side of fries

sweet charity
December 1, 2009, 3:01 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Yesterday I had a chat with my grandma about charitable giving.  She shared her experiences of helping families pick out donated toys for their children.  The organization, sponsored by the county,  had a system in place where each child got one “big” gift ($20) and three smaller gifts.  A volunteer went around with the family to help carry stuff and make sure no one went over their limit.  She told me that some people were so grateful for anything they got and some were picky about the toys–in about the same percentage as folks in middle and upper classes, she figured.  So I see this story today and I get annoyed.  I get that a private charity can have whatever limits they want–that’s their right.  But I guess I think of charity as an act of giving without condition.   If I give money to a homeless person, I don’t give a big lecture about not buying liquor or smokes or drugs or sex or whatever: it’s now their five bucks to use as they see fit.   If I give a kid a backpack filled with school supplies, I hope they use them for their intended purpose, but I’ll never know.  These acts of charitable giving may come to no good use.  Or they might.  And that’s why people do it.


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