Home » Economy »Homeless » Currently Reading:

Thoughts After a Food Drive

August 4, 2011 Economy, Homeless 22 Comments
ABOVE: Food collected in first 2 hours on Saturday July 31st

I spent two hours Saturday morning collecting food donations. Overall it was a rewarding experience, helping others often is. But I have some mixed emotions. First the bad.

Some people couldn’t be bothered. Saying “no thanks” as a response to my “good morning, I’m collecting food for the hungry.” Really? No thanks? WTF!?! Yeah, a 39¢ can of tuna or a $1 can off green beans is asking way to much. How dare I trouble them to help others eat?

While I was upset by how uncaring some were, I was blown away by the thoughtfulness and generosity of others.

ABOVE: Flyer for Saturday Jubilee held on July 31st

Early on a security guard put cash into the collection jar. An hour later he put in some more, probably $4-$5 total for both times. When I thanked him the second time he said something that really made an impression, something like “I may need help myself someday.” He was paying it forward.

One mom had her daughter, who was probably 4-5, put the items they purchased in the donation cart. It was so sweet and a good lesson for the little girl about the joy of helping others.

Some donations came from visitors who were downtown for a convention. How great is that? People that don’t even live here were willing to donate food to help our hungry citizens.

The store was very busy, I wasn’t able to talk to every person as they entered the store. As one woman was leaving she came over to ask what I was doing, so I explained. She already had 3-4 bags of groceries and was on her way out the door. I told her I’d watch her bags as she went back in to get cash. A few minutes later she came back and deposited a crisp $20 bill. She said she was fortunate and wanted to help others. I was astonished!

It seemed the most generous were the once who didn’t appear they could afford to help others. Conversely, those who seemed most able to afford to buy an extra item didn’t.

I hope that none of the people I talked to ever need a free meal or food from a local pantry, but the odds are they just might.

The Saturday Jubilee collected food to help pantries throughout the region. I bought $4 worth of stuff before 9am to put into the cart to get the ball rolling, I was afraid the cart would be empty at the end of my two hour shift. The food & cash collected at Culinaria and three Schnuck’s locations in St. Louis County went directly to The Bridge.  A long list of organizations benefitted from the event.

Many voted in Toyota’s “100 Cars for Good” contest the next day as Operation Food Search won a new Toyota on day 84 of the contest, beating out 4 other worthy organizations. Here was how they planned to use a new vehicle:

Our dietitians and their volunteers currently travel within a 75 mile radius around the bi-state region with food and cooking supplies to provide nutrition information to more than 4,000 low-income families. Our Cooking Matters team needs reliable, secure transportation, with ample space for their gear and staff, to continue their hands-on outreach program in our community. The families and individuals we reach rely on our team to learn how to keep their children healthy on a tight budget. Our current vehicle has nearly 190,000 miles on it and is falling apart. A new vehicle would be an asset to not only Operation Food Search, but to strengthening our community as a whole.

The positives certainly outweighed the negatives, looking forward to next year!

– Steve Patterson

 

 

 

 

Currently there are "22 comments" on this Article:

  1. bailorg says:

    This may be unpopular, but you are not in a position to judge someone based on a rejection of an uninvited solicitation, no matter how good the cause is.  You have no idea if that person who rejected your solicitation has already made other donations to charities.  You have no idea if that person already volunteers for a good cause. 

    Secondly, another problem with on the spot charitable requests is that it denies a person the ability to investigate the charity in question.  Not all charities are created equal. Some people only feel comfortable donating to charities that meet their individual standards and/or values.  For example, even dealing with the varied groups on the flyer above, some people may feel more comfortable donating to the hungry through the program run by their specific faith group.  Others may prefer donating specifically to a pantry not affiliated with certain religious groups.

    In other words, just because someone rejects your uninvited solicitation, doesn’t mean that that person is mean-spirited.

     
  2. bailorg says:

    This may be unpopular, but you are not in a position to judge someone based on a rejection of an uninvited solicitation, no matter how good the cause is.  You have no idea if that person who rejected your solicitation has already made other donations to charities.  You have no idea if that person already volunteers for a good cause. 

    Secondly, another problem with on the spot charitable requests is that it denies a person the ability to investigate the charity in question.  Not all charities are created equal. Some people only feel comfortable donating to charities that meet their individual standards and/or values.  For example, even dealing with the varied groups on the flyer above, some people may feel more comfortable donating to the hungry through the program run by their specific faith group.  Others may prefer donating specifically to a pantry not affiliated with certain religious groups.

