As far as I can see, just like buying a token Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless once a year, it allows businesses and well-to-do folks the chance to salve their consciences and feel they have made some sort of meaningful gesture.
However a GREAT TOY DRIVE and a Thanksgiving dinner donation do not change anything. Instead, how about a GREAT JOBS DRIVE or a GREAT LOW INCOME RENTAL drive, a GREAT LOW COST HOME LOAN DRIVE, a GREAT HEATING SUBSIDY DRIVE, a GREAT APPRENTICESHIP TRAINING DRIVE, a SIGN UP TO VOLUNTEER OR MENTOR DRIVE, a GREAT PSYCHIATRIC SUPPORT DRIVE or a GREAT AFFORDABLE CHILD CARE DRIVE for low-income working parents?
When we - or TV stations & organizations - help the parents become financially secure, help the low income secure affordable housing, or assist someone who needs the sort of mental health care that will help them be a better parent or more functional, self-sufficient person we help their children as well . . . and not just for a single holiday. Our State and Federal agencies are not covering enough ground and the funds dwindle each year.
Buy a child a present, he plays with it and remains hungry and poor. Buy a homeless person a Thanksgiving meal and he is hungry again the next morning with his prospects unchanged.
I'm far from a Scrooge, but I guess I'd like to wish that any sort of handouts could be tied to hope and progress . . .