Lynn Fahy and Debbie Clegg, who run the not-for-profit organisation Dovedale Pride, say they are overwhelmed with requests for help.
But they estimate that they will run out of food in the next few days.Lynn and Debbie started out with the best of intentions, and with one goal in mind (an admirable one):
Dovedale Pride was set up originally to help provide school uniform for cash-strapped families.
But the two friends soon recognised that there was also a basic need for food among everyone from young families to the elderley (sic).And, as always, once people start to do things for other people, they get lumbered with more and more requests. I’ve seen this myself, from running social clubs and inter-work projects; once you become known as ‘the problem solver’, there’s always a queue of people waiting to dump their problems onto you…
And so it’s turned out for Lynn & Debbie:
Now, families often turn to them for advice for anything from debt to housing rather than going to official agencies. And there is no particular profile that these individuals fit into; some are unemployed, others have been employed, used their credit cards, lost their jobs and then got into debt.
Lynn added: “We’re just exhausted from trying to find a way to help people. We never turn anyone away.”Well, love, that’s your problem right there in a nutshell, isn’t it?
Lynn said that they were both now struggling to deal with the emotional demands of providing food, clothing and advice for people. She said: “We’re running out of food and we don’t have any more storage space for clothing either.
“If someone comes to us asking for a specific item of school clothing we can’t find it because our sheds are so packed.
“I’m at breaking point; I could cry.
“We’ve got the school holidays coming up and we know we’re going to be inundated because those on free school meals won’t be getting them over that time.”Here’s a thought – instead of providing free help and food for these people with no obligation, why not expect them to do something in return for that? Whether it be helping you out with the storage problem, with requests to suppliers, with sorting and distributing food and other items, or deliveries, it really doesn’t matter.
The important this is not to encourage dependency.
Not to suggest that these people need someone to sort their problems out for them. Otherwise…well.
You’ve found out what happens, haven’t you?
H/T: @suey2y via Twitter