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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

It's The Thought That Counts?

It is said that “it’s the thought that counts”. And it’s usually said when an act is done or a gift is given that is totally fouled up, rushed, ill-prepared or otherwise insufficient.

“It’s the thought that counts”.

Oh, really??

Over the past 4 weeks I have processed two gift-giving projects that have had many people participating. Both projects have had extremely specific written rules on what cannot be given and how the packages were to be prepared.

In other words, a semi-trained monkey could have done it correctly.

I have processed almost 500 parcels to date and only about 10% have done it right as far as what’s inside, how it’s packed and when it’s to be turned in. And I have seen some very disturbing “gifts”. Highly used (stained, torn) clothing, broken toys, huge bags/boxes that were nearly empty, items that were on the “NO” list and therefore had to be removed, and so on and so on.

It’s the thought that counts?

If that is the case, I’d really like to know what certain people are thinking. Were they thinking? Are they just dumb and don’t get it? Are they arrogant and think the rules don’t apply to them? Are they brown-nosers who are trying to make folks think they are a big spender as they carried it in?

But just as I’m ready to go screaming into the night, I will come across a parcel that reminds me of why I fool with this in the first place. A box that is so lovingly prepared that you know that the sender really cares about this person far away who will receive this gift. A person they don’t even know, yet much time and thought was spent to make a perfect gift.

THAT is the thought that counts.


  1. You are absolutely correct! I imagine when Samaritan's Purse volunteers are pouring thru the boxes they've collected that they think the SAME thing!!!!! I've seen some terribly SHABBY boxes that *I* would be ashamed to give!!!

  2. I completely agree with your sentiments about the gift giving project, having had 2 similar experiences myself. I know of one gift giving project where people were instructed to include a toy for a child and someone actually put in a dog toy! Oh, that people would just follow directions!


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