November 16, 2017
‘Shoe boxes’ article helpful, but too negative
To the editor:
The information contained in the article, “Stuffing shoe boxes for the world’s poor? Maybe you should reconsider,” was eye-opening and a good thing to bring attention to. It certainly made me re-think things.
I just wish the tone hadn’t been so negative and judgmental. I think many people would gladly reconsider what they are doing when exposed to what the real needs are. But when they are being accused of being involved with a “toxic charity like OCC” it will put them off so they shut off the deeper message of the article. If it were an article that encouraged evaluation and understanding without lambasting what people are doing, it would go much farther to changing people’s minds about their approach to poverty.
I was quite moved by the content, but don’t feel comfortable sharing this article with others because it would do more to offend and close some people’s minds than to accomplish what the actual intent was. But I would share it in a moment if it were more sensitive to those who sincerely have enjoyed partaking in this effort each year. These people may be uninformed, as I was, but most do not do it out of guilt or to relieve their conscience, but out of a heartfelt assumption that they are participating in a lovely and generous deed. I believe most of these same people would alter their approach, when it is pointed out what actually benefits the poor.
I wish writers would be more neutral in articulating their message, realizing that they are speaking to an audience with a wide variety of experiences, background, viewpoints and perspectives. Putting others on the defensive by criticizing (almost ridiculing) does little to promote a change of heart. It only serves to widen the divide.
Karen Dahl, Sandy, Utah