How to anonymously and non-creepily help a neighbor?
January 25, 2013 1:47 PM Subscribe
I don't know my neighbor, but I do know she's going through a rough time. Can I anonymously help her without freaking her out?
posted by anonymous to human relations (49 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I live in a small complex of 6 apartments. Some of my neighbors I know well, but there is one woman I only know enough to say hello to. I found out her name from an email my landlord sent last year, and out of curiosity I googled her (along with all the other neighbors...yes I admit to being a bit Internet stalker-y). Turns out she keeps a blog and her entries are very sad. She is often depressed, lonely, underemployed and barely able to pay her rent and buy food. And of course I can't stop reading the blog now.
I am in a financial position to help her, and would like to, if there is some non-creepy way that I could. However, I think just leaving some $ in an envelope with her name on it at her door would seriously freak her (and anyone!) out. Is there some subtle, anonymous way I could help her? Like she just happens to come across some money or something? Or is this just a bad idea? Banjo redux?
A bit more info:
Why help anonymously? I know I could try to get to know her and then try to help, but she is pretty withdrawn and not friendly at all when I've tried. I don't think she's a mean person, though, just depressed, as she's often writing about being alone, not having close friends, and rarely leaving her apartment. I also don't want her to know I've been reading her blog or be identifiable here because, well, creepy!
Also: I have no ulterior motives here (romantic interest, etc.) other than a desire to feel good about helping her. If it matters, I am female and about 10 years younger than her.