For What It’s Worth

She believes in working

Hearing about someone in this culture of entitlement saying that she wants to work for what she receives is refreshing, especially so when that desire is expressed, and acted upon, by a young person.

Madison Root, an 11-year-old in Oregon, needed braces, which were going to cost $4,800. She decided the right thing to do was to chip in and raise money to help her dad pay for the braces. Madison went to her uncle’s farm, cut and chopped fresh mistletoe, and wrapped it to be sold in individual packages, each with a red bow.

Then, on a recent Saturday she took her merchandise and starting selling the packages of mistletoe in the downtown Portland city park, where the Portland Saturday Market holds its weekly venue. That’s a place with crowds, and she was doing business until a private security guard asked her to stop selling because a city ordinance bans conducting business or soliciting at a park without proper approval.

“I wouldn’t think I’d have any problems because people are asking for money, people are selling stuff, this is a public place,” Madison told a TV reporter, who noted that she was right—up to a point. The reporter noted that people were protesting, holding signs, and begging all over the area. Within 10 steps of Madison, a person could buy whistles, order crepes or sign a marijuana petition, the reporter said.

But, you couldn’t open a business without going through the market’s formal application process. The market sets rules for vendors, which Madison agreed makes sense, but she apparently had trouble understanding why so much begging was going on and that she could beg without coming under strict city ordinance regulation.

Mark Ross, spokesman for the Portland Parks Bureau, said begging was a form of free speech and protected under the First Amendment. The private security guard who asked Madison to stop selling told her she could sell her products on a city sidewalk outside the park’s boundaries or she could simply ask (that is, beg) people for donations for her braces.

“I don’t want to beg! I would rather work for something than beg,” Madison said. “It’s crazy. People can get money for pot, but I can’t get money for braces. I’m working for this! They’re just sitting down on their butts all day asking for pot.”

“I want to do something for a good cause. I don’t want to beg.”

Right after KATU News carried a story Sunday evening on Madison’s efforts, a viewer called in to order 30 bags of mistletoe. Her father reported that “mistletoe orders mushroomed.” He also said that McKinzei Farms, one of the biggest Christmas tree farms in the area, made a $1,000 donation to Madison’s braces.

Madison now has her braces.

Granted, Madison needed to adhere to city regulations, a point she did not dispute, but that is not the point here. Rather, the point is the attitude and conviction expressed by Madison. Don’t beg when you can take the initiative and work for something. That fits well with biblical admonitions about work.

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4 Responses to For What It’s Worth

  1. Donna says:

    So, here’s a legal question. Would she have been allowed to solicit donations and give her mistletoe as thanks for donations?

  2. Cleo L Rose says:

    Great article.

  3. Harry Hix says:

    Perhaps so. Might have been a good approach.

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