It’s hard to believe there are people living in poverty when you read the sentence below.
Well the news it out – Black Friday Weekend 2011 was a raging success, bringing in some $53 billion dollars.
Admittedly, my wife and I contributed to that number – fighting crowds of shoppers who did little to put me in the holiday spirit. Maybe it’s me but cursing, pushing and a general feeling of rudeness does little to warm the coddles of my soul.
On a positive note, I suppose $53 billion dollars will help the bottom line of most retailers, which will save jobs and keep the recovery effort moving along. But it’s hard to see the benefits of this holiday spending after watching a story on “60 Minutes” that same weekend entitled, “Hard Times Generation: Families living in cars.”
From CBS News: More than 16 million children are now living in poverty and, for many of them, a proper home is elusive. Some cash-strapped families stay with relatives; others move into motels or homeless shelters. But, as Scott Pelley reports, sometimes those options run out, leaving an even more desperate choice: living in their cars. 60 Minutes returns to Florida, home to one third of America’s homeless families, to find out what life is like for the epidemic’s youngest survivors.
We’re talking about average families finding themselves in undesirable circumstances they never dreamed possible. It’s truly frightening to see just how drastically your life can change when your means of income is extinguished and your living in poverty.
15 year old Arielle Metzger, who lost her mother when she was very young and now lives in a truck with her brother and father, had this to say on the news magazine. “Every time I see like a teenager or any other kid fighting with their parents or arguing with them and like not doing what they’re told it really hurts me. Because they could be in my shoes. And of course I don’t want them to be in my shoes. But they need to learn to appreciate what they have and who they have in their life. Because it may be the last day they might have it.”
All over America, families will be joyously opening $53 billion dollars worth of material possessions this holiday season. But Santa won’t be stopping everywhere – especially where families are currently calling the back seats of their cars home. Families living in poverty.
If you have enough to give to yourself this holiday season, why not give to someone who doesn’t. Bring a little spirit back to a society that often cares too much for themselves.