Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

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dm200
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Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by dm200 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:14 am

I would especially like to hear from those with firsthand or close secondhand experiences -

There seems to be no end of appeals and charities. churches, etc. for assisting needy families at the holidays - from Thanksgiving food baskets (including a turkey) to toys for children to "adopt a family", and so on.

While I was never "rich", neither was I (or my parents, close relatives) ever "poor" or "needy".

Suggestions? Experiences?

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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by stoptothink » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:18 am

Fly them out so they can spend the holidays with their family. That's what we just did for my sister and niece for Thanksgiving. I much prefer helping out people I know, and who I know really need the help, then giving to random charities.

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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by dreamrrr » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:25 am

I buy a gift card from the gocery store for $xxx and give it to the the "poor" family in early December. Having groceries paid for during the holiday season can be a great relief.

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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by KlangFool » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:32 am

OP,

Donate money to the Capital Area Food Bank.

https://www.capitalareafoodbank.org/

KlangFool

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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by smitcat » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:45 am

Work with local social workers to identify some of the most needy families in your area. You will likely find that they need many things that we think of as basic necessities - you can help them by providing some of these items anonymously if you prefer.
Most of what we are asked for are in these categories : rice, beans, some medicinal items, a mattress to sleep on ,etc.
It takes more time to do it this way and more work for sure - just another option to think about.

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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:54 am

We donate money to the local area foodbank where more than 98 cents on the dollar goes towards food and culinary classes taught to those less fortunate, we also donate gift cards to local grocery chain stores to our parish.
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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by dm200 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:56 am

smitcat wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:45 am
Work with local social workers to identify some of the most needy families in your area. You will likely find that they need many things that we think of as basic necessities - you can help them by providing some of these items anonymously if you prefer.
Most of what we are asked for are in these categories : rice, beans, some medicinal items, a mattress to sleep on ,etc.
It takes more time to do it this way and more work for sure - just another option to think about.
Our place of worship, year round, provides weekly food assistance to families - as well as a Thanksgiving basket (including a turkey) to hundreds of families. I agree that there are many families that do not have what we would call necessities. Our place of worship also works with the Capital Area food bank.

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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by MathWizard » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:05 pm

Foodbank.

Battered women's shelter. You may need to go through a church or social agency, because the location of these is often closely held, to avoid reprisals. Women fleeing abusive relationships generally take the kids, and have little money.

We use electric toothbrushes, but our dentist always gives us a new toothbrush when we have checkups. We take them and donate them to the homeless shelter.

Salvation Army/Good will: Clothes/coats/shoes that are in good shape.

At the Christmas Eve service, any cash in the collection plate goes to the homeless shelter. Most people have already met their pledge, so they put cash in the collection.

Hint:. I found pass through funds to work well for some charities that will inundate you with requests. If your church allows it, and they already support the charity, they will just add in your directed gift. They don't have to, but generally will.

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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by dm200 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:12 pm

MathWizard wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:05 pm
Foodbank.
Battered women's shelter. You may need to go through a church or social agency, because the location of these is often closely held, to avoid reprisals. Women fleeing abusive relationships generally take the kids, and have little money.
We use electric toothbrushes, but our dentist always gives us a new toothbrush when we have checkups. We take them and donate them to the homeless shelter.
Salvation Army/Good will: Clothes/coats/shoes that are in good shape.
At the Christmas Eve service, any cash in the collection plate goes to the homeless shelter. Most people have already met their pledge, so they put cash in the collection.
Hint:. I found pass through funds to work well for some charities that will inundate you with requests. If your church allows it, and they already support the charity, they will just add in your directed gift. They don't have to, but generally will.
Thanks for the feedback. Looks like the ways available to us seem to be doing most of these kinds of things. I know winter coats for children are a common need for such families - and our place of worship has a "thrift shop" (all items given away at no charge) looks for children's coat donations - and almost all of such children's coats are in excellent condition.

Yes - as well to "directed giving" - place of worship.

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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by Katietsu » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:07 pm

Community/church/Salvation Army giving tree. In my hometown agencies work with each other to verify need and no overlap. I have purchased requested gifts for a senior a few times. People take the kids’ tags first. The requested items are always near necessities like a pair of winter boots or bath towels.

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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by not4me » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:30 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:56 am
smitcat wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:45 am
Work with local social workers to identify some of the most needy families in your area. You will likely find that they need many things that we think of as basic necessities - you can help them by providing some of these items anonymously if you prefer.
Most of what we are asked for are in these categories : rice, beans, some medicinal items, a mattress to sleep on ,etc.
It takes more time to do it this way and more work for sure - just another option to think about.
Our place of worship, year round, provides weekly food assistance to families - as well as a Thanksgiving basket (including a turkey) to hundreds of families. I agree that there are many families that do not have what we would call necessities. Our place of worship also works with the Capital Area food bank.
I've been surprised at many posts I've seen on this board this year (other threads also active) & will try & not get off topic.

