Fund Raiser

Posted: August 9, 2007 in Children, Compassion, Homelessness, Money

San Luis Obispo doesn’t have a shopping mall per se. What it has instead are a number of shopping centers spaced around town – and of course there is the downtown shopping district where you will pay for the quaintness of the appearance.

That being said, yesterday afternoon I went to one the Von’s in the Marigold Shopping Center to buy a bottle of flavored water and outside one of the entrances to the supermarket were two young woman (or older girls – depending on how you view things) from one of the local area churches who were selling cookie dough as part of a fund raiser to send children to summer camp.  

Being the type of person who likes the idea of doing something that helps children, I started asking them a few questions about their fund raiser. As it turns out, Carina and Ashley were part of an effort to send 120 children to a summer camp located in California’s Sequoia National Forest. The price is $285 per child – a total of $34,200.

I’ve been to the Sequoia’s and can tell you from experience that the giant sequoias are one of the most amazing sights I’ve ever seen. Certain parts of the National Forest are absolutely spectacular and majestic beyond description.

Although I couldn’t afford to place an order to buy any of the cookie dough ($12 per order) I did give them a couple of bucks as a donation – after all that cause for trying to raise the money was to do something nice for a group of children.

After a while though, I began thinking how nice it would be if there were an organization or agency that did the same thing for homeless people – and I don’t mean sponsor summer camp for a homeless person, but rather fund raisers that would ultimately take the monies raised, by-passing the homeless services organizations and directly helping a homeless person become re-integrated back into the community a productive citizen.

It seems to me that direct intervention is the key to helping a homeless person who truly wants to be helped. This precludes just throwing every homeless person into the same hodgepodge as every other homeless person. This way, a persons individual needs could be assessed, and whatever is preventing that person from being able to raise their standard living could be overcome.

Sure, it would take hard work and dedication to make such a program work, but then anything worth accomplishing usually does.

Of course, I’m sure someone out there will bemoan the fact that there are some homeless persons who will try to abuse the system. But then again, homeless people haven’t cornered the market on abusing the system. If you need proof of that just pick up a newspaper and notice how many politicians, business men and other assorted individuals are already doing that daily.

And before anyone says that a fund raising program to help individual homeless person can’t possible succeed, let me say this…

…People told Oliver and Wilbur Wright that they would never fly either.

All it really takes is the "want to" and a genuine desire to make a difference.

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