The best intentions

I was riding my bike home. I passed a bus stop and circled back.

A red cloth bag with a yellow ribbon drawstring was on the ground next to the bus stop. A bunch of stuff was scattered around the nearby bench.

I thought, “There’s a story there!”

And there was.

From the photo, you can tell that a church or charity group made Christmas gift bags for lower-income people. Among the stuff on the ground were three sheets of paper with hand-written notes.

The bus stop is a three-minute walk from a Social Security office. Apparently, the person writing the notes lives in nearby Englewood. I discovered that from their name and address on the back of one of the pieces of paper – a bank statement!

For your benefit, here’s an excerpt:

I’m A Disabled Senior. Your Driver WAs Very Rude. I will PersUE This Until I’m Spocken To By A Supervisor. Your Drivers Apparently Are Not PAid Enough …

But back to my point.

Whoever took the time and spent the money to put together that gift bag did not hit the mark with this person. The recipient took a few things from the gift bag and discarded the rest.

I propose that the giver’s time would be better spent getting to know someone who has similar challenges to the unnamed bus passenger. Then they could see what the person’s real needs are. (Apparently, a Belgian milk chocolate-covered pretzel with holiday sprinkles was not on the passenger’s Christmas list for Santa. Two were unopened on the ground.)