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Joanna - September 2019

In his book, Toxic Charity, Robert Lupton writes, “Giving to people in need what they could be gaining from their own initiative may well be the kindest way to destroy people.” It’s also in Toxic Charity that Dr. Lupton teaches his “5 steps to Dependency” that hand-outs progress the recipient from Appreciation to Anticipation to Expectation to Entitlement and then, tragically, to Dependency. I know there are many who don’t understand or agree with the exchange-model at our Worth Shop. However, allowing people to gain from their own initiative and sparing them from dependency is something that impacted Joanna immensely.

“October last year was a tough time for our family. I was between jobs, and my husband’s checks could barely cover our utilities. My son was in school with just two shirts and two pairs of pants. We couldn’t afford to buy him any more. And our home needed refurbished, too.

A friend from church told me about Watered Gardens. I was wary at first. I didn’t want a handout and I thought it was only for homeless people. When I got here though, I realized it wasn’t a handout, and you didn’t have to be homeless to get help. I worked in the Worth Shop to earn some clothes and some furniture I couldn’t have afforded in any other way. Then, last December, the Watered Gardens gift shop helped our family to have presents for Christmas.

Anytime I find people in need, I tell them to go to Watered Gardens. I didn’t encounter one second of judgment when I needed help. Now, my husband and I are both back working, and I volunteer in the Watered Gardens’ Thrift Store. We couldn’t be in the position we’re in without this place.”

When we first saw Joanna, we saw someone to partner with. Now, she sees us the same. Robert Lupton is right. Charity can either be toxic or empowering. Thanks for your support. We use it to empower!