My 1st suggestion is to not wait til holidays....as said "year round". then holiday help is an extension of ongoing help. Local social workers are often good sources; in the past those near us have specifics ready when phone rings (although they usually go to plan B if not "assigned" by Thanksgiving). Orgs like Meals on Wheels, home health care providers will know of some specifics if you want to be more personally involved. I know multiple in law enforcement & they always know of needs & can help facilitate making sure it gets where you intend.

This may not be the best way to help a family, but I'd also recommend supporting any drive your kids/grandkids are a part of. One of our grands goes to a school where they held a canned food drive "competition" between classes that we supported. We WILL teach our kids something -- I'm hoping we'll be teaching them to help when we can.

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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by dm200 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:57 pm

I've been surprised at many posts I've seen on this board this year (other threads also active) & will try & not get off topic.
My 1st suggestion is to not wait til holidays....as said "year round". then holiday help is an extension of ongoing help. Local social workers are often good sources; in the past those near us have specifics ready when phone rings (although they usually go to plan B if not "assigned" by Thanksgiving). Orgs like Meals on Wheels, home health care providers will know of some specifics if you want to be more personally involved. I know multiple in law enforcement & they always know of needs & can help facilitate making sure it gets where you intend.
This may not be the best way to help a family, but I'd also recommend supporting any drive your kids/grandkids are a part of. One of our grands goes to a school where they held a canned food drive "competition" between classes that we supported. We WILL teach our kids something -- I'm hoping we'll be teaching them to help when we can.
Yes - I do agree that many folks need such help during the entire year - not just at the holidays.

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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by dual » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:22 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:57 pm
Yes - I do agree that many folks need such help during the entire year - not just at the holidays.
One of the best ways to support needy families is to find a way for their children to get a better education. There are many threads on BH where people are looking into buying homes in areas with good schools. Many needy families cannot move their residence but they can send their children to charter schools, which are becoming increasingly popular across the country. Most charter school have more demand for spaces than they can provide so they have to resort to random lotteries to select who can enroll.

Almost all charter schools have an associated 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation where donations will enable more needy students to attend.

p.s. Charter schools are public, tuition-free schools that are open to all students. Often operated independently from the traditional school district, charter schools provide high-quality instruction from teachers who have the autonomy to design a classroom that fits their students' needs. They are led by dynamic principals who have the flexibility to create a school culture that fosters student performance and parent satisfaction.
https://www.publiccharters.org/about-charter-schools
Last edited by dual on Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by dm200 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:32 pm

dual wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:22 pm
dm200 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:57 pm
Yes - I do agree that many folks need such help during the entire year - not just at the holidays.
One of the best ways to support needy families is to find a way for their children to get a better education. There are many threads on BH where people are looking into buying homes in areas with good schools. Many needy families cannot move their residence but they can send their children to charter schools, which are becoming increasingly popular across the country. Most charter school have more demand for spaces than they can provide so they have to resort to random lotteries to select who can enroll.
Almost all charter schools have an associated 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation where donations will enable more needy students to attend.
In this, and neighboring, jurisdictions - I do not believe this is a problem.

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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by dual » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:40 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:32 pm
dual wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:22 pm
dm200 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:57 pm
Yes - I do agree that many folks need such help during the entire year - not just at the holidays.
One of the best ways to support needy families is to find a way for their children to get a better education. There are many threads on BH where people are looking into buying homes in areas with good schools. Many needy families cannot move their residence but they can send their children to charter schools, which are becoming increasingly popular across the country. Most charter school have more demand for spaces than they can provide so they have to resort to random lotteries to select who can enroll.
Almost all charter schools have an associated 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation where donations will enable more needy students to attend.
In this, and neighboring, jurisdictions - I do not believe this is a problem.
I am not sure what you mean by this statement. If not in your exact neighborhood, I am sure if you look at nearby areas you can identify places where charter schools can help.

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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by Texanbybirth » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:04 pm

We're Catholic, and our local St Vincent de Paul Society collects housewares and clothes and toys for newly-arrived refugee families during the holidays (and year round). Donors are encouraged to go along on the deliveries to meet the families and deliver the gifts. It goes without saying that it's at least an eye-opening experience, if not life-changing.
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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by lthenderson » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:47 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:14 am
Suggestions? Experiences?
Besides a few of the normal charities, I continue a tradition my mom started and after her death, I carry on in her honor. She carried a crisp 100 dollar bill with her and leaves it as a tip at a restaurant sometime during the holiday season. She always picked someone who provided great service and worked at a lower end restaurant where the pay was likely not to be very good.

