Thursday, September 11, 2008

The difference in pit bulls

Since the current election cycle seems to focus on pigs, lipstick and other critters, these stories about two of the pit bulls in my life.

Yesterday, the Mystery Woman was talking with the guy down in Texas who voluntarily helps her with her modest retirement accounts. At work, he’s the lone Democrat in an office of 32 Republican financial advisers.

When Bush was first elected president, our friend challenged two co-workers: “OK. Republicans control the White House and the Congress. Let’s see what you can do.”

Eight years and two Bush terms later, he asked: “What happened?”

His co-workers grinned: “Are you making more money than you were?” His reaction? "The man on the street might be hurting because I am making more money." Fallout, you see.

True story. For these Republicans financial gurus, making money is more important than anything else. How calloused.

The next story comes from my sister, who volunteers at a food bank in a small Central Texas town.

Yesterday, three women came to the food bank on their lunch break - they work full time and can't feed their families. Read that again, please. They work full time and still cannot afford to feed their families.

The facility has lots of bread but no tuna or peanut butter - almost no protein. A church brought 28 lbs of red beans and there were only 6 bags left at the end of the day.

One grandmother said, "I have exactly $42.15 to last the rest of the month and I haven't paid my car insurance."

Burnet County, Texas, has about 4,700 residents. The Food bank serves around 900 individuals and 300 families. That’s up 20% over last year. By June of this year, they had served more people than last year.

You get the point.


lillah said...

We are feeling it here too. I really feel for those who are fixed incomes too. Our situation isn't to bad as of yet, lol. Our car that got decent gas mileage died and we had to get a new car, the only thing in our price range???? a big truck.

sharon said...

Food Banks depend on donations. In this average American town there are eight churches who consistently on a regular basis support the food bank. I just counted 20 churches with a local address and dozens more within 11-15 miles. Some of the churches hopefully have their own giving centers but I don’t know of any.

The need for food is spiraling upward and the donations are going the opposite direction. The impending hurricane evacuation could empty the near bare shelves of any of the Central Texas food banks. And where is all that faith based giving so important to residents of this red state? Out worrying about nonsense, total nonsense and buying new eyeglasses.

Anonymous said...

I used to collect food from various supermarkets.Big ones! I gathered food every day from three different chain stores and often had to go back twice to the same store on the same day. It's not so much a problaem geting food as it is to find ministries that will hand out more than sufficient amounts of food to those in need. They tend to give only what they deem needed for a couple of days. then they would throw away what the didn't give out.They used the excuse that they might get sued if someone was made ill or died as a result of the food.Number 1'I never picked up food that was remotely bad.number 2 Federal and State laws have been in place for some time that a donation of food by a registered organization cannot be held legally responsible for anything that they give out that causes a problem.
Now for the financial problems caused by the economy. While it is true that some of the problems happened under Bush's administration.Unfortunately most of the problems are the cause of no action by the congress to address the problem. And if I am correct, those responsible are the members of congress,(Don't have a cow when you discover that That the Dems have had control the last few years).The other problems are the result of unwise decisions made by the consumer. As a result,we who used at least a small part of our brain in our financial dealings, have to bail the stupid ones out.------Goose

Sharon said...

lI haven't made the problem clear -there are more people needing the service than the HEB can provide stale, out-of-date food for. I don't know when you last served the hungry but I will bet it hasn't been in the last 2-3 years. No matter how much food or money is donated, more is needed. Fuel and grocery costs and increased local taxes; illness, a single prescription can sometimes take all available cash a family has and I don't mean a welfare family. Hard working, dual employed families without health insurance are struggling horribly. The list goes on. Do they buy fuel or school clothes? Do they drive to work or get the child's immunization? I thought born again people were told by scripture to help the poor and needy regardless of how perfect the born again person's choices have been? How does that fit in with no health care for the needy? I really don't care who gets blamed, Congress or Bush or me or you - hungry people in America? Can you say that out loud and not cringe? This is the greatest nation and I love it dearly but these nice people don't have food and the medicine they need. A diabetic who forgoes insulin to buy food or a wonderful lady with Parkinson’s that weeps when she picks up her groceries; they are Americans too. Like George said, you get the point?

By the way, we even give venison away, vegetables from a local farm, fruit off trees in the neighborhood - not too much waste, we freeze the residual and out of over 300 food banks we were ranked NUMBER 3.

Anonymous said...

Sharon If the H.E.B. store is giving you only out of date or stale goods, you need to contact the H.E.B. home office. Howard Butt is dedicated to his Christian values and would not tolerate the type of product you describe being given to anyone.
I owned a food brokerage firm in west Texas for a number of years and know that there are many ways for ministries such as yours can acquire good food for those that need it.
I have looked in those eyes that are coming for help and my heart breaks,knowing that many of them would almost give anything to get out of their situation.
My prayers are with you and the ministry. I commend you for your valiant efforts.------Goose

Anonymous said...

In our community southwest of Houston, the local churches banded together a few years ago and created Helping Hands. All those who come to different churches looking for assistance are sent here and they receive food, clothing, household goods, vouchers for medicine and money to help with utilities or other needed items. I've interviewed the director and helpers there numerous times. Except for the director (who makes minimum wage and works long, long hours), all those who staff the place are volunteers, mostly retirees. Some volunteers are like your poster -- they go around to the local stores and collect day-old bread, etc. and bring it back. School kids volunteer their after-school time to sort clothes and shoes and stock the shelves. Organizations know if they have extra barbecue or bake sale goods, a volunteer from Helping Hands will be there that afternoon to pick it up. No one leaves our food bank without what they need and then something extra -- a cake, extra cans of food, toys for the kids, etc. I've been there and seen these wonderful people in action. Last week, we heard they were running really low on supplies. The teens at my school took up the banner and were holding a food drive when the hurricane came through Houston. They were quite moved by people being hungry, and jumped into action. No Democrat or Republican labels here. Just good people doing the best they can. How the economy got here is debatable. What's real is that over 20 churches and hundreds of vols of all ages do their best to make sure people are fed and helped through the tough times. In Sugar Land, they have two similar food banks that serve the east side of the county. We are the west side. Last year, these vols raised enough money to build a new place, complete with refrigerator units, so people can have fresh food. Although I wish there was no need for something like this, I'm grateful we have Helping Hands, especially for those men and women who go there every day and take care of our community. -- Denise

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