Thursday, March 26, 2009

Nappies Hustled

Get your attention? The title may bring a smile, but what has happened near here is disturbing. How desperate do you have to be to steal diapers?

The crime story near my house is about a man who had a need big enough to risk prison for some diapers. As I have worked in charities before, I know that sometimes people can't afford diapers when their babies have to have one. I've gone into a church nursery and taken a stack of diapers for some one in need, myself. This news item shouldn't come as a surprise.

In tough times some are stealing it seems out of necessity. Before Thanksgiving a woman was accused of stealing a turkey from a local grocery store. More recently a man stole two packs of diapers from a Dollar General in Sherman.

Those desperate in this economy are taking desperate measures. Athough no one can prove a motive for stealing, it seems more items of necessity are disappearing from store shelves. This is not the first time an incident like this has happened. Advice? If your on a tight budget shop around. Some stores are keeping prices low for residents.

Joy Ashby, DME Coordinator for TMC Medical Supplies says, "We just don't do much of a markup. We are trying to help keep prices low for the community."

If you are looking for low priced items such as diapers, a 20 pack at TMC is only $3 while other stores prices range from $5 to $11 a pack.

This isn't a local crime wave. It seems that similar events are occurring in other places as well.

I was at a Walgreens store in an upscale Nashville neighborhood buying shaving razors. Like most stores, this place keeps the shaving stuff behind lock and key. The difference is that managers also alarmed their display case, so that when the door is unlocked a little alarm goes off that grows increasingly louder—and more annoying—until the case is locked again.

I remarked to the woman helping me that it seemed odd to keep shaving supplies behind an alarmed door. She told me that as the economy deteriorates, they're having a much bigger problem with shoplifting.

"It's gotten much worse just in the last month," she said. "We've even taken to locking up some of the diapers. That's how desperate people are getting."

She paused, looked over her shoulder and said in a low tone, "But if someone is in such bad shape that they need to steal diapers for their kids, it's hard for me to not want to just give them to them."

Good for you, saleslady. This reminds me of a Fish and Wildlife officer who confided that if they knew people were shooting geese to feed the family, as long as the hunter wasn't killing really endangered wildlife, the officers looked the other way.

A fatality of our cut-throat economy is that too many working people feel more threatened than sympathetic. The economic meltdown may be a time to take another look at our own habits of giving.

The crime in our area isn't huge, it's rural and in a place where people generally know each other there are a lot of very good reasons to keep your act clean. Sadly, that doesn't mean you can't be required to work without pay to keep a position. The work without pay is called 'working off the book', and I have heard from fellow workers at a few places that they'd been able to hang onto a needed job only by doing it for managers who in turn were required to show really good profits to keep their jobs.

In other words, you can rob people secure in keeping a record of good behavior, but stealing to take care of your children will get you in trouble.

We're growing extra rows in our gardens for folks who need to eat. Today I have a closet to clean out. There are a bunch of cleanliness-related products I will probably never use, and might help some one out if I make a trip to the local shelter. I just may have to pick up some diapers on the way.

You're invited.


Update: Good grief, the diapers I found were more like $8 for 24. I would definitely be boiling the cloth kind in a washtub in the back yard, if I had little fellas to care for right about now.

Labels: , ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bless you, sister.
For a while I consulted with some folks who were park of Eastman Kodak in Rochester, NY. Alongside their building they had an extensive garden, the bounty of which went to the poor. Alot of the employees worked in the garden in their spare time; it was very inspirational--literally growing karma.

7:31 AM  
Blogger Ruth said...

Thanks, we all do what we can. Community gardens are a great way to get out and meet, too.

7:38 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home