Some locals give unto poor — with certain conditions

HANCOCK — Judging from stipulations on their giving, a number of people who feel charitable during the holiday season do not want their charity going toward homeless people or families of people in jail.

Capt. Leonita Schweigert of the Hancock Salvation Army said her organization hears a common question from potential donors.

“I think the most objections we get when people actually call or come in,” Schweigert said, “are they don’t want their money to go toward homeless people, and they don’t want their money or toys to go to people in prison.”

Schweigert said she believes people who make those types of comments have never personally experienced or known someone who has been in a difficult situation.

“I think that people who make that type of comment have never had a relative make a mistake,” Schweigert said. “They’ve never had a relative, or themselves, fall on hard times.”

Schweigert, who does not like to disclose her personal past in relation to her professional calling, said she cannot help but have compassion for those who find themselves homeless.

“I was homeless for two years. I understand what’s it’s like,” she said. “So, yeah. People have opinions about things. They don’t want to see the homeless. They don’t want the homeless shelter in their community. They don’t say why. I ask them why, and they just — I don’t know. They just don’t have a reason.”

She said the Salvation Army receives at least one phone call per week from potential donors who want to know where the money donated is going. All of the money, 100 percent of it, she said, stays in the area and is used for the programs the Salvation Army conducts.