Do you give to beggars? Some comments from Facebook

25 Nov

Today I posted this question on Facebook: do you give to beggars at red robots? The responses were interesting. Here’s a selection:

“I don’t give to the ones that look like alcoholics, or street kids that are on glue. The ones that carry kids around on their hips definitely not. Won’t give to the ones that are pushy. One guy I do give to has a fake bandage strapped to his knee so he gets a donation. There’s a guy with kind eyes that always says hello doesn’t make me feel like I have to contribute. He gets. Suppose it depends on the person.”

“I give to them – more commonly to the ones I know, or I pass by regularly. I don’t give to children.”

“I don’t give to beggars that approach too rapidly (and scare the living daylights out of me), glue sniffers, or beggars that kneel and pray. I do give to smiling beggars. And especially to performing beggars – I once saw a pair performing a breathtakingly coordinated (and perfectly timed- to end just before green) routine on Katherine and nearly gave them my credit card.”

“No as a matter of principle. Meals on Wheels or other NGO’s can do more with the money and I prefer to give them. I take exception to small children on a ladies back or those sitting at a traffic intersection.

From a Capetonian: “By giving beggars money, you’re only supporting a lifestyle of begging. There is no helping them by giving them money. There are so many organizations (in cpt that I know of) that try get folks off the streets. But they don’t want it because every R2 or R5 doesn’t feed a hungry child. It supports drugs & alcohol. I’m pretty passionate about helping people, but after trying to personally help a few folks near my studio & they just throw it back at you, it’s pretty clear.”

And for a Durban perspective: “This seems to be more of a jozi phenomenon than in Durban. Generally, if someone does come up to my car in Durbs, I won’t give anything or make eye contact. Not sure how I would feel if it was the same person on a daily basis though… What we have been doing though, is giving people lifts to taxi points. Sometimes my car would strain with the amount of people in it.”


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