Have you ever given money (or food) to a person with a sign?

homeless person with sign - need money, need food, need love... true even if you aren't homeless
@mommyboo (13197)
United States
July 25, 2008 10:40am CST
Just the other day a guy approached me in the parking lot when I was heading to my car with groceries. For the most part I really try to get away from people who do this, or people who stand by the freeway exits with signs saying they are homeless or jobless or starving or what have you. Anyway, this guy asked me for change, I gave him my normal spiel about not carrying cash (which is generally true) but instead of walking away, he went on to say that he was really hungry, he hadn't had a meal all day and that's all he wanted the change for. I felt bad for him so I told him if he could wait there, I would get a few tacos from the drive thru and come back. I figured if he wasn't there in a few minutes, then he wasn't really hungry, no harm, no foul, my daughter could eat the tacos. Well... when I got my daughter in the car she started asking me why the guy was hungry. I felt even WORSE as I was explaining to her that some people do not have a home to go to and a pantry of food when they get hungry. I picked up a few tacos from the drive-thru and drove back and sure enough, the guy was still there, so I handed him the bag through the window and he thanked me and dug in right away. Even though I'm not likely to do this again, I do think I made the right decision. Has this ever happened to you? How does it make you feel? What do you do? I usually shy away, especially with people asking for money because so often they go buy beer or alcohol or cigs or something. Food is a necessity, I don't at all feel bad about providing that to somebody if I am able. Another thought on the heels of this one, if you do get approached often, do you think it's because of how you dress, what you look like, what you drive? I consider myself a very average individual, I do not look like a BANK so I've no idea why people ask me for money so often lol.
6 people like this
16 responses
• Regina, Saskatchewan
25 Jul 08
Frankly boo, I think you did exactly the right thing. Got the food yourself. Even if I did have money on me, I would have done the same thing rather than turn over cash. I NEVER admit to having money on me when people on the street ask, but if I have any food at all, I turn some over right away. Doesn't happen often anymore where I live, but in the past it was almost an everyday occurance. Good for you for going that extra mile. Not many people would. Just don't make it a habit or they'll be lining up in parking lots waiting for you! LOL
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13197)
• United States
28 Jul 08
LOL! That's another thing. I do not and will not help 'repeat offenders'. I was at a gas station once filling up and I got approached by this guy with a sign asking for a few dollars for gas so he could get home to his kids. He LOOKED raggy and tired etc and I told him I didn't have a few dollars, because I don't carry cash, and I'm not in the habit of buying gas for others either. He thanked me anyway and walked away. WELL.... and here's where it gets good... I was back at the same gas station with a friend a couple days later and what happens but this guy is there again and approaches HER! I rolled down my window and as she is turning him down I say loudly 'hey, you still didn't get home to your kids?' OMG that guy scampered away from my friend pretty quickly.
1 person likes this
• Regina, Saskatchewan
28 Jul 08
LOL. Like it never occcured to this guy that gas station customers are REPEAT customers?
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13197)
• United States
1 Aug 08
Apparently not! I could not believe the nerve of that guy lol.
1 person likes this
@gemini_rose (16192)
25 Jul 08
I never give money to homeless people, now I guess this might sound mean but that is how I am. Luckily where I live there are no homeless people on the streets, but if I go into our biggest nearer town then there are a lot of them. I avoid them at all costs, they do not come up to people though they just sit on the floor with a pot in front of them and have a sad expression on their faces.
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13197)
• United States
26 Jul 08
See, the problem is I cannot even tell if these people are actually homeless sometimes. This isn't the only time I have given someone food, I gave some granola bars to a lady when I was leaving costco once because she was standing out in 101 degree heat with a small child and she was VERY appreciative. I know better than to ever offer to take a person somewhere, but I was trying to figure out somewhere to suggest to her to get her daughter out of the heat - she was like two. People are VERY forward and upfront here, I have been approached not only for money or food, but people have asked me if I would get them gas, tow their car, drive them somewhere.... uh, no. I already usually avoid the 'downtown' older part of town because it doesn't feel safe to me, and my husband doesn't like it when I'm driving around there by myself with our daughter.
