Saturday, November 06, 2010
will you give this year?
But there are some incidences that have taken the shine off of donating and I don't know if I'll give this year. The first thing that opened my eyes was a few years ago, when a then co-worker told me she was going to buy a wide screen tv out of her money and get money for the kid's gifts from the Salvation Army. She was earning money on the side and instead of buying her gifts with that, she was saving it to buy something they could ill afford in the first place. Let's face it, if your income is so low that you're getting $ from the Salvation Army, can you REALLY afford a wide screen tv?
The thing that has me seriously second guessing my giving is another (now former ) co worker who I talked to the other night. She's not working at all. And that's not to say that she CAN'T work. She just isn't working. She's claiming she's too fat to work and no one will hire her. Well, um, she was fat when she worked her last job, and she was still hired and I see a lot of fat people in the work force, so let's stop making excuses. I held my tongue from stating the obvious, "Well, fricking lose weight then!" She told me they are "getting by" on her husband's income for now and "when th kids are out of school"--the youngest is only 11--she'll "THINK" about getting her CNA license. Then she'll "start working at 40 and retire at 60". That sounds fabulous, right?
Except for one small thing: I've been working since I'm in my twenties and I'm nowhere CLOSE to having enough money to retire and I own my own home. She's still renting because they don't have enough $ for a down payment. When I mentioned getting a seasonal job at least, she immediately talked about getting help from agencies like the Salvation Army and LIHEAP.
So once again, I'm seriously questioning my donations. I'm working my ass off trying to save and have something to show for it, and I'm expected to give my money to some lazy ass who just doesn't want to work?! I want these agencies to vet these people closer and make sure that they really DESERVE this money or have them do charity work in exchange for it. Have them work for the Salvation Army during the holiday season as bell ringers, or whatever, and then let them have their money.
Our country is filled with people getting a free ride. And the people who TRULY want a job and who TRULY need the help are the ones who are more than willing to work in exchange for it. So I really hope these agencies change their policies and in exchange for cash assistance, they can give these people a sense of pride and accomplishment by expecting them to do something other than living and breathing in exchange for this assistance.
For some, like myself, there is shame in taking money for doing nothing. The time that my husband and I had to be on food stamps several years ago, we HATED it. And we got off of them as quickly as possible and there were many years we still qualified for them, but there was no way in Hell we were signing up. Had we been offered the opportunity to volunteer anywhere in exchange for those food stamps, that would have made all the difference in the world.
There's a part of me that wants to open the phone book put my finger on a name and send that person my $50. I won't know if they're too lazy to work or if they're truly needy, I won't know anything except I gave.