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Old 05-31-2008, 07:00 PM   #61
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In my town, we don't have homeless. The winters here can be downright brutal, and deadly. You prepare in advance, and make sure you have a few days worth of food, water, etc, and more if you have a place to store it. A bad winter storm will halt all incomming and outgoing traffic. That being siad, several years back, I was comming out of WalMart with my family and we saw a man with a sign that stated he would work for food. My oldest son insisted we help the man and I explained that with him, his brother and sisters, and my wife in the house, I was unwilling to give direct assitance other than maybe purchasing some food for the man. It was a safety issue.

My boy had a very heavy heart about this. I hadn't told him that I planned on contacting local help organizations to get the man some assistance. My son asked if we could contact any organizations to help the guy. I was very proud of him. I let him do the legwork and find what organizations were available. He contacted the Salvation Army, and the Police Dept. Both said they already knew of the man and would be sending help to him.

I always stop and help push people out of the ditch, or find help for them when their vehicles are stranded on the highway. I have been with others who refuse to lift a hand of help. We are all brothers and sisters on this planet, and need to help each other. Few of you have ever seen a picture of me, and yet, are freinds. What if it was me that was stranded on a lonely road, with a flat tire and no spare. How would you know to help me? How would I know to help you?

And remember, prayer can give you suprizing answers if you are willing to ask the questions.

I help as I can. Sadly, I don't help enough.

The saddest homeless incident I ever saw was in Hong Cong. There was a man sitting under a few newspapers. He was so skinny and frail that you could clearly make out his bones for lack of muscle tone. He was obviously starving to death, and none of the population that walked by gave him a moments notice. It is not only people here that are insensitive, but all over the world. In many places, an individual life just isn't worth much.

I yearn for a kinder world, where we aren't afraid of each other to the point of holding back our resources to another who needs help. But that world is not the one I live in, and so, I must carefully weigh my desire to help against the safety of those I love. That to me, is the saddest truth.

Seeeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 05-31-2008, 07:30 PM   #62
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GW, I can relate. It's a totally different climate in So Calif. It can get very cold at night & very hot during the day. We probably see more homeless here because it's warm most of the year. There was a time i recall seeing people living under bridges. As Constance mentioned, there may be laws in place here as well where you can't sleep on the beach, parks etc. I don't talk much about myself/personal life, but... from time to time I visit a center that has people from all walks of life - some are homeless & some are not. They try to help with food programs, housing etc. They have a kitchen as well. You can volunteer to work in the kitchen or do a chore. Everything is voluntary. I bag up a bunch of clothes & take them down there, as I know the people who need them, will receive them -directly. I know some of the faces & talk to some of the higher-functioning folks. They hold all kinds of meetings - everything from gambler's anonomous to smoker's anonymous. They will train you on the computer, if you're interested. I could go on & on about the programs they offer & people I've met & spoken to. Even the people that are homeless show up neat & clean on a regular basis. Noone has tried to take advantage of me or run a scam on the system, as far as I know. Wish there were more programs like it out there. If I could see one or two things that I think would make a difference, I would focus on affordable housing & the cost of gas stabilized. Just my two cents.
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Old 05-31-2008, 07:46 PM   #63
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Corey... I totally understand what you are saying. When I walk to the grocery store, I get approached by no less than 3 probably closer to 5 people each day. Most I walk by (on this particular path)... because you have a vibe... it's not a blanket vibe... specific to each person. The lady that told me she needed money to feed her 3 year old because the live under the bridge. I was putting my groceries in the trunk of my car... so pulled out a box of very kid friendly cereal, a bag of bagel and a BIG jar of peanut butter. Her response, "Oh we don't that" and she walked away. She's approached me many times, in different locations with different stories. The more times this happens to you (and it happens often in the city) the less likely you are to continue to listen. That doesn't mean you stop listening. There's an amputee on the same corner every day on my ride home... when the traffic is right... I give him a bottle of water... he happily accepts it. I've given him blankets in the winter too.

I didn't read Corey's statements as blanket statements at all.


Thank you so much. I help the homeless when I can, but at times, I'm broke myself.

I DO have a heart for them, and even though it might not be their fault that they are in the situation that they're in, again, it's the system that has failed them.

