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Old 11-03-2013, 03:07 PM   #46
Katy Belle
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Great post OP! True, true, things are not always as they seem.

Some other posters are concerned about people abusing the system. This absolutely happens. A wise man once told me, "You have to feed the GREEDY to reach the NEEDY.' Yep. Some will abuse the system, but some really need it.
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Old 11-03-2013, 03:27 PM   #47
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Growing up, we were fairly poor, although we never took government assistance, we were blessed with people donating things to us. My dad was a minister, now retired, with 5 children. Looking back, even though we were lower class, my parents tried to give us a middle class lifestyle and instill middle class values. We saw dad go to work, on Sunday to preach and during the weeks doing visitation. Once all of us were in school mom took a part time job at the local senior citizen center.

Even though we received charity often, we were also taught to be charitable as we could. For several years, we went to the local Salvation Army and wrapped presents, and boxed up Christmas food packages.

On a slightly different tangent, but related to some of the other comments. One thanksgiving when me and my younger sister were in college and the older 3 children couldn't make it to town for the holidays, we decided to help serve at a local restaurant who opened his restaurant for a free Thanksgiving to anyone in the community who wanted to come. In addition to the poor in the community you'd expect to come to a free meal, there were quite a few people who obviously had money but didn't have anybody to share Thanksgiving. The owner of the restaurant heard some people questioning why they were serving people who didn't need a free meal. He told them I didn't advertise "free Thanksgiving meal if you need food", I advertised "free Thanksgiving meal." They may not of needed the food, but the needed someone to celebrate the holiday with and their more than welcome around our table.

Another story from when I was much younger. During the blizzard of 1977 in Ohio, we were snowed in for a couple of weeks although the U.S. highway in front of the house was cleared. One of the member of the church with a 4 wheel drive truck and picked up dad to go into the grocery store. With the snow, there was a shortage of food especially bread and milk, and the store was limiting their purchases. Dad comes up to the checkout with 10+ gallons of milk and 10+ loves of bread. The cashier immediately says "you know with the shortages we're limiting people to 1 of each". Dad said, yes I know, and proceeds to hand her a list of 9 other families that were snowed in worse than we were several with small children that they were also buying for. Initial reaction, was your being greedy in this disaster when they were really being charitable. After getting back home with the groceries another member of the church with a snowmobile helped them deliver the groceries. In fact, we had electricity, so instead of buying us a baked loaf of bread, the bought a frozen loaf of bread dough for us so those without electricity could buy the baked bread. So, as other have said, what on the surface may have look greedy in reality wasn't.
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Old 11-03-2013, 04:33 PM   #48
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They do a toy thing every year here in Jacksonville. No financial qualifications, just show up--with the kids--and pick up your toys. It's always a mob scene and people go through multiple times.

When I was out of work, and the only work DH could find was contract stuff, we seriously thought about going to it. The company that DH was contracting through came through for us though; they adopt a family every year and get presents/holiday meal/etc for the family...and that year they picked us, since they knew otherwise there was nothing under the tree. So grateful for them still.
This reminds me of the lady in target that I helped pick out a bike for her tree angel.

She wanted a new bike as a child but her mother never could afford to buy one for her.

She got her first real job that year and bought the pretties girly bike they had.

We both cried all the way to her car.

True charity is great therapy
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Old 11-03-2013, 05:22 PM   #49
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Your view is better than mine, it sounds like the individuals at your area food bank need the help. I drive by a bus stop that is located in front of the food bank in my city. I drive by every weekday. I see adults in their 20s, and 30s who have their food bank bags on the floor of the bus shelter because they are always texting on their phone with one hand and have a cigarette in the other. I live in Canada where cell phone service ($150 a month minimum) and cigarettes ($90 a carton) are very expensive. I believe the people who really need the help often don't get the food and the others are using the local food bank to allow them spending money for their vices. Last year on the news there was video of families lined up for their turkey and toy basket for Christmas. I noticed as did my coworkers that everyone in the shot had a phone in their hand.
I live in Canada and my iPhone with data plan and all the bells and whistles is $45 per month. There are much cheaper phones out there including prepaid plans. My sister buys her smokes on the reserve for $20 she gets 200. That lasts her the month.

I think it's not fair to judge. You can't know another persons story just by looking at them.
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Old 11-04-2013, 12:46 PM   #50
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Keep in mind that foster parents get food stamps on EBT. that woman in the Escalade could have opened her home to kids with no where else to go, and she has every right to both the food stamps and her Escalade.

I think this is the one people forget the most. I know two foster families that receive food stamps and look perfectly middle class...
And there are a lot of Foster Kids out there, let's hope their foster parents don't want an occasional steak or some Oreos
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Old 11-04-2013, 01:15 PM   #51
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Thank you to the OP. We all forget that we don't always know the entire story and pass judgement quickly on others.

