Jabberwocky for 2005 February 8 (entry 0)

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[Comments] (5) Dash It!: I got my hopes high when I saw the new BYU magazine has an article about The Face of Need--the way it started out, I thought the article was going to be about beggars and how to tell the genuine ones from the scam artists. This is something I struggle with. But no, the article is about spriritual need, dash it.

I usually give a dollar to the homeless veteran standing on the freeway ramp, and I usually turn anyone who knocks at my door away. (I don't like to be bothered at home.) But I have had people knocking who wanted money, and when I offered food, they wouldn't take it, and that bothers me. I wish I could tell the difference. Truth to tell, they are mostly scam artists. My husband was Bishop for six years in downtown Los Angeles, and we saw all kinds of people who thought they were needy, but they were just lazy. Some people want others to solve all their problems.

I realize the best way around this is to pay my fast offering and let others do the discernment, but I'd like to be able to know if the guy on the freeway ramp is for real.


Posted by John at Tue Feb 08 2005 20:02

Chances are he is not legit; but if it makes you feel good, then that's all that matters.

Posted by Susie at Wed Feb 09 2005 07:28

BYU would never print an article on how to tell because you are supposed to just give and let God judge. But I think if it's obvious they are scam artists, or just plain lazy (ie. they won't accept free food!) it's probably ok not to waste your money on them. Give it to the La Rosa guy who works hard for a living!

Posted by Joe Walch at Thu Feb 10 2005 15:21

I agree with the fast offering part. I like the way they do it back east. People come up to you in Atlanta and offer to help you with your luggage and direct you to where you need to go, and then ask for a tip. In washington D.C., however, they try to sell you a free city guide for 5 dollars!, but there was one woman who sat outside a restaurant we came out of and asked for our left overs. That was legit, I thought, and I was happy to oblige.

I never give money, however. I just say that I only carry credit cards, which I almost always do.

Posted by Joe Walch at Thu Feb 10 2005 15:24

Further Thoughts,

In California, I bought a guy gas (like 5 bucks worth) and another guy McDonalds. That was nice. At least if you only have credit cards they don't get mad at you if you have to run the money through a reputable buisness. It was nice talking to that guy at McDonalds for a little while as well.

Posted by Camilla at Wed Feb 23 2005 13:22

It's good to hear SOMEONE reads that magazine... we were wondering about that at work last week.

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