Adopt-A-Child Program through work - Wow! Expensive Gifts! - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 99 Old 11-26-2008, 03:23 PM
 
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I've encountered a similar thing with a program run by my kids' school. You sign up to buy for a certain number of kids, and then get the child's wish list. The item each kid requests can vary wildly in price, so it's impossible to know what to expect.

Last year, one kid asked for t-shirts. No problem--I got half a dozen. Another kid asked for a very specific Lego set. I like Legos, and was happy to get this request, right up to finding the set at Target, and seeing the $129 price tag. Sorry, but that's not happening.

I bought a much more modest Lego set in a similar theme. It's what I would do for my own kids if they made that request. And I know that my kids would still be pretty happy to have it.

So, I'm in the buy an mp3 player or reasonable gift card camp. There's no way I'd spend $100/kid.
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#62 of 99 Old 11-26-2008, 04:43 PM
 
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I dont want this to come out wrong.. But the parents must know the cost of some of those items their child is wishing for. It amazes me that there are so many wishes that are expensive. You would think parents would tell their child that any gift is good and they shouldn't ask for things that are so expensive.
No way would my mom have bought me an Ipod, infact she bought my sister a cheaper mp3 player.
I would buy the cheaper versions and assume that the fact they got something at all would make them happy.

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#63 of 99 Old 11-26-2008, 05:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Thystle View Post
Just because they are poor doesnt mean they deserve "cheap".
Well we aren't necessarily poor, but my SD didn't get the IPOD she wanted because we were not going to spend that much money on it. If she HAD to have something IPOD the only ones we could have gotten her were the smaller ones. Instead we did get her a cheaper MP3 players. It was a good quality one (a Sansa) but it was cheaper than the IPOD. It got great review and it has alot more functions than the iPod that she could have gotten. She really likes it.

I dont' think just because they are poor they should only ask for toothpaste and socks, but don't necessarily think that one is obligated to buy an expensive (whatever) just because that's specifically what they want.

Something can be a cheaper version of something without being poor quality. I do think if you're gonna buy a "knock off" of the original requested item, it does need to be of good quality. If you can buy the item then definitely buy what they ask for. If you can't then just do the best you can.

PS Itunes gift cards are a good idea...but if they don't get an Ipod it's kind of pointless.
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#64 of 99 Old 11-26-2008, 06:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bender View Post
If you picked the names, you should stick with them.

However, the programs usually have a built in duplicate set up so that kids don't get screwed over. Or at least that's how it works in my area. The angel trees put up multiple tags for the same kid all over the area, and the gifts that get returned don't generally end up with that kid. People unwrap the presents, pull out any notes or additional gift cards/cash (the notes were so sad to look at; such encouraging words that the recipient would never see; broke my heart), and sort the gifts according to age/gender/etc. The group I volunteered with was Christian based, so non-Christian toys were put to the side to be returned (comic book character toys, anything scary, etc). After that, parents were invited to come in and 'shop' for their kids...each kid got a certain amount of points, and the gifts were rated in points...clothing was lower points, toys were higher. The gift cards were used by the agency to purchase additional items in deficent categories.

After seeing all this, it made me really pissed off that the hand-selected gift I mulled over for hours in the mall was ripped to it's individual components and piled in various corners of a wearhouse. Thus, I no longer do the giving trees in my area. If I knew for sure the kid/adult was getting the gift, I'd go all out and get the Spiderman/Venom set for a boy w/o fears of it getting returned for being unChristian.

If you know for sure the kids will get your gifts, get them their dreams. If there's a chance the gift set up is run like my local one, do the gift cards to target and support the food bank.
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This, to me, is the problem with religious based charities and usually private charities in general. Government charities tend to be much more universal.

That's very similar to the way our agency does it, as I posted. And mine is a government charity.
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#65 of 99 Old 11-26-2008, 06:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MadameXCupcake View Post
I dont want this to come out wrong.. But the parents must know the cost of some of those items their child is wishing for. It amazes me that there are so many wishes that are expensive. You would think parents would tell their child that any gift is good and they shouldn't ask for things that are so expensive.
No way would my mom have bought me an Ipod, infact she bought my sister a cheaper mp3 player.
I would buy the cheaper versions and assume that the fact they got something at all would make them happy.
Most of the kids the OP mentioned are foster kids so no they really may not have an idea of what things cost.

