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Berdine's Corner

Giving Freely Even When You Don't Have Much to Give

by Kenney Dennard

berdine dennard
Berdine Dillard Dennard

Life Lessons from a Matriarch

A Homeless guy approached me in the parking lot of a grocery store recently and asked me for spare change. Without thought I patted my pockets and responded, "Sorry man, I'm broke." As I walked to my car I began to feel bad because I actually had money in my pockets. I told the guy I was broke just off reflexes.

There are so many panhandlers that approach me on a daily basis or that I pass on street corners or exits holding up signs asking for change that I automatically say no without thought. Every so often I think about it and actually give a dollar or two but more often I don't. I also often wonder how legit is the persons claim to be trying to get something to eat and not to go buy drugs or liquor.

With today's economy still in shambles for over 10 years now, it's quite easy, understandable and possibly truthful to say you don't have it when asked for money. Even people with good jobs are broke. A mortgage, rent, car note, child support and/or credit card debt can easily set you way back. Trying to support a family off of one salary is just as bad or worse.

Poor people have it worse than anyone; especially if they have bad credit. Banks and businesses make more money off of them with high interest rates and finance charges. Digging yourself out of such a hole can take 7 years to life.

So there you have it; broke and broker. Myself and the panhandler. Or maybe you and the panhandler.

I often think of my mother, Berdine Dennard when it comes to money matters and especially when it comes to giving. My mother believed strongly in paying tithes in church as well as an offering but she did not stop there. My mother gave to an adopt a child fund in Africa, she also saved money just so she would have it in emergency cases for herself as well as the family. She believed in giving from the heart if she felt there was a need for it.

In one of the last recorded videos my mother was on she said she believed she had been so blessed all of her life because she had always given so freely. She said as an adult she had never wanted for anything. She then stressed, "Never be so tight with your money. You let it come through one hand and send it out the other and God will bless you."

I'm far from rich and maybe two paychecks from broke. But I have been blessed thoroughly. I think about that lesson I got from my mom and sometimes think instead of always complaining that some homeless guy is going to meet me in the parking lot asking for money maybe I should just take some spare change and be ready for him.

Who knows what he or she will do with the money. I feel like if my 4-5 dollars will detour them from knocking someone in the head for some change its worth it. And who knows, it may actually be used to eat. There are many ways to give back from the little you make. I recently started giving 17 dollars a month to Childcare in Uganda as well. I first fought with myself over if the money is really being used for the kids in Africa. After researching it I satisfied my curiosities.

I'm attempting to give more of myself and more of the money I make. We can think of a million reasons to say no. Why not think of a couple to say yes.


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