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Family can't afford Christmas tree

READ MORE: Family can't afford Christmas tree
WILMINGTON -- A New Hanover County man who was recently laid off from his job is upset over how he was treated when he went to a local charity to buy a Christmas tree for his family. Not only did he leave empty handed, he says he felt insulted. It's been a rough few weeks for David Shepherd and his family. He lost his job as a painter and has barely had enough money to feed his wife and three girls, much less buy them a Christmas tree. So he went to the Goodwill Community Foundation hoping to find a deal. Shepherd said, "I explained to her that I had X amount of dollars to purchase this tree, but I did not have enough for what they were asking for this tree Before I could even get finished, she cut me off and said, 'Well we don't do that, that's against our policy.'" Shepherd said he only had $15, half the amount he needed to purchase the $30 tree. While he was willing to spend all he had, he said the GCF employee wouldn't negotiate and even told him anyone could come up with a sob story around the holidays. "It just upset me because she just blatantly cut me off, and more or less called me a liar." Shepherd said he was humiliated, and his youngest daughter left the store in tears. "I had to try to explain to her why we couldn't get a tree, and it's hard to explain to a five-year-old that daddy don't have enough money." Good Community Foundation Director Stephen Snyderman says he regrets the situation wasn't handled more tactfully, but says GCF doesn't negotiate on price. "The manager or any employee doesn't have the authority to lower the price upon request, that wouldn't be fair to the other customers, it's not a negotiation process," Snyderman said. Snyderman says GCF uses the money it makes in the thrift store to provide jobs and training to people with disabilities or other employment obstacles. While he regrets GCF wasn't able to help the Shephards, he says it is helping train 174 students in New Hanover County make a better life for themselves. Snyderman said, "Sometimes we're confused with the Salvation Army and other organizations that do provide disaster relief for emergencies and other personal services, and that's not our mission." While GCF can't help this particular family our managers here at NewsChannel 3 have agreed to purchase the Shephards a Christmas tree. We hope to meet up with them a little later this week to go tree shopping.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


I sympathize with the

I sympathize with the Shephard family and hope that their economic situation improves very soon. Sometimes we go to others with our hearts wide open and they aren't very kind to us, and that hurts. We can't afford a tree this year either. I have an old ficus tree that we will decorate with lights. One year we went in the woods on our property and cut down a small tree and used that as our Christmas tree. Just sending a few creative thoughts your way.

Family can't afford christmas tree.

I understand why the clerk did not handle the situation very well. The director didn't handle it well either. They get there goods donated they could have given it to this man. I can see I will not donate to Good will no more. Merry Christmas to a foundation which calls itself good will HA!. Please tell us how we can help with this family to make there holiday more merry. Thank You


So much for "Good Will" towards men.... I will think twice before I make a donation of clothes or other items next time. Thrift stores have cheaper prices than this place, they obviously ONLY care about profit, and my next donations will be going to the salvation army. the next time I have complete trash from a yardsale ? I'll be sure to give it to the "Good Will" snobs..... Merry friggin Christmas to them..... The yardsale for profit people... Hopw do we know where there money really goes? We don't...........

" Goodwill " Not This Time

Everything in the Goodwill store is donated to them. That means everything sold is %100 profit for Goodwill. They could have sold the tree for $15 and I think $30 was to much. I also did not like the attitude of there representative on the phone. So much for the name " Goodwill ".

Goodwill aint good

The Goodwill may be a "charity" organization but look into how much they pay the owners of these franchises. It is a scam. I believe the last I checked they (husband and wife) made over $150,000 each. Goodwill my behind!

No Christmas Tree

We would like to help this family for Christmas. How can we donate money for Christmas toys or food?

Usually sympathetic

I am usually very sympathetic, but during the holidays it is very very easy to find a part time job at some sort of retail or security company. as for a christmas tree, not it is not a necessity, but rather a luxury. i feel that good will should focus of donating necessities. regardless, i feel the best think this guy could do is go in the woods and cut a pine or cedar tree to decorate. sometimes it is tough, but it will all pass by. also, i am sure if you were truly very chrisitan your church would be more than happy to help you obtain a christmas tree...