I agree with a lot that has been said in this thread since last I posted, but wanted to clarify one thing.
Someone said something to the effect that it seemed some people felt there was no kindness in the world, or shouldn't be kindness in the world, honestly, wasn't sure what that phrase meant.
But to clarify, I haven't seen anyone, not even myself, who said that. People came down on different sides regarding the layaway angels being the best way to go, etc., but if someone said there was or should be no kindness in the world, I sure missed it.
Kindness is always a good thing and most people are very kind and generous even if they differ as to the best way to practice that.
I really agree with ONLINEASLLOU. It seems like we are so eager to donate to kids, make sure they get their toys, make sure they are happy and have a good Christmas, etc. But, we seem to forget that there are plenty of other people out there who could use help. I mean...what about our elderly? So many of them live in absolute poverty... I'd much rather give anyone a warm winter coat (especially an elderly person) or some food instead of buying a kid a toy. These layaway "angels" well...it's their money and they can spend it however they like, but I can think of a lot better ways to actually help people. Food, warm winter clothing, but also things like dental care (do you know how many people are in chronic pain from untreated dental problems?)...these are things that people actually need. Toys, not so much.
anonymous acts of kindness are wonderful... But when 2 major store chains advertise layaway angels paying up someone's bill, it just seems to be a marketing ploy. People in really tough circumstances don't have the money to put things on layaway. A lot of them rely on the kindness of local churches and food banks to answer their holiday prayers. So who are these layaway angels helping with their kindness...people who have enough to go shopping? There are plenty of charitable organizations who are helping the people who really need it...I wish the layaway angels would help them
Sheryl from New Jersey, USA... EST
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12/15/13 4:16 P
My best friend had her niece's layaway paid for at a local Walmart, Some unknown kind person went to the Layaway Dept, and asked that $100 each be placed on the account of 20 people, Nothing visual, Nothing based on anything other than 20 people "wishing" for something they had on layaway.
Each person gets to decide how they want to share what he/she has with others less fortunate. (Quite different than the gov't taking it away and playing out a communist-style world where people live off the work of others without any contribution, ...just saying!)
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12/15/13 2:34 P
Well from what I'm reading some of the posters don't feel that there should be any kindness in the world at all. I put this out to show that there was some magic still left at this time of year but apparently there's still alot of cynicism, and mistrust. Just go with it. I also appreciate the different point of views though.
I have slightly mixed feelings. On the one hand, the angels have their hearts in the right place -- and certainly, many receivers need and appreciate the kind gesture. But like some previous posters, I wonder how the recipients are chosen ... and wonder if there might be people more needy who are being passed over because they are not a "attractive" as recipients.
For example, why is it always families with kids? Why not some older people whose purchases are intended as gifts for other elderly people who really need them? Maybe their husband ... or elderly mother ... or sibling ... or friend ... really needs a winter coat or a sweater to stay warm? Is that person less worthy than the family with kids who want a great big bunch of toys under the tree rather than just a few well-chosen ones?
While I would love to be angel for some needy person (of any age), I would want to know that my donation was being well-spent. So I prefer to donate to established charities with a track record of success.
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I do know about these programs; angel tree, etc, my church does them and I am envolved, but these are true random acts of kindness by individuals who probably just want to spread a little cheer, and there are other stories about them all over the country. I do see some of your points but I think all these people are doing is trying to put some light into a world of darkness.
I don't know enough about how the recipients are picked to really have a firm opinion, but if they are truly picked at random without their having signed up for some program (such as the Angel Tree, where parents know their kids' names are on the tree), I have mixed feelings.
On the one hand, some families will benefit and that is great and the giver benefits by feeling good about doing a random act of kindness.
But people who use layaway don't always need or want the helping hand. There are families who may feel proud they are paying off their own purchase and giving to their kids at Christmas. There are single people who may have used layaway as a convenient way to buy for nieces and nephews ... who knows? Any circumstance may lead to using layaway.
Just my opinion, I think it is better to give through a vetted program such as the Salvation Army, etc., so that one knows the recipient needs and wants the help.
Nice as the layaway angels are and again, I don't know if the stores check and make sure everyone eligible for the giveaway knows about, needs and agrees to the charitable act.
If so, great.
(I don't have time or inclination at the moment to google and read any articles or links about this, just my uniformed opinion.)
That's really sweet that your friend benefited like that from that random act of kindness, it's nice to think that there are still some great people in this world. Some people just enjoy giving they see it as a gift to themselves for making someone else happy even though they'll never know the true impact of the gift. God bless these people who have extra and make someone's Christmas dreams come true for their kids!
Starting to like the new me! Waiting for my garden to come to life!
Random acts of kindness are lovely gestures. What bothers me about this program is that it has been advertised and there are some people who will write their hard luck story and then shop for things, even more so, hoping that they will be picked. It's like winning the lottery. If you can't afford a lot of tickets, don't buy into it, because the odds are against you winning
I always wonder about acts of kindness like these and how people on the receiving end feel. Certainly there are times, as in this case it seems, that the person who put their item on layaway was really struggling and having it paid off was a blessing and a relief.
But we don't know anything about the people who put their items on layaway. When I was younger, my parents (who are well-off) used to sometimes have me put things I wanted on layaway, to teach me about saving and managing money. I don't think they'd have been too happy to find the layaway had been paid off, but more importantly, that wouldn't have been a good use of the angel's money or had their intended effect. Also, maybe the person using layaway was in fact struggling, but it meant something to them to have worked and saved over time to achieve what they wanted, rather than getting a handout. The layaway angels would never know about these situations, but would just assume what they did really helped.
I hope I don't come off as too cynical, but I think that if people want to donate money (and they should!), they should really consider the actual effect it will have and how people on the receiving end will feel, not to mention how they can do the most good with their money.
Our local papers have been running articles about lay away angels. These are people that go to stores like KMart and Walmart with lay aways and pay for other people's lay aways if the lay aways have children's cloths or toys in them. A friend of mine who has a daughter 3, and a son 2 just had hers payed off in full. I was with her and her mother when she got the news, and the look on her face was priceless. These random acts of kindness need to get more publicity then they do.
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