Don’t Tell People How to Give

Posted on | Posted in Blog

It took me a few days to explain the patterns of rescue, giving and recovery observed recently with the devastations brought about by Harvey. Stories in social media and news reporting abounded with individuals pitching in from the get-go.

The rescues began almost within minutes. The nation watched video of the Cajun Navy, boat owners and monster trucks manned by ordinary citizens navigating streets to rescue stranded victims loaded into private boats, packed into oversized trucks and carried on the backs of countless spur of the moment volunteers.

Mattress Mack opened his exquisite furniture showroom to families needing immediate shelter. The video of kids and stunned adults amidst pristine furniture displays that would not, could not, ever be sold as new – was stunning and amazingly inspirational.

HEB mobilized its distribution network to work around the clock to move water, food, cleaning supplies and necessary items overcoming all obstacles along the way. They emptied their stores, then filling them as fast as they could. Their crews worked overtime to restock and man the registers. They airlifted truck drivers to relieve their spent and exhausted coworkers and worked to keep the supply funnel as full as humanly possible.

Buc-ees opened their newest Texas-sized store to relief workers, providing food, fuel and a place to rest. They just opened it up without terms, conditions or restrictions.

The first shelters saw long lines of volunteers unloading cases of water, food and donated clothing. Hundreds of volunteers accepted, sorted and distributed donated clothing that arrived right away and just kept coming until the shelters were so packed, new donations had to be turned away.

Local first responders were here also but in far fewer numbers than ordinary citizen and resident volunteers. Everyone worked side-by-side, making it happen without regard for who people were, where they were born, how toney their neighborhood, or how much money they earned.

After a few days, outside support organizations, FEMA and other government agencies started to arrive and it seemed that some of the edge came off all that outpouring of giving and support.

I wondered, why was that? Had compassion waned? Was there no more survivor’s guilt for those unaffected? No, but suddenly rules, regulations, requirements came into play.

It seems to me that when third parties start to dictate how others are to help, what they should give, or where the help ought to be directed – the willingness to donate, volunteer and help diminishes. When third parties start criticizing how others should help victims, attitudes change. When reporters show up at shelters and stick microphones in the face of traumatized victims asking them how they feel, motivation changes. When stories about how the Red Cross should not have put volunteers in a nicer hotel, charity lessens. When social media blasts churches for not opening their doors – charity takes a back seat.

Volunteers and donors don’t need be told how to give of their time, possessions and money by bystanders. We saw immediate rescue and relief made possible by volunteers who simply pitched-in to face each situation as they saw necessary. They did not need to be told how to do it, where to go or what to do. Left alone, they simply got the job done.

Nitpickers who want to criticize churches, companies, organizations or individuals about how they responded need to shut-up and pitch-in. If someone doesn’t like it that a church did not open its doors soon enough – don’t worship there. If they think a charity’s distribution ratio is inappropriate – don’t give them money. If they doubt funds won’t go directly to someone in need – find someone in need and hand them some cash, give them some clothes that will fit, offer them a guest room, or show up to help clean up the debris.

We were once a nation where charity was private and it worked. We had communities where people met their neighbors’ needs. Where help came more willingly from those who did not want or need to be told how, where or what to give.

We saw that in the flood waters, shelters and devastated neighborhoods of Southeast Texas. You could argue that’s just what makes Texas a great place to live, but I think not. It’s truly the heart of what it means to be the USA.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts
22 Feb 2019

3rd Party Hosted SCADA – We Have a Better Solution

With no SCADA Hosting Dependency, HMI is now located and hosted in the cabinet where there is still HMI experience and operation with no need for third parties to provide service once installed.

Latest Posts
11 Jul 2018

Another Workforce Challenge

As a company we follow the law of the land and our policies carefully abide the rules set by our customers. We work hard to insure safety in the workplace. We test to guard against the influence of substances that impede performance and jeopardize safety – whether alcohol, over the counter depressants, prescribed medications or[…..]

Latest Posts
15 Jun 2018

Not Enough People.

Our nation faces a monumental demographic problem – not enough people. Our birthrate, long below growth rate, is approaching non sustainability. Europe is already in the tank. The US is not far behind. Estimates proclaim nearly 20 million undocumented residents – who we’ve steadily marginalized as being illegals. The pathways to citizenship are ridiculously long, cumbersome[…..]

Latest Posts
04 Jan 2018

Automation and Control Systems Expert Refers Globalogix

Dan Turner, an expert in automation and control systems for 30+ years, sat down with Globalogix President, Chuck Drobny, to talk about the benefits of working with Globalogix: “[Globalogix is] a company that would sit down, you knew the technology, you were competent, you completed the project efficiently and the customers were happy when we[…..]

Latest Posts
12 Dec 2017

BLOCKCHAIN: Taking Business by Storm

In our webinar on Blockchain and its impact on business, oil & gas and SCADA, you’ll be given insight into the topic from our CEO, Chuck Drobny. He recently presented on Blockchain at the SCADA Technology Summit in Denver, and is sharing His presentation on Blockchain and how it’s changing the future of business. This[…..]