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Not all well-intentioned Christmas giving will go to the most deserving

By: Keith Kappes
Columnist
Carter County Times

Some of you won’t like my commentary today because it definitely is not in the loving tone of a traditional Christmas message. In fact, you might classify it as a rant against those professional freeloaders who don’t believe they should have to work for a living.

And my disgust is even worse this year because our country is dealing with three catastrophic issues – loss of millions of jobs, widespread hunger and a tidal wave of evictions heading us toward a crisis of homelessness. That means the need is greater than most folks can recall.

The charitable motives of compassionate folks always intensify at this time of the year as churches, shelters and other community organizations reach out to the less fortunate to make sure they have hearty holiday meals and their children have gifts on Christmas morning.

Many of those who literally live off the goodness of others throughout the year know exactly how such charities operate and they manipulate the process so that they get the same help from multiple organizations and/or individuals.

Sadly, some of those gifts for kids will be returned to stores for cash or other merchandise desired by the adults who lead such dysfunctional families. 

Some of those in that category have no marketable job skills or plan to acquire them through schooling or on-the-job work experience. Still others have skills but are too lazy to use them.

Another factor is that married couples can qualify for more handouts than single persons and, when you throw in a couple of kids, the tender feelings of good-hearted folks cannot resist such appeals.

To be honest, I don’t know how we solve the problem of freeloaders taking food, housing, clothing, and other necessities that should be going to families whose economic issues are not of their own making. 

My wife and I try to make sure that the charities we help are vigilant in making sure those with the most legitimate need are the highest priority for getting help.

But, in the final analysis, all we really can do is follow our hearts and hope for the best.

Keith Kappes can be reached at keithkappes@gmail.com

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