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let's talk Seasonal"Generosity"

Dear friends

If this Season you feel the urge to do something for the less fortunate, please hear me out:

I have been homeless in the past (hopefully never had to sleep in the street) and was fortunate enough to be able to stay at friend's or family. I have lived under the poverty line pretty much all my life. My dad was penny pinching for us to have what we needed and scrapping all he could. I have learned to be creative and to be nifty, upcycle,re-use, stretch every ressources.

As a child I got to wear my cousins used and torned boy clothes that had been fixed and Iam pretty sure they were already second hand to begin with, then I got my neighbors' old waaaaay too big women clothes. I had shoes with "room to grow" or just a bit too tight because they were cheaper/ discounted.

When I was just starting out as an adult, Working and studying, making just enough to pay rent (if not hing came up) I was getting the little food I had access to from food banks, and popular soup, friends would get me basic groceries, invite me for diner and such. It was not luxurious but it was decent, and it changed my life, I can honestly say it saved my life. It gave me hope throughout very hard times!

a quick back story:

I recently had to enlighten someone on food safety and basic decency, and I thought in the light of my satanic principles I should write a piece on it:

A friend of mine works in a grocery store. The ice cream freezer at her work broke down, the ice cream was left to thaw for about 8 hours and when they opened the store up, the containers were room temperature (around 65 °F)... obviously, dairy based products are not edible anymore at that point. 2000 dollars to be trashed in liquid ice cream format is a shame for sure, but better safe than sorry! Someone, in the comment section was kicking and shouting that they should have donated it to the homeless...I was baffled!

Don't suggest donating hazardous food product!

Firstable, we are in december and ice cream is nice for sure but, seriously even edible, not what I'd think a priority, sure it lifts the spirit but there is much better one could do for the homeless. But spoiled dairy....are you insane? Are you so eager to make yourself look like a saint that you would risk poisoning people?!

It's dehumanizing!

the fact that this person couldn't realize it made me want to write this article. Yes, you should strive to act with empathy and compassion towards the less fortunate, but keep in mind that our best understanding of the world and science rules this as nonsense. You might not realize it, but it seems you are just trying to make it fit your "i want to look good" agenda recklessly. It is great that you have a "DONATION" slot in a corner of your mind, not everyone does so you get a good point for this, but make sure to keep in mind the "within reason" part.

Also, don't just give to give or be seen giving, give thoughtfully and selflessly!

This piece is not trying to shame you for "giving wrong", not knowing or making mistakes! People are fallible and as long as you are willing to be educated and rethink your ways, then you're golden! Sometimes, we just need to see things through someone elses eye!


A few advices:

When giving to someone in need, whatever it is you give, remember that it is supposed to lift them back up, help them out, lead them to live a better life...

Your donation is not supposed to keep them in shame and perpetuate stigma around poverty, addiction, life accident and homelessness.

Refrain from taking pictures for your instagram as you are giving!

Those people are not an accessory to you looking good on social media. Do not ask for a "thank you" or for them to adhere to your faith, or that they "earn it"in the future and DO NOT ask that they "make sure they deserve it"... It implies that they don't. That's not helping their distress. You are making them feel guilty and worthless while trying to do good, it' s at least a lack of tact.

While we are on the matter of making mistakes:

Pick the organizations you give to well,

for cry out loud! Don't give to the Salvation Army, they are well known for not getting the donations to whom they are destined too, employees have been known to bring donations home, and I am not talking volunteers but PAID employees! On top of that, they are judgemental of who should receive donation> LGBTQ+ discrimination for example, (between other things)...

There are many communities, help center, food banks, churches and organizations that do a much better job! Unfortunately, it is better to check how your donations are handled and how they are going to be used/ dispatched. Choose who you associate with.

Just like a lot of people try to avoid buying from Amazon, to not let the richest get richer with no regards for their workers, or boycott Walmart... I recommend practicing ethical consumerism by avoiding big corporations with little to no regards for their workers, that should be extended to wannabe philanthropic organization like Salvation Army... Pretending to the face of the world to do good when actually they are taking advantage of people's generosity using some other people's situation of adversity.

