Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Charitable Dilemma

Painting, 'Charity or The Indigent Family', 1865, provided by Fotosearch.

Journal Entry, 7-22-10: Weight = 171.2 lbs; Coinage = $2.17; Glass bottles = 10; Ground scores = 7 including a recyclable baby stroller.

Feature Entry: A Charitable Dilemma

Early on, the MoneyWalker felt a moral dilemma about what to do with the money that he found during his fitness walks. It seemed unsettling to find pleasure in another person’s loss. The feeling is silly but it was real and I resolved it by giving the found money to a local charity one that ministers to battered women and their children. Then as rescuing discarded objects became a part of the walking program, it was logical to sell them on E-bay or host a garage sale. The latter was opted for.

Daily walking presents numerous opportunities for good Samaritan behavior. Two examples include helping a person with need of a tire change, and finding then returning a lost cell phone. The recipients of the assistance always offer to help. Today was such a day. A cell phone was found, the battery was fresh, a number was called, and an owner located. He retrieved the phone with obvious appreciation and offered to assist me for my inconvenience (and for not making several long distance calls). I said, “You can pay it forward, or if you are inclined, I will accept a small donation to be given to my charity (the battered women).” He rolled off a $20 and a $5 and handed them. I said, "Just the five is ample.” But he insisted and we settled on the $20.

Now I feel like he was taken advantage of. It is a charitable dilemma!



  1. It sounds to me like there were lots of winners in this situation!

    I've never found a cell phone that wasn't smashed to pieces. However, many credit cards have been returned to banks, a couple of driver's licenses have been mailed back to owners and a wallet was turned over to the local law agency.

    I do have a large sack of gloves and hats that will be donated to our homeless shelter when the weather turns cold.

    Your generosity is admired!

    Note: I'm glad that you got the Harley decal and it now has a safe home!

  2. Hello Numi,
    The cell phone was my second successful return. The first one was an advertising editor for the Times Picayune, our daily newspaper. She gave me a free ad for a fund raising campaign for our local university. We are raising money to create an endowment for the UNO Chancellor's Lecture Series and named for our founding Chancellor Homer L. Hitt.

    Thanks again for the Harley logo. A couple of weeks ago on MSNBC Cable TV's Biography feature they did a bio on the originators and inventors of the Harley Davidson. I thought of you and your gift.