There will always be people who take advantage. We just need to remember there are a lot of people out there that need our support. If every one on DIS would pick up 4-6 items to donate to their local food pantry..... Thank of the difference we could make.

Would we really miss the extra $5 on our grocery bill?
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Old 11-04-2013, 01:48 PM   #52
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These judgements are what make me cringe whe I go food shopping for my MIL. Mil was an alcoholic and did nothing in her life, my dh had to go to work at age 12 to feed himself. We take care of her now, she refuses to go to an assisted living place. So I shop for her and take care of her daily needs and meds. I cannot allow her to shop because she would buy all cake and candy on the first of the month and have nothing left for the rest of the month. Yes, she gets food stamps and I use the card to buy her food. I hate to think what people are thinking when I get into my car after using the card...
We have an "adopted" grandparent through a volunteer organization in our county. We often do her shopping for her, not because of what she would buy, but because it's hard for her to go to the store. So, yeah, my kids and I, with our cell phones, in our fairly nice car do our shopping for home at the same time. One purchase I use her EBT for what she needs and then I get what we need. Sometimes we buy cookies and candy.
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:03 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by lauradis View Post
This reminds me of the lady in target that I helped pick out a bike for her tree angel.

She wanted a new bike as a child but her mother never could afford to buy one for her.

She got her first real job that year and bought the pretties girly bike they had.

We both cried all the way to her car.

True charity is great therapy
Very, very true Lauradis.

My job has the Christmas stocking stuffing campaign. Every year the salvation army contacts us with "stockings" they need to stuff. We don't know the kids names or any thing.
All we get is "boy 13" or "girl 14".
I always pick a girls stocking, I have all boys and it's my one chance to go "girlie" when shopping.

Now I absolutely know that a family in need probably has bigger issues the buying stuff for their kids but for some reason the thought of kids not having one lousy day where they can be a kid breaks my heart.

It is great therapy. thank you for reminding us.
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:26 PM   #54
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I noticed as did my coworkers that everyone in the shot had a phone in their hand.
??? What does this even mean?

Why be so judgmental? I choose to be grateful for all the good fortune I've been blessed with. I'm proud to donate to food banks and give my time to organizations that help others. I love teaching my children that in giving you receive much more in return. My mantra to them is "never pass up the opportunity to help someone else".
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:40 PM   #55
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??? What does this even mean?
It means there is a fraction of the population that believes if you are any type of assistance that you should not have a cell phone.
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Old 11-04-2013, 03:01 PM   #56
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DH and I work really hard to support our family, and I see way more abusers of the system than I see hard-working people who really need help.
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Old 11-04-2013, 03:22 PM   #57
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DH and I work really hard to support our family, and I see way more abusers of the system than I see hard-working people who really need help.
I won't deny that there are people out there who abuse the system. I encounter them on a routine basis at our business. It's amazing what people will "confess" to doing in order to obtain benefits. Some take quite a bit of pride in themselves for their ability to work the system.

But there are even more people who actually need those benefits. The abusers stand out because their actions are so shocking. The people who need the benefits are just grateful for the help they are getting. They aren't memorable because they aren't any different than most of the other clients we deal with.

I could probably rattle off details of 5 instances of abuse from this past month without having to think too hard. I would be hard-pressed to name 5 specific encounters with people who need and use their benefits properly. I also know that statistically there were about 30 such cases in October.
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Old 11-04-2013, 03:34 PM   #58
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I used to be on food stamps and and recieve public assitance. I was a young mother working and attending college. I graduted and got myself a better job but while i was recieve assiatance I did notice alot of people abusing the system. Its good to see people who need help get it. ALot of people dont even try. If I had to choose between ciggerates or my kid having food there wouldnt even be an option there my kids trump everything. I went 3 years without a cell phone or interent to put food on my table and we managed just fine. Some people just arent willing to make the sacrafices. I give back when I can becaue I know there are really some people out there working and trying to provide and just cant seem to mangage.
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Old 11-04-2013, 03:44 PM   #59
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DH and I work really hard to support our family, and I see way more abusers of the system than I see hard-working people who really need help.
Where do you see these people? Are you a social worker with personal knowledge of how many people are abusing? And are you talking about legal welfare fraud or just that you consider "abuse"?
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Old 11-04-2013, 04:05 PM   #60
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DH and I work really hard to support our family, and I see way more abusers of the system than I see hard-working people who really need help.
Then you aren't looking hard enough. You are choosing to see what you want to see. Find a little empathy within yourself. I work hard to support my family too and am so blessed that as a single (widowed at 34) mom of 4 kids, I don't have to reply on public assistance. Just be thankful. It makes you a much happier person if you focus on your blessing and not on others perceived abuse of the system! I promise.
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