Tis the Season, How to Give without Offending

Many Americans are good natured, we are the leading country when it comes to philanthropic giving.

However, many good intention Americans who do give find themselves baffled or confused, when their sincere efforts are often rebuked. In an article I read on the New York Times, many residents of the Rockaways who are survivors of Hurricane Sandy, were horrified when hoards of "volunteers" descended upon their community.

Why? Why would a person be horrified to receive help?

Many good natured volunteers, see a need then immediately jump into action, without asking "How may I help? How are you? "I have these items, that I think you may need, would you like them?" Instead, they assume many of the residents need this and that and their approach although well intentioned comes across as "You self- righteous, people, who ignore us all year long, and NOW you come to help?"

A perfect example of someone who felt the burning need to help a homeless man who need shoes. The NYPD officer who saw a need, he approach the homeless man by asking "Do you want a pair of shoes?" Homeless man's response "I never had a pair of shoes."  The policeman, then ACTED, he went into the store, told the clerk of his intentions, and picked out the best pair of boots and a package of socks, clerk then gave him a discount because he sensed in intentions were pure, the homeless man received the gift and acted as though he won the lottery, by running across 42nd Street in pure joy!

I know we are in thick of the holiday season, but before we act, we should always ask the important question: "How can I help?"

The receiver of the gift would appreciate things or services that are needed and are given, with pure intentions.

Cheers to your holiday "GIVING!"

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