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Monetary gift to someone who needs it...anonymous or not?


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I have a friend who has been hit hard financially this year. I know she is living by putting $300-1000 each month on a credit card. Her husband is gainfully employed and they are reasonable with expenses, they just got hailed on with medical bills and auto expenses in 2010. This family has always been a blessing to us and we have lived next to each other for 9 years. I want to give her a couple hundred dollars to take the edge off next month.

 

At first I was going to go grocery shopping and stock her pantry, but then I remembered that we shop VERY different from one another. My basics are definitely not hers and wouldn't be the most effective way to help her.

 

Then dh suggested paying their electric bill/ garbage bill.....we have done this for them in the past without saying anything. The only problem with doing this, is she won't know that she has the extra money, and last time we did it, she just figured that she forgot that she already paid it. I don't want to add stress by making her question her own memory of paying a bill. LOL

 

In one way, I want to make it anonymous, but then I don't know if many people really understand their financial issues and that may seem kinda creepy if $$ just showed up. Honestly, with all the weirdness in the world, I would be leery of receiving an anonymous card with money. :001_huh:

 

I can have a pastor at her church give it to her, but again....I don't know that anyone at her church knows about her finances. And that puts him in charge of taking care of getting it to her and goodness knows that pastors are busy people. Especially at the holidays.

 

I don't mind just giving it to her but I don't want it to be awkward for her either. I can give her a grocery store gift card or just cash if I can't get the gift card. The other nice thing about giving it to her personally is that she knows where it comes from, and that it was given in love and respect. I can also use it to say thanks for all that she has done for us. She has accepted smaller 'thank-yous' graciously before, just nothing this big.

 

 

What would you do?

 

New suggestions welcomed.

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Definitely anonymous. The last thing a person with financial troubles needs is a further loss of pride and feelings of obligation. If they don't know where it came from, they can discharge their feelings of obligation some time down the track by helping someone else who needs it.

 

Get one of the kids to take it to her door saying "Uh, this is addressed to you and someone left it in our letterbox." You can always be the one who put it in your letterbox ;) When she mentions it, you can comment that you thought it weird that someone would take the time to drop it off and not even get the right house. It sounds dumb enough that she will probably shrug and forget about it.

 

:)

Rosie

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Hmm....It depends on how close you are. It sounds like you are very close, enough to be truly honest with one another. In that case, I think I'd write a heartfelt note about the many ways she has blessed you and that you'd like to bless her in return in a way that would be helpful to her family. That gives you the chance to say what you've said here: That you've got the utmost love and respect for her and that this is a gift from your heart.

 

Cat

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Money orders are hard to cash if there is no name of the sender.

Gift cards seem a great idea. I really think anonymous is the best way to do things like this.

Is there anyway you can put money somewhere for her to find with a typed note for her to use as she needs?

You are a great friend to her.

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I loved the anon idea until it bit me. I have a friend in CA who for years has been in dire financial need but I was one of only a few that knew about it. I couldn't figure out the best way to give money to her and actually have her accept it w/o it being anon. I ended up sending it to a friend in Las Vegas who then mailed it from her dh's work address. She told me about the gifts (did this a few times) during subsequent conversations and asked me, point blank, if I did it. I lied and told her "no" several times but finally after two years, she brought it up again and I finally caved. I hated having to lie but I really thought that having mailed it from a different state would've completely thrown her off.

 

If there's any chance you think she'll ask if it was you and you don't want to have to lie, I'd just offer it to her and pray she takes it with all the love you intend.

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You are such a sweetheart to do this!

 

It would probably be best to be honest. Really, this is not the time for anybody to be proud. Lots and lots of people are hurting, and any one of us could be next. And you don't expect anything from her, right? You just want to be kind. So I would just take her the cash on Christmas Eve morning, or whenever works out for you, and just give it to her, telling her that you know she would do that same for you if your situations were reversed. And who knows, someday they might be!

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I think anonymous would be best. Put a gift card (or a few) in a christmas card and mail it to her. The post mark will be local so she won't know who it came from (unless you are the only local person who knows her well enough to know of her troubles). If she will recognize your handwriting have someone at the post office address the card.

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Give it to her pastor and have him give it to her. Tell the pastor you have a financial gift to give her, without going into detail, and you would like it to be anonymous.

Believe me, he will be happy to send it to her or give it to her when he sees her. Pastors actually like delivering happy news. He is obligated to keep it anonymous, too, and unless he's a creep, it won't get out.

 

Unless--unless you feel it would distress her. Then just do it yourself, but I'd send it in a card so there's no awkwardness right at the moment of giving. I would not lie, or be deceitful in any way.

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One year when I was a teenager and we were in very dire straits financially (my mother was a single mother and in divinity school getting her degree and working on the side to try to make ends meet), a large anonymous monetary gift was delivered to my mother two days before Christmas. I'm tearing up now just thinking about it. My mother went out and bought a tree (we had not gotten one yet) and a couple presents for us (she hadn't gotten any before that) and then paid some bills. Anyway... definitely anonymous. It was one of the most beautiful and amazing things. My mother says that one of the best things about it was that because it was anonymous, she felt this amazing goodwill toward EVERYONE in her life.

