Random Acts of Kindness


  • Mar 08, 2010 2:30 AM GMT
    I am normally against giving to pan handle.

    Recently, a homeless (was carrying his belonging on his back) approached me as I was walking to get takeout dinner at a local restaurant. I did not have cash and brushed him off. After walking from the restaurant to the car with my dinner. I felt slightly guilty because I know how it feels to not have money as I was recently unemployed and had to live on tight budget. As I was driving home, I saw the same homeless guy and decided to turn around and gave him my last $20. I felt good and drove home.
    Three days later, I went to a local grocery to get some goods. I ran into the same homeless guy with his belonging. What shocked me was that he was buying lottery/scratch and win cards. I was kind of disappointed and irritated that this guy who claimed to not have money, but have money to gamble.
    Am I judging or trying to impose my values on him?
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    Mar 08, 2010 2:46 AM GMT
    your imposing your ideas on him.

    When you give someone money you have given up the right to what he does with that money, you don't get to stipulate what he does with it.

    If you didn't want him doing something you didn't agree with you shouldn't have given him the money.
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    Mar 08, 2010 2:48 AM GMT
    lilTanker saidyour imposing your ideas on him.

    When you give someone money you have given up the right to what he does with that money, you don't get to stipulate what he does with it.

    If you didn't want him doing something you didn't agree with you shouldn't have given him the money.


    Ditto.
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    Mar 08, 2010 3:06 AM GMT
    In case you guys didn't know.. Those guys make a lot of money. Up to $300 a day. More during the holidays. Plus, free food and clothing and whatever hand outs that people give them.

    Also, in some cases, panhandling is a second job for these people. I remember there was a news expose that showed a panhandler walking a few blocks away from his "spot" and getting into a moderately nice car. They followed him to his home, which was also moderately nice.

    It's ok to be charitable. But it might be wiser to donate your time or money to an organization that helps the homeless directly.
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    Mar 08, 2010 3:07 AM GMT

    Well there is the possibility that your 20 bucks went to food the day before, someone else slipped him a few bucks and so he bought a few lottery tickets.
    Here's a thought or two for you...
    If he wins he won't be pan-handling any more. It's a huge temptation for the destitute, offers a small irrational hope, and a lot better than buying drugs or booze.

    I used to be a runner for Meals on Wheels and always got a complimentary brown bag lunch for volunteering a few hours out of my day. This I used to give the homeless in downtown Vancouver on the way home.

    You could try this: next time, go to a nearby food store that sells gift certificates (like a credit card) for 20 bucks - give that to him. He could try to sell it to someone but more likely he'll use it.


    Whether or not it went to good use or not, it was very kind of you, and triggers a little feeling of admiration in me.

    -Doug

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    Mar 08, 2010 3:25 AM GMT
    Not sure if this qualifies as "random" but...

    At one point in the east sixties of Manhattan I became a late night park regular, exercising my showdogs off leash around midnight when it was near empty and always gave a passing nod or a few words to the local drug dealers, vagrants and tranny hookers, who not only loved them but often had my back by giving me a head's up when there was someone else in the park who would object. (Rebels against convention, we.)

    One winter night the temperature dipped to around ten degrees and while the dogs were at play I chatted with a couple guys under the overpass and one said he'd get out of the cold if he could only afford a bus ticket to get to his sister in Philly for the holidays. After I got back to my apartment at 1am I bought a roundtrip bus ticket online in his name, went back and told him all he had to do was show up at Penn Station and give his name at the counter to receive the ticket. Turns out he had to work for that ticket after all - he had NO identification and had to stand in line I forget where (welfare office?) to get new ID so he could pick up the bus ticket. By the next afternoon he was out of the icy cold and en route to Philly, where he stayed with his sister for a week. Let me tell ya, if I was safe before in that park I was GOLDEN afterwards.
  • jgymnast733

    Posts: 1783

    Mar 08, 2010 3:31 AM GMT
    WOW, i would have kicked his ass.....was he cuteicon_question.gif

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    Mar 08, 2010 3:32 AM GMT
    Not cute at all - scruffy, late forties, few teeth, ratty clothes, in need of a bath, and attacked in the park months earlier. But he was always nice to me and my dogs, which is more than I can say for most people in that neighborhood. (Pedestrians with incredible senses of entitlement and/or self importance would frequently plow right into my tightly leashed large fluffy white dogs while they were curbed.)
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    Mar 08, 2010 3:38 AM GMT
    I walked up to a park bench to do some push up's when a homeless woman who was laying down .....and who I didn't not see chewed me out for harassing her and telling me that I was invading her privacy.

