We’re All in This Together
The thrift store receives a call from someone concerned about an elderly woman with water issues. The current St Vincent de Paul president dials a Vincentian from the next town who goes to help the woman. The store is only billed for the cost of materials from the plumbers who assist. Jane enjoys being part of a group that acts as a good samaritan towards those in need, but sometimes she wishes she could pick and choose who deserves it. On a trip to France, Jane doesn’t want to help the poor who beg from her. After visiting a museum she learns that the French have always taken care of the poor. She comes to the conclusion that everyone is the same in the eyes of God and all are worthy of help in their time of need.
Around the holidays we all see the red kettles from the Salvation Army with their ringing bells, summoning us to generosity. It seems easy to give to causes like this because we know they’re trustworthy, and that the money will go to people who need it. A few times I’ve encountered people at the end of highway exit ramps with cardboard signs. Usually they ask for money or food and some say they are veterans. My heart tells me to give, but I’m scared that the person may be an actor or that they will harm me if I get too close. I have heard of people who carry gallon-size plastic bags filled with travel size toiletries and gift cards to hand out to those in need. Perhaps I should start doing the same. I know that everyone deserves the same help, but it’s difficult to put into practice.
- Which charities do you prefer to donate to and why?
- Have you ever given someone on the street money or food?
- Have you ever considered keeping something besides cash in your car for such an occasion?