Do you give to beggars?

by jean-luc picard 101 Replies latest jw friends

  • Diest

    Giving money to local support groups is better.

  • No Room For George
    No Room For George

    He probably tried to give someone a Helping Hand and they Stole his Feet..



    I'm 50/50 or half dozen in one hand and six in the other when it comes to giving to beggars, bums, homeless, fiends, whatever you want to call them. I will say this, the conversations I've had with that ilk, are by far the most entertaining, and often enough the most honest if you can get cool enough with one of them. One spring afternoon a couple years back, I was in a bank, waiting in a long line, and who'd i see in the line? One of the local bums, and I couldn't but help notice the nice Nikes he had on. At any rate, I kept that in mind for when the next time I'd see him, which was roughly a week later. He asked me for some change, and that's when I told him that I noticed him in the bank. He wasn't really that surprised, and me being me, I asked him, "Duke, what's your hustle?" He broke it down for me telling me that he lost his job due to his alcohol problem, and that he was a Vet and waiting on the VA to assist him in finding a job. He told me that he was in the bank that day with his mother and another relative handling family business.

    Anyways, he told me about his grind, his hustle if you will. He stated that he avoids certain areas that have developed reputations of having aggressive bums asking for money. He said that's not his forte', per say, to be aggressive and he is respectful. Rather he said, there's a couple other areas he frequents for a couple reasons, one of which being the people tend to be a little bit more laid back and willing to give. Also, places where people are spending money, particulary older market communities where cash is preferred over debit/credit, thereby increasing the possiblity that they'll have some extra change or cash to depart with. I appreciated his honesty, and ever since that day, if I had a little spare change on me, I'd give it to him. Plus when I see him, we talk and laugh a little bit. There's a certain commadre I have with him. I went quite a while without seeing him and when I last seen him a couple weeks back, he didn't recognize me right away. When he did, he shook my hand with his sticky sweaty paw and asked how everything was. I asked him where he's been and he replied he's been avoiding the scene because of his twin brother who's also an alcoholic was making things difficult for him. He emphasized to me that his brother was NOT him, but rather it was his brother. I just chuckled to myself all the while thinking I can't wait to walk away from him so I can use my hand sanitizer. He asked if I could give him anything, and I told him no which was truthful because I didn't have any change. I told him on my way back down the street from taking care of what I need to, if I had any change, I'd take care of him. By the time I got done doing what I had to do, he was gone.

    There's another dude that used to always ask me for money when he'd see me. One particular day, I was having a rough day and when he asked me for some money, I paused and looked at him and said, "You know, you ask me for doe everytime you see me, and no matter how many times I say no, you just keep on asking. Don't ask me anymore!" Shocked him,, and he apologized. I went around the corner and hit a MAC machine, and when I came back around the corner, he asked me for money. I stopped and stared at him. He said, "Oh, my fault." I just smiled cynically and walked away.

    Something that freaked me out several years back was seeing someone I knew who was out on the streets and begging. When I was in high school, and even fresh out of high school, I ran with some unscrupulous nonJW individuals. One night I was in bar/resteraunt when one of my friends came in and said a couple guys down the street tried to jump him. So I went along with him to see these guys, and when we got there, only one was left. So its now, me and my friend, and this guy who tried to jump is now by himself. We decided to let the guy get a fair one, one on one. So him and my friend rumbled and it progressed from being on the sidewalk to the middle of a busy avenue. Cars were stopping and honking, and these two were going toe to toe as if it were a boxing ring. My friend won hands down and was on the verge of knocking this other guy out as he caught him a couple times, but then the police showed up. So they arrested both of them, and my buddy nodded at me, and I slid off. Later on he told me that the dude actually came to his father's house and apologized which back then was unheard of. At any rate, people go, friends come and go, and I haven't seen my friend in several years. But several years ago, I did end up running into the guy he fought back then, and I couldn't believe it. His lips were chapped, he stunk, clothes dirty, his one eye was lazy, I mean he was a shell of himself. I don't know what poison got him, crack or heroin, but here he was asking for money at a gas station. I gave him a few bucks, and I don't know if he remembered me or not, but I definately remembered him. It was truly a humbling experience seeing him like that.

    It's amazing how people come and go in life, and how some make out ok, and others don't. I know I can complain with the best of whiners both on here on this forum, and off of it, but every now and then its good to count my blessings too.

  • PSacramento

    I give.

    Sometimes money, sometimes food and drink.

    I give out of love and to help, I don't concern myself with what someone one MAY do with it, that is something they will have to live with.

    I've worked in a homeless shelter and in a shelter for women ( as security) and a soup kitchen and have seen way too many of them come in from the cold.

  • BizzyBee

    I'm with Shelby - I don't go through the mental gymnastics of judging - is this a con? or not?

    Some random lucky beggar gets $5 from me about once a month.

  • donuthole

    I need to throw my hat in those that don't stop to judge if it is a con, someone who will use it for drugs/alcohol, or really someone in need.

    God makes it rain on the wicked and the righteous. Jesus gave himself for millions who will never appreciate it or acknowledge it.

