No grant applications at all Maggie.
<P>I hope that kid really enjoyed that trombone. It was supposed to have been really important to him. His parents had just hit a hard time. Suddenly. Happens all the time where I live. Didn't mean he needed that trombone any LESS, just because his parents hadn't hit rock bottom yet.<P>You know, lots of folks never KNOW that these government agencies (that are WELL funded) very OFTEN and routinely call the religious organizations and volunteer community service groups(usually at ungodly hours) for emergency assistance.<P>Their shelters are full, but they have a woman that has two kids that just got beaten up. And the church or civic group will spring for a couple of weeks in a motel for her and the kids until they figure something out. Sometimes they ASK who came to their assistance, but most often they don't. And that is ok. Might even be preferable.<P>Sometimes the groups give DIRECT assistance. Like finding somebody that will give them a servicable car to get to work or something.<P>Or do something that a government agency CAN'T do. Like pay the last payments on that trombone. Or pay the last college tuition payments after your average Joe loses his job.<P>Yeah, I LIKE donating to a "pool" like that. Immediate needs met with no qualifying factors. And no long waits. <P>And often it is given to folks that need it, that you might not like. but that's ok too, if they need it.<P>One case was a guy that had undergone AWFUL cancer treatments. He was abusive to his family, and nasty in general. But the guy still needed the money. <P>But my pastor doesn't receive a special "perk" for administering this stuff. Matter of fact, we LOVE him, cause he required no Parsonage be provided for him and his family. His wife is a "brain of the century" that works for NHS and he is a published author. <P>And he does this stuff ROUTINELY in the middle of the night all the time. Christmas eve he rushed a woman to Walmart MINUTES before closing 'cause she came in zero hour and wanted coats for her kids. And he convinced Walmart to let her shop at the last minute.<P>And he has a family of his OWN that he ditched Christmas Eve for a few hours to do that.<P>You would have a HARD time convincing me that people will NOT contribute unless they ARE MADE TO, to the general welfare of this nation. Arts, education or whatnot.<P>I see evidence to the contrary everyday. Individuals make a BIGGER difference than any government agency or mandated program.<P>I think we should give folks back a little of their money and see what they will do with it. Not just assume they are greedy off the bat.<P>Lord knows this country was generous with each other during the depression.<P>