Check Out Your Own Church Too

I wrote a blog awhile back about how little “charities” actually help the ones they collect money to help. All I can figure is they collect money to fund big salaries for themselves and appreciate everyone’s giving generosity.

The last post was about someone I knew who needed help with a utility bill and was referred to a place that had voice mail to answer the phone when it rang (that saves money on paying a secretary, I guess) and the caller was instructed to leave his name and number and what he was requesting. He would be called back. Time passed and two days after his bill was due, he got a call back that went to his voice mail and the woman leaving the message said she was from the charity and would be able to help two people that month. (Late fee alone had by now been added to the cost.) But she said she had a list of 20 people and would be calling them in order and would help the first two who answered the phone. He could call back, but her line might be busy as she would be calling the other people on her list.

Someone else yesterday contacted a local church she’d been attending for over a year. She told them she needed help with her utility bill and was referred to the charity that did not help her male friend a few months earlier.

So what does the church collect money for? Did God say to collect tithes and offerings so you can have a big salary if you work for the church? Are the widows and orphans to go now to somewhere else to get help because the church has a convenient place to send anyone who asks for help?

Perhaps any church goer, donator, member needs to research where his offerings are being spent after he lets go of them. Perhaps any senior citizen needs to put more thought in where they leave their wealth when they leave this earth.

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Phases of Parental “Help”

1. You are born knowing nothing, so parents begin to teach and enourage you in how to do things.

2. You are a child and still needing frequent help in how to do certain things. You accept and appreciate the help.

3. You are a teenager and do not want or accept help. You know everything. Eventually you realize you don’t, but by then you have accepted misguided direction from peers.

4. You are an adult and resent any semblance of help from parents.

5. Parents are conditioned to not offer help as it is met repeatedly with the phrase, “I KNOW how to do that.”

6. Adult children wonder why they can’t get any help.

Why Saying “Calm Down!” Doesn’t Work

Have you ever seen someone doing what you consider “over-reacting”? You may have told them to “Calm down!”. This has happened to me. I don’t say “Calm Down!” because I know what effect that has on the person who is possibly over-reacting. I have been told to calm down when that was not going to happen.

If I see a danger you don’t see, and you tell me to “calm down”, I’m probably going to escalate, because obviously my original reaction was not strong enough to convey the clear and present danger I perceive.

It would be better, in my opinion, to say, “What is it?” Let the person tell you what has them so upset. Perhaps it is something they are over-reacting to, in which case, since it seems less stressful to you, you could handle for them. OR, it just may be that they see something you don’t see.

Second Thoughts About Giving

I’ve been down on my luck several times in my life. At other times, I was doing well and gave freely from what I had.

I tried to be careful when I gave money. At first I wasn’t. If a cause seemed sympathetic enough, I donated. Later I read about high percentages of donations going to salaries and “operating costs” of various charities and how just a few cents from every dollar actually got to the people I donated to help.

I’ve also been on the receiving end of “help” and some of the very charities I donated to refused to help me when I requested it. I met all their criteria. I don’t know why they didn’t help me.

I find myself in that situation now. I am facing surgery later this month. I had an extra large utility bill for the past month that must be paid by next Tuesday. I looked at all the places that will help people with such expenses. So far – after contacting the places several days ago, only one has gotten back to me. They took my name and phone number and said someone would call me back, but possibly not soon enough to help me. They didn’t do anything, they said, but answer the phone and forward callers’ names and phone numbers to the people who did manage the fund. They said not to expect much because funds were limited . . . and they weren’t sure I’d be called in time to even help me before the cut off date.

Hmmmm . . . I encountered similar places just plain out ignoring my requests last month when I checked around to see what food pantries offer in my area. No calls were returned and no one ever answered the phone. Just a recording to leave your name and phone number.

I believe I have figured out an even better way to screen places if I ever get in the position to donate again, and I will. I’m sure I will.

I will call any place that collects donations and ask for help first to see what kind of obstacles I face. Whoever is managing the money or the food is certainly not in a hurry to help anyone at the places I’ve approached.

Perhaps before you part with your hard earned dollars, you should call and try to get help from the places that say they help others to see if they really do. That will be my plan before I donate any money to anyone.

One of my sons criticizes my donations to Goodwill. According to him, I’m helping someone get rich off items I give away.  Well, the way I see it, I give someone items and they price them so low that anyone who needs what I’ve donated is probably able to afford what I’ve given. That’s all I try to do when I donate – help people in need.

One of the times I did need help was when my sons went to a private school on full scholarships, but needed dress code items.  Belts, even in Walmart were $10 each and I needed three. Goodwill supplied those three for a dollar or two each. Instead of trying to find $30, I needed less than $10. So I will continue to donate to Goodwill, even though I’ve faced criticism for doing so.

The other places? Before I turn loose of any money, I’ll call and see how hard it is to get help. If you collect the donated money to help others, you should be helping others and not figuring out ways to keep anyone from actually getting the money you’re sitting on.

