DEAR HARRIETTE: A note was posted on my apartment door informing the tenants that one of the long-time handymen in the building is ill and won’t be coming back. The person who posted this notice asked if we, the tenants, would make a donation to help him during his time of need.
I feel sorry for this man, but I never had much interaction with him. I would see him in the morning sometimes when he was collecting the trash or sweeping the hallways. He doesn’t speak English, so we didn’t ever say more than “good morning” or “thank you.” Should I make a donation even though I hardly spoke to the man? -- Helping Hand
DEAR HELPING HAND: In a word -- YES! You might be amazed to learn how much this man has done to create comfort for you quietly, behind the scenes.
Too often, handymen, porters, concierges, front desk attendants and other support staff are overlooked. (The holiday season is the one time when tips are expected.) But they rarely make high wages, so the contributions that you and the other tenants make will likely go far to help this man during his time of need. Give generously as soon as you can! Add a card expressing your wishes for his improved health.