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I vote that you get a grocery gift card and hand deliver it in a Christmas card along with a plate of cookies. I wouldn't mark how much is on the gift card. Receiving a gift card would not seem weird from a neighbor if they assumed there was something like $20 on it. When she uses it the first time she will see how generous a gift it was.

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Definitely anonymous. Someone did this to us long, long ago when we were in military land... A card showed up with $200 cash in it.

 

Since then we've been able to do it for someone else. I suspect I know exactly who sent the card to us but was grateful but glad I didn't have to feel "beholden" to that person, kwim?

 

And when we sent it, we REALLY didn't want them to know it was us. We sent the money order to someone out of state who sent it on. :D We deeply enjoyed it and enjoyed it more because it was anonymous... Never anything over anyone's head, kwim?

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Last year we received a card anonymously and one from a friend. Either way is an extreme blessing. If it were me, I'd try and do it anonymously, but either way will bless her.

 

ETA: The card from our friend came in the mail, which I think is best, because then it is not awkward when the recipient opens it.

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I have a friend who has been hit hard financially this year. I know she is living by putting $300-1000 each month on a credit card. Her husband is gainfully employed and they are reasonable with expenses, they just got hailed on with medical bills and auto expenses in 2010. This family has always been a blessing to us and we have lived next to each other for 9 years. I want to give her a couple hundred dollars to take the edge off next month.

 

At first I was going to go grocery shopping and stock her pantry, but then I remembered that we shop VERY different from one another. My basics are definitely not hers and wouldn't be the most effective way to help her.

 

Then dh suggested paying their electric bill/ garbage bill.....we have done this for them in the past without saying anything. The only problem with doing this, is she won't know that she has the extra money, and last time we did it, she just figured that she forgot that she already paid it. I don't want to add stress by making her question her own memory of paying a bill. LOL

 

In one way, I want to make it anonymous, but then I don't know if many people really understand their financial issues and that may seem kinda creepy if $$ just showed up. Honestly, with all the weirdness in the world, I would be leery of receiving an anonymous card with money. :001_huh:

 

I can have a pastor at her church give it to her, but again....I don't know that anyone at her church knows about her finances. And that puts him in charge of taking care of getting it to her and goodness knows that pastors are busy people. Especially at the holidays.

 

I don't mind just giving it to her but I don't want it to be awkward for her either. I can give her a grocery store gift card or just cash if I can't get the gift card. The other nice thing about giving it to her personally is that she knows where it comes from, and that it was given in love and respect. I can also use it to say thanks for all that she has done for us. She has accepted smaller 'thank-yous' graciously before, just nothing this big.

 

 

What would you do?

 

New suggestions welcomed.

 

 

I'd buy a stack of gift cards for her preferred grocery store and the next time I'm over her house I'd just leave them on the counter in an envelope with a Christmas card from my family. That way she knows where they came from, but can have the space to accept such a large gift in her own way and compose herself to thank you later.

 

I have done this several times....but the original idea came when a dear friend did it just this way for me. And I'm so glad she did. OPening that envelope and seeing enough for our entire month's budget of food was overwhelming. Some people can handle such emotion and some, like me, are a bit embarassed by it. I sat down and cried in private for the blessing but also for the wonderful friend who knew I'd need the space. Of course I got weepy eyed in my thanks as well, but at least I was able to do it within my comfort level.

 

What a wonderful friend you are whatever way you decide to do it. I can tell you that this kind of help takes so much pressure off...even if only for that month. It was such a blessing, then and even now as I think about it. I think I'm going to go call that friend right now!:grouphug:

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How about this? You 2 are good friends. She already knows that you know, but you are uncertain whether people in her churuch know.

 

Pay her electric bill, or any utility bill. Speak with the billing dept of that utility in advance and explain the situation of a donation so that they may mark it in their records. Tell them and actually do this...write or type a little note saying: "Please accept this little donation towards your next water, electric, etc bill". Sign it from a friend IF you think it's best done privately. I would bet she would ask if it's you anyway....since you're the "only" one geographically close to them that knows. Then the question arises, why not just put your name down from the get go.

 

I woman in my Bible Study last year indicated that her dh was w/o a job...at that point 1+ years. I've lost touch so that may be 2+ years now, I don't know. But, last year my dh said let's buy them a turkey for Thanksgiving. Now that's far less than your donation, I understand that. I met her a week before and handed her the turkey explaining in advance we were going to do this.

 

I did not want her to feel awkward so I made small talk, and it's true, that her situation could be ANY family and she needn't feel awkward about it. She carried herself well. SHe was deeply touched and grateful. I made as little conversation as possible to not draw the situation out. SHe later gave us a thank you note.

 

Do however you feel led....that's usually the best answer. S <><

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