 

To All Student Loan Debtors In America

There needs to be a consensus that these loans will no longer dominate every college educated young person in America. Enough is enough. Either the lawmakers can bail them out like they do the banks, OR the students in outrageous debt need to flee the country with their degrees and knowledge and go make another country great again. I’m sick of this modern indentured servitude of today’s best and brightest young Americans. If Trump wants to make america great again, he needs to focus on helping out the young people who struggle under enough debt to buy a house that they incurred just for trying to better themselves. What country would welcome educated professionals? The cost of these loans double while graduates struggle to pay them off in a country whose older generation refuses to retire so there’s jobs for the young, newly educated INDEBTED graduates. Get your passports and GO. You are obviously not appreciated in America.

Raised Plant Bed

For years I have asked my sons to help me design and build a raised plant bed. They have said it was an interesting project and they’d be glad to help me. I still don’t have a raised plant bed.

During the last few months, I’ve sorted through the contents of three under the bed containers that my sons left in the carport when I moved in. My house is full of their things, that they have chosen to store here. I have no living room to speak of – it has boxes of their things in it.

So one day I decided to go through those under the bed containers that had been left under the carport so long. Most of what was in them were Christmas decorations. There were some old papers and other junk of mine that I either put up, or threw away. Eventually I got all three containers emptied.

I asked one of my sons, who was here a couple weeks ago, if he’d help me build a frame for those containers `because it had dawned on me that I could use those for my raised plant bed containers. He said sure . . . he did say he thought they were his . . . ????? . . . and I told him, no, they had my things  in them when I unpacked them. They were mine. He repeated that he thought he’d left them here, but I could use them for my raised plant beds. Yes, that annoyed me, but I choose my battles, and that wasn’t one I chose.

This morning I read several online articles about raised plant beds. It seems that plastic containers are ok to use. The beds should be 6 inch deep minimum and these are 7 inches deep. I knew I’d need some holes drilled in them for drainage. I didn’t  know that putting screen mesh over the holes would prevent soil depletion, as soil tends to also drop out of the holes. . .

I ordered a hand held drill. I’d emailed my sons and asked if any of them owned a drill and if they would help me drill holes in the containers? I got no reply. So I bought one of my own. I wonder which son will appear and say that’s HIS drill? I’ll keep the receipt.

As far as a frame goes . . . I realize I will either have to build one or buy one. I noticed I have a bed frame/rails in my third bedroom. It’s leaning up against the wall. I had several bed rails. When my oldest moved out, he said he didn’t want any of my “used” bed rails. He was back a week later saying he had “priced” bed rails, and yes, he did want one of mine.

I don’t see why I can’t use the bedrails to hold my plant containers. I just have to get someone to help me set up the bedrails outside. I hope they’re twin rails. Twin rails are 39 inches wide; the plastic containers are 39 inches long.

I also reread about the kind of pests Marigolds repel. I want to take some of my skinny planters and plant Marigolds in them and put them between the containers. I probably need a scarecrow as I feed birds and there are birds that live around my house.

My grandmother had a garden, and there is nothing like fresh vegetables right out of your garden in the summer!

This spring/summer, I’m going to have my raised plant beds. I expect ridicule and criticism, but it’s what I’ve come up with and I think it’ll work. If anyone wanted it to look more elegant, they should have helped me one of the serveral years in the past that I asked for help.

One day, when my sons are older and think back on my life, they’ll realize I am a great problem solver.

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Happy Birthday

Today is my oldest child’s birthday. Adult child. I have three adult children now and they all grew up too fast.

This one has had an interesting year. He came out as a transgender during the summer- at least with me. Some others may have already known.

We went out to dinner tonight and had a lovely time.

I probably should begin with the morning, but I’ve done too much today (enjoyed doing it all!) and am thinking backwards.

She showed up when she got off work. She works nights right now. I fixed us breakfast and then she went in one of my spare bedrooms to sleep.

We had planned to go see a movie, but she was so tired . . . it wasn’t my kind of movie anyway, so I was fine missing it. I do hope she goes to see it before it leaves the theater.

My mind is a grasshopper tonight . . . I intended to go from breakfast to what I did after breakfast. I took her car to be inspected. I know from working myself that little chores like that eat up a big part of your day when you have to do it. Everything on the car passed inspection, and it didn’t take too long. Besides, I needed to go out and get some birthday candles anyway. I’d gotten the cake mix a couple days ago.

I have made cakes from “scratch”, but I doubt I ever will again. Last year I was too sick to bake a cake. She showed up with one she had baked, and I was so glad! Birthday cakes matter to me.

But this year after getting the car inspected, and stopping for the candles, I came home and baked a cake. I was so grateful to be well enough to do that.

She got up mid afternoon and we dressed up a little and went out to dinner. It was fun. The music was lovely; the waitress attentive. The food was good.

We came home for dessert and cut the cake. She opened her presents and card and was happy with what she got.

I bought her a mixer and gave her a girly card.

I talked with one of her friends yesterday and found out not all parents are supportive when their children “come out”. Why not? That is still your child. I will support my children until my last breath.

So it was a great day, if eventually tiring.

It had gotten dark by the time we left the restaurant. I tried to help drive . . . but I can’t see well at night and really don’t drive at night. I was reminded that she can see well and was doing fine.

Indeed she was. I thank God for another year with her.

She’s gone out with friends now, but I doubt they have as much fun as we did, ha, ha.

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