As the holidays quickly approach, many of us are beginning to make our lists of things we want this holiday season. Some of us do not even know what to ask for because we cannot think of anything else we want. I know that I have been having trouble making a list. All I can come up with is a new cell phone. We tend to get so caught up in what we want that we do not realize there are people that not only want things this holiday, but need things. How fortunate are we to have to think about what we want because we have everything we could imagine? And, how fortunate are we that we can ask for something like a new cell phone even though the one we already have is just fine? My roommate was passing through Wayne Hall the other day and noticed the Giving Tree that they have in there. Unborn to twelve-year-old children are listed asking for things that they want this year. Some of these mothers have babies on the way and cannot even afford to buy diapers, baby bottles, or strollers. Some other children have so little that they have listed a box of crayons as something that they really want. My roommate came back into the room upset because it hurt her that these children are unable to buy something that costs only a few dollars at the store. Many of us tend to turn the other way when we see these things because these unfortunate people “are stupid and have children when they cannot even support themselves” or because they are “so screwed up with drugs”.
While that could very well be the case, it is not the children’s fault. They did not choose to be born into poor households or into families with parents that make poor decisions. We hear these stories often, but not enough people take a minute to care. The fact of the matter is that these stories are real. Whether these parents are unfit or not, I cannot help but think that everyone deserves the excitement of opening up gifts and having something new. Granted we cannot help everyone and as upsetting as that is, we could try to help as many people as possible. These children and their families want to have a good Chanukah or Christmas just as much as we do. While we are asking for cell phones, IPODS, and Uggs, they just want paper and crayons to draw with. The Giving Tree is not the only organization that works to help these children and their families. UNICEF, Make a Wish Foundation, and other popular organizations work year round in hopes to help as many families as possible have a better holiday. But why should these organizations do all the work? We can help, too. By donating, providing gifts, volunteering, or helping to host a fundraiser we could make a difference too. If every person in Wayne Hall alone donated a dollar, we could take care of the list posted in Wayne and so much more. That being the case, we do not realize how much of an impact we could have as a community at WCU. As you sit and make your lists, please think about this. Nobody is asking that you make big purchases or donate large amounts of money, just a single dollar or your time. Happy Holidays!
Jillian Barton is a first-year student. She can be reached at JB669457@wcupa.edu.