The following is excerpted from a letter written by Manchester School of Technology guidance counselor Laverne MacInnis.
Fairpoint giving didn't go on strike
As the Christmas holidays approach, most generous people's thoughts immediately turn to young children. No one wants to think of a young child finding nothing or very little under the Christmas tree. All but the most hardened of hearts is willing to reach into their wallet to ensure a young child will know Santa has remembered them. After all, there is tremendous joy in seeing the eyes of a young child light up when their heart’s desire is fulfilled in the form of a much wished for toy!
However, as the innocence of childhood is lost and adolescents no longer believe in Santa Claus, teenagers can sometimes be forgotten – even though their yearnings for Christmas presents can be quite like those of a young child. We at Manchester School of Technology are quite blessed to have a “Santa” of our own for many of our students. For some years now, Fairpoint employees have reached generously (and deeply) into their pockets and made sure that many of our students, who might otherwise not have found much under the Christmas tree, are blessed with an abundance of thoughtfully chosen Christmas presents. Fairpoint employees shop for and wrap a variety of presents for students who come to MST from the three sending city high schools and Goffstown, Bedford and Londonderry. Now that MST has its own high school, some of these students have been included as well. They fulfill the wish lists of many. However, with the strike this year, we assumed that the Fairpoint “Santa” would have much bigger concerns than MST students.
But no, giving didn’t go on strike. First, we heard from Fairpoint management. A manager called one day and essentially said, “Yes…there’s a strike, but we want to help out as best we can.” We were so surprised and grateful. Then a week or so later, we heard from the Fairpoint representative who usually contacts us and is one of the strikers! Yes, there were some striking employees who wanted to provide Christmas presents for our students! I was truly stunned! I managed to gasp out, “But you aren’t working! You don’t have an income!!!” This woman kindly said, “Yes, but some of us planned for this….we want to help your students.”
I know Fairpoint has received some negative publicity for being unable to come to an agreement and get its employees back to work. And there have been some complaining customers. However, Fairpoint certainly came together and unified when it came to giving and making Christmas possible for some of our students. Giving certainly didn’t go on strike at Fairpoint.