Sunday, December 03, 2006

Pup for Tots

I was on my way to volunteering at the Toys for Tots center on the other side of town.

I knew how it was going to be. Trying to be somewhere at 5pm and having to drive through the heart of the congestion in Atlanta during rush hour Traffic on a Friday. I got in the car and I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty.

I hate driving, especially in any type of traffic, but it’s for the kids. I guess I’ll tough it out. Yes, I know I say bad things about them, but they deserve toys during Christmas.

When we (a friend went with me) finally got to the center, we were greeted by a couple of marines hanging out by the door. We told them why we were there and they seemed pretty confused. I thought that was strange as people should be doing a lot of volunteering this season. They pointed me to the sergeant in charged and we went on inside.

We got inside the warehouse and something seemed different. I’ve done this several times before. The storeroom is generally a mess with toys everywhere. What I was seeing was only a couple of crates and all neatly packed.

The sergeant told us what was going on when we found him. Apparently, there haven’t been any toys coming in. No one has called for pick ups or anything. Even though it’s still a bit early, they usually have a good amount of toys by now. Now they’ve got bupkuss.

It seems that people are just not donating as much as usual this year. I noticed that all the food banks were all empty during Thanksgiving and they had to really struggle to get all the dinners out to the homeless. Now of course, they’re even emptier and are looking to have a hard time filling the pantry before Christmas.

So they had nothing for us to do. I thought about challenging one of the marines to a push-up contest, but I didn't think that'd be a good idea. My friend and I were now stuck in this town (traffic still bad). We did the sensible thing and found a bar and got drunk.

There really isn't much of a story here, but I would like to ask everyone a favor.

When you’re out shopping this holiday season, if you’re in a store with a toy section, pick up something. Tell your friends that instead of buying them a gift, you’re spending that money for this or other charities. They don’t really need that thing that you were going to get them. They probably secretly re-gift or return it anyway.

Perhaps if you’re a parent and you’ve bought your child a million toys, maybe you can spare one toy for a needy child. You child will have plenty and probably won’t even miss it. Having too many toys will spoil your kid anyway. I remember I got an empty can for Christmas once and had a grand old time just kicking it around with friends. Good times.

As a special offer, anyone who donates a toy will get a personalized Christmas card paw-signed by Pup himself! Act now!

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