Well, I am likely stepping over the line, yet again, but.....I just can't stay quiet on this matter.
Charity: The "Voluntary" giving of help, typically money, to those in need.
O.K. I grew up in small town B.C. When a family lost a loved one, it was almost like a buzzer went off in town. You could bet your socks that those folks in mourning would have all levels of food, placed on their door step. People understood, when you have suffered a loss, the last thing you are going to do, is make meals, or even, often, eat. These offerings were given from the heart. I did this more than once, and have had those gifts returned in my time of need. I remember answering the door to so many, who showed their condolences by a offering of food. It does give comfort. I may not have partaken of an awful lot of the food, but, those who stopped by to speak, had a drink, and desserts, and those of us, who had our minds numbed by grief, were able to offer food to others who enjoyed it.
I will tell you of another instance. Years back, my honey was suddenly without employment. It came at a bad time, lots of bills, children to feed, and no money set aside. Hey, wasn't the first time we hit hard times, and not the last. You never ever get used to it, but, after some struggle, it is possible to get through the mess. During this time, I had a very bad day, at my wits end, wondering how we would manage, and set off to the post office to get the new batch of bills, we could not afford to pay. In the mail box was an envelope, it was from my internet friend, who I had never met, but had been writing every day, for years. I opened the envelope, and inside (she lives in the States) was $100 in Canadian money! I was dumbfounded. Oh, I could certainly use the money, but..for a little while, I was almost insulted. I wanted to send the money back, I didn't need charity, and that is what this felt like. We could struggle, we could manage on our own, not going to accept a handout!! My honey was shocked when I showed him, like me, he was offended. It seems our pride was pretty damn huge. I mentioned to another friend what had happened, she told me, under no circumstances to even think of sending it back. She explained, my internet friend would be crushed. It felt strange, and I, for a moment, felt like a total failure, but that cash would buy groceries, and it would make things much easier. I wrote my friend, and she simply wrote me back, "pay it forwards". I accepted that money. Upon acceptance, and the understanding that, this moment in my life, I did truly need the money, but, one day, I would find another person who was in a bind, and I could return this gift to them, continuing the cycle. I got comfort, it made me feel cared for, and I realized what a gift from the heart this was. I had not asked my friend for financial help, she just felt the urge to give, without any expectation, without reward, just her way of helping a friend. I will never forget that moment, I will never forget my pride over riding sense, or the incredible feeling of warmth, that $100 gave me then, and the warmth of the memory of that gift.
Charity, voluntary giving of help! Yesterday I opened my e-mail. I read a public service announcement from someone local regarding a family who recently suffered a terrible loss of their home. I know the local bank has set up a donation box, the thrift shop opened their doors for clothing, someone found them a rental home, and they were not hurt, thankfully. That is all good, and charitable, and expected in small towns. However...it seems the wife/mother had just had previously scheduled surgery. The message went on to say, she was unable to make lunch or supper, and the author of the message was requesting members of the community deliver meals to the rental home. They even went so far as to request the meals be delivered in disposable containers, or cookware folks did not need returned. Then another message, stating that folks were to call a number saying what they were considering making, in case of duplicate meals!!!! Now, keep in mind, this is not the actual family requesting this, however....if I ever saw my name placed in something like this, I would be livid!! Yes, they lost their home, but, if they had not lost it, she would still, apparently be in the same position, and who the heck was going to make the meals? I don't think her husband is without limbs, in a family, should he not be stepping up to the plate, and making the meals after work?
I find this pathetic! I think it may be placed by a church, as they worded something about a "ministry". Well, this should have been requested in Church, not to the community at large. I don't care if it is a small town, and they are "Nice" people. If they are so nice, then their friends would be doing this meal thing.
The loss of a home, does not give free reign to have someone else take over every aspect of life. I assume they had insurance, so , although they will never recoup the personal items, and memories lost, they will rebuild. I am grateful that I have not suffer this devastation. But, I will not be making any meal, in disposable, or unneeded cookware. I will certainly not be coming up with something new and delicious to ensure they don't get a duplicate meal that they can store in the freezer until needed.
There is a fine line, between charity, and unreasonable expectations. Because you have been dealt a blow, and must accept help from others, to find your footing, is charity, and is something that gives that feeling of comfort, and care from your fellow man. To expect others to step in, and make your day to day life easier, is simply, an excessive desire for more of something than is needed.
I write this, not knowing if that family is aware of what was requested. I am not saying they asked that this request be made public. But, because this announcement was continued 3 times yesterday, I have to assume they have received more than one meal, by now. I know I would be mortified if, as a couple, everyone in town knew, we could not manage to find a way to feed our family, without a PSA!!
Go ahead, tear me to shreds. Just my personal opinion, and you know how hard it is to shove me over to the other side of the fence!!