Posted by: The Saffa Mom | April 14, 2012

Day 9 of the Honesty Blogging Challenge (the tin cups at the cashiers?)

Day 09 — When the cashier gives me this amount of money for change I know it’s too much money to dump in the charity bucket…

I can honestly say that I have not seen one of those in a little while. When I do, I only ever put change into them. Not the change that can buy bread, but merely the cents that add up to the change that will buy bread.

Don’t get me wrong…. I am a giver. Just not into the tins. I don’t feel an urge from the Holy Spirit at that point. Perhaps I am so busy fussing over everything, that I ignore it at that point?

Most robots (traffic lights) around us have beggars, which I tend to give to. If I see the same beggar at the same robot day in and day out, I may not continue. Something very frowned upon is giving to people that sit at the robots with small children. Documentaries were done in South Africa based on the fact that many of these women were borrowing these children for the day. I don’t care if that is the case or isn’t- I still give.

I try to give with an open heart, and once it leaves my hands I can only hope that people do what they should do with that money. It is not my concern whether they will use the money to buy glue, drink, or smoke. If I really think about how a person gets through a day like that- I can understand why they perhaps do smoke or drink. I am not here to judge that.

I sponsor a student that is doing an IT course in Bloemfontein, in which I need to give him transport money, some food money and pay his course fees. At this point they cost more than my Princesses school fees. At this point in time, we can afford to do that. At this point in time I am praying that he will have the foundation he needs in order to find a job once graduated.

I also give to a Cheetah sanctuary every month. Right now, we can. So I do. It is not enough to keep them going- but it is something. It will contribute towards conserving these beautiful creatures that I so worry will not be here for very long. I want my grandchildren in time to experience animals the way in which we have. In Africa we are so blessed.

I am not all good. Lol. There are often times where it is too late and I am stuck wandering if I should have. I don’t give my church as much as I should, because I am “feeding” elsewhere. I often wander if God is happy with that.

Over the last half year of 2011, a person came to my office, he was in dire need and I gave some money to him. He lived in the bushes in a suburb not far from me. A large expanse of mountainous land between the houses.  He explained what had happened, and how he came to be there. (I ask questions.)

He came back a few days later, and once again I helped.

I then made sure I could guide him in the right direction the next time he came, as I had a feeling he would. I managed to put a pile of things together….. a bucket and soap, a number of tinned foods, and some clothes and blankets. I also did some research into shelters. I found out that it was next to impossible to actually get into one. The next best thing was to guide him to the Salvation Army which would not turn him away. I was stern and told him that I did not want to see him until he had set himself up there.

He came to me a few weeks later and expressed his thanks. I felt good for him. He then managed to find a job, but because he would only be paid at the end of the month, I had to help him with transport money until then, which I did. He absconded at work after a little while, while being incredibly sick. I gave him the paracetemol in my bag and some money to get to a clinic. It continued however, and I just got angry. Eventually I gave him some more money and told him I did not want to see him again. I felt terrible, but I just could no longer keep on giving.

He did manage to find a job handing out pamphlets- at the traffic light outside my office. Not being paid until the week was done, I gave him the food I had brought for lunch and some money everyday.

I haven’t seen him for a few weeks, and I do hope that he is okay.

I don’t know if I had the right attitude or not. I just feel that there is so much more that I need to be doing than concentrating on one individual.

A big part of me is hoping that God will guide me into a position that I can give all my time. I am not worrying too much about the little tins on the side of the cashiers pay points.



  1. You touch on a few interesting tid-bits.

    Beggars at robots… I hate giving money there – not that I don’t have constant arguments with God and myself about it. My feeling is that we live in a crime invested environment. There is too much going on at robots for me to be digging in my bag and then in my wallet. You have a window down, car keys exposed, watching the light to turn green (for the traffic behind you), never knowing exactly what cash I have (because I usually transact electronically), and I don’t keep change in a holder/ashtray. While you dig in your bag/wallet, you have other vendors moving about, hijackers looking for vulnerable victims, smash and grabbers – maybe someone isn’t even really begging… I just feel too vulnerable and I don’t give with a good attitude. I don’t want to be throwing money at them in anger/frustration. I rather give in a more controlled environment; when I feel safer about my personal belongings, I am not rushed by anyone and I don’t feel trapped in a situation of who knows what. I always feel guilty; at times I hate stopping at robots, period.

    I had an interesting experience where there was a cripple/deformed teenage boy begging at a robot – for about a year I saw him every day hobbling between the cars. One night I worked late and it was quiet. I saw two teenage boys playing, running and laughing and they almost ran in front of my car. Then the boy – still laughing – looked in my direction and our eyes met for one moment. I realized – as did the expression on his face tell me so did he – that he was a completely normal, healthy boy – pretending to be cripple. I didn’t see him at that robot ever again. It was as if he realized that he had been caught out. I had three thoughts: what if you were pretending but something happened and it came true for you? How awful that would be?!! You act so well, is there no way you could do more with that and earn money honestly? Does your conscious not bother you for lying like that – manipulating people’s emotions?

    Then I knew a beggar once who had burned in a fire and his jaw was deformed. I spoke with him about his story, raised the money among my co-workers to pay for the operation he could have – we’d pay the hospital, of course – so he could eat properly and do something more with his life. On the morning that we were supposed to go to the hospital he never showed. I felt so sad. Didn’t see him for two months after that, then I ran into him again on my lunch break – begging again like he used to – using the story of raising money for this operation. It was so sad for me to realize that some people will never be more than beggars – sometimes because that’s all they want to be. It is – and always will be (I think) – part of life.

    As a child of God though, I also see it as us being the answer to a broken world and we having opportunities to make a difference and show God’s love. Jesus also ministered to people who didn’t want to be helped, but He reached out and presented them with choice and they had to make it – even if their choice was not what He wanted for them – the best – and He just looked at them with sadness and compassion. He also knows what it feels like, but He still says ‘it is more blessed to give’… I agree with you: I think that it is our responsibility to give when Holy Spirit tells us, but what happens after that is not our responsibility/problem, and should not be used as an excuse for disobeying Holy Spirit.

    We can never out give the Lord, and giving to the poor is borrowing to Him.

    Interesting point on the shelters… We don’t know what it is really like, huh? We can so easily point them in that direction but to us (who have never needed to call on a shelter) it can also be a convenient pacifier – there are shelters, so why should I worry/contribute? – but perhaps in reality that person will tell you – and perhaps they have tried and found what you found… “if you only knew, lady/sir”…

    Walking in some other people’s shoes has been quite a theme in my life over the past two years… many of my point of views have changed and so have the questions that I’ve been asking God, myself and out loud. We just never know it all, do we?

  2. If it is a handful of change it is too much. I might pick some out and drop it in. Charity jars aren’t that popular in my area it seems. Unless it is for certain causes.

    Being unemployed and cash strapped these last 3 years has put me on the receiving end of this a lot. It is humbling and also a blessing. I have put change in tip jars or put pennies in the take a penny/leave a penny trays. Because some times I have needed a penny. I try to balance it out.

    I still give of my time and skills for others. I could charge everybody equally for what I do. But some cannot afford it and I lessen their cost. Upfront I just tell them don’t worry about the cost I will take care of it and you. I have some work like that coming up next week.

    I have a friend that calls a lot for rides here and there, I take them when ever I have the time and am available. They just got their second part time job, so hopefully things will start looking up for them.

    We also give to our church out of what we make.

    I figure like the good book says…do good to others. Treat them as you would want to be treated. It seems what goes around comes around!

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