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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by dm200 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:49 pm

lthenderson wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:47 pm
dm200 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:14 am
Suggestions? Experiences?
Besides a few of the normal charities, I continue a tradition my mom started and after her death, I carry on in her honor. She carried a crisp 100 dollar bill with her and leaves it as a tip at a restaurant sometime during the holiday season. She always picked someone who provided great service and worked at a lower end restaurant where the pay was likely not to be very good.
Nice idea!

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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by Ricchan » Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:39 pm

If you are willing to volunteer time, food banks are often busiest during the holiday season and could use the extra help.

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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by celia » Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:58 pm

I suspect the original question has something to do with having the most impact. For example, some charities don't screen the recipients. Anyone can walk in a food bank and get some food, at least where I live.

If you want to have the most impact, some effort will be required on your part to analyze the charity. Just saying that 100% of their collections goes to the needy doesn't mean much to me. To understand how to compare charities, I recommend Giving 2.0. I took a Coursera class online by the author and learned a lot.

The other way you can understand local charities is to volunteer your time to get an inside look at how they work. Better yet, join their board to see what goes on behind the scenes. Small local charities are usually in need of your time besides your dollar.

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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by praxis » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:46 pm

DW was discussing with several friends how frequently they encounter homeless at stoplights with signs. Some people ignore them because they guess their money will go to liquor or drugs. They all felt sorry for the people. They had heard about an alternative idea and so drove to a dollar store and bought one gallon zipper bags and an assortment of things such as socks, cheese crackers, peanuts, toothbrush/paste, soap, etc. and stuffed the bags and put them in their cars to hand out instead of cash.

We volunteer and donate to food banks and homeless kitchens too, but this was a helpful idea.

The hospice non-profit where I volunteer has a casserole pool that distributes to needy families with a sick member.

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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by Ricchan » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:04 pm

I like the idea of taking a course to learn how to give more effectively. I admit the most I do is look at the financials of a charity to see how much of their donations go towards their programs. There's probably a lot more nuanced and meaningful ways to analyze a charity's effectiveness towards the goal of your giving.

It's probably an irrational human emotion, but I also find volunteering in construction projects with Habitat for Humanity strangely satisfying. I like the idea of building something tangible with my hands, and I've learned a few household DIY tips along the way. Winter is probably not the best time for this, however.

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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by FelixTheCat » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:48 pm

There is the Center for High Impact Philanthropy. https://www.impact.upenn.edu/

One of the recommendations is donate $$$ to a national or local food bank
https://www.impact.upenn.edu/our-analys ... provision/
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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by BogleFanGal » Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:30 pm

praxis wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:46 pm
DW was discussing with several friends how frequently they encounter homeless at stoplights with signs. Some people ignore them because they guess their money will go to liquor or drugs. They all felt sorry for the people. They had heard about an alternative idea and so drove to a dollar store and bought one gallon zipper bags and an assortment of things such as socks, cheese crackers, peanuts, toothbrush/paste, soap, etc. and stuffed the bags and put them in their cars to hand out instead of cash.
I know someone who buys a bunch of $5-10 fast food gift cards like popeyes, wendy's mcds, etc and hands those out to the homeless - he says they're always thrilled and incredibly thankful. I can't stand people who say that the homeless will just spend on liquor/drugs.....some maybe, but not all.
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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by White Coat Investor » Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:32 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:14 am
I would especially like to hear from those with firsthand or close secondhand experiences -

There seems to be no end of appeals and charities. churches, etc. for assisting needy families at the holidays - from Thanksgiving food baskets (including a turkey) to toys for children to "adopt a family", and so on.

While I was never "rich", neither was I (or my parents, close relatives) ever "poor" or "needy".

Suggestions? Experiences?
The best thing you can do in my opinion, at least in the long run, is create good jobs. Even if those folks don't get them, it should open up a better job for them by the person who does take them.

In the short run, there is good data to suggest that just giving cash is best. That eliminates the third party issue that plagues charities so much- where one person is deciding how to spend a second person's money on a third person. Best for that second person to just give the money to the third person as they will be the most efficient spender of the money on their behalf.

As far as the homeless, the rate of mental illness and drug abuse in this population is so high that I think giving cash is a bad idea and it is best to support organizations offering basic services- shelter, food, medical care.
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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by bottlecap » Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:06 pm

Overall, I think charities are pretty inefficient. It’s not a great use of your money.

