Christmas Stories

Steve DeFillippo’s Point of View

Christmas season brings with it, joy, hardship, scams and charity.

Stories abound about illnesses that mobilize a family to help and care for an ailing family member; the sadness of those who have lost a friend or a loved one; and those suffering financial hardship through no fault of their own. The holidays would not be complete without hearing of the scam artists. The upside is in the charity we embody with enthusiasm at this time of year.

Here are a few personal stories to make my point.

I just learned of a friend that passed away after a long illness where a sibling donated bone marrow to save his father, to no avail. This is a sad event but binds a family together and creates a strong human connection and compassion for others. My friend was a gentleman and a classy guy who will be missed by his family, me and all who had known him.

A hard working immigrant janitor that I know was just laid off, do to his employer’s difficulties. This happened, after recovering from major surgery that kept him out of work for a year. While he had Medicare he does not have supplemental insurance to pay the balance. He has struggled to pay his medical bills while working, but without income or assistance, he is desperate. Collection agencies are already beating on him for payment; and being in his late 60’s, he has no prospects for employment. In my view a sad situation, worthy of a hand up; he wants a job, not a hand out! He deserves help!

A friend of mine from Massachusetts told of his experience last week that does not surprise me coming from a liberal state. His note:

“I was at Market Basket last week getting a few food items and in front of me was a woman in her early forties....her basket was loaded, overflowing with food; and she paid with a EBT card (Electronic Benefit Transfer)…..OH by the way she was dressed to the nines and wearing gold rings, gold bracelets, gold are you ready? I'm about to pull out of my parking space she opens the trunk of her car.....a new BMW!!!!”

You can be the judge of whether this person was worthy of such “entitlements”; or is she a scam artist flaunting her dastardly deed.

Unique stories? No way; but we need to be reminded of our blessings and show our concern for others.

I do know that at this time of year we all seem to gather around those in real need an offer whatever our means can provide. We should be especially thankful for those charitable organizations that work year round to help and comfort those in need; such as the Salvation Army. These needy people and organizations require our support; and I encourage you to do what you can to contribute to them!

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