I don't know I am director of an after school program where most of the kids are involved in this type of program and honestly I feel like kids are being kids. Christmas is the one time they think they can ask for something and get it, in our case we work with kids who pretty much don't have much and at least thanks to the kindness of others during the holidays they actually may have their wishes granted.

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#66 of 99 Old 11-26-2008, 06:32 PM
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I love the idea of making a teen's face light up with joy over getting the present they really wanted. I'd take one name and possibly two and give the rest to the foodbank.
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#67 of 99 Old 11-26-2008, 07:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Thystle View Post
Even poor kids want what everyone else wants/already has.


It would look REALLY bad to the boss to hand them back, plus you HAVE the money to do it.




Walk up to a "poor" kid who knows they will get nothing for xmas and ask them what they "wish" for.


Do you really think the kid is going to debate in their head to keep the cost low and not appear greedy?


It's xmas and they have VERY little. "Santa" is supposed to make wishes come true.


Every kid will "wish" for the moon.


Just because they are poor doesnt mean they deserve "cheap".


It's xmas. Make a dream come true.







(ps... for the IPOD. If you do give one you can always give a giftcard for the music downloads. Alot may not understand that part, but you can ensure someone can download it for them. )
Exactly Thystle. What right is it of anybody to take a dream from a child because they are poor.

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#68 of 99 Old 11-26-2008, 07:18 PM
 
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I like the toy drives where they have a generic list of requests (which does typically include ipods and such) and you donate the unwrapped gift, but it's not an angel tree matching situation.
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#69 of 99 Old 11-26-2008, 07:26 PM
 
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I am confused. Maybe it works differently in different places, but as a foster mother, I was told that the state gives a certain amount of money per child to the agency, and then the agency gives that money to people and asks them to buy presents for our foster kids (seems silly, why not just give me money to buy FDS a present since I know him, but whatever). So why are so many people buying presents for foster kids if the state gives money for their Christmas presents?

Maybe just a regional thing?

Mom to 5 wonderful kids (9, 6, 4, 2 and 0), 1 adopted through foster care.

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#70 of 99 Old 11-26-2008, 08:26 PM
 
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Depending on the age they may not lik e the shuffle that much. It is pretty much a no frills ipod. A lot of people (kids included) use the term Ipod and mp3 player as the same thing. I would get a cooler alternative instead. Costco will The Sansa Fuze 8 Gb for $60 on black friday. CHeck ebay or Ross for the baby phat clothes as one peice is $40 in department stores.
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#71 of 99 Old 11-26-2008, 08:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MissinNYC View Post
I am confused. Maybe it works differently in different places, but as a foster mother, I was told that the state gives a certain amount of money per child to the agency, and then the agency gives that money to people and asks them to buy presents for our foster kids (seems silly, why not just give me money to buy FDS a present since I know him, but whatever). So why are so many people buying presents for foster kids if the state gives money for their Christmas presents?

Maybe just a regional thing?
Maybe a STATE thing. I'm in IL. The DCFS adopt-a-kid program I was involved with was through Cook County (Chicago). We actually turn the gifts in directly to DCFS, not a third party.

Churches, companies, other groups get the names of individual children from DCFS directly.

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#72 of 99 Old 11-26-2008, 08:56 PM
 
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Both of my older 2 wanted ipods for Christmas. I found 2 ipod nanos at a pawn shop for 60 bucks a piece.
I wanted to come back and ad that pawn shops usually have digital cameras for a fairly inexpensive cost as well. And I agree with several others, these kids just want what's popular and cool to have. I don't think they're being greedy at all, just kids.

