Monday, April 25, 2016
But then the evidence of people in need starts to mount up, my doubt dwindles and I can no longer refrain from lending some small hand.
But I do so with skeptical banners flying. I want to know what percentage of the donated buck goes directly to the person or people who make my heart ache. Some charities really do bust their chops trying to pass along the good will. Others seem careless and carefree about booking a vacation-land ticket for one executive or another.
In the past, I have been convinced enough by the Heifer Project that puts the practical means (goats, cows, pigs, chickens) into needy hands. Mind you, I didn't have much to give, but the philosophy appealed to me enough to oil up my check-writing arm.
And the same wash of conviction overcame me this morning when reading the local paper about a three-times a week free-meal program hosted by something called MANNA. The umbrella organization seems to bring Christian bells and whistles with it, but I can overlook the spiritual add-ons when the local dining experience is right up my alley: No one should go hungry in the world's richest nation; people are encouraged to come back for seconds and even take home a doggy bag. Food ... directly ... to the hungry.
No one is stupid enough to ask a hungry person why s/he is hungry. It's enough to know that s/he is. And further, it is enough to know that for those who have enough, it is never quite enough if that "enough" cannot be shared with others. To me -- Donald Trump notwithstanding -- feeding those who are hungry is as obvious an American quality as mom and apple pie... and never more so than in a political season rife with candidates talking about and defining an American way of life.
I'm not the most charitable person in the world and I certainly wouldn't bask in some spiritual limelight based on what little I did give, but if someone says they're hungry, my first reaction is, "Let me check the fridge."
I'm off to find the checkbook.