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To give or not to give

Posted: December 22, 2011 3:09 p.m.
Updated: December 23, 2011 5:00 a.m.

During the holiday season, especially through these tough economic times, people who are a little or a lot more fortunate than others struggle with the dilemma of whether to give or not to give to those in need of help. We have the guy outside your friendly neighborhood Wal-Mart, ringing a handbell, with a basket so far from it, urging you to give to the needy. Then there’s Families Helping Families, a very admirable charity that’s got the phone lines and the newscast promoting their organization, and let us not forget the Toys for Tots program. What able-bodied American citizen wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to help a kid who otherwise would not receive a gift for Christmas.

Well, we all know the story that for every Santa there’s a scrooge, and every gift there’s a Grinch trying to steal it. So with all the scams lately, and the people we thought were honorable and trustworthy behind them, who or what organizations can you truly trust? Now in no way am I trying to deter anyone from generously giving to those of us who are less fortunate, but what I would like to suggest is that you research these said organizations carefully, or if you are still skeptical after your investigation is complete.

Then actively seek out some individual or family unit that you may be in contact with daily, but are unaware of their financial situation, inquire casually about their plans for the holidays and or their economic status subtly, without making anyone feel uncomfortable. This recession is affecting a wide range of people so you may be surprised at the person or persons you may actually end up helping. Then you personalize your gift or offering to the person or family directly and watch the impact your generosity has. The feeling of joy and fulfillment you get is without comparison to anything I have ever felt before in all my life. Tis the season to be jolly, but let’s not give to the benefit of an unscrupulous man’s folly.

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