Amy - mom to Anna-Rebekah 14, Logan 13, Christian 8, Ethan 7 and Adan 07/15/08
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#73 of 99 Old 11-26-2008, 09:33 PM
 
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My take on this is that a wish list is not an order form. I would keep the kids and buy what you feel comfortable affording or get a giftcard. You might also be able to check Craig's list or something for older versions - my work constantly has people selling older electronics when they upgrade to newer ones. This isn't to suggest that they don't deserve new stuff, but it's the reality of economics and electronics. They lose their value very quickly and a lot of people upgrade every 2 years - the older stuff is still in good shape and a great value.

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#74 of 99 Old 11-26-2008, 10:29 PM
 
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I'd seriously confront them about using the term 'adopt' so wrongly and disrespecftully. You are not adopting any one!

You are assisting, helping, sharing etc.

That said, I think even poor kids wish for the things they see other kids with means have.

If you can help a child have more than a container of playdough or whatnot, without taking food from your own children, you might consider it.

If it's a hardship, give good food, warm clothing, and to the best of your ability, gifts your own children of the same age, desire.
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#75 of 99 Old 11-26-2008, 10:39 PM
 
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Exactly Thystle. What right is it of anybody to take a dream from a child because they are poor.
I must be a fairly horrible person, because I routinely "take a dream from a child." My kids fill out Christmas lists full of all sorts of things I don't buy. Sometimes it's the money, and sometimes it's the conviction that all those expensive electronic goodies aren't necessarily all that good for you. I guess I see different types of things as "dreams" than the desire to possess whatever the popular, high priced gizmo of the moment is.
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#76 of 99 Old 11-26-2008, 10:43 PM
 
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Do you honestly not see a difference between your children, who have what they need materially and have a stable family, asking for these things, and these kids asking for them?

This thread is making me pretty angry. If some of those who are posting don't want to give kids in need holiday gifts, or can't afford it, that's fine, but to be so nasty about how they would dare ask for these things is awful.
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#77 of 99 Old 11-26-2008, 10:50 PM
 
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I must be a fairly horrible person, because I routinely "take a dream from a child." My kids fill out Christmas lists full of all sorts of things I don't buy. Sometimes it's the money, and sometimes it's the conviction that all those expensive electronic goodies aren't necessarily all that good for you. I guess I see different types of things as "dreams" than the desire to possess whatever the popular, high priced gizmo of the moment is.
No, you are not a horrible person but honestly I don't think you can make a fair comparison between your own kids and kids on the adopt a family/help type program. I said earlier in this thread I work with kids who get their Christmas gifts provided by these programs and in the case of the kids I work with, they have so little. My goodness I have a little girl who doesn't even have dolls at home and loves the ones at our center. In many cases these are kids who this time of year may very well be the only time they get anything and yes maybe their lists are excessive to some of us but they are kids who are filled with dreams.

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#78 of 99 Old 11-26-2008, 10:53 PM
 
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Do you honestly not see a difference between your children, who have what they need materially and have a stable family, asking for these things, and these kids asking for them?

This thread is making me pretty angry. If some of those who are posting don't want to give kids in need holiday gifts, or can't afford it, that's fine, but to be so nasty about how they would dare ask for these things is awful.
Of course there's a difference between kids who have a family and kids who don't. But I don't think the desire to have some material item which will be trendy for a fairly short period of time can really be equated to destroying someone's dream.

I think kids ask for stuff. I think most of the time, kids have no idea of how much said stuff costs, and are often perfectly happy with substitute, less-expensive, but still perfectly nice items.

I don't think there is anything wrong with people volunteering to provide gifts, but not spending a fortune on overpriced stuff. In fact, I think it's very commendable for people to volunteer to purchase gifts in the first place.
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#79 of 99 Old 11-26-2008, 10:54 PM
 
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Do you honestly not see a difference between your children, who have what they need materially and have a stable family, asking for these things, and these kids asking for them?

This thread is making me pretty angry. If some of those who are posting don't want to give kids in need holiday gifts, or can't afford it, that's fine, but to be so nasty about how they would dare ask for these things is awful.
Great post ao.

I grew up poor, and was fortunate enough to get xmas gifts from charity. I am glad the people who donated those gifts didn't have this attitude.

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#80 of 99 Old 11-26-2008, 10:56 PM
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I'd seriously confront them about using the term 'adopt' so wrongly and disrespecftully. You are not adopting any one!