@mommyboo (13197)
• United States
28 Jul 08
Yes, I am always aware of purse snatching or people who may be working as a team to create a diversion. I know it does not always equal safety but I try to stay near other people because I think it would be less likely that someone would grab my purse or ME in the middle of other people.
• Turkey
26 Jul 08
I definitely have given before. I hate to see people go without because I myself have had to go without (not to that extent perhaps) and it's really hard. However, what I don't like is when I see these people with signs who have nice decent looking clothes, leather jackets and better clothes then me, out there asking for money. I'm sorry, I just don't buy that they're homeless and need money. One time I even saw one woman with a kid out there holding up a sign and asking for food. I just think that in some cases and I stress SOME CASES...people are a little lazy and don't want to have to work for what they get. In these cases, I have problems giving people money...
@mommyboo (13197)
• United States
29 Jul 08
People who do the begging for money thing to get by, they must have no PRIDE! I cannot get past that, I have a hard enough time accepting help or money from someone who I know cares about me if I need it, I would never ask a stranger, ugh.
1 person likes this
• Turkey
29 Jul 08
Personally, I think some people have too much pride and don't accept help when they need it but I know what you mean though because I hate to accept money from even my own family, let alone ask for it....
• Malaysia
26 Jul 08
i always had the guys who always looking for money (or food), but they came with no sign. sometimes, during my dated with my girlfriend, not only men, usually children, came with a dirty look face,. I'm maybe not rich, and not so generous, but when we look at the children face, i felt it doesnt matter anymore.
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13197)
• United States
29 Jul 08
I always feel bad for the children because they cannot do anything about the situation they are in, they aren't responsible and very few of them could get a job and better their lives without adult support.
• Malaysia
30 Jul 08
yeah..i agreed with you saying. but some of the children just doing that just for fun. in fact, they must be rich than me..who knows? u know what, the child that igave the money, unfortunately i saw her, in the same bus with me, and she is talked with the touch screen handphone!
@redkathy (3375)
• United States
26 Jul 08
There is a homeless vet, or so the sign reads, that sits at the shopping center near my house with a sign. I do not give cash to these types of people however on several occasions I have come out of McDonalds, which is in the center, and have handed dim a burger and fries. He was hungry smiled, said God bless and wolfed it down. I believe we should all care about others and give what we can even when we think we can't. I try to use good judgment on what I give. For example I will not give cash because it may be used to support an addiction which would not really be helping the person.
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13197)
• United States
29 Jul 08
Fast food or a snack is cheap, it's really not a big deal to spend a few dollars to buy someone something to eat. I agree with you about money could be used to support an addiction.
@laglen (19779)
• United States
26 Jul 08
I will stop and take them food all of the time. I have no problem with that. i will NOT give money though. One panhandler was asking for money, I brought him food, he got mad. Gee, must not have been very hungry. I laughed all the way home. Panhandlers make pretty good money this way. Now, there is this guy in a wheelchair over by our walmart, he sells keychains that he makes (beads and such) sells them for a buck, I have lots of those! In my opinion, at least he is trying.
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13197)
• United States
29 Jul 08
I want to help people, not enable them. There is a difference.
@roque20 (518)
• Philippines
26 Jul 08
I do experience that also that a man ask for help because he has nothing to eat for the whole day. i usually experience that when i am just get out of the restaurant then someone will approach to ask money or food. but this man,i really feel that he really deserves the help because he sell sampaguita and if i give him a money he really insists to give me sampaguita as a sign of his gratitude.its a nice feeling that i helped and i made someone happy.
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13197)
• United States
29 Jul 08
I've donated sometimes for other small things, like a keychain somebody made to raise money for surgery or toward help to send someone's child to youth camp if they wash my car. I do give money for some things but these people are not homeless nor begging for money.
@kidjuwee (612)
• Philippines
25 Jul 08
It's is better to give food to a homeless person with a sign than money because other homeless people likes to pretend they are homeless but they are just lazy. I had an experience once when I gave a poor kid food, but the kids just threw it in front of me. It's also sad. Today, I saw a very kind man , He brought 2 children inside a fast food and gave them food to eat and left them. I saw it, and I admire the person who did it. Those kids I saw inside the fast food look really skinny , I don't know where the man found them, I could say they were aged 7 or 8. But I could not tell because they look so malnourished and the other kid has some blood on his ears. I live in Asia , so I see a lot of homeless people with no food.
