Every little bit helps…. sounds lame but it’s true.

“Every little bit helps.” I know you hear people saying that all the time when they want you to donate money or things, and it sounds suspicious. If you do only give $1 or $5, you think they’re thinking to themselves, “I didn’t actually mean that, you cheap bastard.”

Remember that “little bit” is relative. And so now I’m going to tell you a personal story that makes me look like a loser.

After college, I moved to Chicago (Hyde Park), where I waited tables at the Medici and worked as in intern at Today’s Chicago Woman magazine, which paid me in shoes and an occasional free dinner, but not in actual, real money. I remember having $4 to my name and having to make that last for the next couple of days until I could pick up another shift at the Medici and enjoy my shift meal (Oh, the spinach pizza with jalapenos!) before the work started. This happened a lot…. but I don’t remember being too upset about it. I had friends, and we helped each other out. Someone would always throw $5 my way to grab a half-sandwich from Harold’s. (Okay, now I’m making myself hungry.)

The point is…. $5 was a lot to me. It helped me get to that next shift and from there, I could take care of myself. Surely some of you hve similar memories. If you do, then consider making a donation to any local charity. Any of them, but maybe especially one that helps people with basic needs like food and shelter. A good one to consider is Caritas.

I just received an e-mail from them that went something like this….

Dear Friend,                                                  
 
It is an especially difficult time and the demands facing both Caritas of Austin and our community call us to respond. Increased poverty will impact us all, but especially the most vulnerable.

We are experiencing a 60% increase in requests from eligible low income families for rent and utility assistance, but do not have sufficient resources to serve them.
We are seeing a 13% increase in client households needing groceries from our Food Pantry to feed their families.
Our phone system is overloaded with individuals in crisis needing to book an appointment. And despite our best efforts, callers seeking assistance report being on hold anywhere from one to four hours.

This speaks to the level of desperation so many in our community are facing, and to the limited resources at Caritas.
 
With your contribution to Caritas of Austin, we can continue to provide emergency rent and utility assistance for families in crisis, take-home groceries from our food pantry and hot meals in our community kitchen. Your gift will advance the fight against poverty, hunger and homelessness.

You can send $5 or $35 or more or less to Caritas here.

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