The dream of standing behind a table laden with steaming soup and juicy slices of turkey and handing it out to grateful homeless people attracts many do-gooders at Thanksgiving time. But as this article in the N.Y. Times points out, many agencies that feed the hungry all year long don’t need and can’t use extra help for Thanksgiving. The situation in San Francisco may not be exactly the same as what happens in New York, but almost anyone who operates an agency to help the poor will tell you that real help comes from people who offer something more useful than a few hours of their time once a year. For most of us the best help we can give is CASH. We live in a cash-based society and no amount of smiling goodwill makes up for a lack of cash to buy food and clothing. Many of us vote resolutely against taxes that would help provide jobs and training so poor people wouldn’t be so poor. We can’t make up for stingy voting by giving away free smiles and holiday greetings. There are many organizations to help the homeless–staying at home and writing a generous check is the best volunteer work that many of us can do. And hang onto those generous sentiments for the next election!
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