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A Canadian in Sweden
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I was in Stockholm today on business. While sitting on a commuter train on my way into downtown Stockholm, a gentleman walks by and leaves a card by where I'm sitting, in fact by where each passenger is sitting, for all of us to read. The card tells a story of how he is a university student and needs money and some other details that I can't remember. The girl sitting in front of me started to reach into her pockets for some change, but I think that when she saw me not even reacting, she decided against it. Why didn't I give this gentleman some money? He went to each passenger on my train car, each one of them declining or ignoring him. I felt sorry him. I realise that we cannot help everyone with a donation, but am I so callous that I can't even spare 10 or 20 Swedish crowns (3-4 dollars)? What is wrong with me? What is wrong with society? Am I so sick of people begging for money that I cannot even tell when someone is legitimately in need? I still feel bad about how I reacted to his request. Would you have helped him out?
Wayne
 

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Shirtcocker
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wayneanneli said:
I was in Stockholm today on business. While sitting on a commuter train on my way into downtown Stockholm, a gentleman walks by and leaves a card by where I'm sitting, in fact by where each passenger is sitting, for all of us to read. The card tells a story of how he is a university student and needs money and some other details that I can't remember. The girl sitting in front of me started to reach into her pockets for some change, but I think that when she saw me not even reacting, she decided against it. Why didn't I give this gentleman some money? He went to each passenger on my train car, each one of them declining or ignoring him. I felt sorry him. I realise that we cannot help everyone with a donation, but am I so callous that I can't even spare 10 or 20 Swedish crowns (3-4 dollars)? What is wrong with me? What is wrong with society? Am I so sick of people begging for money that I cannot even tell when someone is legitimately in need? I still feel bad about how I reacted to his request. Would you have helped him out?
Wayne
sounds like a scam...I get hit up for $$ all the time by street people and the like. If I gave each of them a buck everytime they asked I'd be broke before long--needless to say it happens a lot. I'd rather give $$ though official channels like the local homeless shelter, emergency family assistance fund and the like so I know where the money is going. I don't really care to support some street person's drug/alcohol habits or legitimize a person who thinks they can make more $$ holding a cardboard sign out than working (I've heard claims that some homeless people claim to make more $$ holding a sign out than actually working an 8 hour day).
 

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Strained coccyx etc etc
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no.

i help with actions and deeds. if someone needs a meal, let's go eat. someone needs a hand, i have two. a friend needs money, ok. but not somebody panhandling on the streets. that's pretty much what you encountered. probably a scam.

i'm very quiet about what i do with the "profits" from my annual cyclocross series; this info is not included in the race info or on the flyers, as i feel it inappropriate. but:

year one: a very small-time no-kill animal shelter with big-time vet bills. i went to their vet, paid the bill, and spent the rest on dog and cat food *at cost* from petco. y'all support your local petco!

year two: an abused womens' and childrens' shelter. it's a secret/hidden place in memphis, for obvious reasons. bought the shelter as many toys and books as i could fit in my honda element and gave the rest in *cash* to the shelter's director, for food and bills.

year three (2005): secret santa for kids who would have had nothing, and meal certificates to decent cafes and restaurants in downtown and east memphis. all at or *below* cost due to the generosity of each establishment. passed out via a catholic church and shelter with locations downtown and in east memphis. i am not a christian but believe in the works of this church for the things i've experienced directly.

when i was running the local bike club, i introduced two additional centuries run as fundraisers. we raised many thousands of dollars and hundreds of pounds of food for the aforementioned no-kill animal shelter. two years running.

i'm not blowin' my own horn here. i'm saying, there are better ways, grander scales, to get involved and affect peoples' lives. and animals' lives. and there are places those in need can go to get help. not the train. and not the street. and trust me here, completely and in total sincerity: if i can do it, **ANYBODY** can do it.
 

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Genitive Declensioner
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haiku d'etat said:
i'm not blowin' my own horn here. i'm saying, there are better ways, grander scales, to get involved and affect peoples' lives. and animals' lives. and there are places those in need can go to get help. not the train. and not the street. and trust me here, completely and in total sincerity: if i can do it, **ANYBODY** can do it.

jeebus Js after reading that I'd blow your horn.........


werd!
 

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svend said:
jeebus Js after reading that I'd blow your horn.........


werd!
J's would prolly let you blow his horn....NTTAWWT, and like that, etc,...HTH! :eek:

// kidding...good on ya J's...some good causes there you're helping with.
 

