Dear Matzav Editor,
We live in a wonderful community where people are always looking to help out others. If you look through the gemach list, you can find a gemach for virtually anything.
I would like to mention something regarding this.
Several years ago, I opened a chasunah shtick gemach. This gemach was opened simply to help others. My gemach charges very little money, which is used to cover the repairs and to invest in new shtick. A portion of the money goes to Hachnosas Kallah.
Some people are wonderful. They pick-up the stuff and return them in perfect condition. Other people, on the other hand, just complain about whatever they possibly can.
Here is what I want to say: If you don’t like what I have to offer, don’t take it! I don’t make money off this gemach. I only want to help.
There are some people who don’t return the items until after several phone calls, which delays the next person’s pick-up. One person has never returned the shtick they borrowed altogether. Due to some error, I do not have their phone number. I was hoping that by the time Pesach rolled around, it would be returned – but that never happened.
Recently, a similar incident happened. A girl called at the last minute saying that she desperately needs some shtick. Having a very good heart, I gave her brand new arches. Since it was all given in haste, her number was misplaced, and that was the end of it. I never heard from her again!
I don’t think that my gemach is the only one that is like this. Whoever has a gemach only wants to help people, and unfortunately, there are some people who cause so much agmas nefesh for those trying to help others.
Many people feel that since you are already doing them this favor, you have to give them all you’ve got.
I know of a very nice lady who helps out the “Vaad Hachnosas Orchim“. She told me that there are some people who expect her to sit with them on the phone for long periods of time. She sometimes even gets blamed if they can’t get the apartment they need. They call at the last minute and expect an apartment to be waiting for them. She tells them that when they find something, they should call her back and let her know so that she could update her information and know not to give the apartment to someone else. From hundreds of callers, only several have ever called her back!
Where is the hakoras hatov? Where is good old mentchlichkeit?