In the past my wife and I have given donations to large organizations like the Red Cross, CHF, Amnesty International and the like. But recently we have decided to give what we can to local charities and to individuals who are in need. We decided to do this partly because of the spate of reports about misuse of funds or excessive administrative expenses, or simply what looked to us like mismanagement.
So we have been donating to the Loaves and Fishes here locally for their food bank. It is rewarding to be able to go to the site and see just what the money is doing and to talk to the staff about needs and challenges.
Individuals? On the weekend we were at a local tourist information center to take dogs for a run at a city dog park. A young man was at a picnic table with his cooler, his bike and trailer, and what looked to be all of his worldly belongings. We greeted him and he told us that he had encountered a cougar just one kilometer down the trail way. We thanked him for the heads-up. Cougar siting made sense since everywhere you looked there were rabbits running about! We took the dogs in to the off-leash park for a ball chasing session and my wife suggested that the young man looked like he could use some breakfast and perhaps we could assist.
After loading the dogs in the car I went over and asked him, “Would you be offended if we offered to buy you breakfast?”
He smiled shyly and responded, “No, sir, that would be appreciated!”
So, I gave him a twenty dollar bill and wished him a hearty breakfast and a pleasant day. He took the bill, held it in his hands and said, “Thank you so much. Maybe I can now get my trailer tire fixed too.” I looked at his bike trailer more carefully and noticed that the right tire was flat as a, well as a pancake! “Thanks again,” he said, and then he reached in to a small cooler and said, “can I offer you a can of pop?”
We felt good.