Poverty is a worldwide issue, with many people in hopeless situations secondary to absent resources as far as jobs/education/reliable food and water supplies/etc. Locally, I believe that money is best donated to relief organizations and never to a person with a good story. I keep granola bars and water bottles in the car, and have had them refused. I still offer if someone says they’re hungry.
If I cut back on my store-brewed coffee/pedicures/massages/etc. I would have a significant chunk of additional change to give to those in need. However, that would be at the expense of luxuries that I enjoy through my own work and time. Selfish? Maybe, but if we all stopped patronizing our area businesses to give that money to the destitute, you end up with a darkened storefront and all it’s employees left without a way to pay the bills and perhaps taking the first of many steps down to being the next person asking me for change.
I don’t donate as much of my free time to community service as I could, but you know something I’ve noticed when I help at my local homeless shelters? Not a single homeless person standing next to me to help sort cans, cook food, clean the beds, etc. I have worked side-by-side with a blind man, an 80 year old with a hip replacement, and a guy with a prosthetic leg over the years. So, why aren’t more homeless there to help themselves? Don’t tell me they can’t get there – they manage to get there in time for a meal and a bed. I don’t mind helping someone help themselves, but too many times people fail themselves.
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