Wednesday, June 13, 2007


The other day, I was walking several blocks to lunch, and I passed two different men panhandling. One had a sign that said he was a war veteran, and judging from his age, if he was a war veteran, it was probably a long time ago. I always look at skin and teeth to determine if the panhandler has been on the streets for a long time.

The second person was younger, and his sign said he had a family. I knew of one family on the streets (they lived out of an old station wagon). Really sad.

I know so many people who do not give money to beggars on the street, but they promote people begging on YouTube. Recently, lots of video bloggers have been asking for money. Well, the same is true of regular bloggers. I have no problem with someone pimping a book they have written, or I guess, if someone wants to sell DVDs of their videos on a site (but they need to point to the site, not have it on their YouTube page). Same is true of bloggers – I am fairly sure people sign agreements talking about non-commercial use. And then they ask for money.

But what I don't see is a real difference between a beggar on the street and a beggar in cyberspace.

I believe that as humans, sometimes we need to ask for help. And if we are better off, I think it is good for the soul to provide help to others. But for me, I chose to give to charities that have a good reputation and a low expense ratio. I don't need to know exactly who the money is going to, and if you do want to know, you could always get more involved in the charity (volunteer!).

Anyway, today is hump day and I did not want to get out of bed. But since I am not begging on the street, I had to get my butt into work.


kathi said...

I can't ever remember seeing anyone asking for money on blogs...and usually the only youtube videos I watch are the ones on your site.

I did get an email once from a 'distant' (as in not close) friend that asked everyone they knew to send them between $50 ~ $100, and they could get all their bills paid off. I was thinking...uhhh, yeah, and where is my mortgage payment coming from this month? Give me a break. Some people believe they have it harder than anyone else...and that is just sad.
I've gotten distracted, did my comment have anything to do with your post?

LarryLilly said...

I get to work at 6am, I work in downtown Dallas, and at that hour, I get to meet lots of independently non structured domecile challenged people. (homeless)

They and the pigeons are out asking for something, the pigeons usually get something.

What can I say, when you start recognizing them by sight, it tells you that its their choice to be out there.

I occasionally give to a food bank, since when I was down and out, that is where I found a handout without losing dignity.

~gkw said...

I have put a link on my blog before for my daughter's softball team. We were looking for sponsors. No one ever sponsored the team from that link, so I took it off. :)

I have gone to blogs before that just put a link on their sidebar saying that if you liked the link, give...

I didn't

RWA said...

I have seen people with specific special events or charity links on their blogs - and then I have seen people just asking for donations in general.

To me, the "donations in general" are the same as beggars on the street.

I also agree with your selection process for charities ("But for me, I chose to give to charities that have a good reputation and a low expense ratio"). When I see that the president/chairman of a certain organization makes a salary well into six figures, I'm not interested.

JD said...

nowadays you could be 20 and be a war veteran. i see many every day, it comes with working on a military post. i've had a problem with begging all my life. it seems that even a half-hearted attempt would land you a job, any job, which would at least give you the dignity of knowing you didn't have to beg for the money.

Leesa said...

kathi: I had a distant relative (rich one, by the way) asking for money for another relative. They needed $100K for an operation, and I thought it was sort of tacky the way that it was done.

larry: it is important to have some type of connection with the charity.

~gkw: I would think you would have better luck with a local store.

rwa: yeah, the "donations in general" is what I was getting at.

jd: sometimes people need help occasionally, but more often than not, people get comfortable with their position in life.

Anonymous Boxer said...

There is a blog I read daily and a few months ago he ran into financial problems (car) and asked for help - he's a writer and his request seemed heartfelt and legit, so I made a donation. Odd, but I knew (?) the money would actually go to fixing his car, getting him to work, to make his own money. He sent a nice thank you. I have no idea why I did it... maybe hormones were running on overdrive?

Warrior said...

I think the bloggers who beg, are doing two things, 1. being opportunist, shit what are you doing with a PC and a blog if you need money.... 2. Being Gutless they don't have the balls to do it in public on the street. Glad you have job. I love your outlook.

Dwardisimo Rex said...

Where I live it is required by law that all panhandlers belong to a panhandlers' union. And all of the cardboard signs are all written by one guy, his name is Sharpie because he's the only one with a marker.

RER Real Estate Investors said...

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