I read an article in my local newspaper that said charities are expecting a huge decline in the amount of donations they receive this holiday season. I then went to lunch and walked past no less than 3 homeless people sitting in various places along the way (I only have to go across the street to get to a place that has numerous lunch options). It got me thinking. DH and I are by no means well off. We live paycheck to paycheck and dip into our savings each month to make ends meet. But we have a savings. And we have a house, and food on the table (well, in the cupboards) and clean clothes to wear, and toys for our daughter.
I have a "no giving" policy when it comes to giving money to panhandlers. I've been burned too many times by people posing as someone in need, only to see them get into a flashy car, or change into a fur coat. But I will do what I can, when I can. Case in point. There is a homeless man, who sits in the same spot on the other side of the bridge from where I work. Everyday, without fail, he's sitting there, reading last week's newspaper, or whatever book he's happened upon. He has a cup in front of him, but he doesn't ask for anything, nor does he "plead" his case on a make shift sign. I know he's homeless because last winter I stopped to talk to him. He lost his job a few years back and ended up losing everything. He can't find work and he has a hard time because he has no permanent address. On my way to work, occasionally, I would stop and pick him up some fruit...an apple, or a banana. Something for him to keep in his bag "for later". The look on his face would be priceless when I would hand him the bag. A few weeks back, I got him a turkey sandwich from a local sandwich shop. He was so grateful, and even said he shouldn't really accept it because it was "too much".
My company is having a food drive to benefit the local food depository. I plan on going home tonight and cleaning out my cupboards and bringing anything I'm not going to use (within reason of course).
I may not be rich, but I believe in karma. I know that if I was in a position to have to visit a food bank, I'd hope that those who could give, would, so that my family could enjoy dinner.
The point of this post? I'm not really sure. As the holidays grow closer, I guess my feelings of "thanksgiving" are getting stronger. I'm grateful for what I have...and want to share what I can, when I can. I urge everyone to do the same.