We know there are kitchens to get a handout meal. We know there are food pantries where you can get groceries to help make ends meet. Both of these options label you. You need to divulge your financial situation to those that are usually volunteers. You already feel really degraded that you need to ask for help. Now you need to actually prove you need help.
Then there are those that can’t pay utilities. What good is getting a Thanksgiving dinner with a frozen turkey when you have no refrigeration or stove to cook?
The holiday season let’s down the walls around our hearts and pocketbooks as this-and-that organization goes after your money in the name of helping those less fortunate.
Having been destitute for a time in my life, I’d like to offer some insight. Many helpful programs are not available to you if you are homeless. Donations are meant to bring the not well-off up a level. The family that would only have a chicken dinner gets to upgrade to turkey or ham.
A homeless person needs warmth. Pass on a jacket you no longer wear. Throw in a package of socks and new underwear. Hats, scarves, gloves, shoes and boots will go a long way.
Don’t hand out money. Buy the beggar a sandwich. Buy coffee or soup. If you have children, spend some time putting together lunchbags and pass them out. Any police department can tell you where.
Don’t shy away from the person that has to swallow his pride and ask if you would be willing to buy his family a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter. If you turn him down, he may feel that he has no other choice than to steal a meal for his family.
Please, during this winter that is starting off already frigid, take a moment to check on elderly neighbors. Fixed incomes make affording heat and food iffy. Age takes away feelings of hot and cold. Drop in with some coffee, tea or a warm meal. You may save a life as well as provide a little companionship.