As a Michigan Public Radio; an affiliate of NPR, reports:
Foster children in Michigan would use their state-funded clothing allowance only in thrift stores under a plan suggested by State Senator Bruce Caswell.As Caswell himself puts it:
Caswell says he wants to make sure that state money set aside to buy clothes for foster children and kids of the working poor is actually used for that purpose.
He says they should get "gift cards" to be used only at Salvation Army, Goodwill or other thrift stores.
First of all, let's talk about what this is NOT about. This is not about me having any problem with second hand clothing. I buy second hand & I never throw cloths away. There is a Goodwill not far from where I live and I ALWAYS take them there.
This is about singling out an already disenfranchised group of CHILDREN for deferential treatment & robbing them of ALL choice in the process. Little choices mean a lot to someone with very little. It's those little things that make a person feel empowered in some way. Besides, people should have the option to NOT buy certain things second hand like underwear and shoes.
Also; as someone who thinks we should pass things like our clothes on, this just serves to stigmatize the buying of second hand clothes even more. Taking all other choices away from orphans turns the buying of second hand clothes INTO a punishment because it's something they HAVE TO do "unlike kids with parents," they will tell themselves.
Lastly, I have a serious problem with the idea of orphans being limited to buying clothes from the Salvation Army. Why? The Salvation Army is notoriously anti-gay. Because of people who run that organization, gay people and same-sex adoption are much less further along in this country then they should be. I wonder how many of those kids would have safe, loving, same-sex parents if organizations like the Salvation Army would welcome themselves into the 21st century.