However, I have no problem contributing to charities that provide short term help to people that need to get back on their feet. That’s a matter of helping those in need and not subsidizing sustained idleness. I have relatives that are significantly disabled and still hold down jobs and provide for themselves, so I’m not inclined to give to someone else that refuses to.

Our local rescue mission is one such charity to which I will donate. If they kick you out, you aren’t even trying.

I would look for a charity like that.

JT

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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by dboeger1 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:07 pm

White Coat Investor wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:32 pm
As far as the homeless, the rate of mental illness and drug abuse in this population is so high that I think giving cash is a bad idea and it is best to support organizations offering basic services- shelter, food, medical care.
Sad, but true. I used to volunteer at my local church for years and got to know several of the homeless people in the area who went there for assistance. One older lady actually managed to find a minimum wage job and buy/acquire an old beater of a car. She also got accepted into an affordable-housing complex, so things were looking much better for her than when she was on the streets. Unfortunately, after only a month of living in her new place, she let her drug-addict brother move in and get her in all kinds of drug trouble, which really clouded her judgment and destroyed what little financial security she managed to achieve. The last time I saw her was during a weekday service when we heard a loud noise. I was sent outside to check out what happened, and she had smashed her car windows. When I asked why she did that, she said it was because she locked her keys in the car (not sure why she needed to break multiple windows to get them). I told her that shouldn't have been necessary, as she could have called a locksmith to get into her car without busting a window. Her response was that she didn't want to drive it anymore because it was cold without windows, so she just walked off and left her car with the busted glass in the parking lot. The church had to get it towed.

It's great that a lot of people want to help the homeless, but I think it's one of those things where the thought sometimes counts as much as the impact, because there's only so much you can do to help people who can't quite seem to help themselves. I don't regret giving her money or meals the times I did, but none of those things stopped her from letting her brother derail her progress.

If you want to provide some help that is less prone to losing its value to destructive outcomes, I'd recommend focusing on really concrete health benefits, stuff like donating to provide safe drinking water or mosquito nets in rural Africa. I know it's not people close to home for many of us, but regardless of how they continue to live their lives, you can be fairly certain your money is making a real durable impact in their lives.

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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by mfswatz9 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:47 pm

As another post mentioned, the Angel Tree, sponsored by the Salvation Army, is a great way to give to needy families and individuals. The recipients are screened so you know you are helping a very needy person.

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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by Freetime76 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:17 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:49 pm
lthenderson wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:47 pm
dm200 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:14 am
Suggestions? Experiences?
Besides a few of the normal charities, I continue a tradition my mom started and after her death, I carry on in her honor. She carried a crisp 100 dollar bill with her and leaves it as a tip at a restaurant sometime during the holiday season. She always picked someone who provided great service and worked at a lower end restaurant where the pay was likely not to be very good.
Nice idea!
I like this, too.

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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by Freetime76 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:32 pm

We like the anonymous shopping opportunities for another family, usually off a giving tree or adopt-a-family at work.
A lot of families asked for paper towels or toilet paper (pt or tp :D ) or detergent, and I couldn't figure it out. One of the helpers said it helps their family budget, I was happy to learn.

DH has bought hot sandwiches or a hot carry out meal for someone who looked like they needed it. Food is very important to him :D so, I think this especially resonates in his heart :D

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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by Daryl » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:34 pm

A little over a decade ago I volunteered with an organization that works to rebuild lives by rehabilitate housing for low income families. Around the holidays we might give our homeowners a small gift, but the really meaningful work that we do is in listening to them and treating them with dignity and honor. Together, we the support of over two dozen local churches and countless corporate partners, we've touched over 800 families.

The best way of helping "poor families" at the holiday season is just to continue the same work that you are already doing the rest of the year.

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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by Tal- » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:39 pm

I grew up pretty poor. Always had food on the table, but always struggled to make ends meet.

For us, an older gentleman kind of adopted us for. He would come by on Christmas eve (or so), dressed up with a Santa hat (and even the coat one year), complete with presents. He wouldn't stay and wasn't there when we opened the presents. He passed nearly 20 years ago, and I still think about him every few months.
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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by Salto » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:50 pm

I give to the United Way at work through the year via paycheck deduction.
It seems to be such a big deal to my employer, and they give me a good work environment and certain perks I couldn't get somewhere else. Therefore, I participate although I am not a fan of big charities.
My employer also participates in adopting a family and then we employees will try to fill their needs and wants for the holidays. I usually give $20.
Other than that, I will give to food bank drives near the grocery store a couple of times a year, same for pet shelters.
That's about it. I don't make all that much, really. I am trying hard to save and invest for retirement. I think that's actually the best gift I can give society; being financially independent and not become a burden during my old age.

