The Poor Helping the poor, how much is too much to ask?

United States
March 4, 2009 1:57am CST
Okay, the reason I ask is that I belong to a mom's group that is made up primarily of poor, single, or stay at home moms. Well, one day last may a mom in the group announced that her son had leukemia and the leader of the group was all in a tis (she is not poor) about helping her out. She organized a food drive to which we all readily chipped in. She was going to have to slow her owrk to part time hours if any to stay at the hospital with her son. Anyhow, after that the leader decided that we all needed to donate money to the cause. And furthurmore became a little pushy when people started to say that it just wasn't feasable for them to help out. She managed to raise $2,000 dollars for the woman and her family and when she gave it to the woman the woman was like 'oh, I can put this in my new car fund.' to which a lot of the people who did end up donating felt a little used, because a new car wasn't one of the things they thought they were donating too. The group shrunk by a lot and not many people go to this moms group anymore because of this. They felt like they got pushed to give something that they couldn't feasibly give. So, what I'm wondering, is it right for the poor to ask of the poor for help? Is it right for those of us that are poor to say 'I can't help you.'? What are your thoughts on this. Where should we draw the line at asking for help and from whom?
3 people like this
6 responses
@vicki2876 (5640)
• Canada
5 Mar 09
I think that I would not have given the money either. I am more of a grassroots style of giving. Like food and clothing. Time and energy. Offer to help around her house, look after other child. Run arrears and give lifts. I do not have much myself and I would not be a part of a group that would force me to take from my own children's mouths to give to someone else. I do a lot of volunteer work in my community and there are many things that could have been organized for the woman other than a forced donation. Many times here when someone is seriously ill we get the local talent to go to the hall for a variety show (all free) and volunteer donation at the door. Lots of people come to hear the music and support a person from the community. There is usually a lot of money raised for them and people feel good about it and nothing is forced. There are many other ways of fund raising that work out way better than what she did. Considering I a driving an illegal 13 year old car right now, I would be offended that she is doing so okay that she can put any money away for a New car. She isn't hurting financially if she can put any money away. So the Help she might need isn't throwing money at her. I understand that it wasn't her but the leader of the group who is at fault here. I do feel sorry for the woman to have a child that is sick. I have three children myself and I would feel awful if any of them were sick. But I also understand that a person's family comes first before anyone else. I totally understand leaving a group that practices like this. Maybe if you can find some of the members who left you can get a group started where you have play dates rotated from each person's home. I have always been a part of a mom group when my children where young and it was very good for my kids and ME so it would be a shame to lose that over one person. If it is an organization, you can make a complaint to the main office, if not, try to meet up some other way. Good Luck!
2 people like this
@katsalot1 (1619)
5 Mar 09
I think it's fair enough to ask for help, but not to expect it. I've seen this happen many times, particularly when me daughter was at playgroup, then school. There was always something that people were made to feel guilty about if they didn't give money. I didn't have any, so i just offered to help in anyway that didn't involve giving money. It's very sad that this woman's child had leukemia, but it sounds as though moral support might have been more useful than money.
@katsalot1 (1619)
6 Mar 09
How on earth did she select an individual anyway, maybe he was a relative!
@mammamuh (582)
• Sweden
4 Mar 09
You can always say no if you can't afford to help! If she didn't ask for the money I guess she has the right to use it as she likes - perhaps a new car is what she will need most - who knows. I know we did raise money for cancer reseach when a onlinefriends child got leukemia - they didn't ask for money to them selves - but the children did send letters and paintings to the chil and that was very nice. Last year we did raise money for a friend in Iceland and I bougt food and mailed it to her since Iceland was first in the economic crises and the prizes want up with over 100% - the one that could afford to send some $ did and I just bought the food and sent it. You can ask for help if you need it - but every one is free to not helping.
• United States
4 Mar 09
Yes, I actually turned down helping with money. My house had just flooded due to children playing in the bathroom sink upstairs and letting it run all night long. Haha. Anyhow, I stated that I just couldn't help that I was in crisis myself. I got treated pretty shoddy for that by the group leader. And my best friend was in her 3rd trimester and they asked her to help with a car wash to help raise funds. She looked at them and said 'Are you crazy!' she was having complications in her pregnancy too! The whole thing wasn't delt with very well at all. Like I said, we helped donate food. And we are always taking clothes our children have outgrown to pregnancy help centers and the like. I just don't get why some people don't stop and realize that it's not nice to ask people with limited means to give beyond their means.
1 person likes this
@cher913 (25865)
• Canada
5 Mar 09
thats horrible that the woman played on your sympathies like that and worse for the leader that was overly persuasive and (from what it seems) forced you to donate to this woman! its not that you need an account of where your money is going, but it would have been nice if she gave one. i work for a non profit organization, if people dont give, i dont work but we have to account for every penny that we get!
1 person likes this
@besthope44 (12141)
• India
10 Aug 10
Well imparting the free education is best way to serve poor and i feel cherished in doing so..
• United States
7 Aug 09
I feel that is wrong because they have lots of millionaire and the only howyou can get the milionaire to give is if you write a propsal and I feel all that is crop. another thing is the millionaires only give out a certain amount is because the have to give back a precentage from there taxes. I know it is unfair to us who is already poor to ask us but who is us its like we are no body to society.