Asking for help, especially financial help, often comes with a great deal of shame. Asking for a hand with money can be embarrassing. In fact, we see many applicants at Modest Needs who wait until their situations are incredibly dire before coming to us for help. It is unfortunate, because asking for help is one of the best ways to help yourself. It takes bravery.
But this terrific post from Give Forward emphasizes the importance of ridding ourselves of the shame stigma when it comes to money. And asks that as friends and neighbors that we not be afraid to give when the going gets tough:
As a society, we are generous in celebratory moments like the birth of a baby, graduation, or a wedding. But we’re often afraid to give when times are bad. And it’s not because people don’t want to help. If anything over the last three years at GiveForward we have witnessed that people truly do want to help, and the act of giving can be a remarkably empowering experience. Rather, the reason people are hesitant to give money is because they are afraid of making the beneficiary feel like a charity case.
We feel strongly that this “charity case” stigma needs to end! And it needs to end today. According to a recent study by Duke University, the average cancer patient pays over $8500 a year in out of pocket expenses not covered by insurance. If 75% of Americans can’t come up with $2000 in an emergency, imagine how few can come up with $8,500. I’d wager that for 99.5% of Americans an expense of this nature would be devastating.
So the reality is that we’re all in the same boat. I’m a charity case. You’re a charity case. Everyone is a charity case — every single one of us, whether we are in the lower class, middle class or upper class.
Such a great message to remember and to share and spread around. Don't wait for others to ask for help when you can tell they need it. Save them the embarrassment. And contribute to a future world where there is no shame in asking for help one genuinely needs.
[Photo by Quazie]