JCS – Giving to others

January 22, 2011

Last week our JCS lesson was about giving to others….

…helping our neighbors, even if we don’t know them.

We read the Good Samaritan – we talked about how we can help our friends and neighbors.

We counted the money that we had collected over the last year (our JCS tzedakah – or offering for you church-goers).

We went shopping for items that our local food pantry needed,,, cereal, canned meats and fruit, and batteries.

Yesterday, we delivered our goodies to a local shelter and food pantry….  and were we ever SHOCKED.

We live in the wealthiest county in our state.*

One would think that our food pantry would be OVERFLOWING with abundance.

One would think that ‘to whom much is given, much is expected’ and we would be a generous group.

One would think….

Well, apparently, our neighbors think that there aren’t hungry people in Hamilton County because the pantry was bare.

If a family comes (no matter how large or small the family is) the pantry fills them up with a months worth of food.

If you’ve ever done shopping once a month, you know this is A LOT of food (even for a family of 4, imagine a family of 10 or 12).

Perhaps if we took care of our neighbors, we wouldn’t NEED a food pantry – – – but we don’t.

Perhaps if we took care of our neighbors, we wouldn’t need the government programs that we complain about the most.

Perhaps if we took care of our neighbors, we could eliminate the desperation that causes many to turn to crime to feed their families or pay their bills.

So, here’s a challenge – ask around YOUR community, see what the needs are.

Does your food pantry need peanut butter?

Does your local school need coats, hats, and gloves to give to kids who come to school without them?

Does the homeless shelter in your town/city need volunteers to serve a meal?

You don’t have to contribute your entire paycheck or all of your spare time….

….but if we all gave a little, I believe that big things could happen.

If all 279,287 people in Hamilton County set aside $5 per month to buy food for a food pantry, we would have $1,396,435 per month to feed our hungry neighbors.

*Based on information from a few years ago, Hamilton County ranked 16th on the top 100 highest-income counties by median household income and 24th on the top 100 highest income counties by median household income IN THE COUNTRY.

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7 Responses to “JCS – Giving to others”

  1. Alicia Says:

    As someone who works in the non-profit world and sees this first-hand, I couldn’t have said it better myself. If people don’t know where to go – call your local United Way or dial 2-1-1 if you have it in your community. That’s an easy way to get started…

  2. Jmac Says:

    Great reminder. You’re the best.

  3. caryn guba Says:

    All great to note! xxoo We as a family try to give regularly to tsadaka but just this morning I filled a bag for the Damian center’s emergency winter food and personal item drive. They need paper products razors etc. Donations can be dropped off today at the Indianapolis Hebrew Congregragtion starting today thru the weekend.


  4. […] all stemmed from a trip that our inter-faith religious school took to a food pantry – only to find bare […]


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