Helping people when we are asked means we help them with our real world skills and meet them on their own level with out compromising our own moral and ethical values and our sheerly powerful common sense, keeping our precepts, keeping our own skills not lowering ourselves or copying their behavior or supporting immoral acts.
If a nonBuddhists ask for help and you as a Buddhist can help, then do it. What ever skills you have but do not preach Buddhism while you do it for it won’t be heard with a willing heart. In fact, it’s cooercive if you do that and Buddha has forbidden coercion.
Your practice should be strong enough to support yourself, that is fine! Just don’t try to change another in the way your trying to change yourself, it never works well for the person trying to be converted.
It’s ok to work with their belief system if you know it really well, but if you don’t just don’t pretend to gain their trust by presenting yourself as knowledgable. Work with where you are right now is perfectly fine, not where you will be in a few lifetimes from now!
Study widely Buddhist teachings on charity, generousity, dana, and rendering assistance to learn how to behave properly. In the end it’s what your nature really is that counts to the one receiving your help, even better if they move on without realizing you helped them thus not feeding your ego.
Mahayana Sutras in English:
Buddha Speaks the Sutra about Karma
The Lotus Sutra
Dana the Practice of Giving (www.accesstoinsight.org)
Handbook for the Relief of Suffering (www.accesstoinsight.org)
The Skill of Release (www.accesstoinsight.org)