Saturday, November 10, 2007

What's it cost to give someone their job for Christmas?

Earlier this week, I was at the local Healthy Woman gala. Someone walked up to our table and said "So and so is going to lose her job at the Senior Center because they don't have enough members." There was, of course, some conversation back and forth about who to see, and what the membership fee was (15.00). One of the ladies at my table said "Heck, I'll join if it means she gets to keep her job." Well put. I was trying to figure out how to buy a membership-and I'm not old enough to be a member. (Nothing like getting carded when you are near your 50s, eh?)

This morning, I heard Aqua Dots moved from the "Hot Christmas Toy" list to the "recalled piece of crap imported from China" list. I was surprised-just a few months ago, these made it to the hot Christmas toy list-and now they've been recalled because the coating on them cause comas or seizures if kids ingest it. Yet another toy from China recalled this year. Those struck a chord with me because I considered getting them for DGD. I would have felt like hell if I bought a toy that put my grandchild in the hospital.

I made a donation to A4 this year, so some little Afghan kid will be warm. I donated canned goods to my local church this afternoon, so the Thanksgiving food baskets will have a few extra peas and carrots to go around. There's a lot to be done for people near and far.

Two days ago, I found myself browsing expensive lumps of glass because the Fenton Art Glass company announced their closure plans about 10 weeks ago. They've been going for over 100 years, made it through the Depression and two World Wars, but can't beat this economy. I bought. It might not make a difference, but maybe it will help someone hang on to his/her job a little longer. I figured my chunk of change might not be all that significant, so I did a little letter writing. If Fenton products were mentioned by Martha Stewart, Oprah, Country Living, and the like, maybe a few people could keep their jobs. Fenton can probably use all the help they can get.

Maybe there's a (US or Canadian) company on the brink, something that you like or that supports your local economy. Maybe all they need is a little publicity. Spend the "stuff I am not going to buy because it was made in China and has been recalled" money to help someone here keep her job. The alternative is unemployment, and THAT's expensive.


Suzann said...

Fenton is closing down. EEK When I worked at QVC it was one of the biggest sellers. But then I guess you can only collect so many bells before you come to your senses. It was madness on the phones, on the Fenton Days. Sorry to hear that.
I don't have any kids to buy for anymore. But if I did, I would want to steer clear of China made things.
Of course we are partly to blame. We want everything as cheap as possible. Which puts the squeeze on the Chinese factories. They cut costs in ways we are not happy with. The American buying public only seems to care about the bottom line. If we won't pay for quality, how can we expect to get it?
It is very sad all around

junior_goddess said...

Suzann-I had a hard time picking something out-I ended up with a slag Christmas tree like the one in the photo, another one that matches my dishes, and a couple of vases. I like pieces that let the glass do the talking, the pieces with paint on them don't appeal to me. No bells.

smariek said...

I hadn't heard of Aqua Dots, just did a websearch, eeks! There have been so many recalls on toys, it's so hard to keep up.

I recently ordered a Lego set (Duplo Doll House #4966) for M's xmas gift, just went to check where it was made in. It says components made in Denmark, China, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Hmmm..

Joan said...

I have had some beautiful Fenton pieces over the years and I agree that the non painted pieces were the best. The patriarch of the company, old man George Fenton, died a few years ago and I wonder if the kids just didn't want to run it anymore.

I am buy-local person too, whenever possible.

Anonymous said...

I live within 6 miles of the Fenton factory. It is so sad to see it close. The impact will be felt far beyond just the immediate employees as Fenton was quite a tourist draw to our little corner of SE Ohio and West Virginia. This is a great example of thinking globally and acting locally. And don't forget to support your LYS, I always say! Tammy