With people counting the shopping days to Christmas, some department stores in New York and London have taken time out to extend some seasonal goodwill to less fortunate members of the community, the aged and the handicapped.
SV PAN EXT Lady in wheelchair taken to store in U.S.A.
SV & CU INT People in wheelchairs look at articles (2 shots)
SV Lady in wheelchair being shown artificial jewellery
CU Child in wheelchair looking at wallet
CU Lady in wheelchair trying on earnings and commenting
CU Ladies receiving gift scarves from store
WHIP PAN GV EXT London store at night
SV Disabled people being taken from ambulances to store (3 shots)
CU & SV INT People in wheelchairs shopping around store (3 shots)
CU PAN People given refreshments, including Christmas cake (2 shots)
CU Disabled shopper laden with gifts
Initials BB/0017 S/MR/BB/0002
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Background: With people counting the shopping days to Christmas, some department stores in New York and London have taken time out to extend some seasonal goodwill to less fortunate members of the community, the aged and the handicapped.
One large chain of department stores in New York, Alexander's has made a habit of staying open on Sunday during the Christmas season for handicapped shoppers. Last year police issued a warrant against Alexander's for having their Bronx store open on Sundays -- a violation of the borough's so-called "blue law", that prohibits Sunday trading. When the case came to court, it was dismissed by the judge. So last Sunday (1 December) the store opened its doors again to handicapped shoppers. Over 800 came, in wheelchairs or on crutches, and no-one left empty-handed as the store had a free gift for all who came.
In the London suburb of Ealing, many people gave up their spare time to take the aged and the handicapped down to the local shopping centre. Some of London's ambulance drives were on hand, despite their current strike, to help out. The British government has also bee in charitable mood, despite the string of crises that face the country at present -- they have given all the country's old age pensioners a ten pound (25 dollar) hand-out, in addition to the regular pensions.
For some of the old people, it was the first time they had been on such a trip all year, and the expressions of gratitude on their faces made it all worth while for those who had organised, and been a part of, the outing.