I have already mentioned how much our mother enjoyed the company of others (aka complete strangers). And she took great pleasure in doing things for those others—especially those she considered less fortunate, and especially for people she barely knew. While my sister Lindy I made do with the bare minimums and bizarre assortment of things she supplied us with, Mother’s largess to the groups she called “those poor unfortunates” and people who were complete strangers to her was tremendous.
She was constantly saying to Lindy and me
Are you going to wear that item of clothing again, or can I give it to someone who really needs it?
Lindy and I were sometimes afraid to leave our clothing around for fear it would disappear into one of her mission trips to help “those unfortunates.” In fact, one day we returned from school only to discover that Mother had taken it upon herself to help the “less fortunate” again. She had taken a big box of our clothes and dropped it on the porch of a family whose children attended our high school.
For some reason, Mother assumed this family was amongst the “unfortunates.” What she did not realize was that the family was actually pretty well-off and the girls dressed much better than we did! They had beautiful clothes and a real sense of style. Lindy and I imagined them laughing over the old, out-dated, and thread-bare clothes, and we prayed they would not know they were ours.
Mother was often doling out “help” to people she barely knew, people she automatically assumed were “poor”. Because she barely knew them, as often as not the people she was “assisting” were actually better off then us. Her practice of charity was rather like if the Red Cross gave aid and money to Donald Trump. Such was life far from normal.