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haiku d'etat said:
no.

i help with actions and deeds. if someone needs a meal, let's go eat. someone needs a hand, i have two. a friend needs money, ok. but not somebody panhandling on the streets. that's pretty much what you encountered. probably a scam.

i'm very quiet about what i do with the "profits" from my annual cyclocross series; this info is not included in the race info or on the flyers, as i feel it inappropriate. but:

year one: a very small-time no-kill animal shelter with big-time vet bills. i went to their vet, paid the bill, and spent the rest on dog and cat food *at cost* from petco. y'all support your local petco!

year two: an abused womens' and childrens' shelter. it's a secret/hidden place in memphis, for obvious reasons. bought the shelter as many toys and books as i could fit in my honda element and gave the rest in *cash* to the shelter's director, for food and bills.

year three (2005): secret santa for kids who would have had nothing, and meal certificates to decent cafes and restaurants in downtown and east memphis. all at or *below* cost due to the generosity of each establishment. passed out via a catholic church and shelter with locations downtown and in east memphis. i am not a christian but believe in the works of this church for the things i've experienced directly.

when i was running the local bike club, i introduced two additional centuries run as fundraisers. we raised many thousands of dollars and hundreds of pounds of food for the aforementioned no-kill animal shelter. two years running.

i'm not blowin' my own horn here. i'm saying, there are better ways, grander scales, to get involved and affect peoples' lives. and animals' lives. and there are places those in need can go to get help. not the train. and not the street. and trust me here, completely and in total sincerity: if i can do it, **ANYBODY** can do it.
ditto. exactly. perfect... i MAY give someone cash if i feel like it but i may not and i live in a country where no way out has been the norm for millions of people: people leaving deserts w/ no food or water coming to cities in search of jobs. there are no jobs, no opportunity. you are in sweden w/ dozens of shelters and ways around for those in need.
if he is student, he should be asking around for a JOB, work, and not begging in the train.
 

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Strained coccyx etc etc
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svend said:
jeebus Js after reading that I'd blow your horn.........


werd!
well since you're kinda hot and picked me up in SD i figure you could blow my horn.
 

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Strained coccyx etc etc
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colker1 said:
ditto. exactly. perfect... i MAY give someone cash if i feel like it but i may not and i live in a country where no way out has been the norm for millions of people: people leaving deserts w/ no food or water coming to cities in search of jobs. there are no jobs, no opportunity. you are in sweden w/ dozens of shelters and ways around for those in need.
if he is student, he should be asking around for a JOB, work, and not begging in the train.
sounds like (i might have misread) it was someone "representing" a needy student. i grew up with many deaf relatives and working/often spending whole summers with either deaf relatives (my grandmother, favorite person in the world) or working in deaf summer camps as either an interpreter or a lifeguard or both.

you will sometimes, on busses, public places, restaurants, trains, subways, and on the street, encounter someone who is either actually deaf or is pretending to be, passing out cards displaying the ASL alphabet and asking politely for a donation. DO NOT enable these people. there is a support system in place, in nearly every city, for the deaf. if they need it, which most don't. most of the deaf in my adult network (innumerable) are better off than i am, and very successful in their careers and lives. this is either a scam or someone who knows where to get help, but makes plenty of $ passing out these cards.

same deal.
 

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haiku d'etat said:
sounds like (i might have misread) it was someone "representing" a needy student.
Could be, but the culture is different over there. Did you feel it was a scam Wayne?
 

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a jumped up pantry boy
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i get this alot at school. some guy walks up and asks for money for some shady organization while wearing a prada suit and gucci glasses. you tell him no and he gets pissed that you could be so cruel. then you get the guy who comes up and asks for money to buy some weed, obviously he gets no money. personally, i dont think its really hard to spot someone who needs money, and someone whos trying to scam you. if i see someone on the street who is plainly homeless ill give them money. i have no problem helping out someone who needs a meal/drink/whatever. i guess i kinda see it as kharma, its alot cheaper for me to give this guy a buck or two so that i dont end up like him one day.
 

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Gronk SMASH!
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Not the guy to ask

I work in Hollywood-adjacent, and I see homeless guys all the time. I usually help 'em out with 60 cents to a dollar or so. It's to the point where a lot of them recognize me even. (Have you noticed, by the way, that homeless guys outnumber the women about 5-1? weird). Actually, this helps, cause I can turn them down sometimes and it's cool. No sales job. Anyway, I'm sure not all of them are honest about the situation, but if someone needs money enough to ask me, I'll cough it up if I've got it. It's not up to me to decide whether they really need it or not. I waste more money on useless crap that I give out, so I'm OK.

I wish I had the motivation to make a real diff like Haiku, and I aspire to something like that, but for now, this is how I operate.
 

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a jumped up pantry boy
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jptaylorsg said:
I work in Hollywood-adjacent, and I see homeless guys all the time. I usually help 'em out with 60 cents to a dollar or so. It's to the point where a lot of them recognize me even. (Have you noticed, by the way, that homeless guys outnumber the women about 5-1? weird). Actually, this helps, cause I can turn them down sometimes and it's cool. No sales job. Anyway, I'm sure not all of them are honest about the situation, but if someone needs money enough to ask me, I'll cough it up if I've got it. It's not up to me to decide whether they really need it or not. I waste more money on useless crap that I give out, so I'm OK.

