5/3/12

Consideration in charitable giving

During our two years within the sheltered system we came across diversity, not just in people and their behaviors but their hopes and past times. With the age range and the times of technology, some children held fast to electronic games while others tools of their future interests such as instruments or equipment.

Having items to keep together was difficult for many, losing a Monster-Cable from a set could mean a child; or adult for that matter; would have to make choices of using one piece of equipment over another. Usually having invested enough time or money to have such, they were extremely sensitive to taking care of their materials. I remember one staff member going on about a child appearing to be a hoarder, the staff member him or her self a prior 'guest' years ago and coming across as jealous towards others.

Most people engaging the homeless children or families in shelters, while well intended, don't come across as being as sensitive towards others as they are themselves...in my opinion. I've seen numerous instances of well intentions resulting in indulging others, when the indulgence isn't something well invested in: by time and consideration, not short term dollars or good feelings.

One thing to consider when approaching directors or leaders of such operations is to request specific interests of such people. Consider both long term pursuits as well as ability to care for property when charitably giving. It's no different a situation than considering giving a cigar box banjo rather than a dulcimer, to someone experiencing homelessness who used to play in an orchestra.

I only ask that one meditates before one acts. Better for a person to have one person charitably give to another building for the future, than one hundred people giving paper airplanes.