Early this morning I stopped to get gas, when she came walking by…
Torn jeans…pulling a wagon piled high behind her.
She asked me if I had a dollar.
I said no, because I was in a hurry. She walked off. As I was filling up with gas, my eyes followed her. I thought about how it cost fifty dollars to fill up my car and all she wanted was a dollar. I felt a twinge of guilt. I had just dropped twenty dollars without thinking at a restaurant last night.
I went on and filled my tank.
Then I thought, what the heck, if she looks that down and out…even if she’s gonna waste the money…she needs it.
I pulled up beside her and started to hand her the cash. She was in front of a doughnut shop. She said “oh thank you so much M’am, I just wanted to buy a doughnut”.
When she looked and saw it was a twenty instead of a one she almost started to cry.
And so did I.
What would you do? Do you give money to strangers when they ask? Is it a mistake? Or is it cash well spent?
I’ve always thought it’s better to give to the Salvation Army where the money won’t be wasted and that if people really want help, they will go there. With the wisdom of a few years, I think things aren’t always that neat and tidy.
Love to hear your thoughts,
Jane.. so proud of you.. if they ask I do.. when I am at a stop light I don’t.. you made my day…
Thank you Yvonne:)
I usually don’t give to the ones that stand with a can at the stoplight, but have given to someone who asked.
The stoplight is a good point. Thanks Margo, Jane
I try to always give….and show my girls how to give also. They know it doesn’t matter what they do with it. God put them in from of you for a reason….
Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
Thank you Stoney, for the nice thoughts:) Jane
In the summer’s heat, I sometimes carry extra bottles of water in my car to give to homeless at the access ramp corners. I’ve offered to buy a sandwich or give my bagged lunch, on a rare occasion, to someone with a sign saying that they are hungry – and have been turned down because they wanted cash – statistically it was probably for alcohol or drugs but might have been to save for rent, we never know. We have offered a ride to a homeless shelter to someone in Deep Ellum and were told “no, they make you pray there”; once someone followed me for a block from a parking meter, and had almost convinced me to give them money instead of a referral to an agency until they admitted they wanted the money for a pack of cigarettes – where I quickly spun upon my heels and told them that both of my parents died of lung disease and they asked the wrong chick for smokes money.
Great thoughts Karen, thanks so much for taking the time! Jane
I would have bought her a dozen donuts.
I refuse to give cash….. Even kids. They can be ‘used’.
Appreciate the comment Tom, that’s why I asked. Jane
I tend to not give if I have the feeling they are panhandling. If I’m going to give, I ask them what they need money for. If it’s food I go buy the food for them. That way I know they aren’t taking advantage of me.
Good advice Marty, thank you for your thoughts, Jane
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
I once pulled up to a redlight and saw a handicaped couple walking down Rosedale on a cold Sunday morning…God spoke to me and told me to turn left and follow them and give them $..all I had was $20’s…so I gave them a $20 dollar bill….the look on their faces was worth it. Later someone told me I shouldn’t have done it, that they probably just wasted it on drugs,,,but I never worry about stuff like that…if they did it was their sin not mine.
Beautiful story Marlae, thanks so much. Jane
My views on this have changed somewhat over the years too. I used to think things were neat & tidy/black & white…but Life IS Messy. There are no right or wrong answers here. I’ve come to realize that God doesn’t ask me to judge anyone’s situation…He has called me to LOVE my neighbor. LOVE wins! Way to go Jane!
Thank you Louisa, thanks so much for your thoughts. Have a great weekend, Jane
I am a giver. I go by my gut feeling. I usually give to most people that ask me but I think many of those people you see on busy intersections usually with a dog and a sign, are for the most part, habitual beggars and if you can stand on the highway all day begging you should use that energy to get a job. I always feel sorry for the dog. I know there are some exceptions. My husband and I had a man come up to us when we were leaving a fast food place. A man walked up to my husband and said he was hungry
and didn’t have any money.
My husband gave him his chicken and the man threw it on the pavement and walked away. Several years later, we had eaten at a nice steak restaurant and I had a leftover box. As we left the resturant a man came up and asked for money. I told him I didn’t have any cash but if he was hungry he was wecome to my meal and he took it. Some people really need help and some are con artist so I try to give according to my heart and gut feeling. Sometimes I ask them questions and sometimes I just give them money. I love to give but dont like users.
Thank you so much for the beautiful thoughts Linda. I think the first two sentences sum it up, Jane
Jane, you’ve hit the nail on the head: things aren’t always that neat and tidy. Help comes in many forms. I use my best judgment, and give a lot of my time to volunteering to help the less fortunate. Bless you for responding to your instincts. This saying was hanging in the office of the medical director where I volunteered in Dallas. It encourages me to daily find a way to help others. We never know how the help, as little as it may seem to us at the time, will blossom into something amazing. “You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.”—Malcolm S. Forbes.
Rosemary, thank you so much for the thoughtful comment. Happy Holidays, Jane
If I have the money and it feels right, I will give cash. What they use it for is not for me to judge.
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Hebrews 13:2
I have been approached a couple times by people saying they are hungry and have given them money. Once a man knocked on my door saying his family was hungry and needed work raking leaves. His whole family raked my leaves and I gave them money I know they appreciated. Follow your gut but follow your heart too, you might be in that sutuation someday yourself. Better to be taken advantage of than let a person go hungry.
Thanks Joni and have a great holiday season! Jane
I give . Anytime , any amount . It is not mine. The reason why does not matter . They are my brothers/sisters and at this time need it more than me. I hold up a mirror. What do I see? There is only love.
Thank you Michael and have a blessed holiday. Jane
Tough question Jane. Let me answer this way, I have seen those people at street corners climbing into a pickup van too many times to ever entertain the thought of giving them money. Most appear reasonably healthy and there are always jobs doing something even if it picking up trash on the side of the road. My former wife handled a request for money this way, she asked why they needed the money and were told that a new pair of pants were badly needed so since this was outside of a thrift store, where she volunteered sshe took him inside and bought him a new pair of pants, and a shirt to boot. Very clever and totally effective. The people who have chosen this kind of life need to accept the fact that there is a price to pay for giving up their self reliance and many are unwilling to accept this fact, evidenced by their not accepting rules at NFP and municipally sponsored shelters and sleeping in doorways and under bridges in freezing cold. Yes, I know that many of them are emotional misfits and as being God’s children as we are expected to be generous and kind but in the final analysis hardluck stories we all have in varying degrees and who would give us a buck or even 20 bucks to somone for a donut? Jane McGarry, that who! You tenderhearted lady!
It is hard to decide what to do sometimes Dwight. Thank you for bringing up some good points.
Back in October, I ran into Javier, a young Hispanic man as I was walking out of a restaurant in Irving. I can tell he had been crying and he told me he had just lost his job. I said I may be able to help him find work with one of my vendors. I offered to buy him some food that evening, which he turned down. After several attempts to find him work, nothing. About 4 weeks later he called me and to Let me know that he found a job at a Mexican Restaurant and he was so very happy to have met me because it gave him Hope. This last weekend, I put him to work repairing some of my fencing and I paid him nicely-He cried and said that since he has lived in the US for 3 years, that he has never met someone so kind and that I was his Angel! 🙂 You see, Kindness never goes un-noticed by Our Heavenly Father!
You are an angel Jackie. Blessings to you this Christmas season, Jane