I wish I had the motivation to make a real diff like Haiku, and I aspire to something like that, but for now, this is how I operate.
how bout the guys in the prada suits down by the bookstore, or the guy with his pancake nonsense who hangs out by sierra? the one that takes the cake as the pushiest is the people selling the la times.
 

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Gronk SMASH!
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yarble said:
how bout the guys in the prada suits down by the bookstore, or the guy with his pancake nonsense who hangs out by sierra? the one that takes the cake as the pushiest is the people selling the la times.
I don't get hit up for cash on campus. The folks I hate are the ones trying to get me to register or sign a petition. I actually plan my route around campus to avoid them, but sometimes I can't. they'll chase me out onto the grass. Thanks, I just wanna get to class. The times guys suck, too, but I tell them I get it free at work.
 

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Genitive Declensioner
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yarble said:
then you get the guy who comes up and asks for money to buy some weed, obviously he gets no money.
reminds me of story and I'm bored so y'all get to hear it:

I was in downtown SD ( before it was all built up and gentrified, pre-gaslamp) forgot why but no pertinence to the storyline, any way I'm walking and this guy walks up to me, Raider hat kinda askew and asks if I had a dollar. I was in no hurry and must have been in a good mood so I asked him why he needed it.

He gave me some song and dance about a sick relative. It was actually a somewhat plausible line he fed me but I said "Bullsh!t, what are you really gonna do with it". He mumbled something and then said, "well I really want to get a nickle bag and I'm 3 bucks short".

I said "a nickle bag of what?" He went "of weed man" and then rambled about how he dont touch nothin' but the weed and that that was the God honest truth.

I thought for a second and then I gave him a five spot for perceived honesty. You would have thought I had given the dude a thousand dollars. I was his new best friend. He wanted me to come with him and share his stash and when I politely declined he asked if I liked pretty girls because he knew one and I quote him exactly "could suck a golf ball through a garden hose" that he thought I would like and could arrange a meeting, which, I was pretty sure, he could.

After I declined his second offer he went on and on about how if I was ever downtown and needed something to just ask around for Mike with the Raider hat cause he was always around 10th St.....a pretty funny guy actually and I've often wondered where he ended up....anyway, so in this case the guy that wanted to buy some weed got some...

so let it not be said that I am not a giver.
 

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Misfit Toy
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Working at the county hospital, a lot of homeless hang around. If asked for money, I'll usually buy them a burger/meal if they're hungry. I have given cash a few times - I choose to believe they will use the money to get a place to stay. :eek: :rolleyes:
 

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I'm not like anyone else
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I, too, ask the same question.

I've been scammed so much by so many folks that I've grown a very think skin. I adopted a tsunami child last year and even then I questioned the truthfulness.. But each month I get a posting, including a pic, that makes me feel good about the deal. He's a real person and with real needs. I often gove to the Salvation Army her in the US and a few other legit organizations. However, if comeone come to me on the street asking for a "donation", I usually don't accommodate. Too many scams and too many creeps begging for an existence. I don't think you wrong nor would I pass judgement on you for not indulging. Is is a product of society? I think so! Are you less of a good human being for making the choice that you did? No! There so much deception in this world that you were simply being cautious. Would a few bucks make a difference in your life? Probably not but does deception? Probably so... Give when you feel you must but don't feel you need to give to everything or everyone.

You are a good soul... have no worries about what you did!

Cheers

EDB
 

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a jumped up pantry boy
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snapdragen said:
Working at the county hospital, a lot of homeless hang around. If asked for money, I'll usually buy them a burger/meal if they're hungry. I have given cash a few times - I choose to believe they will use the money to get a place to stay. :eek: :rolleyes:
i bought a bum a 40' a couple months ago, even though he had about 10 of them in a paper bag. he told me he needed money for another beer, and i didnt really know what to say at that point. i guess like svend i appreciated his honesty. the way i see it, that coulda been buddah/jesus/ muhammed/zoraster/etc.
 

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Scary Teddy Bear
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We

everydaybike said:
I, too, ask the same question.

I've been scammed so much by so many folks that I've grown a very think skin. I adopted a tsunami child last year and even then I questioned the truthfulness.. But each month I get a posting, including a pic, that makes me feel good about the deal. He's a real person and with real needs. I often gove to the Salvation Army her in the US and a few other legit organizations. However, if comeone come to me on the street asking for a "donation", I usually don't accommodate. Too many scams and too many creeps begging for an existence. I don't think you wrong nor would I pass judgement on you for not indulging. Is is a product of society? I think so! Are you less of a good human being for making the choice that you did? No! There so much deception in this world that you were simply being cautious. Would a few bucks make a difference in your life? Probably not but does deception? Probably so... Give when you feel you must but don't feel you need to give to everything or everyone.

