I ADMIT IT; I’m a sucker for saying “yes” when store clerks ask if I want to donate money to this or that.

“Do you want to donate a dollar for hurricane victims today?”

“Would you like to give for children of our military men and women?”

“Can I interest you in contributing to the children’s cancer program?”

My immediate answer, typically, is “sure,” and I pull out the dollar bill.

If I feel initially irritated at being asked — as the asking seems to be happening more and more these days — it takes only a few seconds for me to reason there is a great need out there and those of us who can should help.

We must count our blessings, and I don’t mean that, necessarily, in a religious sense.

We need only look back on all the times others have helped us in the past to handily dole out a buck here and there to someone needing assistance.

I can’t add up all the times I’ve interviewed people who help those less fortunate and their response to my question “Why?” has been “The community has been good to me, and this is my way of giving back.”

Now, my husband, who would be the first to take a hungry person in and feed him, flinches every time I say, “Sure,” to those store clerks or others collecting money for a cause.

It’s not that he’s stingy; I think it’s that he is more conservative than I and would say, perhaps, “Can you give to every other charity, instead of every one?”

Blood may be thicker than water, but still, I go with my conscience.

Recently, we stopped at our favorite gas station to fill up. It was Sunday night, the time I usually buy gas for the week.

As I was whipping out my debit card, I heard a strong but somewhat forlorn voice asking a woman pumping gas if she could spare a couple of dollars for gasoline — just enough to get him to Waterville, where he lives.

“I got here and realized I left my wallet home,” he said.

I looked back, saw a young man, probably in his 20s, standing next to a black car parked at the tank.

Without taking time to intellectualize, I reached into my wallet, took out a $5 bill and handed it to him.

“Oh, thank you,” he said, clasping his hands together in a gesture of gratitude.

Then he held out his hand.

“My name’s Mike,” he said.

“I’m Amy,” I replied.

My husband finished filling the tank and we got back into the car and he, mercifully, did not press me except to ask how much I gave the guy.

“Just five dollars,” I said.

Then I told him a story about the time I was stranded outside Hartford, Conn., when I was a poor college student, heading back to school from Skowhegan in the middle of the night (I preferred nighttime driving, to avoid traffic jams and aggressive city drivers).

I was 19 and poor as a church mouse, with just enough cash to get me back to the city and into the campus dining hall for a pre-paid meal.

Somehow, I got lost, some 25 or so miles away from Hartford. It was dark, late and scary, being out in the middle of nowhere. The more I drove around trying to find my way, the more lost I became.

I pulled over to check a map, and shortly thereafter, an older man stopped his car to see if I needed help. I sensed he meant well and told him my story. He plucked a $20 and a $5 bill from his pocket and handed them to me, gave me directions to the nearest all-night gas station, and wished me well. I asked for his name and address so I could pay him back, but he declined, walked to his car and drove off.

While I have never forgotten that act of kindness and once in a while it comes to my conscious mind, I honestly did not think of it until Sunday night, after we pumped gas and got back into the car to drive home.

“Sometimes an opportunity presents itself,” I told my husband, “and you just know you must oblige.”

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