A Holiday Season without Mr. Scrooge

posted by
Travis Butterfield,
Project Coordinator,
ASU Lodestar Center

"At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge," said the gentleman, taking up a pen, "it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and Destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time."
— Charles Dickens
, A Christmas Carol

I recently joined a book club. The book for this month is, not surprisingly, Charles Dickens' classic, A Christmas Carol. I have read it before and seen several adaptations for the screen and stage. But, the wonderful thing about the literary arts is that they can teach you new things with each reading.

As I was riding home from work the other day on the light-rail, I started reading this book. I was surprised at how I had never realized how closely the text relates to the nonprofit sector. The epigraph, included above, really surprised me when I read it because I had never, despite working in the nonprofit sector for over three years, thought of this section as distinctly "nonprofit" in nature.

As I read, I was impressed by the optimism and goodness of the two gentlemen taking up a collection for the poor. They provide a perfect counter-point to Ebenezer Scrooge, who is the consummate villain. He is bitter, cold, and unfeeling.