Do you give to beggars?

by jean-luc picard 101 Replies latest jw friends

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    Like many others here I do give to my local food bank - they rent space in my building 2 days a week

    When I was working I always had at least one client that I saw for free because they just couldn't afford it otherwise. I donate clothes to a place that helps the needy and have recently started a little job for them. People give them broken jewelry and instead of throwing it out I fix it, take it back and they sell it.

    Seems like there are more folks in here from Montreal than I thought. If you are still there we could maybe get together next time I am there

  • Twitch

    Only the beggars that hang around the vendor,..not

  • NomadSoul

    I do sometimes.

  • AGuest

    Greetings, all, and may you have peace! I would like to respond to the "bleeding heart" comment, because I think it warrants some consideration. First, I might have misunderstood the question/topic: I am sure that many, if not most here give to organizations created to help those in need. But the question was do you give to "beggars"? Most of the people who are helped by charitable organizations are not beggars, per se. They have either suffered some natural disaster, have some debilitating disease/infirmity, are TEMPORARILY down on their luck, etc. Beggars, however, are, IMHO, another thing entirely (and, yes, some make a living at it, but I'm not concerned with that).

    For charitable organizations, I give but not always. I do so only when I am compelled or directed by my Lord. Why? Because these are the ones that most give to. They are also the ones that many make THEIR living on such giving - yes, many volunteer (and are to be absolutely commended!), but MANY are also paid for their "work." So, it often depends on the amount of my "dollar" that actually goes to those in need, versus "administrative" costs, including exective salaries. Because, IMHO, some of these are actually no different than the beggar on the street, per se. They make THEIR living "begging"... for donations, etc., which THEY get paid to do... with little actually going to those they claim to begging FOR.

    With street beggars, however, there is no middle man: it's me... and them. I am giving of mine DIRECTLY to someone who "asks" of me. Do they REALLY need it? Well, since we ALL need it... I would have to say, yes. The issue, however, is what do they need it FOR? I don't care... and here's another reason why:

    I have only been a recipient for public assistance once in my life... for one month. My children were very young and I had been working nights for some time (after separating from their dad the first time). Unfortunately, my youngest, age 2.5 and quite precocious at the time, had gone outside while I was sleeping... then tried to make himself breakfast (I awoke to find the front door open, dirt in the toilet, and an entire 1/2 gallon of milk and whole box of Rice Crispies strewn all over my kitchen!). I knew then that I had to change to a day job and get him in preschool.

    So, I went down to the main welfare office in my town (Sacto) and applied for assistance (money and food stamps) to carry me over until I could find a day job. After looking at my application the lady at the window told me that I didn't qualify because I was working and made too much money. I told her, "Yes, but I'm going to quit my job today. I just need to get this started so that I don't have a gap while I look for a day job because I will have rent to pay." She told me I couldn't do that. I told HER that I had worked since I was 13 and so had paid into the system, and was asking for assistance for the FIRST time in my life... and how could she tell me that I couldn't get it... when people who NEVER worked a day, could get it??! She told me that that was how things "worked." I then told HER... that I didn't want to talk to HER anymore and to get me a supervisor. The "supervisor" came and told me the same thing, that I couldn't do it. I told HER... that I was a taxpaying citizen and so I didn't want to talk to HER anymore, either... and to get me HER supervisor.

    I ended up in the Director's office (because I had begun to make a bit of scene out front, you BET I did!). He was very calm... and very kind... and simply asked how he could "help" me. I told him that I had two small children and had been working nights but needed to change to days for my son's safety (because he had gotten out while I was asleep). He didn't say, "Well, you should put child locks on your door" or "You should put him in childcare" like the clerks upfront had said (the latter of which was undoable; I couldn't AFFORD childcare, which is why I worked nights - I took them to work WITH me). He understood. He told me to go to work, get a letter from my boss that I had resigned, and bring it back to him... and he would start my "aid" that very day - I could pick up a check that afternoon, as well as receive my final paycheck. And so, I did what he said... and got a check... for a full month, that afternoon.

    BUT... in order to get ANOTHER check... I had to fill out paperwork that, IMHO, requested so much PERSONAL information, I literally felt "violated." As I went through the form, I kept thinking "Why are you asking THAT?... None of your businesss... None of your business." Note, this was close to 30 years ago... and back then, the "information" they wanted in order to give you money was... ridiculous, IMHO. (My understanding is that prior to that... during the 60's and before... they literally did home inspections, even opening closets and drawers!). No. Uh-uh... didn't need THEIR money, that bad! I didn't need ANYONE else's money that bad! So, I went to several law firms and literally BEGGED for a job. I got one and it paid pretty well (although the man, a lawyer, was a pervert, who used to sit at his desk, with his door slightly ajar, staring at me from behind a Penthouse magazine - ewwwwwwww!).