Do not think yourself a hero for getting rid of old leftovers or garbage. This is only for YOU to think you did something good, when it is only really humiliating.


Thinking about donating unwearable clothes that have holes and heavy unremovable stains? ... how is that supposed to give the "less fortunate" a chance to be part of society, get a job, go to an interview for a place etc..? Broken toys? Do you think that poor kids should be content with having a broken toy rather than nothing? read that last sentence again and realize how messed up that is... A book missing pages? would you like that for yourself, an incomplete story?how frustrating!

I have decluttered my closet several times just this year, I do it every season. What I don't or can't wear anymore needs to find a new home. When I moved back to France I couldn't take everything with me, I donated what my friends didn't want and recycled what couldn't be donated. You have to be careful what you donate, not only is it not going to be of use to someone if it is in no condition to be, but it will also be wasting volunteers time that could be deployed on significantly more important mission than sorting donations.

If you want to do something with your "old rags", I 'd suggest that instead of putting everything in one bag and donate it, you recycle them or upcycle them! There are great programs for you to trade them in: H&M garment collecting program for instance, you can get a 15% discount through their upcycling program. Those fibers will be re used for insulation material for example, if they cant' be sold as second hand clothes. With the discount, why don't you gift a human being in need a brand new pair underwear or socks or a hairbrush.

Put it on craigslist or facebook market place for free saying how damaged it is, sit it next to the trashcans on your block saying "FREE but broken"and someone might pick it up for crafting or something...


How about feeding people in the street? If you want to get them a freshly made meal, a sandwich, water or coffee please do! But remember to give the same thing you would offer someone you respect and admire at your yourself or a friend. No one is asking that you cook a fine dining meal like you would for your judgy mother in law you so want to impress, but why not? Don't give them something that might get them sick like old leftovers or something that was out all night... It seems logical to assume that it is harder for them to get access to health care. Treat those people with the dignity they deserve for the simple fact of being human.

For people in need with access to a kitchen, prefer dry goods or can goods, basic pantry items such as pasta, rice, beans, chickpeas etc... oil instead of butter, I don't personally think sweet, meat and dairy products are such a great choice because a lot of people cannot use the (allergy, diabetes, etc). Fresh vegetables are also great of course but they are perishable and therefore wont last. Frozen does last but not everyone has freezer. Don't go all fancy, not everyone can cook like Gordon Ramsay you know...

Consider composting instead if you cannot donate ;)

More you can Give:

Generosity isn't about giving more than what you can, it is not about self sabotaging selflessness, quite frankly more that would be more damaging than beneficial in my opinion. If you do not have extra money to spare on others, extra food or extra clothes, it's ok!

What you can and should give during the holidays season and the rest of the year is a smile, a kind word, empathy and compassion, consideration, joy, solidarity!

Be nice to people, wish them well, acknowledge their existence, see them! You can always donate your time, you blood and plasma, your organs ( register as an organ donor) ... But giving can be as simple as being mindful, and smile. It can be very helpful to just be a decent person to another person. Wearing a mask during a pandemic, social distancing helps! Also, respecting people, raising awareness, using your white privilege and being there to listen and converse with someone helps! You can show support and encourage others to do the same, and that is a real gift on its own!

to be clear...


  • consider "they" will take anything

  • forget "they" are human beings

  • give unwearable clothes

  • give broken goods

  • give expired or hazardous food

  • take selfies ( don't be vain and vulgar if you do it and ask permission)

  • put other people or yourself at risk

  • ask for anything in exchange, judge or guilt people


  • your part however you can, if you so wish to

  • act with empathy and compassion (smile, be kind, respectful and patient)

  • narrow down what goes where (seperate used goods> donations/recycling/trash)

  • basic pantry items (bottled water, rice, beans, cans)

  • basic hygiene products (soap, toothbrush, pads)

  • weather appropriate items

  • donate blood and plasma if you can

  • register as organ donor

  • recycle/upcycle or compost what can't be donated

  • volunteer

  • participate in organized drives

happy holidays, be safe, keep others safe and i wish you well!


please consider donating to one of TST's local chapter charity drive:

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