Let’s Stop Giving the Poor Our Junk!

We are located in a poor community.  People often ring our doorbell and ask us for help: Some food or a little cash assistance.  We try to do what we can.  It’s hard to sort out who to help and who not to help.  We can’t do everything.  It doesn’t bother me when a poor person asks for something.  I’m not overly offended when I know the person is telling me a lie.  I simply send them to a more appropriate resource. What does bother me is when middle class people bring junk to the church as a donation.  A few weeks ago a woman dropped two large trash bags of towels at our front door.  The towels were old, dirty and thread bare.  We saved a few for cleaning rags and hauled the rest to the dumpster.  Yes! We offer showers to homeless women. We don’t give the women dirty rages to dry off with.  Today, a gentleman dropped off boxes of used clothes.  Most looked old and worn.  A volunteer will have to sort through what is usable and what is trash. Another volunteer will wash, dry, fold and find a place to store the usable stuff.  It is very time consuming.

I am glad that folks want to help those in need.  Instead of passing on stuff you don’t want, how about making a cash donation.  The money could buy towels, clothes, underwear, tampons, shoes and coats. The money could purchase birth certificates and photo ID’s.  Another option is to call a charity and ask what their needs are at the moment.  Social service agencies that serve the homeless always needs new towels, men and women’s underwear, pajamas, socks and shoes.  Pick up some extra when you are at Target and drop them off at your local church.  They will find a good home for your contribution.  But please be mindful that neither churches nor charities have the staff or space to sort through your junk to find something useful.  My rant for today!

Rev. Sam Wyatt