Something interesting happened weeks ago, and I haven’t had the time to blog about it until now…
My husband and I were driving down a main drag in our small town, kid-less because it was date night, when we came across a guy standing on the corner across from Walgreens with a sign saying “Please help my family”. Our movie didn’t start for awhile, so we pulled over to talk to the guy who looked to be about our age. We asked him about his circumstances, and what brought him to our town. We learned that he was the father of two who had just been laid off from a factory job and couldn’t provide for his two children or for his wife who had also lost her job. He had come to our town in hopes of finding work or resources to help his family. We learned that he had a daughter, just a little bit older than our oldest daughter, and a younger son, so we went home to gather things he said his family needed – clothes and food. We told him we would be just a few minutes, and we went home and gathered up what we thought would be a treasure trove for someone in need who has kids: coats (brand-new, donated from my husband’s wholesale business), food, clothes for his daughter, even some clothes we could scrounge up for his son. We returned in less than 10 minutes with the items, but the man was gone!
I still can’t figure out what went wrong! Perhaps he was lying about the needs of his family, and he really wanted cash instead for something else, possibly drugs (this is why I always try to avoid giving cash to those in need but rather try to find necessary resources for them instead). I hate to be skeptical, but I have read a bunch of stories in the news about panhandlers who try to swindle and deceive, mostly for the purpose of supporting drug or alcohol habits and not seeking for their own well-being or that of their families.
This happened probably over a month ago now, and we haven’t seen the guy since… If I did, I would probably pull over again, but this time it would be to ask him what it is he REALLY wants!