I was raised in rural northeast PA by my adoptive parents, who grew up during the Great Depression and the rationing era of World War 2. Mom and Dad knew how to be frugal, to do without. Upon adopting me, Mom did not want me to have a childhood like hers; she sacrificed much in order to give me much. Every birthday, every Christmas…every holiday was a chance for me to become just a little more spoiled.
As I grew older, I enjoyed shopping (with money given to me) to buy things for Mommy & Daddy. It became a tradition for Mom to take me Christmas shopping on Black Friday. Back in the 1980s, Black Friday was not the insanity that it is today. I’m sure there were sales, but we always went to the same local places: Grants (later to become Kmart), Murray Company (R.I.P.), McCrory (R.I.P.) and a few other shops in downtown Honesdale. We used to get stuff for my dad at Sullum’s. (R.I.P.) I’m happy to say Country Dawn, Wallflower, and Martin’s Hallmark remain from my childhood. As time marched on, Honesdale, has gained new charming places to shop.
On Black Friday we left the house in the late morning and spent only a few hours in town. My favorite place by far was McCrory, because I could get all sorts of GREAT CHEAP GIFTS for my mom and dad. While I was waiting for mom, I could go to the lower level and look at the hamsters, guinea pigs, parakeets, and fish on display.
On the way home we would stop at DONOMITE DONUTS (R.I.P.) – a family-owned log cabin donut shop across from the Rt. 6 Plaza (now the entrance to Walmart and Home Depot) and buy a dozen donuts. (Often we would bring our dogs with us in the car, particularly our German short-haired pointer named Casey. We learned the hard way to wait until we were on the way HOME to buy our donuts….Casey loved donuts too!)
Once home we would do tree & the Christmas lights, enjoying donuts, hot coffee and Christmas music on the record player.
It was somewhat crowded in Honesdale to be sure, but it was pleasant. I am happy to see the same giant Christmas trees decorating Main Street, and we all look forward to the lighting of the Irving Cliff star. Back then, there were no mad crowds vying for some incredible deal; no really long lines, nobody getting trampled to death, no people waiting outside stores days in advance to “get the deal away from anyone else.” My, how some things have changed.
A New World…Still A Starving World
Tonight at supper, I noticed a catalog on the table from World Vision. I peered through the pages and began to cry as I pondered our collective American selfishness, greed, and materialism. Here are pictures of children so impoverished, so hungry, always with us but invisible to me as a child….and the catalog shows that helping a family is amazingly affordable.
$75 for a Goat – goat milk supplies needed nourishment & protein; surplus can be made into yogurt & cheese and sold to support the family’s needs; goats also provide rich fertilizer for gardens.
- $105 for a Sheep – milk for nutrition; wool for warm garments. A terrific representation of Jesus, the Lamb of God.
- $50 for a share of a Dairy Cow. One cow gives up to 5,000 gallons of milk in its lifetime.
- $30 for 5 Ducks – will produce hundreds of eggs for nutrition, and bring more ducklings to help feed & support a family year round.
- $25 for 3 Chickens – again to produce eggs for nutrition and income, and to produce more chickens.
- $60 for 10 Fruit Trees
- $34 for drought resistant seeds for 2 families
- $100 for $1,200 worth of life saving medicines
- $35 – $140 to help educate a girl in a developing country
- $25 – $100 for a clean water fund
So much of this stuff we take for granted! Clean water! Going to school! Food to eat! Medicines – even over the counter drugs like Tylenol and cough medicine are a luxury to these people. We Americans can take a day or two off work to go sit in a Black Friday sale line days in advance, in hopes of getting a deal on some electronic gizmo or a new flat screen TV! It makes me sick!
World Vision is not limited to international children. Many people want “charity to begin at home” and want to help underprivileged people here in the United States. Here are some options for helping USA families:
- $115 Feed a Family of 5 For 5 Days – 15 nutritious meals
- $16 Feed a Family of 5 for 1 Day
- $25 – $100 for $300 – $1,200 worth of necessities like new clothing, blankets, personal care items and even toys
- $25 – $50 for $300 – $600 worth of school supplies.
Do not overlook local rescue missions for the homeless (such as the Scranton Rescue Mission) and local food pantries.
Contact your county to see if there is a local Children’s Christmas Fund like the one sponsored by the Honesdale Jaycees).
Local Rotary groups collect food and warm coats to distribute throughout the community.
On Sunday December 9, 2012, all of us at Weichert Realtors Paupack Group will be offering Free Pictures with Santa for the entire community.
We also are sponsoring a coloring contest for all the children – win one of 6 $50 gift cards!
At the same time, we will be collecting donations of food for the local food pantries, warm blankets, sweaters, and winter coats, as well as toys for Toys for Tots. While we ask people to bring a donation of something – a can of soup, a pair of gloves, anything…it is not required! Only bring if you can afford. This is our chance to THANK the wonderful people of Wayne and Pike County PA and to help everyone help our neighbors.
Every child receives:
A free picture with Santa
A Candy Cane
Please pass this on!