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After a time of tragedy, everyone wants to join in the celebration party. Human nature, I suppose. After all, everyone likes a party!
Today, I was reading in the St. Louis Post Dispatch about two celebratory gifts, both revolving around the “Miracle in Missouri.” First, a local bbuilder has donated a new four bedroom home to the Shawn Hornbeck family. After 4.5 years of being missing, the builder wanted to do something for “a deserving family.” You’ll get no argument that everyone deserves a home, but this seemed to be pretty self-serving on the part of the builder. They get the publicity, their name in the paper and folks emotionally link them as a company with a good heart. But still…a $250K home? I just think homes for so many homeless folks could be build for that money-at least shelters where minimal luxuries are exchanged for helping to keep more people off the street. Then, a good point was made: the Shawn Hornbeck Foundation was founded by his parents and will be operated and housed in the family’s new abode. Okay, okay, still slightly self serving on the part of the builder, but it’s helping a non-for-profit org, so I’ll accept thatt.
That is…until I read this morning’s paper. Shawn’s parents stepped down from their positions of running the organization several weeks ago(BTW, the home isn’t going to be completed for at least another few months). Even more concerning is that there really isn’t a Shawn Hornbeck Foundation any more! The org ffailed to turn in their finances to the state of Missouri over a year ago and that effectively dissolved their status as a non-for-profit. Even so, the builder helped throw up a smoke screen…why? Simple self promotion. Don’t dupe the public, McBride and Sons.
Now, the second piece of chairitable giving was, I feel, the polar opposite. The young man who identified the white Nissan that was used to abduct the second kidnapped kid, Ben, was given a new pickup of his own. Actually, not. He’s only 15, so his family gets it until he’s old enough to drive. Still, he was given a top of the line Dodge pick up that is roughly the size of a New England state. Having lived for three summers in the town where the second kidnapping took place, I know this truck will be the envy of the greater Union, Missouri area. Does Dodge get some publicity? sure, but it’s not nearly what the builder gets…and they aren’t trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the public, either.

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