Thursday, November 19, 2009

Now this is creative!

In my town, each day I see several beggars/panhandler's on the streetcorners. I am often curious about them. Are they for real? Are they really living on the street, and are some just the typical out of work American? Or, are they meth addicts, alcoholics, just looking for a way to make some quick cash to buy thier next fix? I am always wondering what is behind the lives of these people, and I have been tempted to follow them around to find out what is really going on.

Over the last year I have noticed several of the same people on different corners around town. I am amazed at the creativity of the signs they hold up. Here is a sampling of the ones I remember:

Down...but not out. (middle aged man that looked like your average dad, or grandpa. This is the one DH just had to give to, and jumped out of his car to hand him some cash) Just saw this guy again since the first time about 8 months ago, same sign, so he's still down, but not out!

Want to go fishin, need bait $$ (middle age woman in the middle of summer, missing teeth)

Stranded (middle age man. The interesting thing about this guy, is, we saw him on the same street corner, with the SAME sign about a year later! Now that's a long time to be stranded!)

NOT A BUM Single father of 3 Out of work bricklayer (clean cut young guy wearing nice clothes, just saw him again with this same sign he had last year)

Hungry $1 (young guy, see him everywhere, and see a lot of people handing him money)

Last but not least, the sign I saw today, held by a middle age man that sparked my desire to write this post:

One lean sheep begs for a few pennies (okay, this is my favorite of all. The guy even had a sort of smile on his face, and appeared very friendly.)

A few years back my MOPS group spent a day putting together zip loc bags to hand out to these people we see on the street corners every day. The bags contained things like, granola bars, tooth brushes, tooth paste, deoderant, beef jerky, gum, juice boxes, a pair of socks, small Bible, etc. The idea is to keep a few of these in your car at all times, so you are prepared to give when you see someone.

I thought it was a great idea, and a great thing to teach your kids! One of the things I learned and loved about this is that it really doesn't matter what the person does with the money or items you give them. What matters is that you are giving, and the Lord sees that we are giving and not sitting back and ignoring those that are in need. If they truly aren't in need, God will deal with that! It's also a wonderful thing to teach your children to say a little prayer for these people as you drive by.


Jill said...

Oh Michelle, you and I are kindred souls. Thank you for this post. I drive my husband nuts by giving them money(within reason), but I explain to him it is not for me to judge, God will do that. They MAY use it for drugs/alcohol....but He knows my intentions.

LOVE the baggy idea!

Calico Sky said...

So so true. It really doesn't matter, and I think the questioning/judgement over what they do makes people not have to give. At the end of the day it is about showing love and concern and helping them as you can.