My sister alerted me to a facebook group page known as "blessing for those in need".
She told me many people posted things that are still useable, and anyone can ask to collect these items for free. Some kind souls also offer to transport the goods at cost price.
I was invited by my sister to join the group. Recently, as we are doing some spring cleaning, I decided to try posting some items, such as jucier, vaccum flask etc. When happened over the next 2 days triggered a lot of thoughts, and I hope to organize them by writing a post.
When I first posted the items, I am quite surprised that within 1 hour of approval by Admin, someone did want to collect the items. I thought to myself "Great, things will not go to waste, and someone get help" The lady ask for my contact and arranged for Courier to pick my stuff. My thoughts that surfaced (I am cynical person) "Why is a person who is so efficient and resourceful in getting a courier (I didn't know Q express provide such CtoC service) asking for free item? Is she trying to resell the items? Isn't there a cost involved if courier service is purchased?" Nonetheless, I felt that even if she do resell the items, it is to her resourcefulness, and I still fulfilled my goal of reducing wastage. (Doesn't matter that when you first joined the group, one of the rules is no reselling of the items).
When I was posting another batch of items to be collected, I look through what are the items that are available for collection. I am quite surprised to find TV, furniture given away. On the other end of the spectrum, there are very cheap items such as a stuff toy and clothes hangers to be given out too.
I was looking at one post, where a lady is trying to help a friend give away old furniture. Another person claimed to be interested, but unable to pay for transport. I then offer to sponsor the transport and ask the owner if she could arrange. The lady insisted that I settled the transportation on my own, and hence I went about coordinating between the two. It is through this coordinating that I learnt about gogoX and LalaMove, and how transport cost has dropped.
I did not have a good experience, as I realized the person asking for furniture also start to ask for food, and mentioned several times her plight. I did some fact finding, and found out that she is real, and is helped by GiveAsia before. The sum raised is small.
When I left a comment on the post, saying that I am willing to pick up the tab for the person on the transport, to get her the coffee table that she wanted, another commenter who is queuing for the same item earlier, bring forward the possible date of collection. I felt quite uncomfortable about "fighting over" item.
I told the person wanting the furniture that I can cancel the request for the furniture and use the transportation costs to buy groceries for her, if that is "really what she needed" (her own words) She then told me she really wanted the furniture instead, and she could ask her cousin for food instead.
I am not sure about the whole experience.
How much help is enough, and how to make sure the help goes to the deserving.
For someone in need of long term help, constantly trying to get help. is it still dignified. I am not passing any judgement here. Just penning my many thoughts that are swirling around my head.
Deep inside me, the feelings of satisfaction and joy whenever I help someone in the past, is missing this time round. Of course, I am mindful my "help" is of little or no significance.
Just feeling weird that I might have pass the age, where I feel happy, doing a others a small favor. Maybe it is because I realized I might not really make a difference.