In a blog post few days ago, I wrote about Maria, or whatever the name is of the Third World waif, that one of those Save The Children type television commercials keeps wanting us to send money to so she can have a new life. I made the comment in jest, but the truth is that I do get fed up with the constant barrage of pleas wanting me to save the entire world from poverty, disease, and the latest natural disaster.
The latest thing is Haitian relief. At the grocery store they had a sign at the checkout counter asking if I wanted to donate my change to the Haitian relief effort. I log onto my favorite websites and there is a banner ad wanting me to click and donate to Haitian relief. The First Lady is on television asking me to do the same thing. I’m sorry, but I can’t save the whole damned world! Many days, it’s all I can do to keep myself upright and functioning.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not heartless, and I do contribute money to help those in need when I can. But I prefer to donate to causes that help my own people, right here in the United States. There are plenty of our fellow citizens who need help, from senior citizens without enough retirement income to survive on, to veterans who cannot afford the medicine they need, to families with children suffering from terrible diseases.
I’m sorry Maria and so many other children in the world live in poverty and that they have no future. But I’d much rather give my money to Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, which treats all children, regardless of their family’s ability to pay.
I won’t give a penny to some loser standing on a street corner with a sign begging for a handout, but there are millions of working people who cannot afford health insurance, or even the basics of life. They would be better off joining the rest of the welfare rats, but they have too much dignity to do that. Every year at Christmas, my employees and I would adopt a family or two who were struggling to make ends meet, and make sure their kids had a good Christmas.
None of us can help everybody who needs something, but all of us can do something for somebody. My dear friend Sharon Del Rosario is busy crocheting lap sized afghans for veterans recovering from injuries, through an excellent program called Soldiers’ Angels, which has many ongoing efforts to help make life better for our nation’s finest. Another close friend of ours, Russell Maxwell, donates his books and magazines to a veterans hospital when he is finished with them, giving the patients access to more current reading material. Before health issues restricted their ability to do so, our friends Tim and Ann Moran celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas by serving meals in homeless shelters.
Hollywood has jumped onto the Haitian bandwagon, and celebrities are busy making very visible donations. I wonder why they don’t put some of their money into good causes here in the United States?
Actually, many do, although their efforts never seem to get as much publicity. Daniel Lawrence Whitney, better known as comedian Larry the Cable Guy, recently donated $1.2 million to develop a new fourteen bed children’s rehabilitation center within the Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska, for children with brain injuries.
Country singer Randy Owen of the group Alabama is a big supporter of Saint Jude’s Hospital. Former Price is Right game show host Bob Barker, donated $3 million to help build a premiere treatment center for wounded veterans suffering traumatic brain injuries. These celebrities and everyday people are the folks whose efforts I applaud. They understand that while there is suffering and injustice worldwide, charity begins at home.
Tags: blog, Charity Begins At Home, children suffering from terrible diseases, children with brain injuries, children’s rehabilitation center, Christmas, Country singer Randy Owen, disease, First Lady, Game show host Bob Barker, Haitian relief, Haitian relief effort, health insurance, Hollywood celebrities, homeless shelters, Larry the Cable Guy, Lincoln Nebraska, Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital, Memphis, natural disaster, poverty, retirement income, Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Save The Children, senior citizens, Soldiers’ Angels, struggling to make ends meet, television commercials, Third World, traumatic brain injuries, United States, veterans, veterans hospital, veterans recovering from injuries, welfare rats, wounded veterans