Friday, December 25, 2009

The Seventh Day of Christmas at SBPDL - Salvation Army Volunteers

Christmas is the time of year when people feel generous and help those in need, offering alms to the needy and donations to worthy organizations who strive to help people who are less fortunate.

Remember A Christmas Carol? One of the great Christmas tales of morality, generosity and woes of a greedy existence? Allow SBPDL to share a quote with you from that story:

"There are many things from which I might have derived good by which I have not profited, I dare say," returned the nephew, "Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas-time, when it has come round-apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that-as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!"
Could one quote more accurately sum up the role that The Salvation Army attempts to play each year in helping the lives of millions of people around the United States who lack basic necessities around Christmas time?:
The Salvation Army, an international movement, describes itself as an evangelical movement and part of the "universal" Christian Church. It has a quasi-military structure and was founded in 1865 in the United Kingdom as the East London Christian Mission by William and Catherine Booth. It is well known for its evangelical, social and charitable work. The Salvation Army seeks to bring Christian salvation to the poor, destitute and hungry by meeting both their physical and spiritual needs, but its ministry extends to all, regardless of ages, gender, color or creed.
Through the hard work of Salvation Army volunteers, who stand in the cold and ring that familiar bell of hope and peace - that enticing sound that elicits patrons to part with coins so that some 30 million fellow Americans can be helped come Christmas time - the poor and downtrodden of America are shown Christian charity around Christmas.

However, not everyone who volunteers around Christmas for the Salvation Army is awarded the same amount of respect that they should be, for these men and women who brave the snow, rain and wintry conditions are the targets of vagrants and modern-day Scrooges:

CHARLOTTE, N.C.-- A charity known for it's giving spirit in the holidays has become the victim of a robbery.

CMPD says two people broke into the Salvation Army Red Kettle Warehouse, held two people at gunpoint and stole several red kettles, along with the money inside.

The Salvation Army says the suspects got away with 13 kettles and about $4000 in cash.

Luckily no one was injured.

The first suspect is described as a black male, 5'10", average build, was wearing a black hoodie, and a black bandanna around his face with skulls on it.

They were also wearing sunglasses and gloves.

The Second suspect is described as a black male, 6'4", 240 lbs, and was wearing a black hoodie, black bandanna and sunglasses.

Police say the men got away in an older model square green Jeep Cherokee."

Charlotte is a town hit hard by the financial collapse of the real estate market and the meltdown of the United States economy, and many needy people were deprived the good-natured donations that these Black people found necessary to obtain through illegal methods.

Sadly, Charlotte isn't the only city where Black people find the Salvation Army an easy target to rob for a few coins:

"A Salvation Army major was fatally shot in front of his three children Thursday afternoon as he walked into the the organization's community center in North Little Rock, authorities said.

Around 4 p.m., two black men dressed in black approached Philip Wise, 40, of Maumelle outside the community center at 1505 W. 18th St., Pulaski County Coroner Garland Camper said.

Wise’ children — ages 4, 6, and 8 — were walking with him when the men came up to them, police said. His wife, Cindy, also a major in the Salvation Army, was inside the center at the time and called 911.

One of the men pulled a gun, demanded money and then shot Wise, police said."

Philip Wise, a man who volunteered his time to help out the poor found himself a victim of the very individuals he hoped to alleviate of their anguish:
"Police say Wise took two bell ringers home and then returned to the Salvation Army with his three young children. Officers say two armed men approached Wise at the back door and demanded money. They say they then shot Wise at least once. He died at the scene.

Police are not saying if money was taken.

Wise's three children witnessed the shooting. Their ages are 4, 6, and 8. His wife was inside and reportedly called 911.

North Little Rock police are searching for two black suspects. Police say they are in their late teens to early twenties and were dressed in all black.

Police say Wise had been with the Salvation Army for 16 years. For the last three years he has managed the Salvation Army chapters in Sherwood, North Little Rock, and Maumelle."

Donations for the Salvation Army have been down in recent years, at a time when people need help the most. And yet, in two cities blessed with diversity, Black people have found the need to steal kettles of coins for their own nefarious plans and worse, deprive three children of their father for Christmas dinner.

Some Black people - who might be the beneficiaries of the benevolence of others in the form of the coins in that kettle - bring their kids along for the raid of others gifts:
"Twenty-five-year-old Onesha Gibson and 21-year-old Kimberly Baggett of Carbondale are free on bond after being charged in the theft last week.

A bell ringer outside a Carbondale Walmart says he and a co-worker noticed the kettle missing just after two women with children walked past and got into a taxi."
The Salvation Army is not a military organization, but one intent on spreading happiness and goodwill for all mankind. Take for instance this story of Detroit, Michigan and the Salvation Army, where hundreds of homeless people were fed thanks to the kindness of a thousand strangers:
"Starting at 7:30 a.m. today, all of this food is to go into the bellies of folks attending the Salvation Army of Metro Detroit's annual Christmas breakfast at the Masonic Temple in Detroit.

Salvation Army chef Gary Van Wicklin said he believes the breakfast has been held for the past five years.

The breakfast -- expected to feed more than 2,000 people -- is open to everyone, but most who come are in need of a good meal.

"It makes you feel good knowing that you're feeding the people that otherwise might not have anything to eat," Van Wicklin said. "It starts off their day right."

But the organization isn't stopping at breakfast.

From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Salvation Army's Bed & Bread Trucks -- mobile units that give away food to people in Detroit every day -- are to deliver upward of 1,000 turkey dinners, complete with mashed potatoes and sweet potato pie.

Preparation started three weeks ago, Van Wicklin said."
A war is being waged against Salvation Army volunteers, and it is starting to turn deadly. Those in need of help are stealing from themselves and others at a time when giving and sharing - as described by Scrooge's nephew above - is at its peak, around Christmas time.

Interestingly, cities in America that have a high rate of volunteerism, tend to be those populated by a majority of white people. And those with low volunteerism tend to have a copious amount of Black people in them, where only a minority of white people can go out and volunteer before they find themselves in the same predicament as Philip Wise:
"A new federal report on volunteering in America’s largest metropolitan areas has found that the cities with the highest levels of volunteering are largely focused in middle America; and that high home ownership rates and educational levels equate to higher volunteer rates while long commuting times and high volunteer dropout rates have the opposite effect.

Volunteer rates in America’s largest cities range from a high of 40.5 percent in Minneapolis-St. Paul to a low of 14.4 percent in Las Vegas. After Minneapolis-St. Paul, the cities with the highest volunteer rates are Salt Lake City, Austin, Texas; Omaha, Neb.; Seattle; Portland, Ore.; Kansas City, Mo.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Charlotte, N.C.; and Tulsa, Okla. The cities with the lowest volunteer rate are Las Vegas; Miami; New York; Virginia Beach, Va.; and Riverside, Calif."

On this Christmas, Stuff Black People Don't Like includes Salvation Army volunteers, for occurrences all over the United States where hard working people donating time and energy to help out the poor and then find themselves the victim of those they seek to assist is no longer an anomaly. Just ask Philip Wise's family.

Anytime you read a story where the suspect in the case is not revealed, the chances of it being a Black person behind the whole ordeal just shot up 100 percent.

The color of crime around Christmas still seems to be the same as any other time of year.

Link to story about Charlotte crimes can be found here and here.

1 comment:

B. Herder said...

Every time I think that American society can't *possibly* sink any lower than it already is ...
Shit like this happens.