Say what you like about sometime discourse.net commenter Gary Farber, but even when he's having medical issues and hard times, he's not doing the hard sell for his pledge drive:
I've been understandably asked at times why someone should help me. And, truth be told, I can't think of any particularly good reason. So I certainly don't expect help from anyone: if you've done it before, you've arguably done your part. If you've not, there's no good reason you should start, and not help someone more deserving instead.
Gary is applying for SSI, because he hasn't worked enough to be eligible for Social Security disability.
Why's he asking?
I, in panic-stricken fashion, semi-coherently explained my situation of lifelong recurring clinical depression, as well as other health issues, and that I'd finally decided to apply for Social Security disability, having rightly or wrongly put off that option for decades.
I, with utter shame, loathing, guilt, self-hatred, and a feast of other negative self-directed emotions — as is my wont — asked for people's help, and an amazing number of people did help, in many ways, including the most important way to help, which was with hard cash. At the time, I said I was afraid I'd need to ask for help again within three months.
Now it's almost a year later, and I've just paid the December rent of $500 and the phone bill ($35), and I'm now down to a total of $241.00 in my bank account, and $22 in my pocket.
(The horrible fear that has loomed larger every day and night in my consciousness, and in the pit it creates in my stomach, in the past year is that you won't, in sufficient numbers, again. My fear is that one can't go back to the well again. That I'll wind up with only a few donations, and a few links, and just a bit of response, and have no idea what to do to survive with my disabilities and inabilities and problems until such time as my disability claim is approved. Terror over this has been the dominant theme in my life in recent months, and all I can say is that I'm hoping you'll help it go away, at least for a while.)
OK, maybe not quite the soft sell.
Every year I'm torn — give to people or give to causes? Mostly I do causes on the theory that systemic changes will in the end help more people. But the people need help now.