In reviewing the press release sent to us by the Salvation Army of the Fox Cities for their annual Christmas assistance registration and Coats For Kids distribution, I believe I have come across a nefarious plan to prevent as many poor people as possible from getting their help.
Those who sign up for help from the Salvation Army are actually required to show photo identification and proof of residency! As we hear every time the state's Voter ID Law is brought up--or challenged in court--requiring a poor person (or a minority) to get a state-issued identification card is an arduous burden that is put in place for the sole purpose of preventing "those people" from taking part in the democratic process. And the Government Accountability Board has also decided that requiring someone to bring proof of residency in the form of a utility bill or a lease is also too much to ask someone to remember to do in order to register to vote--so they can just show something that has been emailed to them with an address in it on their smartphone or tablet (because an email can never be falsified).
As if showing photo ID and proof of residency wasn't burdensome enough, those registering with the Salvation Army this week also have to bring proof of income! Not even those registering with the new health insurance exchanges are being asked to prove their income before they are approved for taxpayer-funded vouchers to purchase their policies! Why should someone have to go through the humiliating process of confirming their need for assistance? Nobody would lie about being poor just to get free stuff!
And if showing photo ID and proof of residency and income wasn't onerous enough, Salvation Army charity recipients must also show Social Security cards for every member of the family! This is clearly an effort to keep illegal aliens--I mean undocumented immigrants--from getting these benefits. Don't they know these people are "Americans" too? And that they should enjoy the same "rights" as citizens--even though there is absolutely no allowance for that in the Constitution?
So why would the good folks at the Salvation Army require people to jump through so many hoops to get a turkey or a ham, some gifts to put under the tree and warm winter coats for their kids? It could be that they are part of a vast right-wing conspiracy to keep low-income people poor so that the rich can get richer.
Or it could be that they realize the value of the assistance that they are providing to these people--and they want to make sure that only those who are truly in need of that help are the ones getting yet. The people in those uniforms know how much effort went into getting those cash donations, how many companies had to be contacted to receive those grants, how much time and money the dry cleaners put into cleaning all of those coats and that the people that gave those toys and jackets did so because they wanted to not because they were made to. The Salvation Army can't just pass a law saying "you must pay more for your children's toys so some other family can get theirs for a reduced price"--and they can't just take more out of your paycheck to "redistribute" to others.
I guess you could call it a "Christmas Miracle" that more than 25-hundred families will somehow overcome all of these "unfair burdens" to get their holiday help this year.