Thursday, December 4, 2014

Awareness is Key when Helping Those in Need

by M. J. Joachim

I think what irritated me most this past week was searching for free books on world hunger and malnutrition. There are plenty of books alright. However, finding them for free wasn’t exactly in the cards. I get that publishers and authors want to make a profit. I’m just not sure doing it on the backs of starving people is the way to go.

There are plenty of causes, charities and philanthropic opportunities to do whatever it is we need and want to do, so that we can help those in need and relieve the negative plight of those less fortunate than us. There are also lots of scammers willing to portray themselves as such, tugging at our emotions and profiting from our willingness and desire to help those in need.

The Bible says, “Don’t let the left hand know what the right hand is doing,” or something close to that. When you give, do it in secret, not to win awards, toot your horn or make yourself famous. Taking care of those without basic essentials is our responsibility and privilege. It is their right to be taken care of, and we owe it to the human race to do our part in taking care of them.

Not everyone is trying to take advantage of others. I couldn’t be cynical enough to believe that if I tried. I am intelligent enough however, to recognize that some people and organizations make far more profit from their efforts than the people they claim to help and serve. All I ask is that we all perform our due diligence, light the lamp as it were and know our efforts are truly fulfilling our intentions.

People are hungry. You don’t need to buy a $30 book to read about it. There are other, free resources available to give you the information you need. There is an abundance of food banks waiting for your non-perishable contribution. There are people in the streets, begging for a meal or some loose change.

A word of caution about that last one. Not all beggars in the streets are starving. Some make a very nice non-taxable living and are part of organized groups. They play the part, putting a nasty blemish on those truly in need. I’ve seen some of these people changing shifts in Tucson, Arizona. It’s scandalous and wrong, turning many off from donating to those truly in need. That’s why it’s so important to do your research. We all can and should help. We simply need to be sure we’re actually helping those in need, instead of contributing to scam artists making a profit off the misfortune of others.

Thank you for visiting, commenting on and sharing FlashTyme today. This post is part of the 2nd Annual Holiday Food Drive, taking place today through Saturday, everywhere online. You’re invited and encouraged to join us. Together, we can make a difference!

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: Old Beggar, 1916, Louis Dewis, PD-US