I thought about that. Did those local folks volunteer to help the family so that they would get praise and gratitude? Perhaps not explicitly (but perhaps some folks did). When the family couldn’t stay at the house forever, the people felt betrayed, in a way. Their generosity and caring carried hidden expectations.
I'm sure this analogous situations happen to many of us. Years ago I gave a gift to a friend, which I thought the friend would love; then the friend later told me he gave it to his grandson. Now, I would've been less sensitive; at the time, I didn’t say anything but felt grumpy and foolish.
You might send a gift to a friend but you never receive a thank-you or acknowledgment. (I’ve a friend who humorously says that if you give someone a wedding gift you need to include an SASE if you want a thank-you.) If you’re the adult child of elderly parents, you encounter this dynamic: your parents sacrificed to raise you, now they expect you to meet their needs as they wish. (My dad thought I should be grateful for the chance to make a 500-mile round trip to mow his lawn for free so he could save $10 or $15 a week for some kid to mow it.) Or, you might reach out to a person in friendship, but the person didn't "click" with you in the same way or otherwise didn't respond.
Churches can be hotbeds for this kind of situation. We contribute (both time and money) to a church—but then we’re not pleased with recent developments at the church, or our input on a certain issue was not followed. But why do we feel displeased? Do we think the church should answer to all our expectations just because we contribute time and money? Had we contributed only because we had happy feelings about the church? 
This issue points us to a very good potential spiritual discipline. How much happiness can we derive just from going something good, regardless of the outcome?
This is one of those teachings common to many religious traditions; it is among the "dharma" themes of the Bhagavad Gita, the Muslim value of selflessness, as well as the Buddhist theme of non-attachment, plus biblical passages like Romans 12 and others. I especially like the Jewish conception of tzedakah, which means “righteousness” or “charity.” The following is a quote from the site http://www.jewfaq.org/tzedakah.htm describing Talmudic levels of tzedakah, from the least to the most meritorious.
· Giving begrudgingly
· Giving less that you should, but giving it cheerfully.
· Giving after being asked
· Giving before being asked
· Giving when you do not know the recipient's identity, but the recipient knows your identity
· Giving when you know the recipient's identity, but the recipient doesn't know your identity
· Giving when neither party knows the other's identity
· Enabling the recipient to become self-reliant
Let’s try this in the weeks and months ahead. Find helpful things to do for people, but try not to involve your ego in it; find joy simply in the giving... If you’re displeased with something at your church, try increasing rather than decreasing your contribution; find joy in focusing on God rather than your feelings... Give to someone and don't even assume you'll hear back: then if you do, it'll be a nice "extra." ... Reach out to someone, either in friendship or in helpfulness; if he or she doesn't respond positively, know that you did a good thing to try. You may still feel disappointment, but you're (potentially) stronger for the next time you reach out.
1. I like this quote from ethicist Stanley Hauerwas, who writes that love is not “some affection for another that contributes to my own sense of well-being” but ”the steady gaze on another that does not withdraw regard simply because they fail to please.” That love “is first learned through being required to love our brothers and sisters who, like us, are pledged to be disciples in Christ.” From Stanley Hauerwas, “The Family as a School for Character,” in Gabriel Palmer-Fernandez, Moral Issues: Philosophical and Religious Persepctives (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pretence-Hall, 1996), pp. 239-246 (quote from page 244).