Saturday, November 5, 2011

Can I Haz A Handout?

My attempts at making Project Five-Star into a real company, able to ask for donations on its own for the benefit of others (including myself) has run into a bit of flack. Seems someone on my Facebook page thinks I'm asking for a handout. Seems someone thinks I'm too lazy to find work on my own so that I can fund my project by myself. Seems that the little bit of work I've done for Occupy Raleigh and other Occupy sites is trying to come back and bite me on the ass.

I don't like asking for money. Some people might say that's all I ever do, but really, I haven't asked for money for myself in several years, since my family seems to think I'm a lost cause. But I believe strongly that Project Five-Star will work on so many levels, if I can just get the damned thing off the ground.

But let's talk a little about what a handout is. The term handout suggests someone is asking for something for nothing. If I've ever asked for a handout, that means I've exhausted every source I can think of (yes, even searching for a job) for money and have not been successful. I used to hate having to ask my mother for money, because I could hear the disappointment in her voice, to the point of making me cringe. And I knew it was coming. So I tried my best to make things work on my own, and Mom was the source of last resort. After she died, and I wound up homeless, I asked my family for help. My stepfather put it in no uncertain terms that the gravy train had stopped. His stepson was in a homeless shelter and he would not lift a finger.

Later that year, I received a Christmas card from him with a check for $300. It tortured me, because that $300 would have come in very handy immediately after my bout with homelessness began. At that point I had a job and was working my way out of the shelter system. Though the effort pained me, I sent the check back, along with a note that if he couldn't help me when I needed it most, I didn't want anything else from him. I told him to put whatever he would have sent me in the future to what he thought I owed him. That was 2005. I haven't received a check from him since. He has sent cards. I haven't sent anything back to him. That was my choice.

So I do not ask for handouts for myself. I live in the shelter, eat at the shelter and with the aid of Food Stamps, and I continue to both look for a job and to do work for Project Five-Star. Which will pay off, I wonder?

If you want a copy of the book, send me your e-mail address and I'll send you a pdf of the book, no charge. If, once reading the book, you think it's a waste of time, then don't send any money, but don't try to discourage me. Odds are you haven't lived in a shelter and can't imagine how rough it is. I'm working on getting a collection of videos that might change your mind. And if not, well keep your thoughts to yourself. I'm working on improving myself and the lives of others. Can you honestly say the same thing?