WIBU to give money anonymously?

(48 Posts)
blameitonthecaffeine Tue 09-Apr-13 23:05:09

Some friends of ours were talking about how they are struggling financially, never seem to have enough money to reach the end of the month, are in debt etc.

They weren't talking to DH and I specifically but to a group of people from church (we were all discussing things that are worrying us atm and praying about them).

We are in a position to help them. But to give someone a substantial amount of money is socially unacceptable isn't it? In their position I would be hideously embarrassed.

So I want to put money in an envelope and put it through their door as an anonymous gift. But I also think this would make them paranoid and embarrassed around everyone they meet, helpless to either accept or refuse the money properly and just be generally awkward for them.

They have been very supportive friends to us over the years. My eldest daughter has been seriously ill and I'm not sure would be here without the unfailing support of their daughter and themselves.

I want to help but I'm worried I am being wussy, patronising and 'lady bountiful' about it. Please don't flame me, I'm not meaning to be.

WWYD?

urbanturban Wed 10-Apr-13 21:23:47

Just want to say what a lovely thread this is......snuggling my (teething and upset) DS and this kind of thread makes me emotional, but upbeat for his future.......despite what we often hear, there ARE good people out there! Thank you.....

BlingLoving Wed 10-Apr-13 20:55:26

This has been very interesting. I have a friend who I really really want to do something similar for. I had thought of doing it anonymously and think in OP's case that is the right thing but all your comments make me realise that I could do it directly, which would be logistically a lot easier in my situation. Thank you OP for raising this.

Really lovely thread. I'm totally having a boo as I read this! smile

Coconutty Wed 10-Apr-13 20:43:39

OOh, maybe it's from Caffeine, Medium

MediumOrchid Wed 10-Apr-13 20:42:32

I'm in this exact position, from the other side. £200 left in an envelope in our church pigeon hole. I'm not quite sure what to make of it really, and feel a bit bad, as we were quite short of money but things suddenly changed for us and for the first time in years we have more than we need. If things had been really bad I'd have been very grateful.

I thunk it's a lovely thing for you to do.

Coconutty Wed 10-Apr-13 20:25:41

Cool, sorry to ask, hope I didn't offend you. I was bought up in a religious environment and remember clearly one of the elders not being as honest as he should.

It's a lovely thing of you to do,

blameitonthecaffeine Wed 10-Apr-13 20:18:34

coconutty Yes, I can trust the leaders. I would trust them with my children's lives.

DisorganisednotDysfunctional Wed 10-Apr-13 17:39:44

I did this for a friend. I put the money in a card and sent it to her via the school her DD attended. I just wrote "from a well-wisher" inside in disguised handwriting and the reception staff passed it on. She still doesn't know it was me. This works well if you can use some sort of internal mail system so you don't have to risk sending cash through the normal post. Could you get a card to them anonymously through the church?

cat811 Wed 10-Apr-13 17:33:05

We have been recipients in this position before (both anonymously and not), and whilst it is really lovely to be able to thank the very generous givers, there is a real freedom in just being able to receive the money when you most need it, and not feel that awkward politeness of 'should I refuse/how hard should I protest before I accept graciously/will they be expecting to see how I spent their money' etc - anonymity is the way to go! smile
We made sure we smiled extra hard at everyone we knew for ages afterwards though, in case it was them, so they could see how grateful we were!!

itshothere Wed 10-Apr-13 17:28:46

You sound like a lovely friend. They as a family have helped you in the past with their devotion to your DD when you needed it. I would have a private meeting with them, say how grateful for are to them, how much you appreciate them etc. As you leave give them an envelope containing the money with a liitle note asking them to graciously accept your help, making sure that they know that you have given them this gift and no one else knows (so they don't have to feel any embarrassment).
I would like to know who the donor was if I was in that position, just to be able to say thank you.

Coconutty Wed 10-Apr-13 17:14:32

This is going to sound awful but do you trust the church elders to give it to them? How would you know if they did or not? they may find some where else to spend it.

I would actually hand it to a church elder rather than leaving it anonymously.

I was in your position at Christmas and put money in an envelope and posted it through their door one night.

CwtchesAndCuddles Wed 10-Apr-13 17:07:59

I'm a Christian and have also been in this situation a few times.

Last time it was near Christmas and we gave them a card with cash in it.