    The entire experience, however, excluding my discussion with the Director and HIS response and action... made me feel like a beggar. Like I was asking for something that I was not ENTITLED to... and how dare I even ask. The people I dealt with (excluding the Director) acted as if I was asking them to go into their OWN pockets/personal bank accounts... and give me some of THEIR money. I felt humiliated, degraded... and dirty. I could imagine, then, how someone who ISN'T entitled to help from another... may feel even having to ask.

    Now, I realize that not everyone has to have similar experiences in order to have a giving heart. But experiences can be a contributing factor. They are, in my case. For me, it is my desire that NO ONE have to experience or feel some of things I have in MY life... because of ME. My experiences may have been brief, but they made deep impressions. My life choices are often the result of my life experiences... and not a bleeding heart.

    Sometimes things are about moccasins, dear ones... and from the perspective of those who've worn them.

    Again, peace to you all!

    A slave of Christ,


    P.S. My ex and I did reconcile about a year later... and stuck with it for another 13 years...

  • james_woods

    When I was just a little kid - it must have been when I was about ten, because it was before my parents joined the witnesses -

    I read the A. Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes story "The Man With the Twisted Lip".

    It was about a mid-level bank executive who found that he could make more money (more easily, too) by going to work in his business clothes, and then changing to beggar's gear and disguising his face with a deformed lip with theatrical makeup. He would panhandle on the sidewalk all day, then clean up and go home as if he were still a banker.

    Sherlock Holmes discovered his secret and revealed him for what he was.

    I have always kept that in mind when I see street begging.

  • Vanderhoven7

    Lady Lee,

    <<I taught sign for hearing people at MacKay back in the late 80s....>

    LOL. Small world, isn't it. I taught at Mackay (PH Dept) from 1974 to 2005 (31 years). My wife started teaching there in 1972. I got my job based on her rep. and perhaps my good looks too ;o) I was hired in the parking lot by Jamie McDougal (psychologist) who later became director and is now proffing at McGill. You probably saw me in the halls, unless you taught sign language courses at night. My wife also worked with deaf Inuit students up north (both in Nunivik and Nunivut) and finally came back and "replaced" me when I retired from Mackay. You might have seen Donna in the halls of our illustrious institution as well. I'll ask her if she recognizes you from your pic.

    - - -

    OK back on topic. I often give to down-and outers with cardboard signs and empty cups who tend to hang around traffic lights downtown as I drive to McGill almost daily. I hate giving to the squeegy bunch though. They tend not to ask if you want your spotless car windshield cleaned and start right in if you say "no thanks"... and then have the audacity to give you a dirty look/choice word or two if you don't fork over. I'm sure some are high on something. Oh well; seems to be one of the prices you pay for driving into town from the burbs I guess.

  • PenelopePaige

    I almost always give to beggars. But what sucks is when they come up and you think they need food or whatever but the minute you give them money they become, "crack-eyed" and start hopping around looking for the dopeman. That sucks. Then I know I"ve been had.

  • ShirleyW

    Hey Shelby

    Your post reminds me of two separate incidents. A friend also needed help for a month or so, while she was speaking to the woman, she asked my friend to go to the copier and made a copy, when she came back the woman wasn't there so my nosy friend kinda looked thru the paperwork on her, desk, she already had the info on paper that my friend was asked to bring with her and make a copy of, have no idea at this time what it was, but they already have you "scoped out" now before you get there

    Back in the 60's a sister moved to NYC from VA with five kids, she was an able bodied person, HOWEVER she received welfare and never worked! Needless to say today, that won't even fly My mother even had her clean the house a few times to put some extra bucks in her pocket, wonder how many more of the bros and sis houses she was cleaning !!

  • leavingwt

    Do you give to beggars?

    Generally, no. However, I don't have a hard and fast rule. If I have a few singles or a five, and the person does not the appearance of being intoxicated/high, I've been known to give them a few bucks and offer a smile and dignity.

  • Magwitch

    Yes, always. We do not have that many beggars here in Boulder. My heart goes out to them. If it is especially hot (100+) or very cold (0), I am especially generous. My daughters are struggling college students, but they have learned to give to these unfortunate people whatever change they have. I do not care if it goes to the liquor store. It helps them get through another day with a little less pain.

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