    In other words, just because someone rejects your uninvited solicitation, doesn’t mean that that person is mean-spirited.

     
    • That’s fair, thank you.

       
      • JZ71 says:

        A similar dynamic is happening with Joplin.  There are many groups wanting to help and many people with their hands out.  Choosing which to say yes to isn’t easy, which means that many groups will be hearing no’s from many people.  It doesn’t mean that they don’t want to help the people in Joplin, it just means that they think there are other, better ways to do so.  That’s probably why the multiple snarky comments in the original post pushed both bailorg’s and my hot buttons.  People give in different ways and looks can be deceiving.  What’s that old saying?  Don’t assume, it makes an ass out of you and me!

         
  3. Anonymous says:

    “Some people couldn’t be bothered. Saying “no thanks” as a response to my “good morning, I’m collecting food for the hungry.” Really? No thanks? WTF!?!”  Hey, Steve, a polite “no thanks” IS an appropriate response.  This was not a shake-down nor an obligation, it was a CHOICE!  You have no idea what else the people who chose not to contribute to your cause are doing.  They may have donated a car to the Salvation Army.  They may work once a week in a soup kitchen.  They may have no cash in their pockets.  They may have just paid for a homeless guy’s meal at McDonald’s.  And they may be selfish jerks.  But, bottom line, they don’t owe you or anyone else any sort of explanation!

     
  4. JZ71 says:

    “Some people couldn’t be bothered. Saying “no thanks” as a response to my “good morning, I’m collecting food for the hungry.” Really? No thanks? WTF!?!”  Hey, Steve, a polite “no thanks” IS an appropriate response.  This was not a shake-down nor an obligation, it was a CHOICE!  You have no idea what else the people who chose not to contribute to your cause are doing.  They may have donated a car to the Salvation Army.  They may work once a week in a soup kitchen.  They may have no cash in their pockets.  They may have just paid for a homeless guy’s meal at McDonald’s.  And they may be selfish jerks.  But, bottom line, they don’t owe you or anyone else any sort of explanation!

     
  5. That’s fair, thank you.

     
  6. Redmedicne says:

    Normally I agree with just about everything you write Steve, but your first two paragraphs (which the first two responses also commented on) was very judgmental, and flat out wrong of you to write.

     
  7. Redmedicne says:

    Normally I agree with just about everything you write Steve, but your first two paragraphs (which the first two responses also commented on) was very judgmental, and flat out wrong of you to write.

     
  8. Chris says:

    FYI, the demographic with the highest charity rate of giving is lower income people.

     
  9. Chris says:

    FYI, the demographic with the highest charity rate of giving is lower income people.

     
    • The Truth says:

      But not the dollar amount

       
      • Chris says:

         Luke 21
        The Widow’s Gift

         1 And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury.

        2 And He saw a poor widow putting in two small copper coins.3 And He said, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them;4 for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on.” A great message, even for this atheist.

         
  10. Anonymous says:

    A similar dynamic is happening with Joplin.  There are many groups wanting to help and many people with their hands out.  Choosing which to say yes to isn’t easy, which means that many groups will be hearing no’s from many people.  It doesn’t mean that they don’t want to help the people in Joplin, it just means that they think there are other, better ways to do so.  That’s probably why the multiple snarky comments in the original post pushed both bailorg’s and my hot buttons.  People give in different ways and looks can be deceiving.  What’s that old saying?  Don’t assume, it makes an ass out of you and me!

     
  11. For nearly 7 years now I’ve written what I thought, right or wrong.

     
  12. Redmedicne says:

    You do a great job. Our family reads the blog frequently.

     
  13. The Truth says:

    But not the dollar amount

     
  14. Chris says:

     Luke 21
    The Widow’s Gift

     1 And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury.

    2 And He saw a poor widow putting in two small copper coins.3 And He said, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them;4 for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on.” A great message, even for this atheist.

     

Comment on this Article:

Advertisement



FACEBOOK POSTS

This message is only visible to admins.

Problem displaying Facebook posts.
Click to show error

Error: An access token is required to request this resource.
Type: OAuthException

Archives

Categories

Advertisement


Subscribe