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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2000
    Location
    Greenville, MI,
    Posts
    11,848

    Default What would you have done?

    This may or may not be a good subject but I want to see what folks on here would have done.
    Going out this afternoon to mail a work package at my UPS outlet, I was sitting at the light in our main intersection and saw a young man holding a sign saying family in need please help, Food or money. He had drawn a sign of the FISH Religious sign.
    I sat there looking at him and thought, Hmm I should pull into the gas station and talk to him. I have never been compelled to do that before, I felt it was a little thing the lord rolled in my way to see what I would do.
    So I pulled in to the gas station and beeped my horn at him.
    I spoke to him he was a sweet boy, He was layed off work for a back injury and his wife was working part time, and they had a new born and a 2 year old. We spoke about god and things.
    I said will 20.00 help you? He said everything will help me.
    I felt no pain giving it to him, I felt good about it.
    I did not think dang I am going to miss that 20.00.
    I know there are many folks on here who are religious, Maybe not, but I wonder how many would have given him money.
    "you can only ride the drama llama so hard before it decides to spit in your face." ?Caffeinated.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 14, 2004
    Location
    Left coast, left wing, left field
    Posts
    6,326

    Default

    Sometimes I give money. I so rarely have cash. I have had people who appear homeless or who are asking for money just reach out to me (not physically but emotionally) so I know what you mean about that. I am not a religious person, so that aspect would not enter into it, but I have had what for want of a better word might be termed a spiritual connection.

    I have never missed nor regretted money that I have given.
    Arrange whatever pieces come your way. - Virginia Woolf

    Did you know that if you say the word "GULLIBLE" really softly, it sounds like "ORANGES"?


    4 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 1, 2008
    Posts
    4,537

    Default

    I'd have given him food, but not cash.


    10 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2007
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    5,314

    Default

    I've often done that; I usually see them at the exit lanes at Walmart or Target and if I end up stopped by someone with a sign I'll hand over what I can spare. I saw a guy with a real pretty dog once and when I left the store I made sure I had a box of dog treats for the dog and I gave the guy some cash, not a lot, usually just whatever I have around. Once there was a lady with a young boy, about 12, and he was holding a sign asking for anything including food . My daughter was about 10 and we had bought a huge bag of fresh apricots and when we stopped at the sign she just reached out that bag of apricots for them. The boy ran over and thanked us and then when he turned around to his presumable mother he yelled "Apricots!! A whole bag!!" and ran over to show her... my daughter remembers that vividly-she was so struck at how excited he was to see those apricots....


    9 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2003
    Location
    Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
    Posts
    6,902

    Default

    I do not give to panhandlers, as locally, they actually have...I kid you not...a "panhandler's union". But, I noticed several people giving ziploc baggies of toiletries, small food items and the like instead of money. I like that! I give to our local St. Vincent de Paul society that stocks a food pantry, I donate excess eggs from my hens to our local food shelter, and help with a massive food drive through our schools at the holidays (collecting several tons of human and pet food).

    But...I have never regretted giving any kind of charity, ever. Call it karma, good works, what have you, it is all good for giver and receiver.
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


    4 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2000
    Location
    Greenville, MI,
    Posts
    11,848

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cowboymom View Post
    I've often done that; I usually see them at the exit lanes at Walmart or Target and if I end up stopped by someone with a sign I'll hand over what I can spare. I saw a guy with a real pretty dog once and when I left the store I made sure I had a box of dog treats for the dog and I gave the guy some cash, not a lot, usually just whatever I have around. Once there was a lady with a young boy, about 12, and he was holding a sign asking for anything including food . My daughter was about 10 and we had bought a huge bag of fresh apricots and when we stopped at the sign she just reached out that bag of apricots for them. The boy ran over and thanked us and then when he turned around to his presumable mother he yelled "Apricots!! A whole bag!!" and ran over to show her... my daughter remembers that vividly-she was so struck at how excited he was to see those apricots....
    What a sweet daughter you have.
    You know I was going to get him some milk and bread and hamburger, but I just gave him the cash.
    I know so many people can scam folks this way, I also know that many would tell me I am stupid, but it did not feel that way.
    "you can only ride the drama llama so hard before it decides to spit in your face." ?Caffeinated.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 16, 2008
    Location
    Central Oklahoma
    Posts
    3,102

    Default

    I've given food. I never give cash. The worst time was the time when I drove by a guy who held a sign saying "need work." He did not ask for any handouts, just work and I wished terribly I could help him by giving him a honest part time job. Darn legal implication stopped me and I feel bad for it sigh.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2007
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    5,314

    Default

    I never have felt guilty or scammed and honestly I don't care, if I got scammed so be it. I'm willing to take the risk. The regulars in town were pretty well known and they were harmless fixtures. Our town had just set up a homeless warm shelter a couple winters ago b/c a homeless man froze to death in front of Home Depot. There was an older man that had been in town forever, twenty years? and he lived under one of the overpasses by the freeway. He had a tent and clothes and was pretty well set-up under there but man I don't know how he did it at -30 for weeks on end in Montana winter. He was quoted in the paper as saying he just felt safer under his bridge and not in the shelter...