    I said I would hurry and only be there five min. I offered her some change and then she accused me of trying to buy her off...LOL...can't win for losing and she told me I was nothing but a rich moralistic, capitalistic spoiled rotten brat.... Hmmm maybe they know more about things than I realize?
  • jgymnast733

    Posts: 1783

    Mar 08, 2010 3:41 AM GMT
    Theres a guy who's always asking for money on madison avenue and i always say hello to him since he's always around..Well, one day i was visiting a buddy[ okay a fuck buddy] in brooklyn and i saw the same guy driving by in a really nice jeep, i caught up to him at the light and said 'WHATS UP?', he told me he hangs out on 5th ave and madison ave to suppliment his income...icon_eek.gif
    CAN YOU BELIEVE..icon_eek.gif
  • jgymnast733

    Posts: 1783

    Mar 08, 2010 4:08 AM GMT
    eagermuscle saidNot cute at all - scruffy, late forties, few teeth, ratty clothes, in need of a bath, and attacked in the park months earlier. But he was always nice to me and my dogs, which is more than I can say for most people in that neighborhood. (Pedestrians with incredible senses of entitlement and/or self importance would frequently plow right into my tightly leashed large fluffy white dogs while they were curbed.)

    Believe me, i know the type......
    I'm sure i must have seen you with your dogs since i always bike home after working late at that hour.. but yeah, i always talk with the homeless people around the area, i'm always bringing them leftovers from office parties and their very thankful.....Saw this female sleeping on the park bench on a freezing night, so i went upstairs and brought down a comforter to put it over her, she thanks me everytime i see her now and a neighbor saw me doing this and reached out to say thank you...
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    Mar 08, 2010 4:13 AM GMT
    Back when I was employed, I would give homeless people $5, $10, and once even $20 depending on how much I had. I was by no means rich but I like helping people especially those who looked like they needed it more then i did. Only thing i was gonna end up doing was wasting it on something frivolous anyway so i figured why not give to someone less fortunate than I was. They were always so grateful and polite.

    The one time I had a negative experience give to a destitute; was I went into a subway and a kid no more then 10 or 11 was standing near the door alone at night. The little boy was filthy, and had his hand on his stomach. I didnt have much money and he told me how he was staying with his grandmother and she had no food and no money and she went to sleep and he was hungry.

    So he walked to subway to see if someone could help him. I damn near shed a tear, he said he collected enough change from others so he didnt need much more than a dollar. So i gave him $3 anyway. I walked into the subway to get my food and by the time i walked out I saw the same boy in a new spot counting what looked like at least $20 in ones. I was sooooo pissed.
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    Mar 08, 2010 4:26 AM GMT
    jgymnast733 said
    eagermuscle saidNot cute at all - scruffy, late forties, few teeth, ratty clothes, in need of a bath, and attacked in the park months earlier. But he was always nice to me and my dogs, which is more than I can say for most people in that neighborhood. (Pedestrians with incredible senses of entitlement and/or self importance would frequently plow right into my tightly leashed large fluffy white dogs while they were curbed.)

    Believe me, i know the type......
    I'm sure i must have seen you with your dogs since i always bike home after working late at that hour.. but yeah, i always talk with the homeless people around the area, i'm always bringing them leftovers from office parties and their very thankful.....Saw this female sleeping on the park bench on a freezing night, so i went upstairs and brought down a comforter to put it over her, she thanks me everytime i see her now and a neighbor saw me doing this and reached out to say thank you...

    That's very nice, jgymnast733 - what was an impulse for me sounds like a habit for you.
  • jgymnast733

    Posts: 1783

    Mar 08, 2010 4:38 AM GMT
    eagermuscle said
    jgymnast733 said
    eagermuscle saidNot cute at all - scruffy, late forties, few teeth, ratty clothes, in need of a bath, and attacked in the park months earlier. But he was always nice to me and my dogs, which is more than I can say for most people in that neighborhood. (Pedestrians with incredible senses of entitlement and/or self importance would frequently plow right into my tightly leashed large fluffy white dogs while they were curbed.)

    Believe me, i know the type......
    I'm sure i must have seen you with your dogs since i always bike home after working late at that hour.. but yeah, i always talk with the homeless people around the area, i'm always bringing them leftovers from office parties and their very thankful.....Saw this female sleeping on the park bench on a freezing night, so i went upstairs and brought down a comforter to put it over her, she thanks me everytime i see her now and a neighbor saw me doing this and reached out to say thank you...

    That's very nice, jgymnast733 - what was an impulse for me sounds like a habit for you.

