About once or twice a week I read the articles in the online edition of the local newspaper from the town where I grew up. It helps me feel connected to home, and gives me some talking points to discuss with my family. I love reading the wedding announcements and birth announcements the best.
Today one of the articles really disturbed me. It was about a local program run by the local fire department. The program provides gifts and food for needy families in the area. The article talked about a Craigslist ad that told people how to get "free" gifts by applying to be part of the"Santa Fund" program. The author of this "ad" described how they have been scamming this program for years and nobody has ever asked questions. The gifts and food just show up on their doorstep.
I have been poor before in my life. It is a very humbling experience. For many poor people it is very difficult to ask for help, even when you really do need the help.In our society we are taught that if you work hard that you will always have what you need. There are many hard working people out there who still struggle to pay the rent, provide clothing and food for their families. Are they less deserving of a nice place to live, a full belly and a good education? I don't think so . It just turns my stomach to hear of people abusing the systems set up for people who are really in need.
After reading this article I just wanted to cry. How dare someone who is just greedy and lazy take handouts just because they can. Just because its easy and nobody asks any questions. They should feel downright ashamed of themselves. It is situations like this that cause many social services to be limited, because lets face it, people don't want to give to greedy people. Most people are willing to give something for someone who is really in need.
Is this going to cause me to think twice about donations to charity? No. Am I able to give millions of dollars? Not at this point. Can I give a pair of shoes, or pants, or a book to a cause I care about ? Yes I can.
While honestly, I sometimes get bogged down with horrible stories like this, I still try to remember all the good that really does happen out there.
Have a lovely evening