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13197)
• United States
26 Jul 08
Here I am not sure that it's so much homeless as people who are so poverty-level that they can't be sure they will get a meal every day. Sometimes they do have a roof over their heads, but on any given day they either have electricity or water, probably not both, probably no tv, very little in the kitchen. The kids qualify for free breakfast and lunch, so they might get two meals if they go to school, so these kids will go to school every day they can in order to make sure they get to eat. One of my kids brought home a friend once, they were a lot younger, probably 12 or 13 (my daughter is 18 now) and I never had any idea about what was going on with the friend until I caught her as she was trying to sneak some cans out of my pantry. She got upset and cried and thought I was going to be angry with her and call her mom and she'd get beat, but I told her to take the cans, I did not realize she didn't have anything at home to eat. I felt horrible, extremely horrible, that a little girl would be in such dire straits she felt the need to steal to get food.
@cmathias12 (1025)
• Armed Forces Canada, Europe, Middle East
25 Jul 08
I think you made the right decision this time. When I was younger my mom gave money to a very old man sitting in front of the store. He began to cry very hard after he recieved it and I can remeber as a child feeling terrible for him. I can see why people would be leary to give money because like you said you never know if they will buy food with it but maybe if instead of giving cash we just buy the food, we could help people that realy do just want to get their nurishment for the that day.
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13197)
• United States
26 Jul 08
My son felt bad for an old man outside of a Burger King one time, and he asked me if I would mind if he went outside the door and gave him the rest of his fries. At the time my son was NOT a big eater so those fries would have gone to waste. I thought it was really sweet of him to think of that guy, I know he was standing by the door hoping someone might give him some food because he stared at everybody who was leaving and tried to talk them into giving him their trash =(
@34momma (13891)
• United States
25 Jul 08
I think it is always good to give when you can. you give for the gift of giving. what that person does with what you give him is no concern to you. I always try to give to people when i can. i mean if i give a guy $5 and he buys booze, who cares. i gave to him because i could. when you give it is just as much for you as it is for that person
@luvstochat (6914)
• United States
26 Jul 08
No I never have. We don't have many homeless around where I live though so you don't see a person with a sign very often. I would never give them money though as I would be scared they would buy boozes with it I would give them food if I was going to give them anything.
@alindahaw (1219)
• Philippines
26 Jul 08
My husband and I often give food to people who really look hungry. There are really many of these people who hang around the parking lots and park benches. We have given some groceries and food to some of these people on different ocassions. One time, my husband even give his spare shirt to one of them. The guy really looked so wet and miserable that my hubby gave him his shirt to change in.
@ladym33 (10990)
• United States
26 Jul 08
I have given money to someone with a sign before. I have also given money when I was approached, but I don't do it all the time. It depends on the person. If they look able bodied I have a lot less sympathy. I have to admit I don't give a lot though, a quarter or two, or what ever change I can reach in and grab. My husband once gave a guy $50.00 it was a cold winter night and this man had his wife and two kids with him. My husband handed him the $50.00 which was all he had in his wallet and told them to go get a hotel.
@MaeTsuen (257)
• Philippines
26 Jul 08
o.0 in my area there are so many beggars on the street... they ask for dim with them carrying their children as accessory. i don't give not a single cent. it's not that i don't care but using their children as accessory not a good idea. and you did the right thing to give a food instead of money.. sometimes they just spend it for gambling =/
@Wyldrose (1216)
• United States
25 Jul 08
I always shied away from those people too because I have heard stories (whether they are true or not, I don't know) of panhandlers begging for money,etc only to find out they are driving a new car and have a good job. I even heard of one person that quit their job because they said they could make more money panhandling that he could at his regular job. If the person really, really looks down and out, though, and if I have it, I will give. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?
• United States
25 Jul 08
sometime i do if they come to me but if iam in a car i will not . but if i have food i will if they ask.