Overwhelming Gratitude: How Helping is Sometimes Hurting – Compassion Wednesday Post

We’ve all seen the images.

image courtesy of http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34139348
image courtesy of http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34139348

(No, I won’t repost the little boy’s image here…I don’t think I can handle that anymore).

Thousands and Thousands of refugees streaming through European countries.

Looking for shelter.

Looking for safety.

Looking for hope.

image courtesy of http://www.samaritanspurse.org/article/samaritans-purse-responding-to-refugee-crisis-europe/
image courtesy of http://www.samaritanspurse.org/article/samaritans-purse-responding-to-refugee-crisis-europe/

And the response has been quick,





Wait…what? Overwhelming?

Yes. Overwhelming.

Let me expound:

I live in an area that is prone to natural disasters. Just a couple of years ago we had Godzilla in the form of twisting wind pay us a visit and level miles and miles and miles.

It was devastating.

But the response…The response was the stuff that makes grown men weep.

It’s the stuff that makes you believe that there is still love in this world. Love for all humanity.

But, at one point, it became a bit too much love.

Supplies kept arriving. While that sounds like it is a good thing, it becomes a logistical nightmare and actually hampers relief efforts. Too much time and energy is spent on trying to store or organize the supplies rather than on what the actual need is at that moment.

I believe the same thing is happening with the refugee crisis in Europe. Many heartfelt efforts have started and people are sending and sending and sending and sending.

It’s too much.

So are we to just sit back and do nothing?

Absolutely not! But, we need to help smarter. We need to channel all that generosity into avenues that are more effective, more efficient.

Because, no, it’s not always a good idea to just open your home to people fleeing war torn countries or to just send boxes of food or clothing or…stuff.

There are specific needs that simple care packages will not meet. There are needs that the average person is not equipped to handle. It goes deeper than material.

But, there are the channels in place. There are those who are equipped to handle the needs.

But, they need you and me to help make sure they can continue to operate in situations like this.

Because this won’t be the last time.

So, what can you do?

Support organizations that are on the ground and are equipped to handle the crisis in the manner it is needed.

Supplying material, emotional, and psychological needs for a people who have been ripped away from everything they know.

Organizations like:

World Vision

Samaritan’s Purse

Medicins Sans Frontieres

And so many more. Here are some good articles that can point you in the right direction:



So, yes, please help. And don’t stop with the refugee situation in the news right now. Go beyond that. Maybe even closer to your home. But, help.

Just, help smarter.

Make sure your helping isn’t hurting.

8 thoughts on “Overwhelming Gratitude: How Helping is Sometimes Hurting – Compassion Wednesday Post”

  1. That was a very good point of view. I hope you get this article published in one of the major newspapers. I would send a private email to one of them, if you haven’t already.

    Of course it’s not the same thing, but I see how people that wants to help actually make the situation with our wild horses worse, by feeding them in their backyard= attracting them to the city= causes several cases of death in traffic every year..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I doubt that major newspapers will think the article is worth it, though. As for the horses, I never knew that was such a problem. Very sad. It is the same mentality as I wrote, we just don’t think through our generosity, sometimes. We want to meet the immediate need we see before us now, but we don’t look at the deeper needs, the needs of the future. That’s why organizations trained in these things are so important. Like with the horses, it’s important for people who are trained to handle wild animals (and I’m sure wild horses are a special training apart from mere animal handling).


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