I drew one of the couple to oneside, gave her the card and said there was someting inside and to please accept it in the spirit is was given. They accepted the gift, thanked us at the time and it has never been mentioned since.

Our church also has a hardship fund which people donate to and it is distributed as needs come to light. Have you heard of CAP they run a budgeting course through many churches which may be helpful?

https://capuk.org/i-want-help/cap-money-course

Mondrian Wed 10-Apr-13 16:48:21

We need more threads like this on MN ... I love the pay it forward idea quoteunquote put on the table too.

Misspixietrix Wed 10-Apr-13 16:18:11

That's a lovely gesture for you to do OP flowers
I second everyone else in asking if the Vicar can pass it on? When I split up with my Ex I was going through a bad financial patch, someone had gone to our Minister telling them they wanted me to have x amount it but thought I'd be offended if they tried to give it to me directly. I don't know who it was to this day and was eternally grateful to them ~

God bless you. thanks

blameitonthecaffeine Wed 10-Apr-13 16:08:47

Thank you everyone.

We are going to give it anonymously to the church leaders (put in their pigeon hole outside the church office) to give anonymously to the family. A bit of a convoluted conspiracy but I think it's a good compromise - we will be comfortable in our total anonymity and they will (hopefully!) be more comfortable in seeing it as a donation through the church rather than a mystery envelope.

lougle Wed 10-Apr-13 12:39:15

blameitonthecaffeine I agree you should do it for the family you are thinking of....I was just musing on general principles, etc.

libertybelle Wed 10-Apr-13 12:22:12

Agree with quoteunquote that the pay it forward philosophy makes accepting any kind of gift (emotional, practical or financial) more palatable to the recipient.

Like you blameit, we have had a friend help us through a deeply distressing time as a family; being able to help financially was such a very small gesture in return really.

When the situation arose I made it very clear that this was something we could afford to do and that we wouldn't discuss the transaction further if she decided to take the money. She text me her bank details a couple of days later and our friendship has continued as before.

Agree that if you think that the direct approach is not appropriate, the money could be gifted to them via the church.

quoteunquote Wed 10-Apr-13 11:39:44

what we do and I have found works really well, and feels comfortable for everyone,

Is to give an amount of money what ever you feel is appropriate or can afford, on the proviso that one day if they are in a position they do the same for someone else, to just pass it on,

I always explain that I feel that it is an important system, that people do this, and the more people doing this the better.

I then never mention it again,

I was bought up in a belief system that practices this, I think it is a very positive way of supporting a health society.

NynaevesSister Wed 10-Apr-13 11:23:49

That's interesting MAM. I pay mine by direct debit. If I make extra payments online it automatically reduces the amount taken each month. If I pay extra over the phone then they deduct from the end of my bill. I try to pay extra so that when it comes to the end of Nov I am paid up. The council does not deduct anything from my account until the next bill begins.

Mamf74 Wed 10-Apr-13 11:08:51

Oh, what a lovely thing to do!

Just a word of warning re paying off council tax - a relative of ours has just found out that through the bank incorrectly applying a decimal point they'd paid their council tax for two years upfront (they are v wealthy and didn't notice) but were never advised about the credit. They ended up having about 2,000 pounds refunded as they kept paying it monthly. If you do pay off council tax they may never know, and keeping paying regardless!

EuroShaggleton Wed 10-Apr-13 11:04:22

What a lovely thing to want to do.

I think in your circumstances making it anonymous as a "church gift" might be a sensible way forward.

whistleahappytune Wed 10-Apr-13 10:58:54

OP, if only more people had your generous impulses! flowers

I second what Red suggests. Approach your vicar/priest and have the money come from the church.

RedHelenB Wed 10-Apr-13 10:52:28

I think it would be best being given from the Church even if you are the only person to donate! A friend of mine had the Church gift her some money when she needed it & she had no problems accepting it - she didn't know personally who had donated so therefore it didn't cause any embarassment.

NynaevesSister Wed 10-Apr-13 10:00:24

You are lovely to do this. Go with your heart. Pay it forward is a good one. A friend was helped out by someone she knew on the basis that, when in a position to repay the money she do the same thing for someone else.

Another way to anonymously lift a burden (if they have to pay it) is to call the council and pay their council tax. Anyone can do this anonymously.

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