UnThreaded | Threaded | Whole Thread (15) | Ignore Thread Prev Thread | Next Thread
Author: PadawanNewt One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 42342  
Subject: My daughter wants to give $ to street panhandler Date: 9/3/2003 5:50 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
I need some advice...

My 7-year-old daughter a weekly allowance, and 20% of it she needs to save for charity. My husband and I told her she can decide what charity she wants to give it to. She's amassed about $15-$20.

Where we live, there are many street corners where people stand with signs asking for money. When I see these people, I feel guilty, because one part of me wants to give money and the other part says, "No way! They'll just spend it on booze/cigs/drugs!" (So I donate to a homeless shelter yearly, but that's beside the point...)

My daughter told me yesterday that she wants to give her charity money to a man who stands on a corner near her school. I made noncommittal noises, thinking, "What do I say?!?" What's going through my mind is:

* I don't want my daughter's money funding booze/cigs/drugs.
* BUT maybe it's a person who really needs money for food.
* Maybe she could donate to the homeless shelter.
* BUT I think she likes the idea of personally handing her money to someone who needs it.

What would you all tell her?
Print the post Back To Top
Author: Fallout2Queen Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12284 of 42342
Subject: Re: My daughter wants to give $ to street panhan Date: 9/3/2003 6:00 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
My daughter told me yesterday that she wants to give her charity money to a man who stands on a corner near her school. I made noncommittal noises, thinking, "What do I say?!?" What's going through my mind is:

* I don't want my daughter's money funding booze/cigs/drugs.
* BUT maybe it's a person who really needs money for food.
* Maybe she could donate to the homeless shelter.
* BUT I think she likes the idea of personally handing her money to someone who needs it.


Talk with her about these concerns. Maybe as an alternative she could hand out fast food or grocery store gift certificates.


Print the post Back To Top
Author: FoolishlyFree Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12285 of 42342
Subject: Re: My daughter wants to give $ to street panhan Date: 9/3/2003 6:09 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
My daughter told me yesterday that she wants to give her charity money to a man who stands on a corner near her school. I made noncommittal noises, thinking, "What do I say?!?" What's going through my mind is:

* I don't want my daughter's money funding booze/cigs/drugs.
* BUT maybe it's a person who really needs money for food.
* Maybe she could donate to the homeless shelter.
* BUT I think she likes the idea of personally handing her money to someone who needs it.


Tell her what is going through your mind. If she still wants to give it to him, let her.

FF

Print the post Back To Top
Author: stellla Big red star, 1000 posts 10+ Year Anniversary! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12286 of 42342
Subject: Re: My daughter wants to give $ to street panhan Date: 9/3/2003 6:26 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
My daughter told me yesterday that she wants to give her charity money to a man who stands on a corner near her school. I made noncommittal noises, thinking, "What do I say?!?"

Well, I don't have kids myself, but several of my friends do :-)

I agree with the other posters that it's a great to let your daughter know your concerns. Great time to talk about the fact there are risks associated with risk opening up, be it financially or emotionally. I think each person has to decide if they are more concerned with never looking foolish or being taken advantage of, or willing to sometimes be hurt or taken advantage of but more often do good.

You could explain how you choose the nonprofits you donate to. Heck, showing how you analyze their Annual Report and analyze where the donated dollars go could be a first step to reading financial reports and investing!

In addition, letting her know your concerns has got to help build self esteem. You're treating her with respect and empowering her to make decisions and learn from them.

However, I also think you should talk about charity being more than giving dollars, or even research. Talk about volunteering time or services. See what ideas she has. Why does she want to help this man? He looks like he needs better clothes? Take him clothes and or shopping. He look hungry? Help her make him food to take him, talk to her about what food considerations you'd have for someone that was homeless. She curious about his life, see about letting her talk to him, hearing his story.

Who knows, maybe she'll decide she likes the idea of volunteering somewhere. Something independent of this or the money she saves to donate. Course, then you get to volunteer too :-)

Also, might ask her what she expects to get from donating money. What are her expectations? Would she be upset if she saw guy with bottle of booze? Would she be upset if she gives him money and never has any idea what happened to it?

