoverished families in our community. Now as someone who has never had to do without, I can tell you that the letters are heart wrenching, particularly those from the kids.
When most of us were kids I think we wanted to latest toy, sports equipment or video game. These kids have much simpler requests: a warm jacket or new socks. New socks! An exotic request will include maybe a football or a hand-me-down bike.
Thus, I have begun to watch the web for particularly good deals on kids stuff, including jackets, bicycles and other sports equipment. If anyone has a good collection of links where such good deals can be regularly found on the Internet, I would be much obliged. I don't think these kids care much for ultralight, I think they want ultra-warm and on occasion, ultra-fun.
Thanks for your time!
DirkSep 4, 2007 at 11:26 pm #1401085
But I have another idea; most of us BPL members have boxes of "toys"(incandescent flashlights, compasses, whistles, etc..) and clothing (of forbidden cotton before we knew better) which are either too heavy, or lack the features we now expect. I for one would ship a box of stuff to you for free if you wanted to donate it. It's all in like new condition, but not worth ebaying one-by-one because of the low resale value and high individual shipping costs. PM me if you want it. I'd donate it to you and ship it surface mail. It would take 5 weeks assuming you are in the US. Then look at it and either donate at your work collection or toss it.
If these kids are like the lower income kids here in Tokyo they have never been camping in their lives; and they have bigger issues in thier lives to worry about than saving an ounce on clothing or gear.Sep 5, 2007 at 12:26 pm #1401129
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Dirk…I have noticed you can get some really good buys at Target these days on kids clothing :-)
You have a great thing you do! We have done some in the past, need to do more in my community. It is very sad indeed for the kids.Sep 6, 2007 at 6:30 pm #1401332
Thank you so much for sharing your advice. I would love to collect gear in good shape and be able to give it to the kids. Of course, there is no guarantee that it will serve its intended purpose, but even if it gets a kid to think a bit about the outdoors, so much the better.
I think your suggestion is a marvelous one. I can think of a large amount of gear right now sitting in closets that I don't use as much anymore. I will collect the gear still in good shape and begin to put together some kits. We support several families at work, but beyond that, there are a number of organizations in the area that provide kids with presents of warm clothes and necessities around the holidays. A few other organizations take kids out into the woods. I can pass on whatever I collect to those worthy organizations.
Thanks for all of your help! I shall send a PM tonight!
DirkSep 6, 2007 at 6:33 pm #1401333
The suggestion of Target is a very good one. I will watch the sales and find clothing that would be useful. Since you live in Western Washington, you are familiar with the disparity that exists in some of our communities. I believe the rise of the technology sector and diversification of economies in the great Puget Sound area has brought great wealth, but with it, I think it's easy to forget about the number of marginalized peoples.
Thanks for the suggestions, they are sincerely appreciated!
DirkSep 7, 2007 at 10:04 am #1401421
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Dirk what area do you live in of the PNW? All one has to do is go visit the Olympic Peninsula or down south in WA to see poverty :-( When I lived on the Island up north, I willingly lived near the poverty line. The only jobs one could get were $8 an hour + tips…but you lived in a very pretty area.
On the other hand, it was embarrassing to see how many Navy families lived under the poverty line! There was no excuse for how badly our soldiers are paid!
Where I live now is a mix of rural and people that work in the city and commute. Poverty abounds here.
You have pointed out something good. I think Ford and I will do a project on this for the coming holidays. Use part of his child support to do it (he is lucky enough to actually get his child support unlike many kids).
Thank you for the inspiration!
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