Helping others essential during difficult times 

Published 5:08 pm Friday, March 20, 2020

By Jack Godbey

Community columnist

Recently, as I was driving to the store on a scavenger hunt for toilet paper, I saw a man standing by the road holding a sign begging for money. This is not unusual to see unfortunately, but what got my attention was that he had a baby carriage sitting there.

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His sign pleaded for money for baby food. It appeared to be working because folks were stopping and giving him money like crazy. I give him credit for creativity.

I wanted no part of it for various reasons. One of which was that I noticed that there was either a dog in the baby carriage or a baby with a beard that would make ZZ Top envious. Not sure which it was. Either way I didn’t fall for it. 

It’s hard for me to justify giving money to someone holding a sign begging for my money when there is a store placed sign a few feet down that states, “Now Hiring”.  

While I am a firm believer that people should work for their money, I am also a person who believes that sharing my abundance with deserving charities is not only necessary but also something that I receive great joy from. While I enjoy giving to others, I am also the person who refuses to participate in what I consider to be ridiculous behavior.  

For example, I can remember just a short time ago my social media feeds were flooded with people dumping buckets of ice water over their heads or others jumping into freezing water in the middle of winter all in the name of raising awareness of their selected cause. I admit that I often enjoyed watching some unfortunate person get ice water dumped on them. 

However, I believe you can raise all the awareness that you want, but dumping water over your head or jumping into freezing waters in the middle of winter doesn’t get us any closer to finding cures for the disease. I understand that people do this because it makes them feel like they are doing something against what seems like a huge unbeatable opponent. 

I have seen similar behavior over the years when watching a telethon. Send in a donation and receive a free gift they say. I cannot help but think how much additional money the telethon could raise for their cause if they kept the crappy gift and allowed me to just make a donation because I want to help. 

Everywhere I turn it seems there is someone trying to raise funds for this cause or another. This week alone I’ve been approached to give money for everything from magazines that I don’t read to school trips that I don’t get to go on. However, I’ll admit the overpriced cookies sold by the little girls in uniform were the best. Adorable little smiles and delicious cookies separate me from my money every time. 

There is no doubt that things are occurring today that are unprecedented. We should always remember during these times to not only take care of ourselves but also look out for each other. It is absolutely essential that we all give of ourselves whether it be with time or money to a cause that you find worthy. 

Just because it’s not you with the disease or it’s not you who can’t feed your family doesn’t mean that you don’t have the responsibility to help those that are experiencing difficult times. At the end of the day you’ll be a better person for it, or at least you’ll have good cookies to eat.