As I was leaving the mall in King of Prussia today, I saw a sign from a gentleman that said he was a Veteran and needed help. That sight struck me deeply, because today is Veterans Day, a day where we honor the brave men and women who serve in our military.
The sight gave me pause not because there was a man claiming to be a veteran asking for help…that happens all the time, especially if you’re in a big city. No, it gave me pause because I walked right by.
I walked right by not because I didn’t want to help, but because of a larger cultural problem: we don’t trust each other. I’m firmly convinced that this loss of trust is the core issue for most of our problems today, in particular, our polarized political climate.
The person claiming to be a veteran may really have needed help…or maybe he’s just a scammer trying to take advantage of people given that today is Veterans Day…or both.
But, because I fundamentally don’t trust other people, I walked right by this guy. I wanted to help, but I want to be a good steward of what God has given me too.
When I got home, I hopped on Charity Navigator to look up well-rated Veterans organizations, and made a donation to Operation Homefront. I value Charity Navigator, because even though I’ve never worked with any of these groups, I trust Charity Navigator to show me the facts of how a non-profit works.
If you’ve seen that veteran and wanted to help, but were afraid of getting scammed or afraid that your help might actually hurt them (using money to buy drugs, alcohol, etc..), please join me in supporting in trustworthy Veteran charity groups like Operation Homefront. I trust that they will be able to make way better decisions on how to help Veterans than I can.