HELPING THOSE IN NEED IS NOT EASY

Steve DeFillippo’s Point of View

Helping those in need of help is not always easy. As a rule, I regularly send donations to organizations like the Salvation Army, who does a great job helping those in need.

But recently I was actually listening, for the first time, to the words of a song by Phil Collins entitled: Another Day in Paradise, which asked us to “think twice” about others less fortunate we see on the streets. It moved me to the point that I decided that I needed to give a more personal touch to helping the needy.

I had been noticing, for some time, a man riding and walking his bike as early as 5:45 AM, and of course I suspected he was homeless, especially with his appearance and grooming preference. Recently, I saw him at the North Naples Library branch, on a bench, moving his head repetitiously. So I decided to approach him on a personal level. When I did, I asked how he was; and he said: “I am praying”. Essentially, he did not want to engage in any conversation. Treading on delicate waters, I asked if he needed any money; to which he repeated: “I am praying”.

The message seemed clear to me. Those who are truly down on their luck seem to quietly resort for comfort, by praying for spiritual help they feel they need. My guess is they say: “I will struggle with my circumstances and pray that my God watches over me”. And yet, while they are in the most need and deserve our help, they refuse to be a financial burden on society; totally unlike those who prey on society for a free ride.

It takes a special human being to devote time and effort to help and relate those who require special attention; whether it is for hospice, battered women, child abuse; or those who just have no support whatsoever in their life.

The upshot of this story is: do what you can to help those in need; but chances are, if you are like me, you have learned to leave it to those who know how and are willing and able to relate to and help those at their level of despair.

So I went home, I sent a donation to the Salvation Army who, amongst other organizations, does wonders for the truly needed. If you can, in these tough economic times, please support these organizations.

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