I always make it a point to give at least something to the Salvation Army bellringers... even when I am really broke, because I have seen how much they truly do for others.
My mother used to work for one Salvation Army location, as a social worker. They are not like so many charities, where the biggest part of the money donated goes to pay high salaries or telemarketers. The money donated to the Salvation Army really goes to those who need it.
Not only does the Salvation Army offer shelter for those who need it, they offer food and utility help to local families who are in need, as well as so many other services that just aren't that well known.
LIke many have said, it really could happen to anyone. I have been blessed in my times of need, and if there is something I can do to help others, I do my best.