Are you a healthy giver?
How you can make a REAL difference this Christmas
During the giving season, more than any other time of the year, we all want to help our fellow brothers and sisters. But are you a healthy giver?
That’s a question we all need to ask before we hand our next $5 bill to someone on the street.
Jerome Parker, of the Healthy Giving Council (of which Phoenix Rescue Mission is a part) is doing his best to get the word out ahead of the crowds this holiday season. “We urge people to not give money or food on the street,” says Jerome. “It’s much more helpful to direct them to an organization that already provides meals, clothing, and recovery programs set up to close the gap between those who are homeless and permanent housing.”
It may seem counter-intuitive, but feeding someone on the streets does more harm than good. It often leads to discarded trash in our neighborhoods (53 tons of it was collected off the streets between Thanksgiving and Christmas last year) and enables the homeless to avoid help for one more day. It even changes the way we think about the people we are hoping to help. “Street giving and feeding puts us in a frame of mind,” he says, “where we begin to see the homeless as less human. If we’re honest, we know that burger or dollar bill we hand out isn’t going to change anything.
We do it to make ourselves feel better. We need to ask: Is what we are doing bringing this person closer to, or further away from, ending their homelessness?”
Here are a few easy ways to be a healthy giver!
- Hand out the enclosed Rescue Referral cards instead of food or cash when you see someone in need. Including a $4 bus pass is even better (bus passes can be purchased at most gas stations and grocery stores).
- Help provide food, clothing, spiritual guidance, addiction recovery, counseling, education assistance, job training, and so much more by supporting the efforts of the Phoenix Rescue Mission.
- Become a volunteer by visiting prm.volunteerhub.com and give your time and energy by serving with us on the front lines.
Together, we can make a real difference in the lives of the men and women we see on our streets this holiday season!