FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Toys for Tots … with Green Cards

Some children in Nashville this Christmas awoke to a barren Christmas tree because their parents weren’t able to provide Santa with social security numbers.

What does it say about a country when two of its largest holiday gift givers, the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program, and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots, will decline applicants who are unable to demonstrate proof of citizenship, and income, according to an article in The Tennessean.

The Angel Tree program, based in Nashville, will have distributed Christmas presents to nearly 15,000 children and seniors throughout Tennessee in response to nearly 5,000 applications, and this program that matches gifts to families in need, is not shy about its requirement to produce a social security card.

Maj. Rob Vincent, a spokesperson for the Salvation Army, insists that “it’s not a matter of whether they’re legal or illegal,” but whether parents requesting help with their Christmas gifts can prove they’re members of the community. The Salvation Army, he argues, wants to be sure to address “local need.” But what kind of community would deny an indigent parent’s request for just enough to cover the cost of a baby doll for her three year old daughter solely because the child’s grandmother can’t produce a social security card?

And, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots also has the same policy of requiring official evidence of citizenship, and proof of income eligibility before granting parents request.

There are some in high powered Washington think tanks who are cynical enough to suggest that parents may be “gaming” the system by applying to several charities for toys. They are the same folks who called for welfare reform while simultaneously lining the pockets of AIG. Well, here’a hearty Bah Humbug to those who can justify corporate fraud, yet who get out of shape because maybe, just maybe the child of an undocumented worker might be rewarded with a $10 teddy bear at Christmas. These are the same folks who often hire undocumented workers to mow their lawn, or fix their toilets, yet yell the loudest because a miniscule percentage of the millions in grants to government agencies might inadvertently wind up under somebody’s Christmas tree of last resort.

To any but the most obdurate, intransigent Scrooge, the actions of the Salvation Army and the U.S. Marine Corps in depriving needy children in Nashville, and anywhere else in this nation, of Christmas are egregious especially when considering that other charities, like The United Way of Metropolitan Nashville, award millions in grants every year with no proof of citizenship requirement.

Any charity that would reject the children of immigrants at Christmas isn’t worthy of the name.

JAYNE LYN STAHL is a widely published poet, essayist, playwright, and screenwriter, member of PEN American Center, and PEN USA.

 

More articles by:

JAYNE LYN STAHL is a widely published poet, essayist, playwright, and screenwriter, member of PEN American Center, and PEN USA.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
July 17, 2019
Manuel García, Jr.
Ye Cannot Swerve Me: Moby-Dick and Climate Change
Charles Pierson
Sofi’s Choice
Gary Leupp
Epstein, Jane Doe, and Trump
Rebecca Gordon
I Had an Abortion and Now I’m Not Ashamed
Peter Bolton
In the US and Brazil, Two Trends Underline the Creeping Fascism of Both Governments
Michael Kidder
“Go Back Where You Came From:” an Episode From Canada
Steve Early - Rand Wilson
How Big Strike 30 Years Ago Aided Fight for Single Payer
John W. Whitehead
Sexual Predators in the Power Elite
Michael Welton
Teach the Children Well: the Unrealized Vision In Teaching and Learning in the Residential Schools
Khury Petersen-Smith
Iran’s Not the Aggressor, the US Is
Russell Mokhiber
Kip Sullivan and Dr. Matthew Hahn on How Value Based Programs Are Undermining Medicare and Single Payer
George Ochenski
A Fearless and Free Press is Essential to Our Democracy
Lawrence Wittner
Billionaires and American Politics
Dean Baker
Cheap Shots at the Trump Economy
July 16, 2019
Conn Hallinan
The World Needs a Water Treaty
Kenneth Surin
Britain Grovels: the Betrayal of the British Ambassador
Christopher Ketcham
This Land Was Your Land
Gary Leupp
What Right Has Britain to Seize an Iranian Tanker Off Spain?
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Democratic Virtues in Electing a President
Thomas Knapp
Free Speech Just isn’t That Complicated
Binoy Kampmark
The Resigning Ambassador
Howard Lisnoff
Everybody Must Get Stoned
Nicky Reid
Nukes For Peace?
Matt Johnson
The United States of Overreaction
Cesar Chelala
Children’s Trafficking and Exploitation is a Persistent, Dreary Phenomenon
Martin Billheimer
Sylvan Shock Theater
July 15, 2019
David Altheide
The Fear Party
Roger Harris
UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Bachelet’s Gift to the US: Justifying Regime Change in Venezuela
John Feffer
Pyongyang on the Potomac
Vincent Kelley
Jeffrey Epstein and the Collapse of Europe
Robert Fisk
Trump’s Hissy-Fit Over Darroch Will Blow a Chill Wind Across Britain’s Embassies in the Middle East
Binoy Kampmark
Juggling with the Authoritarians: Donald Trump’s Diplomatic Fake Book
Dean Baker
The June Jobs Report and the State of the Economy
Michael Hudson – Bonnie Faulkner
De-Dollarizing the American Financial Empire
Kathy Kelly
Remnants of War
B. Nimri Aziz
The Power of Our Human Voice: From Marconi to Woods Hole
Elliot Sperber
Christianity Demands a Corpse 
Weekend Edition
July 12, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Skull of Death: Mass Media, Inauthentic Opposition, and Eco-Existential Reality in a Pre-Fascist Age of Appeasement
T.J. Coles
“Strategic Extremism”: How Republicans and Establishment Democrats Use Identity Politics to Divide and Rule
Rob Urie
Toward an Eco-Socialist Revolution
Gregory Elich
How Real is the Trump Administration’s New Flexibility with North Korea?
Jason Hirthler
The Journalists Do The Shouting
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Pâté Politics in the Time of Trump and Pelosi
Andrew Levine
The Electoral Circus as the End of Its Initial Phase Looms
David Swanson
Earth Over the Brink
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail