Helping St. Louis

A Blog About Helping Each Other

Not So Happy Holidays?

Posted by Schevus on November 25, 2008

The holidays are a season of togetherness and festivity, but with unemployment rapidly on the rise, for many these holidays will not be filled with joy. I was browsing the St. Louis Craigslist and found the following post:

“Thank you for taking the time to view this. I am a married father of three wonderful children, ages 2(g), 4(b), and 8(g). I was recently laid off and trying to get unemployment has been impossible. As the sole provider, you can imagine how rough things are getting. I’ve already had my vehicle repossessed and so yeah, just not sure what to do now…..Please don’t take this as begging for your stuff. I’ve never been in a situation like this; holidays are coming and we’ve already cut back so much; no idea how or where to cut more corners to have a nice holiday season so any help, ideas or suggestions are ABSOLUTELY appreciated. Once again, thank you so much for your time.

sincerely,

humbled hero of 3….

Go Cards!! It’s cold here in st. louis right now. Rams are playing the Bears. (so you know this is real…..supposedly lots of scams?) thanks again”

I’m sure some of you are thinking “that’s a scam,” and it may well be. Obviously some care must be taken when engaging with people over the internet. I am fortunate enough to be in a very secure position financially, and pending a conversation with my wife I may contact this individual to see what I might be able to do to help. If you are interested, the link is http://stlouis.craigslist.org/vol/930885113.html.

Regardless of the medium, this is just a sample of the countless hard luck stories that are doubtless out there this holiday season. Do you know someone who is in dire straights? Can you do something to help them? Will you? Are you yourself having a harder time making the holidays special? Please share your stories. Who knows, someone might be able to help!

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5 Responses to “Not So Happy Holidays?”

  1. scamvictimsunited said

    I think that it is wonderful that you are doing something to help out another family. Pay it forward!

    You are right, you do have to check these things out first to make sure that they are not scams.

    Shawn Mosch
    Co-Founder of ScamVictimsUnited.com

  2. schevus said

    Thanks! I completely agree with the idea of paying it forward. I really like those commercials where it shows a chain of people committing a small act of kindness, which is seen and replicated by someone else.

    I have emailed the individual I wrote about in my post, but I am waiting to hear back. If the situation is a bad as it sounds, they may not have internet in their home, so a response may take some time.

    – Schev

  3. schevus said

    So I have successfully vetted this family. They seem like wonderful people who are just down on their luck. Someone already assisted them with one of their big issues, which were some sewer problems, but my wife and I will be helping them out with $250 in various gift cards. It feels great to be able to help someone that I didn’t know existed last week. It’s a very refreshing and fulfilling feeling.

    Who can you help? For those of you who need help, this should be an example of the good that can happen if you only ask. There is no shame in admitting that you need help. We’re all there at some point or another.

    – Schev

  4. moneymatekate said

    I find that you can usually tell if it’s a scam based on what they’re asking for. Last year I mailed little presents to a family in the southwest who literally listed “socks” and “small toys” for their two little ones. These things have no street value, no eBay value, no prestige value. This year I’m giving to a woman who wrote “used toys are fine”, and when emailed, seemed to be delighted with the idea of getting arts and crafts supplies. Maybe I’m a bit naive still, but what kind of scam would ask for something like that? I feel safe with my choice.

  5. Schevus said

    Kate,

    Indeed it is often easy to tell if something is legit, like you mention. The family that my wife and I were able to help were even willing to let us pay one of their bills directly. They were so grateful for the help that they made it quite clear that I should share opportunities to pay it forward in any way known to them.

    – Schev

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