According to state and local officials, the steak dinner is an example of how Utah residents could give smarter. When we send donations to established charities, these organizations are able to better meet the needs of the homeless. Not only can these needs be better met, but they can also go toward helping them over the long-term.
Atkinson said, “perhaps the best way to truly help the needy is to go on the websites of major charities and look at lists they post about items they need, and then help them year-round with donations and volunteer service.” Generous residents can “go on the website of the Catholic Community Services, Volunteers of America, The Road Home, the Rescue Mission and Crossroads Urban Center, and look at the lists – and know those needs are there all year-round.”
Officials are grateful for the generosity of Utah residents, but physical donations given directly to the needy are often a waste. Cory Young, the Salt Lake City waste and recycling manager, said, “For example, the homeless now often simply discard food or clothes that people try to hand them on the street because it isn’t quite what they need or want – or it causes fights. In December, we send out crews almost daily to clean up items left on the street.” He went on to say, “When my crew and I went out, there have been several occasions where we have seen a car pull up; they will hand out food, clothing… As the car leaves, we will watch the items be discarded on the sidewalk.”
Donating During the Holiday Season
It’s wonderful to know we live in a state where the residents look out for each other. While giving to those in need is always the right thing to do, it’s better to donate responsibly during the holiday season. Make sure that what you’re giving is used in the best and most efficient way.