Helping St. Louis

A Blog About Helping Each Other

How do you know who to help?

Posted by Schevus on December 7, 2008

This question was recently posed here, and is one I hear fairly often. To me the answer should be quite clear – help those you know first. Whether they be family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, employees, church members, club members, class mates, etc., all of us know someone who needs some kind of help. At the very least you almost definitely know of someone who is having a hard time.

It seems clear to me that the world would be a much better place if we all helped those in our part of it. Why would you do otherwise? You don’t necessarily have to force money on people – most will be unwilling to take it – but there are tons of little things you can do to help people out:

Host Dinner:

If a family is struggling financially, something as simple as having them over for dinner can help. This eliminates one meal that they need to account for. Hosting dinner is an inconspicuous way of helping, because it’s such a common event.

Babysit:

Many families’ budgets are tight because of babysitting costs. For some it is even preventative for both parents being able to work, which is sadly often necessary nowadays. If you are home a lot, or happen to be home when you know someone needs babysitting, consider offering to help. Even if it’s not everyday, you could cut down costs for them by quite a bit.

Gift Often:

As I mentioned, people are normally reluctant to take cash assistance, but if you are clever it’s possible to mask your aid as a gift for whatever occasion. If you go this route, it is probably useful to do some scouting to see what people might need – that would still make a good gift – and maybe even pick up a gift card along those lines.

Skill Work:

There are some unfortunate surprises that can come as a huge financial shock to those living on a tight budget. This might come in the form of car trouble, pipes & plumbing issues, furnace trouble, electrical problems, etc. If you are a skill worker (or maybe just a jack-of-all-trades) and know someone who has a problem you can help with, give them a hand if you are able. This will likely reduce a large financial burden.

Invite A Friend:

This is mostly for those of you with kids. If you are planning an event, consider having your kids invite along a friend who might not get out so much because his or her family is struggling. They will no doubt appreciate the opportunity to do something they wouldn’t have gotten to otherwise.

These are just a few examples – there are countless ways to help those around you. Some are so small that you might not even realize you are helping, and more importantly, neither will they.

On the off chance that you do not know anyone that needs help, or are in a capacity to do more help than those around you need, then I encourage you to reach out to the countless awesome organizations that exist. If you need help deciding here, just go with something that is close to you. If someone important to you had a serious medical issue, was homeless, had a rough childhood, etc., then an organization that addresses that issue might be a good fit. Alternatively if you are just interested in a particular area, you can probably find some good you can do there.

Look out for those around you!

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2 Responses to “How do you know who to help?”

  1. jonathanoreilly said

    love some of your practical ways to help!
    we’ll have to keep in contact.

  2. Schevus said

    Jonathan,

    Thanks for visiting. There really are so many simple, easy, and as you say practical ways to help.

    – Schev

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