Photo courtesy of City of Easton
I know this doesn't have a lot to do with The Compact, but I couldn't resist.
This is a hot topic and one I've been thinking about writing for a few weeks. Lately Spokane Valley has become a haven for panhandling. Just on my way home from the grocery store (1.5 miles away) I saw 2. This was at 9am. Most of them don't get out until 10ish. The largest intersection near our house usually has at least 2 people begging. When you get off the freeway, there will be 1. When you get on the freeway, there will be 1. When you go near Wal-mart there will be 1, maybe 2. I cannot stand seeing all of this begging.
Recently a local Spokane Valley man, John Fisher, took matters into his own hands and started hanging out where the panhandlers were and had a sign that read "Stop the Panhandlers, Keep Your Change." Here is his story.
A local news anchor also did a story on panhandling when he tried it out himself for a few days. Watch the video here
Dave and I had a long conversation about it on the way home from dinner last night. I kept asking why people gave to these beggars. He said it was likely because they felt guilty. Maybe they hadn't been to church in a while to tithe, maybe they hadn't chipped in for a co-worker's birthday gift, etc etc. We all carry around our own guilt. It's certainly a motivator to do things you may not normally do. People need to stop and think of the consequences of their actions. Giving a drug addict or an alcoholic cash is the worst thing you can do for them. If you truly want to help those who need it, then I suggest donating cash, food or your time to your local shelter, food bank, or community center. If you get into the habit of donating to a worthy cause monthly then your guilt about "not giving" will likely fall away.
So, what are your views on panhandling? Do you give? If so, why?