Giving : those in need vs Those in NEED.

I need to take a few minutes to catch you up on this rant….

So recently in the city that I live  a fundraising group called Altrusa held their Back to School Fair.  IF your family qualifies (which must be determined at the end of the previous year of school), they have volunteers that will walk your children through the local YMCA which has all these different stations with all the supplies your child will need for school, including gift certificates to cover a large part of the cost for tennis shoes.  It is amazing.  It is fabulous.  My family doesn’t qualify, but we did once and at that point we really needed the help so now I think it is fabulous (but you may want to hold your applause).

So a few days ago on facebook I see a video ad for this great charity.  Then I see some photos promoting the event.  The problem??  In the photos and ads other people in the community who don’t quite qualify  have recognized the children and know the families in the ads.  THEY are the same families wearing nice clothes, driving nice cars, and their children are in expensive programs.  So… yep… even I got upset.

Then I felt bad.  The old Catholic guilt crawled up my spine and whispered in my ear.

So then I posted this on my facebook:

Not trying to be preachy but something I have recently had to remind myself…
It really isn’t fair to criticize those in need or to try to deem others more or less worthy of help. I lost interest in Extreme Home Makeover when I realized that they weren’t just out for the good of the action – they had qualifiers. My focus since that revelation has been to give because giving is good and it isn’t my place to judge those who receive or HOW they use it. I don’t care if someone takes an item at my rummage sale and sells it for more – they must need it. I don’t care if someone takes my gift and resales it – they must need to do it and my gift was to them to do as they pleased – not so I could be reminded of my own greatness by limiting others. I still get upset when I see abuses, and being a vocal person – I am sure you heard me. But this is my own gentle reminder it is not my place to judge.

Then the memories began to swamp me.  Once upon a time, My husband and I welcomed into our home a woman and her kids who we thought were in NEED.  We found out later that the Mother’s NEED was to live out of our home for free, with free cable, free a/c or heat, free space while she bought designer sunglasses and dresses and took her kids here, there and everywhere.

I depend on Karma to kick that woman in the ass, even if it waits until her children are safely out of the way.

But in the meantime, I see her and her fake attitude and fake sincerity conning people.  People I don’t know well, but I do know.  I have kept my mouth closed.

So here is where I need you all – give me your input, thoughts, advice…..

Is it on other humans to police and be vocal about abusers of the system or do you believe that we should do our best not to judge and let things resolve themselves??  

Let me hear you!!!



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