$825.89 in product, $138.74 in cash, 12,399 ($19.58) Optimum points
A few weeks back I got a message from one of the members of Boom! Savings! Charity Shopping Club (www.facebook.com/groups/boomsavings) saying that she knew of a school that was running a oral hygiene awareness compaign.
As a way to remind parents of the availability of free dental care programs, a local school is hoping to send home a toothbrush and tube of toothpaste with every student.
Yesterday I finally heard from the teacher, so it was time to mobilize. Shoppers’s was having a sale for $0.88 (from as high as $3.49) and a 20X the points event for members who get their e-mails, so it was pretty inexpensive. The dentist office I go to was also willing to get involved when they heard about the number of toothbrushes I had bought this weekend (139!)…They donated 62 toothbrushes, which was great!
The more I get involved with various projects the more aware I become of what “need” actually is. The numbers are staggering, I’m pretty good with numbers and even I was able to turn a blind eye to them.
Some stats from CHEO (http://www.cheo.on.ca/en/poverty):
- One in six children in Canada lives in poverty.
- 373,000 children living in poverty in the province of Ontario.
- 38,500 Ottawa residents go to a food bank in a month. 15,000 of them are children.
I used to be able to go on my merry way, donating at Christmas to Toy Mountain, The Food Bank and various other charities. Now I am starting, just barely starting, to understand what need is.
Every item we have donated, every single one of them, is going to someone with a story to tell. Quite often when we think of those in need we will default to those we may consider “lazy” or “abusing the system”. It is an easy way to avoid having to think of war, famine, domestic abuse, addictions, mental health issues and the dozens of other reasons that someone may experience “need”. If you want to think of people that are abusing the system, think of the abuse at the other end: corporate greed. “That homeless person is obviously abusing the system, get a job!”…”Oh, that CEO is worth $9,500,000,000..yeah that makes sense, he works hard for his money!”…Anyways, enough preaching…well, maybe not…
I’ve come to the realization that what is important, other than immediate support, is to try and give children the support they need to become a productive part of society as an adult. If we can support children, especially in their teens and 20s, and give them the break they need they can hopefully make it on their own and become self sufficient. If we fail to support them, they have a strong possibility to become someone who will need a lifetime of support.
Despite all the gloom in my post, I am starting to see small victories with businesses. Given the amount of shopping I am doing (read: daily) they have become much more comfortable dealing with me, in fact, even encouraging me and pointing out where the deals are that day. I have also started hearing stories of business people going out of their way to help, which is great. Our system still needs some fixing, but there are good people everywhere you look.
Happy shopping, happy savings, happy sharing.