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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by DarthSage » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:14 am

We give to Heifer International and a few other, local charities. I also like to give to the Salvation Army--they have low overhead and work in the community. At our local SA store, anyone can work for 2 hours, and get 5 free clothing items.

This year, my oldest asked me to donate to her school. She teaches 4th grade English language learners in Boston, 100% get free lunch. There's some real poverty, and she sees it daily. So, I told her I would but hats, gloves, scarves, and other necessities for anyone in her classroom that needs them. These kids are facing adverse conditions as it is, the least I can do is make sure they can dress for the weather and have a couple toys. I also buy books and toys for her classroom, but I do that year-round.

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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by JoeRetire » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:33 am

  • Find a needy family
  • Ask them what they need
  • Purchase that
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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by HomeStretch » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:43 am

Throughout the year.,, Spouse and I use a DAF to contribute to our church and a few causes (cancer and heart research, conservation, etc.). I regularly drop bags of groceries and HBA at a local shelter/pantry. We also have volunteered our time throughout the years to various local organizations. We give locally at events like cookie sales, marathons, etc.

At the holidays, we contribute to the Salvation Army, our church’s giving tree, donate toys/cold weather apparel to the local shelter, and give some large tips to regular/other servers.

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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by cyclist » Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:31 am

KlangFool wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:32 am
OP,

Donate money to the Capital Area Food Bank.

https://www.capitalareafoodbank.org/

KlangFool
This.

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dm200
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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by dm200 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:35 am

Tal- wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:39 pm
I grew up pretty poor. Always had food on the table, but always struggled to make ends meet.
For us, an older gentleman kind of adopted us for. He would come by on Christmas eve (or so), dressed up with a Santa hat (and even the coat one year), complete with presents. He wouldn't stay and wasn't there when we opened the presents. He passed nearly 20 years ago, and I still think about him every few months.
Thanks. This is the kind of feedback/experience I was hoping to get - how the poor/needy perceive the various kinds of help/assistance given.

KlangFool
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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by KlangFool » Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:38 am

OP,

I donate money to the food bank every quarter that I am employed. This is my "Pay It Forward" for being employed versus many of my peers that are permanently under-employed or unemployed.

KlangFool

spoco79
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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by spoco79 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:39 am

We do a Christmas Jar.

I'm nearly cashless in my daily life, but always end up with a little bit here and now. When I come home with cash in my pocket, I put it in a jar. Over the course of the year, its usually around $250.

We have:
Anonymously put the jar on a poor families' porch on Christmas Eve
Purchased a wish list for a needy child in our community
Go to Waffle House and leave a big tip.

Our kids have loved the Waffle House thing. Those women that work at WH are hurting. They usually have multiple kids and are just scraping by. A $250 tip on a $20 meal makes their day and my kids enjoy it. That's what we are planning to do this year.

exoilman
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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by exoilman » Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:52 am

BogleFanGal wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:30 pm
praxis wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:46 pm
DW was discussing with several friends how frequently they encounter homeless at stoplights with signs. Some people ignore them because they guess their money will go to liquor or drugs. They all felt sorry for the people. They had heard about an alternative idea and so drove to a dollar store and bought one gallon zipper bags and an assortment of things such as socks, cheese crackers, peanuts, toothbrush/paste, soap, etc. and stuffed the bags and put them in their cars to hand out instead of cash.
I know someone who buys a bunch of $5-10 fast food gift cards like popeyes, wendy's mcds, etc and hands those out to the homeless - he says they're always thrilled and incredibly thankful. I can't stand people who say that the homeless will just spend on liquor/drugs.....some maybe, but not all.
+1

exoilman
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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by exoilman » Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:52 am

Freetime76 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:17 pm
dm200 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:49 pm
lthenderson wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:47 pm
dm200 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:14 am
Suggestions? Experiences?
Besides a few of the normal charities, I continue a tradition my mom started and after her death, I carry on in her honor. She carried a crisp 100 dollar bill with her and leaves it as a tip at a restaurant sometime during the holiday season. She always picked someone who provided great service and worked at a lower end restaurant where the pay was likely not to be very good.
Nice idea!
I like this, too.
+1

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dm200
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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by dm200 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:12 pm

I am always struck with the irony that Santa brings a lot more presents (and most costly ones) to the children of affluent families.

David Althaus
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Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

Post by David Althaus » Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:43 pm

We send money to Marine Corps Toys for Tots. Almost all donations (about 97%) go to the toys. You probably can't change the life of a family with a single Christmas donation but there's a great chance you can make a few less fortunate children happy for at least one day.

All the best

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