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
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.
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
I hope you all have a great Holiday Season, whether you are on the
giving or receiving end.