round and round...

Friday, December 19, 2008

le sigh

This makes me sad.

For 100 years the USPS has run a program called Operation Santa. Children from all over the country send their letters to Santa to the North Pole. Post offices collect these letters, sort through them to find the most compelling (usually from needy kids), and for the past 100 years in one form or another have made them available to the public so you could respond to a child's letter if you wished.

This week, without explanation or warning, the USPS suspended the program. People showed up to New York's post offices expecting to sift through the cardboard boxes of kids' letters to find the one they'd play Santa with... only to find no boxes, no letters. Apparently there was some sort of privacy issue (a registered sex offender responded to a child's letter) and now the entire program is gone.

I understand that pedophiles should be kept away from our children, it's obvious that should be the case. However, have we reached the point in our society where we are truly willing to make everyone pay for the crimes of a few? The answer, my friends, is yes. We've been there for a long time now. Look at the precautions we all need to take at airports these days. When is the last time you personally brought liquid explosives on your travels? Oh, you haven't done that? Well, someone did so now you can't take your favorite shampoo with you on that flight to Tahiti.

There are children in my neighborhood who have probably written letters to Santa asking him for a warm coat for Christmas this year because their parents had to choose between a new coat or a week's groceries. Who is going to answer those letters now? This "one bad apple" theory really stinks.

I'm trying not to get too bogged down by this negativity, so instead let me end this post on a light note. I support a wonderful charity called the Pajama Program here in NYC. Did you know that most children in the foster care/shelter system don't have pajamas? They have no bedtime routine that includes snuggly sleepy clothes and comforting fabrics. This year I contributed PJs in teenage girl sizes. Often, the babies and small kids are thought of first and the teenagers are an afterthought. Some girl will receive a great flannel set of PJs and a robe from me this year. I feel really good about it. If you're looking for something charitable to do this season you can contribute pajamas to the Pajama Program.

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3 What people are saying:

Blogger Monogram Queen rambles...

I hate the "one bad apple" concept but I love how you thought of the teenaged girls! Go Melissa!

12/19/2008 01:07:00 PM

 
Blogger Lynilu rambles...

That is really too bad that the program has been scrapped. You know, in our "throw away society," we are so used to just getting rid of things rather than taking time to fix them. So sad.

12/19/2008 07:04:00 PM

 
Anonymous Safa rambles...

Melissa,

Thanks for the link to the pajama program. That was great to focus on the older girls.

12/23/2008 01:55:00 PM

 

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