And if the state or whatever organization that is responsible and won't even lift a finger to help, then what else is left? Individuals can only do so much.
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Old 05-31-2008, 08:30 PM   #64
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I have a question. Some of you may recall that I keep a website going - Books by Volunteers who serve Ukraine Orphans It's a twenty dollar bill a month to pay the host server so that's not an issue. What is an issue that I wonder about sometimes is just this:

Like many I am now on that fixed :) social security income, having made some errors in judgement along the way. I can give a few bucks here and there to an orphanage or a specific cause there when I am acquainted with the people. Right now I have for the first time engaged in a specific cause - with a wonderful lady who lives in California and is trying to save an eighteen year disabled girl who has just graduated from her orphanage school. She's been in an orphanage all her life - abandoned at birth by her parents.

If we can't get it done the young lady is facing a horrible future in Ukraine. Now, when I send some money for the girl I wonder, should I be doing this? There are people right here in my little Marion Ohio who need help - I'm sure of it. My son could use some more help but he and I work that out between us.

I just pushed the budget so called to the edge (until the eagle flys again middle of the month :) I just sent $100.00 for the girl so she can have a few bucks to buy some personal needs (girls always have personal needs :) that she might need. She's going to a summer camp the state is providing for a few weeks, and then we're not sure what to do. Homeland Security has a humantarian visa blocked, otherwise my California friend would bring her here for a year of corrective surgery and preparation for life outside an orphanage. There would be no way she could stay. But apparently the government is terrified of her coming for a year.

What to do friends - like a lot of the rest of you the money just won't go around. It just won't and like Corey - I cry sometimes - I look at those photos and stories that I deal with it just floods over me - it's an endless line of misery. I'll be posting up on the website some things about AIDS in Ukraine which is now battering the nation and especially the young her age. She's learning disabled to some degree - not severe I believe, but eighteen years in an orphanage and going out into the wider world ....... well, you see my dilemma. Like many I'm caught betwixt and between and fail to have the answers.

I'm not bragging or complaining, just reaching out to a community whose opinions I have learned to respect. Thanks
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Old 05-31-2008, 11:13 PM   #65
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how did you meet this calif. lady? have u actually seen the girl? were you asked to give more that you are comfortable with giving.

have you checked out all these facts about the girl?

have you checked how and why this girl is here if they are not willing to give her a passport.

i am not saying this is a fraud but if i knew the answers to these questions maybe i could help with a decision.

my inclination is to help someone , child if you like. close to where u live. then you can judge the results yourself.

babe
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Old 06-01-2008, 01:01 AM   #66
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There is a church in Des Moines that goes around to other churches and gathers food and on the 4th Sunday of each month they come down town at 10 am and distribute food to all !! lined up some mornings it is two blocks long, there are several missions here in town that provide food and some a bed for a night or two. In the six ,months I have lived here I have not Sean on person bumming on the street or anybody with a sign will work for food.. This is a great improvement from when I left DM there were bums on almost every down town corner. What i am trying to imply that a tremendious amount of work has transpierd since I left thirty years ago to house and help those of us who of no fault of there own has landed on the street. I am sure that there are a few beggers on the street today I just have not come across them
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Old 06-01-2008, 01:17 AM   #67
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Oh David, you are feeling what all loving, caring people feel when faced with the knowledge that one person can only help a finite number of people financially because there are always more people in need than there is money to help. The thing you have to keep telling yourself is that every effort you make on the behalf of another is priceless. Just focus on what you can and are able to do, and have faith that others will do the same. If you dwell on the people you can't assist, it is so depressing it can paralyze you. So give as you can and take joy in it - leave the rest to God or karma.

As far as who to help - that is something only you can decide. But I don't see anything wrong with helping another human being no matter where they are on this planet - outside your door or across the ocean. Do what your heart leads you to do.

