Okay, let's try this again (peace to all!)... and thank you for your patience/indulgence...
I DO want to help those who are in 'real' need...
I have found that doing it the way my Lord taught, dear EOM (may you have peace!) is the best way:
"Give to the one asking you, and do not turn away from the one that wants to borrow from you." Matthew 5:42
This includes the person on the street. I do not concern myself with whether his/her need is "real" - it's not up to me to determine that; it's between them and God. And since I am not expecting anything back, it's not really a concern anyway:
"... if YOU lend to those from whom YOU hope to receive, of what credit is it to YOU ? Even sinners lend to sinners that they may get back as much. To the contrary, continue to love YOUR enemies and to do good and to lend, not hoping for anything back; and YOUR reward will be great, and YOU will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind toward the unthankful and wicked." Luke 6:34, 35; Hebrews 13:2 (note, the phrase "do not forget hospitality" in the NWT is rendered "do not forget love to strangers" in the Greek)
I also don't concern myself with what they're going to DO with it. That, too, is between them and God.
What about when you DO give? Although you shouldn't expect anything in return, should you charge interest if someone DOES wish to repay you? The NWT translation states that you should not (i.e., it says to lend [without interest] - which is absolutely HILARIOUS... because THEY don't even do THAT... with their own "brothers"!!!). Is that version correct? It is. Although the Greek does not include the words "without interest," that was actually the LAW for Israel (as to anyone called a "brother"):
“If you should lend money to my people, to the afflicted alongside you, you must not become like a usurer to him. Y OU must not lay interest upon him." Exodus 22:25
"And in case your brother grows poor and so he is financially weak alongside you, you must also sustain him. As an alien resident and a settler, he must keep alive with you. Do not take interest and usury from him, but you must be in fear of your God; and your brother must keep alive with you. You must not give him your money on interest, and you must not give your food out on usury." Leviticus 25:36, 37
“You must not make your brother pay interest, interest on money, interest on food, interest on anything on which one may claim interest. You may make a foreigner pay interest, but your brother you must not make pay interest..." Deuteronomy 23:19, 20
Unfortunately, when they were exiled in Babylon and under Persian rule, Israel FORGOT this law, and so the Most Holy One of Israel tried to remind them by means of His Prophet, Ezekiel:
“‘And as regards a man, in case he happens to be righteous and he has executed justice and righteousness; on the mountains he did not eat and his eyes he did not raise to the dungy idols of the house of Israel, and his companion’s wife he did not defile and to a woman in her impurity he would not go near; and no man would he maltreat; the pledge that he took for indebtedness, he would return; nothing would he wrest away in robbery; to the hungry one he would give his own bread and the naked one he would cover with a garment; nothing would he give on interest and no usury would he take; from injustice he would draw back his hand; true justice he would execute between man and man; in my statutes he kept walking and my judicial decisions he kept in order to execute truth, he is righteous. He will positively keep living,’ is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord JAH." Ezekiel 18:5-8
"‘And... in case he has eaten also upon the mountains, and his companion’s wife he has defiled; the afflicted and poor one he has maltreated; things he has wrested away in robbery, a pledged thing he would not return; and to the dungy idols he lifted up his eyes, a detestable thing is what he has done. On usury he has given, and interest he has taken , and he positively will not keep living. All these detestable things he has done. He will positively be put to death. On him his own blood will come to be." Ezekiel 18:10-13 And there were those who were saying: “Our sons and our daughters we are giving as security that we may get grain and eat and keep alive.” And there were those who were saying: “Our fields and our vineyards and our houses we are giving as security that we may get grain during the food shortage.” And there were those who were saying: “We have borrowed money for the king’s tribute on our fields and our vineyards. And now our flesh is the same as the flesh of our brothers; our sons are the same as their sons, but here we are reducing our sons and our daughters to slaves, and there are some of our daughters already reduced; and there is no power in our hands while our fields and our vineyards belong to others.” Now I became very angry as soon as I heard their outcry and these words. So my heart took consideration within me, and I began finding fault with the nobles and the deputy rulers, and went on to say to them: “Usury is what YOU are exacting, each one from his own brother. Further, I arranged a great assembly on their account.
Did they listen? Apparently, not, for even after they returned to Jerusalem the problem persisted and so Nehemiah, who was appointed Governor over Jerusalem by Persian King Artexerxes, wrote:
"... there came to be a great outcry of the people and their wives against their Jewish brothers.
"And I proceeded to say to them: “We ourselves have bought back our own Jewish brothers who were sold to the nations, as far as it was in our power; and at the same time will YOU yourselves sell YOUR own brothers, and must they be sold to us?” At this they became speechless, and they did not find a word. And I went on to say: “The thing that YOU are doing is not good. Is it not in the fear of our God that YOU should walk because of the reproach of the nations, our enemies? And also I, my brothers and my attendants are giving money and grain on loan among them. Let us, please, leave off this lending on interest . Please, restore to them on this day their fields, their vineyards, their olive groves and their houses, and the hundredth of the money and the grain, the new wine and the oil that YOU are exacting as interest from them .”
"To this they said: “We shall make restoration, and from them we shall ask nothing back . We shall do precisely as you are saying.” So I called the priests and made them swear to do according to this word . Also, my bosom I shook out and then said: “ In this manner may the [true] God shake out from his house and from his acquired property every man that does not carry out this word; and in this manner may he become shaken out and empty.” To this all the congregation said: “Amen!” Nehemiah 5:1:13
But, once again, they have failed to keep their word to the Most Holy One of Israel on this matter. BUT, you might say... there is a RANSOM. For those of Israel who put FAITH in such ransom... yes. Unfortunately, that is not most of Israel... and certainly not the WTBTS. As I stated above, they not only overstep this commandment (which they are bound to, since they still look to "Moses")... but they overstep the one taught by Christ, which extends it (which is why THEIR Bible version INCLUDES the words "without interest"... even with regard to strangers!):
"... continue to love YOUR enemiesand to do good and to lend, not hoping for anything back..."
So, helping widows, orphans, and the hungry should not be a difficult thing to do, dear EOM... neither as to WHO to "donate" to ("the one asking you")... or HOW. For there are plenty in need... real need... if you can bring yourself to look beyond what you THINK you "see"... and NOT JUDGE... not so far from you.
I bid you peace... and ears... so as to hear and get the sense of these things.
YOUR servant and a slave of Christ,