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: isewquilts2 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12288 of 42342
Subject: Re: My daughter wants to give $ to street panhan Date: 9/3/2003 7:37 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
This may be a good time to talk about responsible giving. Pick out a worthy agency that supports things your daughter believes in (or better yet, let her pick), and explain that sometimes these agencies know how to help people better than an individual does. Maybe she can volunteer at the agency she has chosen to support to see how her money will be used.

isewquilts

Print the post Back To Top
Author: Wingenit Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12289 of 42342
Subject: Re: My daughter wants to give $ to street panhan Date: 9/3/2003 7:40 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 2
Suggest instead that she give them something she has purchased with her money -- food, for example.

I really feel like any money is going to go to support a drug/booze habit. Food can be used, blankets can be used, and so on.

Occasionally when I am getting fast food I will see someone homeless around (we have a lot of them here in CA) & buy an extra meal. The last time I did it, the man asked me for money & I gave him the food. He looked at it disgustedly & didn't want it.

It just confirmed my suspicion that they mostly just want money to buy a hit.

But you have done a good job to raise a child so generous & compassionate. I say help her find a way to make sure her money is used for the right purposes. There are lots of ways to help besides handing out cash.

Wingenit

Print the post Back To Top
Author: FoolishlyFree Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12290 of 42342
Subject: Re: My daughter wants to give $ to street panhan Date: 9/3/2003 7:55 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 4
However, I also think you should talk about charity being more than giving dollars, or even research. Talk about volunteering time or services.

This made me think of a possible suggestion.

Find a soup kitchen in your area. Suggest that she donate the money to buy food for the soup kitchen, then help out serving people at the soup kitchen. She would (a) donate to a cause that won't go toward booze/cigarettes/drugs, (b) donate some time too, and (c) be able to directly see the beneficiaries of her efforts. I'm sure you could arrage for her to be in charge of serving whatever it is that she bought.

FF


Print the post Back To Top
Author: beccapooka Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12292 of 42342
Subject: Re: My daughter wants to give $ to street panhan Date: 9/4/2003 1:37 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
What would you all tell her?
------

I think it's great that she wants to personally help someone. Especially to a kid, this will leave more of a lasting impression that making a donation to the homeless shelter.

Maybe you could talk with her about the pros and cons, and maybe steer her toward buying a gift card for the man at the nearest grocery store. Or could you take her shopping to buy the man new gloves and a hat for winter? Those things would help with your concerns while still allowing her to feel like she personally helped someone.

Rebecca


Print the post Back To Top
Author: beccapooka Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12293 of 42342
Subject: Re: My daughter wants to give $ to street panhan Date: 9/4/2003 1:44 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 2
I have one more thing to add...

By choosing to help one individual, your daughter could truely make a difference in someone's life. Yes, it's a risk because the money could be used to feed an addiction, but maybe this man is going through a rough time for whatever reason and your daughter's generosity would inspire him to try harder. It could even help to lift some depression. So, while it's a risk, the possible benefits could be amazing. A 7 year old girl walking up to him with $20 could be just the thing he needs to see good in the world.

Rebecca

Print the post Back To Top
Author: CatBarber Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12294 of 42342
Subject: Re: My daughter wants to give $ to street panhan Date: 9/4/2003 2:38 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
I'd explain my concerns to her and help her think of alternatives such as buying him some clothing, a blanket, food, whatever. Then I'd let her decide what to do. A homeless shelter is also a great idea, because she can help more than one homeless individual with her donation. Plus, homeless shelters often want things other than a monetary donation, such as soap, shampoo, etc. You and she could call to see what your local homeless shelter really needs.

Louise

Print the post Back To Top
Author: FoolishlyFree Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12295 of 42342
Subject: Re: My daughter wants to give $ to street panhan Date: 9/4/2003 3:26 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
By choosing to help one individual, your daughter could truely make a difference in someone's life. Yes, it's a risk because the money could be used to feed an addiction, but maybe this man is going through a rough time for whatever reason and your daughter's generosity would inspire him to try harder. It could even help to lift some depression. So, while it's a risk, the possible benefits could be amazing. A 7 year old girl walking up to him with $20 could be just the thing he needs to see good in the world.