You are a good soul... have no worries about what you did!

Cheers

EDB

give more friggin money to charity every year...and I'm happy to do it, but I can't stand someone calling and asking for more, or stopping me on the street and asking for me to pledge to this/that.....then when I politely tell them no thank you, they get PISSED, they start trying to lay the guilt complex on, and then I usually lose it and go off on them..My wife just hangs up as soon as they call, she'll say hi, listen to about 5 seconds, and say.."GET US OFF YOUR DAMN LIST" and then slam the phone down....

When I as in Cleveland, the local news did a story on all of the beggers down in the flats (A popular social area). They found that many of them had good paying jobs, and would do it to scam more money.
 

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ugh

wayneanneli said:
What is wrong with society? Am I so sick of people begging for money that I cannot even tell when someone is legitimately in need?
dude the whole whats wrong with society thing gives me nightmares. I mean seriously it bugs the hell out of me that we can't just be more civilized and honest with people we have to deal with on a daily basis. i could go on but I rant about this stuff enough to the point where all my friends all call me 'buddha' and crap like that behind my back.

here in Boulder we have professional bums. I mean this maybe an urban legend or I dunno but I've heard some of them have 700K houses and mercedes and stuff and I honestly wouldn't be surprised. every intersection has some cardboard sign dude. I gave up on giving out money, well I'll give out a buck or some pocket change maybe if its really cold or someone seems like they're on the level but my bs radar has gotten pretty good I think. its like I've become infected with charity fatigue or outrage fatigue or something. well maybe not outrage fatigue because I'm still outraged but not enough to actually cough up.

now here's the thing. some of these folks really do have weird stuff going on. out on Pearl St. the other day I met this character on the mall and he was really, really cool. He's 41 years old, homeless, just moved here from San Diego and hes gay, which didn't bother me at all because he didn't hit on me or ask me anything personal, more like it just got mentioned in passing (and he's pretty flamboyant too) so I told him he should go check out the Yard because its the happening spot in Boulder for that scene. so we chatted for awhile and I had the camera with me so I shot some pics of stuff and he showed me some neat / awesome wrought iron and sculpture stuff I'd never have noticed if it hadn't been for someone else showing me. it turns out he had some kind of weird head injury, and you could totally tell he had NO short term memory whatsoever. he constantly writes important stuff down in a little journal book so he doesn't forget it. I told him about this tea shop I like and he said he'd check it out and wrote it down. I figured I could buy him a hot tea there or something but he wasn't interested. so we wandered around for awhile having this awesome kinda disjointed convo about art and photography and clothing design because it seems like he was a designer too in a former life. I'm serious this guy was the most un-creepy type I've ever met (for a homeless gay guy especially). I asked him if he was set for lunch and stuff and he said he was hanging at the shelter and no thanks. I even tried to give him five bucks but he wouldn't take it. it's kinda hard to describe how he was but he was one of the most dignified and elegant people i've ever met, despite being homeless and messed up in the head and carrying everything he owns in one of those little wheeled carryon bags. hell he was all clean cut and I'd never even have assumed he was homeless if he hadn't pretty much told me what he could remember of his life story.

I just hope this cat keeps his act together and finds someone to take care of him because itd suck if he froze or something. I can't honestly say the same about all those nasty goth muppets that sparechange everyone up by the courthouse because they sit there all day chain smoking and being slackasses, but if you argue with them or dont give them cash they'll totally f-bomb you right in front of people's little kids and everything.
 

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Soon to be banned
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There's nothing wrong with being selectively socially conscious. The card people on the trains always bothered me, so I usually ignore them. I'm not fond of professional beggars. Don't get me wrong, I've given my fair share to the windshield washers...etc., but it's the guys on the street who aren't panhandling that usually get my attention.

One evening, on my way home from work there was this guy diggin' with his bare hands through a trash bag of rice in front of a Chinese restaurant. He wasn't looking for a handout. He didn't even try to bother three guys walkin by in suits. I stopped and handed him a twenty and said get yourself a real meal or whatever... I'll never forget the look on his face.

Once, I was at a convention in Beantown and we were being treated like kings. It was a really posh event. After a black-tie dinner I decided to walk off the meal. Came across some homeless guys aggressively looking for a handout. There was this one guy, 30 somethin', unshaven, down on his luck, sitting on a step. He looked like he was just beaten down and couldn't even muster the energy to panhandle. I went back to the hotel and got a waiter to "put together a to-go plate for someone who hadn't eaten that night."

As Js points out, there other ways to contribute to society other than the card carrying pros.

/BTW, Js gets my nod for RBRs Mother Theresa award. Good on ya man!!!
 
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