It feels good to lend a helping hand to someone. Sometimes that is all they need to stand on their own again. Getting just a little behind when you are barely making it can be all it takes to knock you down. Even just needing a part for your car that you can't afford can be devastating because you need your car to get to work. It can be a stressful situation that you couldn't avoid. If you could would you give them a helping hand and buy the part they need? The only thing is do they really need a helping hand or are they playing on your emotions to get a free hand out? If you don't know them well enough to know then it's hard to reach out and help them. I have met several people who always say they desperately need help yet they really just want to emotionally play with your kind-heartedness to get anything for free. We were about to give someone an old car we had after hearing them repeatedly say how desperately they needed one. Then we found out that someone else had already given them a car. How on Earth could they say they needed a car then? When we confronted them about knowing they already had one, they just chuckled. They showed no guilt. They felt no shame, they just chuckled. Needless to say we didn't give them the car. Unfortunately it has affected us in a negative way. Our kind-heartedness has grown a little colder. We learned we can't just act on our emotions because we realized we can be fooled. You know the saying fool me once shame on them, getting fooled twice shame on you, it just makes us the fools. You have to know if someone just needs a helping hand or are just looking for hand-outs. Those that don't ask for your help yet you see they are struggling, those are the only ones that you should give a helping hand to. Because unfortunately some people get whatever they can simply because they get away with it. I have seen news stories about pan handlers that admit they make more tax free money begging then they made working. I have seen them walk from the street corner where they stood with their sign, over to the parking lot across the street and get into a nice car and drive away. After that I only give to the firemen who collect twice a year at our intersection of town and the Bell ringers in front of the stores at Christmas time. And of course the monthly gift we give to St. Jude's for decades now that we know use every penny they get on treatments and research in hopes of finding a cute for cancer. So before you reach out a helping hand make sure your help is needed. Because giving someone a handout just makes them continue taking advantage of people's kind-heartedness. Be kind but don't be foolish.