EDITORIAL: Life lessons from a local 11-year-old

York Dispatch editorial board
Jameson Shanabrough, 10, sits atop the 4,050 toy donations he received in his latest toy drive at his Spring Garden Township home, Wednesday, July 7, 2021. He'd initially set a goal to get 1,600. Bill Kalina photo

Thumbs up to Jameson Shanabrough, who has proven yet again that one doesn’t need a huge bank account — or even a driver’s license — to become a philanthropic force for good in their community.

The Spring Garden Township boy is using his 11th birthday to once again organize a toy drive — with impressive results. More than 4,000 donations have poured in; a veritable avalanche of local goodwill in the form of not only toys, but books, art supplies and other gifts.

Jameson may be a young kid but he’s an old hand at organizing charitable drives. He’s also an example of finding the good even in a difficult situation.

More:Spring Garden 10-year-old's toy drive takes off

After being attacked by a dog when he was just 2, Jameson was treated at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, where the toy cart was a real morale booster. He decided he wanted to help provide that good feeling for other children like him, so he turned his birthday into an annual toy drive.

A different organization benefits from each year’s effort. This year’s donations will be forwarded to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia.

The toy drive runs through July 30. To make a donation, access a Facebook page that contains a Linktree for donations, Cashapp at $ChrisShanabrough, Venmo at @nicole-shanabrough or a Target registry under Jameson Shanabrough.

And don’t forget to add a message wishing Jameson a very happy 11th birthday.

Thumbs down to Bill Cosby, who, just days after being released from prison on a technicality is considering suing the state of Pennsylvania for wrongful imprisonment.

That’s not the worst of it. His spokesman accused attorneys who argued for his imprisonment of having “an ax to grind against black men.”

Um, no.

Cosby’s accusers, their attorneys, and the jurors who heard the sensational case in 2018 weren’t airing racial grievances. Rather, they were outlining and assessing credible allegations that the former comedian sexually victimized women.

More:Bill Cosby's sex assault conviction overturned by court

Cosby’s conviction for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman in 2004 was overturned by the state’s Supreme Court not because new evidence somehow cleared the disgraced entertainer but because it found a previous agreement that he couldn’t be prosecuted had been broken. That’s hardly an exoneration.

Cosby’s legal team is within its rights to pursue compensation — though his publicist’s hopes for “a couple of hundred grand” come off as greedy and unseemly. But alleging his conviction was somehow race-related is insulting to the attorneys, the jury and the many women who have allegedly suffered mistreatment at the hands of the onetime star.

Thumbs up to the hard-working area teenagers who are filling a much-needed role in the resurgence of the York County economy.

As local restaurants, retailers and entertainment venues begin to climb out of the pandemic-induced financial hole, they’re relying increasingly on a previous overlooked segment of the employment pool: High school and college students.

And those young workers are stepping up.

More:Desperate employers grateful for teens

Call it a perfect employment storm. An economy boomeranging back from recession, a suddenly robust job market lapping up older workers and spiraling customer demand at tourist attractions, eateries and entertainment outlets have generated scads of opportunities for teens and early twentysomethings.

And with grateful employers willing to pay between $15 and $20 an hour — and some even offering signing bonuses — students are able to sock away some real summer savings.

It’s a far cry from the past decade or so, not to mention the pandemic summer of 2020, when summer jobs for students ranged from hard-to-come-by to non-existent.

Here’s hoping the development is not simply a post-pandemic anomaly but, rather, a new trend in regional employment.