Not a Handout, Just a Hand

At the request of several respondents, I've added a PayPal donate button (to the left of the page, in the sidebar). I must confess, I'm not entirely comfortable with this (after all, isn't this just the virtual form of panhandling?) but I'm not naive enough to turn down help when it's given. And I thank in advance each of you kind enough to do.

Do remember, however, that there are many others in my situation who also need help, perhaps just down the street from you. And each city with a homeless population I'm sure has local resources that would be glad to see some recgonition and fundage*.

I was reading yesterday about the founder of the Interfaith Hospitalilty Network, Karen Olsen, of which GIHN is a local affiliate. Turns out this huge idea she had of pulling together local houses of worship to help the homeless all stemmed from a sandwich she supplied to a homeless woman one day. The full story is in Courage is Contagious, by John Kasich.

*I know it may not be proper grammar; I just like the sound of it -- fundage.

Hi Cyber,

I met someone recently who turned my thinking around a little bit on the whole "charity" thing.

He is with a group called "relational tithe" and one of their goals in giving away resources is that they try and stay with "one degree of separation".

So on the one hand I think it is a very good thing to give to an organization which then gives to people in need.

But on the other hand I think it is also good to give to people one knows (at some level) personally.

I think of panhandling as a stranger asking me for $$$.

When a friend or even an acquaintance communicates a financial need it, I see that as connecting; as sharing, relationally, the realities of life together -- the whole "a burden shared is a burden halved" sort of thing.

~ cob
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