You are assisting, helping, sharing etc.
.
Good point.

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#81 of 99 Old 11-26-2008, 11:06 PM
 
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Just wanted to share my experience with this. When I was still at home, before I was married my family "adopted a family" for christmas through our Church program. They had a bunch of items on there list and we ended up spending about $100 or more on each child. (I think there was 4 kids.) No big deal . . .
Well then when we called the family to ask directions on how to get to there house to drop off the gifts and the mom was very rude, acted like we were intruding. Then when we got to her house that evening to drop them off we walked in the house and there was 3 christmas trees (in different areas of the house) and under EVERY tree was a pile of gifts. . . . : Yeah. So Im not sure how they got into a needy family program but it was sad. We felt so aweful that here these people were NOT needy and we could have been helping someone who really needed it instead of this. So because of that we havent done that since then, guess it was a bad taste in our mouth.
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#82 of 99 Old 11-26-2008, 11:34 PM
 
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IBT, you and your hub seem like really nice people. I used to work with foster kids, and I can guarantee you that you will make the day, month, and year of these 4 kids. But rather than not participate next year, I suggest you think about pinching a little more out of the 2009 monthly budgets so you can do the level of food bank giving you want next Christmas AND sponsor some foster kids.

[IBT, this part is not directed at you] And really, people, AO and Thystle are so spot on. Are we truly going to nickel and dime foster kids? At Christmas? The majority of them have n-o-t-h-i-n-g and precious few prospects. These teens will age out of the system in a couple of years. I don't know about your state, but in my state that basically means "don't let the screen door hit you."

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#83 of 99 Old 11-27-2008, 12:18 AM
 
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Since you've already planned on giving $500, I would bite the bullet and do the $400 for the toys and the $100 for the food pantry and just not participate ever again.

I think the lists are pretty outrageous, but think your husband would make a bad impression at his new job if he tried to unadopt 3 of the kids.
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#84 of 99 Old 11-27-2008, 12:20 AM
 
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So, if these were smaller kids and they were asking for play kitchens and art stands that cost as much as those iPods do, would this be a different conversation?

I think it would be.
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#85 of 99 Old 11-27-2008, 12:41 AM
 
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So, if these were smaller kids and they were asking for play kitchens and art stands that cost as much as those iPods do, would this be a different conversation?

I think it would be.

I don't think it would be. I related the gift request for the $129 Lego set, which was certainly from a child under 10, maybe 7 or so as I recall.
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#86 of 99 Old 11-27-2008, 12:44 AM
 
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I was thinking specifically about the comments about how these kids just want shiny electronics.
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#87 of 99 Old 11-27-2008, 12:51 AM
 
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So, if these were smaller kids and they were asking for play kitchens and art stands that cost as much as those iPods do, would this be a different conversation?

I think it would be.
I wouldn't spend that much, period. If I'm not spending that much on my goddaughter or her sister, then I'm not spending it. Doesn't matter what the heck the item is.

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#88 of 99 Old 11-27-2008, 12:59 AM
 
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I work in a low-income middle school and I find that my students use the words ipod/mp3 player interchangably. If they really had an Ipod, they would think that was cool, but they'd be excited about any mp3 player (which can be easily found for $25). Ipod shuffles are $50, if that helps! Most of my students do not have computers, but they seem to be able to find a friend to put some songs on it for them.
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#89 of 99 Old 11-27-2008, 01:02 AM
 
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I wouldn't spend that much, period. If I'm not spending that much on my goddaughter or her sister, then I'm not spending it. Doesn't matter what the heck the item is.
Agreed.

As kids get older they tend to want electronic stuff. That's just the way it is. The category of stuff doesn't matter. The cost and the value does.

My niece asked for a big ticket ($150) play kitchen when she was 5. We got her a very nice $45 play kitchen, which was her favorite toy for years. I wouldn't spend $150 on a play kitchen for anybody.
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#90 of 99 Old 11-27-2008, 01:12 AM
 
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OP I am so glad you decided to just go for it! You will really make their Christmas special.

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