    My obligation before Heaven is to give -- what a person does with that gift under Heaven is on them.

  • skeeter1

    Before we had kids, I'd give to beggers, especially when I lived in a large city and I walked by them. Alot of them are Veterans, others have mental problems, and are from a life of abuse. I just give a dollar or five. I'd keep loose money in my pocket for the purpose. I've never given that I haven't gotten something in return.

    But, to be honest, I don't like giving to beggers when I am in my car. I get this uneasy feeling that they might car jack me. This has never happened, and so I tell myself that this is my own worry.

    And, I don't like beggers when I have my children around. The reason is that I worry that alot of them might be pedophiles like the Smart abductor who hid her in a homeless camp in San Diego. I fear that they might try to abduct my child. This may be unrealistic, but it's how I feel.

    I don't see many beggers anymore. Live too far out in the sticks.


  • Jim_TX

    I've done both. I've given money, and I've not given money. I don't have the smarts to know if a person is genuinely needing help or not, and so lately I have been giving less and less.

    The reason? Well, locally, they have set up a program to help the homeless downtown. We're talking a new construction, fenced-in area, that is using tax dollars to support it. I reason that if folks are really in need, they'll make their way down there and get it. Some choose to not go there - for whatever reason that they have - or make up.

    I also reason that if a 'homeless' person - or perhaps panhandler would be a better term - were to get $100 per day... that's a lot. It's unreported income. That is... they aren't going to file a tax return at the end of the year declaring the monies that they received the past year, panhandling - which could be quite a sum.

    There are extenuating circumstances, of course. If someone comes up and I can see that they are really needing it, for whatever reason, I will give them something.

    I agree with the other posters to offer food. I did that once, and the fella backed away from me like I had a contagious disease. He didn't want the food - he wanted the money. Plus, I learned that he had a home in a nice part of the neighborhood, and just had his hand out for extra income.

    I will ask some of them if they are aware that 'panhandling' is against the law... many will scoot off into the shadows.

    Police around here are nice to the homeless, in that if they spot them, they will approach them, and in some cases escort them to the homeless shelter downtown.

    It's a rough world... but some choose to be homeless.


    Jim TX

  • Vanderhoven7

    Lady Lee,

    I ran into the same situation, but the guy was actually deaf...or at least he was a good ASL signer. Hope he used the 20 bucks properly.

    I'm curious. You have been to Montreal. You know sign language. Are you a native signer (i.e. daughter of deaf parents) or have deaf sibblings or did you just take lessons? My Dad was pastor of "The Montreal Mission of the Deaf" for many years btw. That's how I met my significant other. My wife's parents were both deaf; she is still teaching a deaf class at the Mackay Center.


  • AGuest
    I don't like beggers when I have my children around.

    I get that, dear Skeeter (peace to you!), and of course one MUST make sure not to put their children in an unsafe situation, ever. But I always wanted my children to understand their... ummmmm... "blessings"... how fortunate they are and have been... and so I did and do it in front of them. And it has paid off, IMHO. Both of my kids (adults) now, give... both on the street and through various charity events that they either promote (my son) or perform in (my daughter). And some of my son's friends surprised me a couple months ago when, after we had all gotten together for a meal to honor a college graduating friend (a young former police officer who, in his "thanks for coming" speech, said my son convinced him to go to college and was grateful because he had been accepted to Hastings Law School)... they all bought meals and then went on what they call a "bum run" downtown. Yep, they told me that they often go on these "runs"... cruising the area and handing out the meals... after getting together and having a meal out. What got me most is that they said... my son taught them to do it. These were all people under 30.

    I realize that giving is hard: it's hard to let go of what we have... and it's hard to know who to give to. It's easier, though, when you don't let yourself worry about either, but just do it. You really won't miss it, dear ones... and you probably don't need that daily hugely over-priced vente macchiato, anyway. Of course, not everyone "has it like that" - I'm only speaking as to those who do...


    A slave of Christ,

    SA, who has learned that there really IS more happiness in giving...

  • Bella15

    I give and stop whenever I feel prompted to do it ... among others things I buy them the food, water; stop and talk to them; get to know their needs, if they need a ride to a shelter or if they need my cell to call a relative, etc.

    I don't know why as JW I didn't help more ... I used to think they were all drunks, addicts, etc, and some are, but who am I to judge? It is ONLY for the grace of God that I am still standing!

    Hebrews 13:2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.

    On the last day, Jesus will say to those on His right hand, "Come, enter the Kingdom. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was sick and you visited me." Then Jesus will turn to those on His left hand and say, "Depart from me because I was hungry and you did not feed me, I was thirsty and you did not give me to drink, I was sick and you did not visit me." These will ask Him, "When did we see You hungry, or thirsty or sick and did not come to Your help?" And Jesus will answer them, "Whatever you neglected to do unto one of these least of these, you neglected to do unto Me!"

    I think the Watchtower CORPORATION theaches that the "least of these" are their Board of Directors aka faithful slave ... , or something like that

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