    She is a sweet kid! thanks for that.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2007
    Location
    My very own sliver of heaven.
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    1,302

    Default

    When I was living in Boston, there was a very busy intersection that I drove through on my way home from the grocery store that always had a panhandler or two. I would always pick up a few of the pre-made sandwiches in the deli section as well as a couple of bottles of water and a few bags of chips. If the light turned red while I was driving through, I would hand them out. I won't give money (the statistic for drug and alcohol abuse among the homeless in that area was too high for my liking), but I will always give provisions if I have them on hand.
    Nine out of ten times, you'll get it wrong...but it's that tenth time that you get it right that makes all the difference.


    8 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2002
    Location
    Calera, AL
    Posts
    1,901

    Default

    I'd sometimes buy breakfast for a guy that was homeless and hung out near where I work. I never have cash but since I was walking to get breakfast, I could get him some, too.

    That said, there are a bunch of scammers out there. I used to see a guy holding a gas can begging for gas money. Saw him day after day at the same corner. Either he had the worst luck with his gas tank or...

    Also, there was another very scruffy looking guy that hung out at another corner with a sign begging for work or money. There almost every day. He really just wanted money, not work. One day I watched him cross the parking lot and climb into a luxury SUV and drive off.

    People like the last two are the reason I'm hesitant to help. That and the fact that I never have cash on me anyway.
    "Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are man's adorable little serial killer." -- theoatmeal.com


    2 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2013
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    45

    Default

    I will generally give food, but not money as there have been many stories on the beggars here in Denver and the stories are all the same...either heroin addicts or people who beg instead of work because they make so much money doing it. It is their "job." However, I did cave once with an unemployed veteran. Same thing where I wasn't quite sure why I did it, but I never missed the money. And I figured if he blew the money on drugs or alcohol, that was his choice.

    BTW, I had a friend once give an apple to a homeless beggar and he threw it at her head and screamed obscenities about wanting money instead. So giving food can be dangerous



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun. 25, 2004
    Location
    Carolinas
    Posts
    4,777

    Default

    Normally do food or fuel, but on occasion provide money. DH travels a lot and is often asked for "some" gas money. His usual process is to fill their tank and if he sees the need buy them some food to get them to their destination. I did the same several years ago, haven't been that position since though.

    You never really know if you are being scammed or if you are helping someone to survive another day. I think of the latter and pray for the best.
    "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
    Courtesy my cousin Tim


    2 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep. 29, 2009
    Posts
    2,576

    Default

    I would give food also, never ever cash or anything else.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 26, 2011
    Location
    Its not nowhere, but you can see it from here
    Posts
    3,832

    Default

    If it makes you feel good, and you can afford it, good on you for doing it.

    I only gave money once to a very disabled young man pan handling. I am wary of the validity of most in our area. The saddest one I ever saw was in SLC, clearly a meth head/crack whore type dragging her child around trying to get cash.

    I have bought many a meal in track kitchens for crack heads and drunks on the track. Can't give them money because of what they will use it for, but I am perfectly willing to buy food for them
    From AliCat518 "Seriously, why would you NOT put fried chicken in your purse?!"


    3 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 1999
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    12,337

    Default

    I don't see panhandlers around here at all. If there were, I would do like my cousin in California does. She keeps several bags full of non-perishable food and water in her car, one always in the seat beside her (if she doesn't have any passengers.) If she sees a panhandler at a red light, she just hands him or her one of those bags. From what I understand, every one of her five grown-up kids does the same thing.
    Originally Posted by Alagirl
    We just love to shame poor people...when in reality, we are all just peasants.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2006
    Location
    The rocky part of KY
    Posts
    9,402

    Default

    I used to get hit up at midnight gassing up at the Pilot. I always felt it was a bit of a scam and often gave money just to get them to go away, stupid I know. We just don't have panhandlers anywhere else here.