    I enjoy spreading the love,[my mantra], i'm so very blessed and fortunate to be loved and watched over that i must pass it on....
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    Mar 08, 2010 4:39 AM GMT
    Sometimes I give a few bucks to hard cases that I know, but I don't have much expectation that it's going to do any good. I almost never give money to street people, mainly because - there are just too many. Which one do you choose? If I'm eating dinner in the city, I might have the uneaten part of the absurdly huge portions boxed up and hand it to someone who's sleeping in a doorway.

    The first time I gave money to a beggar, I was an unbelievably dweeby 16 y/o on my first trip to a big city - New Orleans. (Look up "naive" in the dictionary. Yeah, that's my picture.) I gave my pocket change to a couple of raggedy kids begging in St. Peter's Square. Later, I saw them coming out of the mens room, having changed into their cool disco threads, that obviously cost more than everything I owned. icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Mar 08, 2010 2:26 PM GMT
    When I give money to benefit the hungry and downtrodden, I feel it is important that my hard earned cash be used for what I intended. That is my wish, and if I found out my money was being used for lottery tickets, booze or drugs, I wouldn't be one bit happy. I reserve the right to insure my gifts go where they're were intended. If that is imposing my will - I guess that is a good thing.
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    Mar 08, 2010 2:55 PM GMT
    Usually you get a great song & dance number about how his wife and kids are sitting in the car back up the street and he needs gas money so he can get to his new job stripping asbestos insulation in another state by tomorrow or lose the job, or some other such horseshit.

    I've been approached so many times by so many different people wanting money that I usually just walk on by with a polite "no".


    Two Exceptions:

    1) A obvious drunk walked up and said "Hey, buddy. Can I have a dollar or two so I can get me some booze?"
    I said "Yes, you can! Because you didn't give me any bullshit about what you wanted it for, here!" and gave him a 5 spot.

    2) Sitting at an outside eating area of a mid-priced restaurant I noticed a guy who was parking (badly) at the curb nearby. Soon he got out and as he walked he was looking at me from the corner of his eye. I thought he was cruising me...he was very handsome. He walked near us as we sat at the wrought-iron fence that surrounded the dining area, and nervously approached. I could barely hear him, he was talking so softly.
    He claimed he had just gotten out of the military (he did have a high&tight cut and walked with the bearing of someone who served) and he needed some money to get something to eat and gas so he could head back home.
    I brushed him off, saying I didn't have any cash on me.

    Later, after we ate and walked back to our car, he was sitting in his truck by the curb in a beat up S-10 pickup that had seen better days.
    I walked close, noticed the Camp LeJune Base Pass and rapped on his side glass. I asked him how much he needed to get back home. He said he was headed to Chillicothe OH, to stay with is Uncle & Aunt for a few days and work for them so he could get on back to (near) Ft Wayne, IN.
    I told him again I didn't have more than 5 bucks cash, but if he was being honest, I'd buy him some dinner. He said he was honest. I could see the embarrassment in his eyes and knew he was telling the truth. I had him follow me to a fast food place (The pace we just left was closing and he wasn't dressed to eat there) and after buying him a good meal I told him to follow me to the gas station next door. I filled up his tank. You should have seen the tears in his eyes! He was so grateful and kept asking for my address so he could send me the money when he started working.
    I said "You paid it in full by your service to your country, son."
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    Mar 08, 2010 4:11 PM GMT
    i buy people food/bus tickets if they ask for money for food or bus tickets, that way i know the money i'm giving is being used they way i intended it to be used for. other than that i don't give money because you don't know the whole situation of a strangers' circumstance.
    i overheard these school kids once and one said he was just going to hang around the city and ask for money the little shit lol.

    when i was around 14 i caught an express train by accident because it was my first train trip on my own and this incredibly hot bloke i got chatting to gave me $4 for a ticket back though i didn't buy a ticket and i've kept the money 12 years on.

    i guess you have to gauge your trust in people and the amount of control you're willing to let go.
  • tazzari

    Posts: 2937

    Mar 08, 2010 4:21 PM GMT
    I work with the food bank at our church, a very large, inner-urban facility that serves just short of 2,000 people per week. The advice we give is: don't give money: give bus tickets, etc., and refer people to services such as ours, where the abusers can be sorted out from the truly needy.

    I applaud the impulse to help - but while many of these people do need help and deserve it, others will spend your money on drugs or alcohol. It's your choice if that's where you want your money to go, but you may also be feeding some pretty unsavory habits and/or scams.

    Look for a good outfit that helps those in need, and look for one that doesn't spend much of its income on salaries, etc. Generally, your donation to such an organization will go much further toward doing good, than handing it to someone with a good story. You can also direct your donations to organizations that work in areas you prefer to support, as homeless youth, veterans, etc.