OT... Giving to the less fortunate

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snipped-for-privacy@blueballs.com wrote:

I worked closely with a deaf man for nearly fifteen years, back in the 80s and 90s, and got pretty good at sign language -- good enough that I can do a convincing imitation of being deaf. I'm a little out of practice now, so if I ever encounter a panhandler who actually knows ASL, he'll know I'm faking, but it's worked every time so far. They give up quickly and walk on to the next mark.
The first time I tried this, I told my deaf friend about it the next day. He laughed his ass off.
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It's also fun, if you are fluent in French or some other language. Spanish, not so useful. Too many folks know Spanish. Russian or Czech is good. I wonder if that works on other panhandlers like traffic cops?
--
Christopher A. Young
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

Imagine how Sid Caesar could confuse them? He's good at making up languages.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sg7UFTTgj4w

TDD
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Doug Miller wrote:

That's another one of the things I will do to them and of course they will wander off mumbling about crazy deaf people. Of course, I don't know sign language and if I encountered a genuine deaf person, they would think I was signing in a foreign language. *snicker*
TDD
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Nothing new about that around the Dallas Tx area, its been going on for years and in most cases is not a woman who approaches you. On several occasions I have been approached by more than one person at a time. I just tell them sorry but I don't carry cash and I don't.
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casey wrote:

Yeah, we get that at our office too, though thankfully I haven't been put through the wringer like you have. I always felt these 'adopt a family' things were more for the benefit of the donors, to get a warm fuzzy feeling, and less for the donees, who in a couple of weeks will be right back where they started. I saw the listings for the families to be adopted, and judging from the clothes sizes and requested items alone, they ain't starving or between a rock and hard place for basic neccessities. Besides, I have my own under-employed and semi-functional siblings to play safety net to. I prefer to donate my money to actual charities.
As to the Red-X folks- 'Stuff' is actually more trouble than it is worth to them, especially in post-disaster situations. Sorting, de-crapping, containerizing, and then re-shipping all that stuff costs a fortune. Same for for food drives. Much more bang for the buck for the organization and the people they are trying to help, to put together cash to get new goods and supplies in pallet lots, drop-shipped from the vendor directly to where it is needed. Around here, the charities do hold the coat/new toy drives for local distribution, and have a furniture/household goods lending closet for families that suffer fires, or abused women setting up new households and such, but they have strongly de-emphasised 'stuff' donations for other activities.
-- aem sends...
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I prefer to give cash to charities where I know it will be working and doing some good. Salvation Army is one, and a local nursing home is another. They have particular projects funded by donations where you can see the results.
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On 12/13/2009 00:15, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Yes, Salvation Army is just one of those groups where you never here about anyone getting a $20 Million salary (they don't). They are a big organization but behave as if they were local.
Another interesting charity is Heifer International. It was started by a farmers. Their mission is to get animals and the proper training to manage them into the hands of folks who can't afford them (teach a person to fish...). They are also well rated for good use of donations with most of the money going to the actual charitable work.
http://www.heifer.org /
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George wrote:

I remember reading about some of the goofy things charitable organizations have done in Africa. One group donated tractors but no fuel, oil or spare parts. The villagers used the spark plugs for earrings and the wiring for necklaces and various parts of the tractors to decorate their huts. Another group donated tons of powdered milk. They didn't know that the adults couldn't digest the stuff so it wound up being used to paint their homes. One European group sent condoms because of the high birth rate and the AIDS epidemic. The condoms were used as balloons because they were too small for their intended purpose. Here at home I've done work for a small Episcopal church, not because I was a member who shared their faith but because I liked the nice people there. This tiny church had a soup kitchen and would feed anyone who walked through the door. The church would also give clothing to those in need. Well, crack heads broke in and stole all the food and the people who received clothing would not wash it, they would throw it away and come back for more. I'm afraid I've developed a "Don't Feed The Bears" attitude as I get older.
TDD
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On 12/13/2009 10:27, The Daring Dufas wrote:

