What do YOU do

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  • #26
Moonbear
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The answers in this thread are specific to countries where soup kitchens, free shelters and easy access to people/organizations who help is available, aren't they? In other places, there a large number of really poor people who don't have access to such facilities. Many, especially the disabled/old can't find work, or support their family.

For example, in such places, it's fairly common to see people knock your window and beg for money while waiting in traffic, or when walking out of shops, etc.

Yes, I suppose that's the case. I've never lived in a place that didn't have shelters or soup kitchens available for the truly needy, so there's really no need to be begging for food when there are people passing it out willingly. I figure those begging for money in those communities want it for something other than food and shelter (i.e., drugs, alcohol) and it's not going to help them at all to give that to them.

I think if I were in a place where there were no shelters/soup kitchens, I'd be more inclined to help. But, I still wouldn't just give them money. I'd rather buy them a meal, or provide some food for them to make a meal. I'd do the same if I had a neighbor who was cash-strapped and struggling to feed the family. I wouldn't hand them money to misspend (I think most people who wind up struggling initially get there by misspending what they have, unless they've wound up unemployable due to some long-term illness that's eating away at their savings with medical bills, etc.), I'd invite them over for dinner, make sure the kids have milk and cereal for breakfast, and generally make sure they aren't going to starve while getting on their feet.
 
  • #27
Ivan Seeking
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Yeah, one time, instead of giving a guy money, I ran across the street, bought him food, and handed him the bag. But people living on the street don't always have options. There are only so many beds and so much free food, which is why we see large populations of homeless setting up mini-cities in city parks and other places. Also, since the states started closing down all of the mental institutions due to a lack of funding [so the mentally ill are now often imprisoned instead], many people on the street have mental illnesses, so they may not understand how or where to get help.

I quit giving money to the Portland Mission [the biggest around] because the last time I did, they obviously sold my name to about a hundred other charities as I was innundated with calls for months. When I asked to donate anonymously the next year, they refused.
 
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  • #28
turbo
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I quit giving money to the Portland Mission [the biggest around] because the last time I did, they obviously sold my name to about a hundred other charities as I was innundated with calls for months. When I asked to donate anonymously the next year, they refused.
I have reverted back to donating to the Salvation Army through anonymous cash donations. My wife and I decided to dig deep and sent a fat check to them after Katrina, and we were inundated with pleas for money. No more.
 
  • #29
Moonbear
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I quit giving money to the Portland Mission [the biggest around] because the last time I did, they obviously sold my name to about a hundred other charities as I was innundated with calls for months. When I asked to donate anonymously the next year, they refused.

Wow, I've never heard of a charity refusing an anonymous donation before. Usually the only reason to give your name is if you need a receipt for a tax deduction. That's sad that they would do that.
 
  • #30
turbo
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Wow, I've never heard of a charity refusing an anonymous donation before. Usually the only reason to give your name is if you need a receipt for a tax deduction. That's sad that they would do that.
That is a bit strange, but if they can sell the names of names of people who make large donations, and sell them multiple times, that's probably a big source of income.
 
  • #31
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I ignore them and keep walking. If they don't have money for food, they can go to the soup kitchen. If they need a place to sleep with a roof over their head, they can go to the shelter. I'll more than gladly donate to soup kitchens and shelters where I know the money is going to feed the homeless and hungry or give them a roof over their head to sleep at night, but I will not give cash handouts to beggars.
Moonbear's badass.

The longer you've lived in say, India, the sooner you start to learn you can't give money to every beggar.
 
  • #32
Ivan Seeking
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Wow, I've never heard of a charity refusing an anonymous donation before. Usually the only reason to give your name is if you need a receipt for a tax deduction. That's sad that they would do that.

I could hardly believe it! Clearly this is a racket. But it is supposed to be one of the most respected institutions of its kind, in Oregon.
 
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  • #33
Ivan Seeking
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That is a bit strange, but if they can sell the names of names of people who make large donations, and sell them multiple times, that's probably a big source of income.

Yes, which I see as being more than a little disingenuous; in fact it is pretty slimy in my book. I certainly regretted my donation, for months!
 
  • #34
turbo
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Yes, which I see as being more than a little disingenuous; in fact it is pretty slimy in my book. I certainly regretted my donation, for months!
So did my wife and myself after the Katrina donation. It can take a long time to make these outfits purge you from their mailing lists, and I'm sure that some of those outfits sold our names, too. Thankfully, the begging has settled down to a more tolerable level.
 
  • #35
Ivan Seeking
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The longer you've lived in say, India, the sooner you start to learn you can't give money to every beggar.

Okay, so give to every other one. :biggrin:
 
  • #36
I will give $ to the person almost always( if I do not have any $ but I have some food then I give food) after all I have clothes on my back , people who love me, and a home to go too.
 
  • #37
Ivan Seeking
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- More than 25 percent of the homeless population in the United States are war veterans, although they represent only 11 percent of the civilian adult population, according to a report to be released Thursday. [continued]
http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/11/08/homeless.veterans/index.html
 
  • #38
Art
It's hard to know whether it is better to give aid directly to the needy or via an organised charity.

Giving directly is open to abuse both in distinguishing between the genuinely needy and the professional beggar and in how the recipient spends the donation - drink, substance abuse etc.

Giving via a recognised charity however also has it's pitfalls with much of the donated money being skimmed off in 'expenses'. eg

MADD's `exorbitant costs' anger charity's volunteers

Kevin Donovan
staff reporter

People who donate to Mothers Against Drunk Driving are told by the charity that most of the $12 million it raises annually is spent on good works — stopping drunk driving and helping families traumatized by fatal crashes.

But a Star investigation reveals most of the high-profile charity's money is spent on fundraising and administration, leaving only about 19 cents of each donor dollar for charitable works.
Perhaps gov't ran programs are a better option.
 

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