All true. However, that same 7 year old girl may see him an hour later to drunk to stand up. She needs to be prepared for that potential outcome, also. Along with the possibility of being rebuffed if she offers something other than cash. Mom needs to be ready with something to say that will comfort her.

FF

Print the post Back To Top
Author: PadawanNewt One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12299 of 42342
Subject: Re: My daughter wants to give $ to street panhan Date: 9/4/2003 4:22 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
Thank you to everyone who responded! I'm going to talk with my daughter about expectations and solutions, with everything everyone's said in mind.

I just did a little web searching for "ideas to help the homeless," and the HUD website has info for kids explaining what homelessness is, plus I found some other links that suggested giving fast-food certificates to individuals and "survival kits" (toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, cup, pan, hats, scarves, etc.)

And a perspective on panhandling from someone's who has been there: http://nch.ari.net/panhandle.html



Print the post Back To Top
Author: Crazyinlovefool Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12309 of 42342
Subject: Re: My daughter wants to give $ to street panhan Date: 9/4/2003 9:42 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 5
My daughter told me yesterday that she wants to give her charity money to a man who stands on a corner near her school.


Am I the only one who's warning bells are going off all over the place?!?!?!


I live in NYC and give to panhandlers all the time, however in no circumstances would I allow my child to give to someone who was in a position to develop a relationship with her even if it's just saying hi everyday. Think of feeding a stray cat. Notice how they keep turning up?

The potential for this to turn ugly is just not worth the risk to your daughter. I've volunteered with homeless groups and one thing I've learned is that most homeless people have more problems than just lack of housing. What happens if this guy is mentally ill? How are you going to keep your daughter from viewing him as some sort of friend after you let her give him money? What happens if he approaches her after school when you're not around? Not worth the risks!!!

You've been given some excellent alternatives. Please look into them. I volunteer with children in a battered women's shelter, maybe she can do something like that. She could get to know children in different circumstances and use her money to help pay for another child to have school supplies, or go on a group outing, or have a special birthday.

Crazyinlovefool


Print the post Back To Top
Author: zsimpson Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12327 of 42342
Subject: Re: My daughter wants to give $ to street panhan Date: 9/5/2003 2:14 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 2
What would you all tell her?

"If you want to help him, why don't you offer to take him for a sandwich instead?"
I have already gone over this with my children. I told them, "Everyone has choices in life, and what choices you make will usually decide what your life is like. These people made bad choices. The choices may have been to use drugs, and alcohol, or gamble, but they made those choices. Sometimes life will punish a person for making bad choices just as Mom will punish you for making bad choices."
I've been "homeless". I lived in my car for 3 weeks, and lived literally off the gratitude of others in a place where I knew absolutely NOBODY, and was over 1100 miles away from anyone I knew. I never had to pan-handle, nor do I think most of these people have to pan-handle. One of them started on me as I was getting off a subway one time. I looked at his clothes and I looked at mine, then I said, "You are dressed better than I am, and you are pan-handling from me?"

Print the post Back To Top
Author: PadawanNewt One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12335 of 42342
Subject: Re: My daughter wants to give $ to street panhan Date: 9/8/2003 4:23 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
Am I the only one who's warning bells are going off all over the place?!?!?!

I live in NYC and give to panhandlers all the time, however in no circumstances would I allow my child to give to someone who was in a position to develop a relationship with her even if it's just saying hi everyday. Think of feeding a stray cat. Notice how they keep turning up?

No, I gave the wrong impression! He does not hang out by the school at all. I have to drive her to school every day because she does not go to our neighborhood school. We cross a busy street on the way, and that's where she sees the man.

Believe me, I am very protective of my daughter, I am involved with the school, and no panhandlers hang around the school making "friends" with the kids.

However, you have made a good point. If/when I let her go ahead with giving money/sandwiches/whatever, it should be to someone not on our regular route.

Print the post Back To Top
UnThreaded | Threaded | Whole Thread (15) | Ignore Thread Prev Thread | Next Thread
Advertisement