Thursday, May 26, 2016

What Should I Have Done?

Not so long ago, I decided to buy breakfast for a (handicapped) man who is always hanging around the McDonald’s I pass on my way to work, often drunk and often arrested, but not homeless, to my understanding.   I had a cold bottled water and an Egg McMuffin for him.   When I handed it to him, he thanked me…but told me he wanted coffee to drink.   I was on my way to work and a little later than I wanted to be, so I told him the water would have to do.

But yesterday was one of those situations when I didn’t know what to do.

I pulled up to the Wok and Roll, next to the same McDonald's mentioned above.  There was a young guy with his dog sitting against the wall behind the speaker where I placed my order.   He immediately asked me to buy him some food.    I had no problem with that.   I asked him what he wanted, and he said an egg roll.  I ordered him two egg rolls and a drink.   Then he started asking me for several other items…things I didn’t even see on the menu.  

That’s when I didn’t know what to do.   So I ordered him two more egg rolls and rolled up to the window to pay for it.   I told the cashier to put the egg rolls in a separate bag for the guy outside.   She told me others had bought him some food, and that she would make sure he got the drink and egg rolls I bought for him.   I hope she did.  I feel pretty certain the employees chased him off, because they said something about him “still being back there.”   Then I felt a little guilty, like I had tattled on him and he may have no place to go if they chased him away.

What would you have done?

6 comments:

  1. It's hard to know what to do. The man at McDonald's has money. He usually asks for rides to Chazz's. I don't know the other man, but I did encounter a panhandler at the Dollar Tree. I had no change, which is what he asked for. A friend told me he usually hangs out at the Dollar General across from the Dollar Tree. Over a year ago I encountered a fairly well dressed man at a Shell Quik Mart. He asked me for 2.00 to buy a sandwich. As I was leaving, I gave him the 2.00, then realized that's probably what a beer costs. If people are truly homeless, how do they get SNAP benefits?

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    1. I suppose they could give any address...a relative perhaps? But it seems unfair that someone who is homeless can't get benefits. It seems that they need them most of all.

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  2. I bought a hamburger for a woman who told me she was hungry at a Burger King one day. (Inside the place). The employees fussed at her about begging there again. I asked them to just let me buy her a hamburger this time.
    I know businesses do not want their customers being beset by beggars. I understand this and that the employees have to do their job. But you did the right thing Margo. How were you to know? At Bakers Shoe Store, I had Christian outreach people bring in women and they bought them shoes. Then the women would come back alone and want a cash refund. Some of those people I do not feel sorry for at all. And some I do.

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    1. Some people who need help "need" the cash even more...for whatever purpose, and unfortunately a lot of times that purpose is drugs/alcohol, which is what put them in the needy position in the first place.

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  3. If I were inclined to purchase food for the gentleman and then he put in special requests...I may have at that point walked away or maybe given him $5.00 and tell him to get what he wanted. Some are truly needy, others are truly lazy however, that's when I think we need to listen to the Holy Spirit because that judgement does not belong to us. My pastor once used to be a store owner and in his area, lots of inbred (and they were) alcoholics would ask him for money frequently. Before he was saved he usually said no (they wanted to buy cough syrup for the alcohol in it as it was a dry county), after he was saved he began to tell one of those same men no when suddenly he heard a voice say to him, "who are you to deny that man who I also died for?" and he gave him $20.00. This was many yrs ago (and he now knows what God was teaching him at the time) and there are times that he will say no, but usually not.

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    1. I am not faced with the choice much. I make an effort to help when I can. Thank you for the reminder to listen to Holy Spirit's leading...we are here to help others. I guess even if we give to someone who doesn't buy food, but alcohol, for example, we still did our part by trying to help. (Not to say if we KNOW a person is only going to buy drugs or alcohol we should supply the funds for them to do it.)

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