I have a neighbor (who, luckily, does not read blogs). Every few weeks I get a call from her.
"Laurie, I'm sorry to bother you. I've been having some troubles (here she describes her troubles) and I need to buy XYZ and I'm a little short....would you be able to loan me 50 shekels? I promise, I'll pay you back in a couple of days. I just went out without my bank card/the bank took my ATM/without any cash....
The first few times, I loaned her the money, and never received it in return, even when I emphasized that I really needed the money back.
After that, I just put it on my tzdekka bill. I keep a running tab for tzdekka so I just figured that it was tzdekka and left it at that.
My dilemma is, what do I do when she calls? Am I obligated to take the tzdekka from other projects that I want to support and give it to her every time she's in difficulty? OK, not obligated, but should I? She lives very simply, as far as I can see without any luxuries or even a bit of pampering, so she probably needs the money. But can I support one person to the tune of 50 shekels every week or so? If it's part of my tzdekka, should I give it to one person who asks (begs) for it, rather than to another organization that I want to support?
I hate feeling guilty at 10:25a.m.