Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Help the hungry or turn away???

Today as I was getting into my car after making a deposit at the bank, I smiled at a man. Who then came up to me and asked if I could help him out and buy him some groceries. I politely told him no but told him to have a great day and got in my car and drove away. I saw him in my rear view mirror ask 2 other people who also turned him down.

I found myself wondering... Was I too harsh? Was this man and his family really hungry or did he want money for something like drugs or alcohol? It's definitely not the first time I've ever been approached by a homeless or hungry man. But I always feel guilty after for not giving anything. Isn't guilt there for a reason to tell us when we need to do something differently?

You always hear stories of news reporters going under cover and watching these men stand outside for long hours to walk to a nice car and drive home to a big beautiful home. And it makes you wonder is this man really hungry? But is it right to judge them? Should I have driven to the store and bought him some food? Or walked back inside the bank to get some money?
What is the right way to handle this situation??

I don't know but I have always wondered about this ever since I was a little girl. I would cry when we drove past them as they stood on the sidewalk with cardboard signs. I always felt so bad that they were hungry and homeless. I always wondered if they had children who were cold and hungry on a sidewalk somewhere. But I don't ever remember a time I actually gave them some food or money.

I felt guilty getting back into my air conditioned vehicle with a full stomach after eating lunch with Billy. And driving home to a comfy, homey house.

Any thoughts on this, do you all handle it when they ask you for food or money????


Grant said...

I'm with you. I've felt guilty for turning them away. But I also watched a "homeless" man throw a hamburger away after asking for money for food and instead my friend gave him his hamburger. I also gave a guy 20 bucks for gas and he said he would call me and repay it... two months later and still no call. I think it depends on the situation, but my thoughts are if they can ask for money or food, they can ask "would you like fries with that". Instead of giving them money I think I'm going to start offering to get them a job.

Rory and Courtney Duckworth said...

Tough one...I'm not sure what I should do in those situations! I usually get nervous and try to get away from them asap! I feel guilty too but if I had given him money, would he really have bought himself food like they said? I don't think you should give them money. Give them food instead and donate your money to official organizations that will use the money resourcefully!

The Finches said...

I always feel really sad when I see homeless people, but I never stop... I dont know why. I guess because I feel like if they can waste their day sitting there, then why cant they get a job like the rest of us? But my husband ALWAYS gives them money. So I dont know what to do there. I say give them food, but never just money becasue I think most of the time they really are just pocketing it...Maybe I need to have more heart lol.

Melissa said...

I always want to give them money, But I question their intentions. One thing that I have tried to do instead is make sure to donate to homeless shelters and sources that the homeless can go to for food and clothing. These sources are always available to the people and there are a TON of them in in big cities. I know whn I lived in Portland the homeless people were a huge problem, but they just dont mind being homeless. I think the best solution (and one that helps with the guilt a little bit) is donating canned food or old clothes to these shelters to help people in need. That way they will have more opportunities to help those people who seek it.

Krista said...

Member all the ones we used to see when we would leave the gym?? Grandpa Herd always takes them to a fast food place to buy them food. He refuses to give them money, and when Grandpa Herd doesnt do it then I dont feel so guilty about it.

Julie said...

I feel guilty but then again, I donate to local charities or homes that can help. Personally I think that's better because than my money can help more people and the person who is approaching people for money can go there if that is what he is really looking for.
Its up to you though:) It is always difficult to turn someone away and walk off:)