I think giving is essential. Charity sees only the need to give; never the cause.
And giving in its name really is part of the human condition. By that I mean it’s par for the course that is life to need it from time to time and of course we should always feel compelled to give to these organizations. Some might think that this constant can be detrimental; that by charity’s very nature, it has the ability to degrade those who receive it and harden those who dispense it.
That is, I suppose, completely plausible. I’m sure pride prevents many from asking for it and I’m sure there are those who probably get very tired of being asked to give and give and give. And I would think that there are tiems when the act of giving in and of itself becomes less rewarding with each check written. There has to be a certain monotony in being asked to give repeatedly; good intentions be damned
And let’s face it; it’s easy to feel as though you can constantly throw money at different charities and still feel as if you aren’t giving enough. Money is what makes any charity’s world go round, but it’s not the end all. If you’re able, give your time. Practical help, especially if it is voluntary, is priceless.
In addition to services, you can also donate goods. Furniture, blood, food, spinal fluid, school supplies; toys at Christmas; lumber, dinners for two and spa days for silent auctions–the list of things that are needed and the things you can donate can read like a mile long scroll.
Some people are big givers; some aren’t. I can remember shopping for groceries after first moving to Houston 20 years ago and walking by a special donation bin set up for patrons to drop off canned goods for a holiday food drive. The situation in terms of giving was as it had been in San Antonio and even during my college days in Austin. Invariably, there were always several cans of pumpkin pie filling in the growing tin mountain. I guess this is because we always buy an extra can of the stuff during the holidays and it sits on our pantry shelf for months and when the clarion calls us to dig deep–be it in our wallets or cupboards–we use it as an excuse to clean house.
I’ve often wondered what the poor, but enterprising housewife with seven hungry kids to feed, might be able to do from a culinary standpoint with two cans of pumpkin pie filling, a container of generic chicken broth and one dented can of pickled beets.
And then I’m thinking nausea.
Anyway, it’s important to give what you can when you can, but please….PLEASE be a bit more discrimminating. Say you want to give some of your old clothes….a T-shirts, for example; the ones you’ve grown out of physically and emotionally, really should be relegated to the “Trash” or “Make Into Rags” pile and not the one tagged “Church Clothing Drive”.
Why? Well propriety, Sweety. See, there are times when these clothes go to areas that need them most–war torn regions, areas ravaged by earthquake, flood or tsunamis. Or to countries that are impoverished and according to the United Nations, “developing”….but into what?
And there are people in the world who don’t speak English or its vernacular. They don’t have a clue. And if that happens and if there’s a donated shirt that well, includes a sordid phrase printed across the front and it finds its way deep into the primitive Congo, you can bet your bottom dollar that a nearby National Geographic photographer will catch wind of this and rest assured, he’ll be there in a heartbeat to snap a pic of that fashion/philanthropic faux paux.
And of course, he’s also there to get that NatGeo edition’s by God money shot—a pair of naked, native boobs.
A world of 11 year old boys are counting on him.