Friday, September 02, 2005

Corporate Charity, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy

I did not intend to post anything about the post-hurricane madness. (And it is madness.) This is just something to put here so people remember it months from now. It's an article from CNN that lists what certain U.S. companies are donating to the relief effort. My personal favorites: Ford Motor Credit Company will allow victims to defer up to two car payments; and my buddies at ComCast are offering ten milliion dollars' worth of advertising. Note that Ford isn't contributing any money, just deferring them receiving money from people who have lost everything. Including the damn car! What's Ford going to do... repossess it? Better get some SCUBA gear. And to be fair to ComCast, they are contributing $50k in addition to the advertising. Because, really, advertising isn't going to be of much use to people who don't have food, much less electricity, television, homes... Love it. In that list, only one thing impresses me:

"Papa Johns franchisee owner Keith Sullens in Houston is using his location in Reliant Stadium, which is adjacent to the Astrodome, to provide up to 10,000 Pizzas to people arriving at the Astrodome from the Superdome. He is also offering 150 delivery jobs open across the Houston area to people evacuated from New Orleans as a chance for them to get back on their feet."

Oil companies, pharmaceutical companies, and all the other big businesses are contributing gristle and less than table scraps compared to the obscene amounts of money they make gouging the consumer. But this one guy, one single franchise owner and not the owner of Papa Johns uber-entity, is doing something with meaning. Actually putting himself in the "that could've been me" mindset and responding in a way that befits his means.

I went through an apartment fire, and I was numb for a long time after. My experience in no way compares to what's going on there. Not even fractionally. I cannot begin to imagine what these people are going through. And this is what corporate America does to help them? "Sorry you lost everything, and your entire family died. But you can hold off on that car payment for two whole months! Just watch some TV for a while!" Bastards, one and all.

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