    In CA they were thick, made going to the Safeway store in town a real headache and it got harder and harder to have compassion especially when you hear stories about the mom panhandling with the kids for food money, then she takes them to the Burger King. I just have a little bit of a hard time with that.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    17,844

    Default

    Call me suspicious. My husband used to run a manufacturing plant in Baltimore. Every day for a week, there was a man on the corner with the needing work sign. People would pull over and give him money. One day, my husband pulled over and said, he would give him a job...just be at the plant (2 blocks away) on Monday morning. He never saw him again.

    We had women with dolls in baby strollers asking for money to feed their baby in the city too. Do you really think a scammer wouldn't use a religious symbol to scam money? If you want to feed them, fine. Put gas in their car, fine. Give them info on food banks and services in your area, fine too. Don't give them money.

    The only time I've ever given anyone money was a woman in front of me in line at Tractor Supply. She was returning some items and they put the credit on her debit card, but it wasn't immediately available. Really, Tractor Supply should have given her cash. She started crying because her husband (who was in the car), was very sick and had to go to the doctor. Around her, no money, no doctor and you pay your copay in advance. So I walked next door with her to the doctor's office and paid her copay. My husband has put gas in gas tanks, but never, never money.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...n_1694577.html
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


    4 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2007
    Location
    ....in a classroom in Fl, by the ocean
    Posts
    3,765

    Default

    I pulled into a gas station a few years ago and a woman my age asked me for 5 bucks for gas, she and her 2, under age 10 kids were running away from her abusive ex boyfriend. I told her to pull up to the pump and I would fill the tank. She said she was driving from Ocala to Daytona, a 2 hour trip and I wanted to make sure she got there.

    She actually told me the cash would be better and all she needed was 5 bucks. I said, "how is 5 dollars in gas going to get you to Daytona?" I repeated for her to go to the pump and I would FILL her tank.
    NOPE! She walked away from me. She wanted that 5 bucks for something other than gas . To top it all off, she had her two kids in the back seat making sad faces at people walking by. Mind you this was at 6am as I was picking up a coffee to go to the barn.

    I walked into the store inquired about the woman outside and the lady behind the register said they are there every other week or so.


    I am not hardened to helping people who need it. I was at publix the other day and the guy in front of me did not have enough money on his EBT card for his lunch (sandwich, drink and chips). I picked up it the difference for him.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2007
    Posts
    9,075

    Default

    Sometimes I give money, and sometimes i give cans of food. Human food and also bags of dog and cat food. Which I carry for that very purpose. In Atlanta, there were lots of people at lots of traffic lights, so I gave less to each since there were so many. Elsewhere, it depends. I've given cash to AIDS guys who needed to get into the AIDS shelter in Atlanta. I try to decide who is a drunk and who is not a drunk when I give money. What I miss about Atlanta is that I could always call the TV anchors and reporters and get people on TV so that they got job offers and money from viewers.

    A few weeks ago, a former BO who was heading in a different direction than I was, and I both turned around in middle of US80 to give a mentally ill guy money. I gave him 20$ and a 20 pound bag of cat food I was taking to the barn cat, since he had a cute puppy with him. My rule is anyone with a dog or cat gets 20$.

    And then there was the guy about a dozen years ago who was standing by a tent on an entrance ramp to I-95 with his dog. When I stopped, I saw 2 adult cats by the tent. Inside was the guy's mother, and she had dementia according to her son. They had been living in an old school bus in Florida and were hitchhiking back to Wyoming, where they were from. I paid a local guy to take the dog and 2 cats and guy and his mother out there as I could not stand to think what was going to happen to all of them.

    You have to be careful, though. One time a boyfriend and I were eating breakfast as he was driving me to work in Atlanta and a guy was eating off of tables in the fast food restaurant. My boyfriend bought the guy a meal, and was cursed out because the guy wanted money to buy alcohol. I think that some people scam us, and some people really need help. Sometimes giving someone just a little help, with cash or food, makes a difference in their lives. So good for you, OP. The gift might change that man's life.

    ETA It doesn't make me feel good to give to people. It makes me feel sad that they don't have money for food or shelter.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 2011
    Posts
    2,966

    Default

    Sorry, but I'm a "too suspicious" person as well. While I donate both food & cash regularly to our local food pantry, the roadside folks are on their own. And frankly, I truly doubt they're actually as "destitute" as they claim. No "need work" signs - just "need cash". And the same people used to get dropped off at the same intersections weekend after weekend until just a few months ago. I have a feeling the powers that be ran them off.


    4 members found this post helpful.

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