And by the way, you are a lovely man who clearly spends a lot of time in service to others - thank you. You make this world a better place, my friend.
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Old 06-01-2008, 01:20 AM   #68
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There is a church in Des Moines that goes around to other churches and gathers food and on the 4th Sunday of each month they come down town at 10 am and distribute food to all !! lined up some mornings it is two blocks long, there are several missions here in town that provide food and some a bed for a night or two. In the six ,months I have lived here I have not Sean on person bumming on the street or anybody with a sign will work for food.. This is a great improvement from when I left DM there were bums on almost every down town corner. What i am trying to imply that a tremendious amount of work has transpierd since I left thirty years ago to house and help those of us who of no fault of there own has landed on the street. I am sure that there are a few beggers on the street today I just have not come across them
This is wonderful to hear Dave. I've also noticed there are fewer people sleeping under bridges here in San Antonio, too. I am hoping it is because we have better programs to help people get on their feet or get the medical help they need.
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Old 06-02-2008, 02:03 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by David Cottrell View Post
I have a question. Some of you may recall that I keep a website going - Books by Volunteers who serve Ukraine Orphans It's a twenty dollar bill a month to pay the host server so that's not an issue. What is an issue that I wonder about sometimes is just this:

Like many I am now on that fixed :) social security income, having made some errors in judgement along the way. I can give a few bucks here and there to an orphanage or a specific cause there when I am acquainted with the people. Right now I have for the first time engaged in a specific cause - with a wonderful lady who lives in California and is trying to save an eighteen year disabled girl who has just graduated from her orphanage school. She's been in an orphanage all her life - abandoned at birth by her parents.

If we can't get it done the young lady is facing a horrible future in Ukraine. Now, when I send some money for the girl I wonder, should I be doing this? There are people right here in my little Marion Ohio who need help - I'm sure of it. My son could use some more help but he and I work that out between us.

I just pushed the budget so called to the edge (until the eagle flys again middle of the month :) I just sent $100.00 for the girl so she can have a few bucks to buy some personal needs (girls always have personal needs :) that she might need. She's going to a summer camp the state is providing for a few weeks, and then we're not sure what to do. Homeland Security has a humantarian visa blocked, otherwise my California friend would bring her here for a year of corrective surgery and preparation for life outside an orphanage. There would be no way she could stay. But apparently the government is terrified of her coming for a year.

What to do friends - like a lot of the rest of you the money just won't go around. It just won't and like Corey - I cry sometimes - I look at those photos and stories that I deal with it just floods over me - it's an endless line of misery. I'll be posting up on the website some things about AIDS in Ukraine which is now battering the nation and especially the young her age. She's learning disabled to some degree - not severe I believe, but eighteen years in an orphanage and going out into the wider world ....... well, you see my dilemma. Like many I'm caught betwixt and between and fail to have the answers.

I'm not bragging or complaining, just reaching out to a community whose opinions I have learned to respect. Thanks
It is my beleif that there is someone greater than us, and he does have a plan. That plan is to send his children (all of us, men, women, children) into this world to gain a mortal body, to learn hard lessons, to feel joy, pain, and every emotion there is. We are here to experience trials, and to find solutions to our weaknesses. I believe that each of us has unique and special strengths and weaknesses that are addressed by our situations. For every challenge that comes along, there is a solution, if we are willing to accept the help that is offered, both from others in mortality, and from on-high. It is when we let personal pride get in the way, or greed, or despair, or any of a thousand traps that would hold us down, that we fail. This is true for all of us.

We can not hope to help every person out there who needs help. But we can find an organization that we trust, and donate time and resources to that organization. In that way, a great mass of resources cones into play to help a great many more people than we could possibly assist by ourselves. As with all things, our collective energies are more powerful than are our personal energies.

For me, I belong to an organization that gains no profit, and is distributed world wide. It gathers moneys from all of its membership and uses it to help others, including those within its membership.

I won't state what that organization is, as this isn't the proper forum for that discussion. But I will say that it makes me more effective. Add to that the things I do in my community, and the example I try to set, and the effort that went into my children, and I don't despair over what I haven't or can't do. For I kow that I am doing what I can.

But still, if there were a soup kitchen in my home town, I would be willing.

There are organizations out there to help us help others. Just be careful which ones you choose. Some charitable organizations use as much as 80% of the moneys received to run the organization and pay its workers. That is not something I want to contribute to.

Seeeeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 06-02-2008, 02:20 AM   #70
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Thanks Goodweed - somehow I could almost read what you said in your recipes.
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