Sure and if you check into the organization I posted you will find that they don't do what you described.
Life is filled with plenty of reasons to allow us to rationalize why we shouldn't do something "I saw someone in a car accident on route 5 so I won't go that way anymore", I went into that store over there five years ago and had to wait at the checkout a long time so I have never gone back" and on and on.
Clearly there are folks who have an entitlement mentality but clearly there are a lot of folks who don't.
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George wrote:

They appear to be really good folks and that's refreshing into todays world where there is some sort of scam around every corner. It just plain hard to sort it all out. We give aid to these third world countries and it winds up in the bank account of the rulers. It's so frustrating.
TDD
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I think you mentioned two essential points: 1) In many cases, poor is a lifestyle. Give them a pile of whatever, and they will be poor again in a couple weeks 2) In the US, many of our "poor" have plenty of cash flow, they just make bad choices.
I do know a couple families from church who have been in hard times. The economy is rough, and they are out of work. Folks like that, I do support. Working, but not quite making it.
--
Christopher A. Young
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

Yep. The folks relocated from Katrina to Houston tried to resume their lifestyle. Fortunately, they killed each other off with great regularity. Those that didn't managed to run into a new obstacle: The men in blue. "Whatcha means I can't be moseyin' thru my 'hood with a malt and a toke?"
On the other hand, those that relocated to Billings or Fort Wayne or Wichita had new experiences too: "You mean all I gots to do is stand here and make Slurpies? And I gets PAID for it? Damn! Thaz cool, man!"
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Hi guys, I wrote in a couple of weeks ago about my gas oven dying and with your help, it works great now, It needed a new igniter, so thanks so much.
I really want to weigh in on this charity giving thread. In September, I retired after 20 years as director of my local food pantry. From experience I would NEVER in a million years give cash to a client, because you can't control where or on whom it will be spent. Drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes come to mind. Don't get me wrong, some of my former clients were salt of the earth, wonderful people, but I found that the ones that go to every charity and get put on lots of lists for help are actually taking you for fools.
We used to give out toys too, and one year, when my husband was helping out at the food pantry, a young woman's car was so full of items from multiple charities that he couldn't fit anything else in her car, and she got really pissed at him. He refused to give her our items and told her to come in and talk to the "boss" (me). Needless to say, she left and never returned.
One year a family signed up for 8 turkey baskets from all over town under different names, so we wouldn't catch on. Each family member had a different last name, but because I got really friendly with one of them, I figured it out, but it was too late for that year.
This time of year everyone comes out of the closet to donate to food pantries and storage becomes a bad problem, where do we store everything? Sometimes that's why we request cash instead, so we can buy perishables like eggs, cheese, butter and meats.
I am now in charge of the free clothing area associated with my food pantry. People get really mad at me when in December, in New Hampshire, I won't take shorts, bathing suits, or other summer things, I have no storage. It's not because I don't appreciate your efforts at cleaning your closets, bagging the stuff, and lugging it over to me, but where the hell do I put it till summer?? A woman called me every name in the book when I told her that I couldn't take a pick-up truck full of size 2 clothes. I told her that my average client was probably a size 14 or larger, she was livid. And don't get me started on the filthy stuff some people bring in, covered with dog/cat hair, smelling like a dirty ashtray. We don't have a washing machine, what do I do with that stuff, I can't put it on the racks and shelves with the clean stuff.
Solution:
Find a LOCAL food pantry, maybe at your place of worship, ask them what they need, actual canned goods, or cash. If you want, ask them how their clients are screened for eligibility. We had to follow strict government guidelines. When you are comfortable with their answers, give to your heart's content and trust them to do what's right. Most of the time we get it right and you'd be proud.
Some food pantries use cash to help clients with rent (not us), in which case the money goes directly to the landlord, not the client.
Give only clean, in season clothing.
I would never give cash directly to a client.
Best tip: If funds are tight for you at Christmas, don't give now at all. The food pantries are usually chock-a-block full already at this time of year. Go get a 2010 calendar, flip to April or July or Sept. and write yourself a note to donate to a local charity. That's when they are desperately low on food and funds and will flip cartwheels for you.
I hope you all have a great Holiday Season, whether you are on the giving or receiving end.
Denise
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Thank you, for the voice of experience and wisdom. You are exactly correct. I think that many people (and nearly all adults) have a story of outrage, when it comes to charity and poor people. Here is the one that comes to my mind.
I was seated at the round table, my small church congregation was having the leaders conference, before services started. The phone rang, and Mark went to answer. It was for Gwen, the Relief Society president. She came back, fuming, and really obviously upset.
What happened was that one of the welfare women in the branch had called. Told (not asked) Gwen that she, Gwen, needed to come over to her house to write a welfare food order. Gwen replied that welfare lady lived only a couple blocks from the chpael, and she could walk over. They would write the order and discuss the needs after services. As church was about to start in a few minutes. The welfare lady cranked up the heat, and started yelling, and insisting. Aparently it had to be done before services, or during services (taking Gwen away from church ) because welfare lady was leaving in a litle while to take the boys on the city busy to see the Ice Follies (paid admission, you realize), and she woudl not be home after church.
--
Christopher A. Young
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I think that is the biggest problem with churchians such as yourself. [you have proven over and over on this forum that you neither a large or small 'C' Christian].
When I give something to someone I give it of my own free will and I do so because it makes me feel good to do it. If I get a thanks, I feel good about the thanks, but it has nothing to do with how I feel about giving.
The Jews have a system of 'levels' of giving. I don't remember the details, per se, but it goes something like; 1- you know who is receiving your gift & they know you gave it. 2- you know who is getting it- but they don't know the benefactor 3- neither know who is givng/getting I think there are some more- The top of the heap was when you were able to give anonymously to someone and they didn't even know they were receiving charity.
I think they nailed it. [ I'm not Jewish- I'm agnostic]
If you don't want to give- then don't. But all you holier-than-thou hypocrites that keep going on about how the poor don't appreciate how wonderful you are can kiss my ass on a busy street corner.
Jim
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Jim Elbrecht wrote:

Actually there are (classically) thirteen levels of charity, but you've described the essence.
It's a bit different from what most (Christians) understand charity to be. In the Christian tradition, charity imposes a "duty" on the part of the giver. In the Jewish tradition, charity is a "right" claimed by the poor*. Both have the same effect of transferring resources from the more affluent to the less fortunate, but the difference has significant effects.
Consider the church or synagogue itself: In both instances, the institution is in the position of depending on the donations of the membership. In the Christian church, the offering plate is passed in each service and there is continued emphasis on the duty of the parishioners to "tithe." In the synagogue, membership is (usually) based on your tax return and dues are assessed to each family unit. If you don't pay your dues, you don't get in (at least for the holidays). It's that simple.
This dichotomy carries over into westerm legal theory also: Every "right" a person is guaranteed by law imposes a "duty" on someone else. If, for example, I have a right to government-funded health care (or anything else), you have a duty to provide it.
In practice, it comes down to who nags you: The church or the schnorrer**.
-------- * This "right" is taken, principally, from the admonition to not reap the corners of your field so the poor may glean therefrom.
** Schnorrer: Yiddish for 'begger' or 'sponger.' By Jewish law, you are not allowed to refuse a hand-out.
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It's sad that you've missed the point, so severely. With your cheerful attitude on life, you must be interesting at family gatherings.
--
Christopher A. Young
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I am certain that you never have looked at yourself in the mirror or you wouldn't make such a comment.
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The way I have always looked at it, if all my bills are paid and I have extra money, then I can afford to be giving some away. And that's what I say anytime someone asks me for money to donate to something. "My bills are not all paid, so I can't afford to be giving money away."
That's not "Bah Humbug" in my book, it is called being realistic.
Charity begins at home! (Speaking of this, the U.S. government actually borrows money to give billions of dollars in financial aid to other countries! This would be like me taking out a $5,000.00 loan so I could give that money to my neighbor so they could remodel their home - while at the time I owed hundreds of thousands of dollars on my credit cards! Totally nuts!)
"casey" wrote in message

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