It occurs to me that the people who have the least to give, do so generously. I have seen this time and time again. Though I have no scientific data to back up my belief that those who have little are more charitable, I must examine this phenomenon.

            Does charity begin at home? In a sense it does, because if you cannot support your own family, you have no business handing out your dollars to others while your family goes without the necessities. It is an old saying and it is perhaps the best way to measure whether or not you are able to give to a charity financially. I have not always had money to do this, so over the years, I have donated goods I have made for auctions, and I have donated my time. I am a firm believer in looking outside your own problems and realizing that sometimes others need help too. What do I expect in return? I guess that would be my next topic.

            I have been involved with many organizations throughout the years, volunteering many hours and trying to make a difference somewhere. They were all organizations I believed in or I would not have spent my time. I was with the Boy Scouts for 6 years, volunteering my time with kids in our neighborhood. They were worth the time and it was well spent. I moved on as my kids grew, making room for others to be involved. I have been involved with non profits and spent more time than I maybe should have, however, it was what I needed to do at the time. I have been involved with other groups and if I felt my time was not making any difference, I left the group. After all, if you do not think you are making a difference, then move on to something else. Your time is valuable.  

            Whenever a tragedy hits close to home, people rally together and the money pours in faster than anyone could count. Is this because we feel like we HAVE to do something? Does it make us feel good to do something? Our communities are full of people in need, yet we never see them. They are there, just under the radar. Maybe we need to take notice of our neighbors, and really see them and listen to them.

            It seems that those who are in a higher class in society like movie stars, politicians, athletes, scholars, and CEO’s sometimes are far removed from those who are in the lowest class financially. I am beginning to think the common denominator may be that those who are most giving are closer financially to those who have less. Maybe charity brings out the humanity in all of us.

            The topic of charity arose when some of us on Face book sent packages and helped raise money for kids in another country who also are part of our Muscular Dystrophy “family” worldwide. They share many pictures and it is more like pen-pals in a sense. One can tell that they live in a poor country and the infrastructure is so that the electric grid only lasts 12 hours approximately. This allows one person we are friends with to access Face book and be connected to a family worldwide who is willing to reach out and help if possible. Mind you, this is no professional fundraising organization, but a person with a big heart trying to make a difference to the people he helps in his country. Maybe I am naïve, but I will always believe in the goodness of people. By the looks of the makeshift wheelchairs many of the boys have, and many are ill fitted to their bodies. Americans have motorized wheelchairs. I have not seen anything that extravagant in this country with the pictures that have been shared. I see young boys who do not have the same level of healthcare that we have, and with an electric grid only working 12 hours, they will never have the use of ventilation, or machinery such as cough assists which could save and prolong lives. Their wheelchairs lack headrests, even for boys who can no longer support their trunks and their necks. Most boys appear happy in the pictures, but their quality of life is very different. The gentleman who helps to run the clinic, with a physical therapist and have a place where boys can go during the day, is also one who has muscular dystrophy.  

            I guess I am glad I am not overly skeptical; because I would never open my heart and try to help anyone if that were the case. I have spent my own money to put together a package or two and may send another one. I mailed one package which cost 50 dollars, more than the contents were worth, but I do it because maybe I can make a little difference. I don’t expect any returns, any praise or tax deductions. But the world is changed one person at a time. Treat people the way you wish to be treated. One of the pictures shared, spoke volumes to me. It was a photo of a mother standing and she was holding her adult son on her back. He did not have a wheelchair, so she carried him everywhere. That photograph told the whole story. That photograph is the reason I have tried to help a little.

            So I guess I am just wondering what makes you reach out and give of yourself? I think those who are skeptical may be less willing to help someone. I don’t think most who are in need would ever ask for help. I think it is our moral obligation to do what we can if we see an opportunity. I believe they call it humanity.  

Reprint permission with author’s permission @


  1. Dear Susan, the Duchenne community and Bryant to the rescue send you our condolences for the great loss of you son’s (both)… but recently the loss of Michael.
    I would love to Have a chance to talk to you some time whenever you feel like it. Knowing that you might be very busy, we can chat on my son’s page or my personal facebook page.
    Sending you our deepest sympathy and prayers to you and to your family.


    Alba Reilly

    1. Thank you Alba. I will try to find you on FB.I recently took a job as a CNA and will try to reach out. Suzan

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