Most of us have heard the biblical parable about the Good Samaritan. A Man is beaten by the side of the road. He is passed by an not helped by rich people and religious people who should offer and hand. And then is offered help by the Samaritan. One who would not be expected to help offers a hand to one it need. Saying it is not the category of person, but what might be in their heart that determines their actions.
We used to go camping throughout the state of California. We would go out once a month with a camping group through the Elks Lodge to locations all over Southern California. And from there, we had Mountains, Deserts, Beaches and Amusement parks to choose from. We would ride motor cycles, hike, swim, shoot guns. You name it.
As the Elks group, we would see other camping groups traveling around. The most curious to me were the Good Sams. The point of this organization was always lost on me until someone clued me in. I always through that they were just competition.
But their value as fellow campers who have pledged to stop when they see someone pulled over at the side of the road. And going out so often, we faced some of these challenges. There were a couple tire blowouts we dealt with. And then there was the time we jack knifed the trailer on the way up to Yosemite. Luckily the car and trailer were still driveable, and we were on our way to vacation. But the help we received on the road each time was never forgotten. And on occasion, when we were able, we paid it back.
Charitable work is a funny thing in our society. You often wonder what drives people to do charity work.
For me, it is obvious. I grew up going to a church who had its hands in many many charities. There was the Bishop’s Fund for World Relief – who did a soup drive every year. Members would donate soup items and receive a box themselves to make some of this charity soup. As I recall, the memory of that soup will always remind me of what we were doing and why (I thought it sucked, but my parents raved about it). We also sponsored weekly dinners as well as a food pantry that we were always donating to.
Then there were the annual trips down to the veteran’s hospital to deliver Christmas gifts. I always went along and remember vividly when I was sixteen and my dad gave me the keys to the truck to drive the load into the veterans hospital in downtown LA. There were the magic shows and events our club would sponsor for kids with Downs syndrome.
I grew up around it as part of the things we do to make the world a better place.