The recession: not over yet
In the current recession many people are enduring hardships. Charities face a large demand for clothes and food donations. "Manna gave away 3.1 million pounds of food to 102,519 Montgomery County residents last fiscal year, up from 2.1 million pounds the year before. "
Even though everyone has heard about the recession, many are surprised when its effects come knocking on their own door.
One woman who arrived at Manna Food Bank to gather food for her family was mistaken as a volunteer because she was well-dressed. There are many similiar cases where middle class people recently lost their jobs or face foreclosure and seek charity in order to survive.
"Fairfax found in a recent survey of 89 churches and nonprofit organizations that 32,044 households received food assistance in the last quarter of 2008, a 39 percent increase from the previous year's fourth quarter. Almost half of the respondents reported helping families that had never asked for aid before -- many of them former middle-class residents now unemployed or facing foreclosure."
The Washington post article closes with this quote, "What a glorious feeling . . . to be able to give to other people. It is a better feeling to give than to receive. But sometimes you have to receive." Being on the receiving end of charity reveals that anyone, any time, might need a little help. With that notion in mind, and the holidays just around the corner, now is the time to begin cleaning out closets to donate to clothing banks; now is also the time to start volunteering at soup kitchens and donating to food banks. These needs don't suddenly appear in late November-December, when our perennial need to give resurfaces. There are people in need of groceries now, and these people may be your neighbors, or someone very much like you.
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