Greetings, all, and may you have peace! I would like to respond to the "bleeding heart" comment, because I think it warrants some consideration. First, I might have misunderstood the question/topic: I am sure that many, if not most here give to organizations created to help those in need. But the question was do you give to "beggars"? Most of the people who are helped by charitable organizations are not beggars, per se. They have either suffered some natural disaster, have some debilitating disease/infirmity, are TEMPORARILY down on their luck, etc. Beggars, however, are, IMHO, another thing entirely (and, yes, some make a living at it, but I'm not concerned with that).
For charitable organizations, I give but not always. I do so only when I am compelled or directed by my Lord. Why? Because these are the ones that most give to. They are also the ones that many make THEIR living on such giving - yes, many volunteer (and are to be absolutely commended!), but MANY are also paid for their "work." So, it often depends on the amount of my "dollar" that actually goes to those in need, versus "administrative" costs, including exective salaries. Because, IMHO, some of these are actually no different than the beggar on the street, per se. They make THEIR living "begging"... for donations, etc., which THEY get paid to do... with little actually going to those they claim to begging FOR.
With street beggars, however, there is no middle man: it's me... and them. I am giving of mine DIRECTLY to someone who "asks" of me. Do they REALLY need it? Well, since we ALL need it... I would have to say, yes. The issue, however, is what do they need it FOR? I don't care... and here's another reason why:
I have only been a recipient for public assistance once in my life... for one month. My children were very young and I had been working nights for some time (after separating from their dad the first time). Unfortunately, my youngest, age 2.5 and quite precocious at the time, had gone outside while I was sleeping... then tried to make himself breakfast (I awoke to find the front door open, dirt in the toilet, and an entire 1/2 gallon of milk and whole box of Rice Crispies strewn all over my kitchen!). I knew then that I had to change to a day job and get him in preschool.
So, I went down to the main welfare office in my town (Sacto) and applied for assistance (money and food stamps) to carry me over until I could find a day job. After looking at my application the lady at the window told me that I didn't qualify because I was working and made too much money. I told her, "Yes, but I'm going to quit my job today. I just need to get this started so that I don't have a gap while I look for a day job because I will have rent to pay." She told me I couldn't do that. I told HER that I had worked since I was 13 and so had paid into the system, and was asking for assistance for the FIRST time in my life... and how could she tell me that I couldn't get it... when people who NEVER worked a day, could get it??! She told me that that was how things "worked." I then told HER... that I didn't want to talk to HER anymore and to get me a supervisor. The "supervisor" came and told me the same thing, that I couldn't do it. I told HER... that I was a taxpaying citizen and so I didn't want to talk to HER anymore, either... and to get me HER supervisor.
I ended up in the Director's office (because I had begun to make a bit of scene out front, you BET I did!). He was very calm... and very kind... and simply asked how he could "help" me. I told him that I had two small children and had been working nights but needed to change to days for my son's safety (because he had gotten out while I was asleep). He didn't say, "Well, you should put child locks on your door" or "You should put him in childcare" like the clerks upfront had said (the latter of which was undoable; I couldn't AFFORD childcare, which is why I worked nights - I took them to work WITH me). He understood. He told me to go to work, get a letter from my boss that I had resigned, and bring it back to him... and he would start my "aid" that very day - I could pick up a check that afternoon, as well as receive my final paycheck. And so, I did what he said... and got a check... for a full month, that afternoon.
BUT... in order to get ANOTHER check... I had to fill out paperwork that, IMHO, requested so much PERSONAL information, I literally felt "violated." As I went through the form, I kept thinking "Why are you asking THAT?... None of your businesss... None of your business." Note, this was close to 30 years ago... and back then, the "information" they wanted in order to give you money was... ridiculous, IMHO. (My understanding is that prior to that... during the 60's and before... they literally did home inspections, even opening closets and drawers!). No. Uh-uh... didn't need THEIR money, that bad! I didn't need ANYONE else's money that bad! So, I went to several law firms and literally BEGGED for a job. I got one and it paid pretty well (although the man, a lawyer, was a pervert, who used to sit at his desk, with his door slightly ajar, staring at me from behind a Penthouse magazine - ewwwwwwww!).
The entire experience, however, excluding my discussion with the Director and HIS response and action... made me feel like a beggar. Like I was asking for something that I was not ENTITLED to... and how dare I even ask. The people I dealt with (excluding the Director) acted as if I was asking them to go into their OWN pockets/personal bank accounts... and give me some of THEIR money. I felt humiliated, degraded... and dirty. I could imagine, then, how someone who ISN'T entitled to help from another... may feel even having to ask.
Now, I realize that not everyone has to have similar experiences in order to have a giving heart. But experiences can be a contributing factor. They are, in my case. For me, it is my desire that NO ONE have to experience or feel some of things I have in MY life... because of ME. My experiences may have been brief, but they made deep impressions. My life choices are often the result of my life experiences... and not a bleeding heart.
Sometimes things are about moccasins, dear ones... and from the perspective of those who've worn them.
Again, peace to you all!
A slave of Christ,
P.S. My ex and I did reconcile about a year later... and stuck with it for another 13 years...