June 20, 2011
Living in Maryland, close to D.C., we see a lot of homeless people. Usually they stand on the median of the big intersections- holding signs and cups, asking for money. I always feel for them and wish that I could give them something. Sometimes I have given them something and usually get a smile and a "God Bless!" in return.
When I served a mission for the Church in Spain twelve (!) years ago, I felt so sorry for the gypsies who were constantly coming up to us and giving us money. I started to give them money and my companion stopped me. That's not really our money she said. It's the Church's. We pay our tithing and the Church can help those in need.
I still felt for them and there was one lady who always sat at a corner we passed by every day. Since I couldn't give her money, I would give her a smile. A real cheerful one, so she would feel not neglected. One day she screeched at me "You! You are always smiling at me! You never give me money and you just sit there and smile and smile at me. You mock me." Woah. I didn't know she felt that way. I hurriedly explained that no, we weren't allowed to give her money and I was trying to help her feel better. She still looked angry every day. Maybe she had some entitlement issues. Probably.
I recently found a solution to this dilemma. The idea came from a friend at Chruch. McDonald's gift certificates! You can but them in packs of 5 for 5 dollars each. I always carry 2 certificates in my purse and when I see someone in need, I am ready! I've done it once so far. The lady knocked on my window in the parking lot of CVS and wanted a ride to Wendys. I handed her the gift certificates and at first she was surprised, then amazed and then excited (the McDonalds was right next door). It made my day to help someone else out. Amazing.
This is my blog. My name is Megan Abbott.