When I was a kid charity was for chumps.
Despite the fact that my family, and most of our neighbors, got all types of government and public charity, we saw how carelessly and unevenly it was spread to the deserving and not so deserving. After church, where everyone put a buck or two in the basket, charity was sporadic and sometimes exploited.
Every Labor Day weekend the neighborhood kids went door to door collecting money for the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon. But MDA never saw a dime. They kids kept it saying they were Jerry’s Kids and needed it more.
The neighbors I grew up with in Brockton, Massachusetts were giving but not charitable. We looked out for each other. We helped each other. Even if we didn’t like each other.
Old lady Burgess across the street rarely spoke to my mother. She might have had good reason. My father sometimes slept off a hard night on our picnic table in full view of her window.… Keep reading