Christian Critzer’s wife recently underwent successful treatment for breast cancer. In an effort to do something to help raise money for the Martha Jefferson Hospital Cancer Center Foundation in Charlottesville, VA, Critzer started a charity to give away Christmas trees while asking people to make a donation to the hospital cancer center.
That’s when Scrooge, aka city officials of Waynesboro, VA showed up at Critzer’s door and issued him a citation for running a retail operation out of his home in violation of city zoning ordinances. He tried to explain to them that it wasn’t a retail operation at all, but that he was giving trees away and raising money for a charity. But Scrooge wouldn’t relent and handed him his citation and ordered to him to stop all activities.
To avoid any further legal hassle, Critzer stopped giving trees away.
The Rutherford Institute heard of Critzer’s encounter with Scrooges and Grinches at the Waynesboro city hall and have stepped in on his behalf. They are hoping to show the city that their interpretation of the zoning ordinance is in error and that Critzer was not engaged in any form of retail operation.
Speaking on behalf of the Rutherford Institute, President John Whitehead said:
“This year has certainly been plagued with its fair share of Scrooges and Grinches disguised as government agents, threatening individuals with fines and arrest for such simple acts of kindness and charity as distributing free bottled water to the thirsty, giving away free food to the hungry and destitute, and making thermal shelters available to house the homeless during cold winter nights.”
“It’s our hope that Waynesboro officials will focus on solving the many real and pressing problems plaguing their community rather than creating problems where there are none.”
This Christmas season, if you happen to be passing through Waynesboro, VA, you better watch out because Scrooge or Grinch just may be watching you to see if you do any good deeds that need to be stopped.