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Tried to help a man in need to teach my son about compasion and charity.

On my way to the store earlier today, we can across a middle aged man with a cardboard sign. We don't have to many situations like this in our quiet little town and thought what a great way to teach my youngest about helping others. We parked the car across the street and walked over to this man. His sign read "need work. will do odd jobs for cash. have been sober for 15 years" He was sitting on one of those walker chair combo things and was very thin and shaky. I introduces myself and my 6yr old son Al. In a very strained barely understandable voice he told me his story. He had been drinking and driving and had been in a accident 15 yrs ago and had been struggling ever since. I told him I couldn't offer him work but I could buy him a bag of groceries. He said no. Sadly, I think he wanted cash for alcohol or drugs. As we wished him health and good spirit, I worried that this experience would taint my son. Thoughts?


Asked by babyboyzz at 6:28 PM on Aug. 28, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (19)
  • I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that just becasue they do not want the food does NOT mean that money would go for drugs or alcohol. Alot of them canget all the free food the y need at the soup kitchens around town, it is money for clothing,shoes,a cheap hotel and hot shower they are after most of the time. Of course there are exceptions to the rule as there is for ANYONE or ANYTHING but alot of these poeple are not as bad as everyone makes them out to be. Just my 2 cents after having a father and who was homeless and years spent talking to the groups of them while trying to track him down.

    Answer by mamallamaof2 at 7:42 PM on Aug. 30, 2010

  • Your gut feeling was probably correct. If someone doesn't want food but only cash, then the sincerity of the need is questionable. You should explain this to your son and why you did not give him money. This is an excellent way to approach the important of making good choices.

    Answer by mikesmom65270 at 6:31 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

  • I think offering the help (and not cash) taught your son two things. That offering help is kind and good, and that being wary and not being taken advantage of is good. I think you did a good thing, mamma.

    Answer by Ati_13 at 6:32 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

  • It was so nice of you to offer, and I commend you for it. You did what you could.

    Answer by txdaniella at 6:35 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

  • I think you were right in this. Why would he not take the food? What else would he have planned on using the $$ for? More then likely drugs.. Kuddos to you for trying to help him like you did, most people would have just kept going....

    Answer by JuLiAnSmOmMy317 at 6:35 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

  • I was actually taught that is some asked if I could spare some money so that he could buy a drink, or food, not to give the money, but to offer to buy him the food in case they wish to play on your sympathies, and then buy drugs or alcohol.
    I think you are teaching your son the same. good job!

    Answer by layh41407 at 6:36 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

  • That was a good thing not to worry at all... You offered and he refused so we move on...

    Answer by MTM at 6:34 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

  • Do not worry about it tainting your Son. I think what you tried to do was awesome and will teach him a great lesson. It is so important for our Children to learn about Compassion and helping others, especially in the Greedy world we live in.
    However, you done the right thing by not giving him cash. Did you explain to your Son that you would have helped him if he would have been helping himself but you could not give him money because of his desire to buy drugs and alcohol with it? I think that he will understand that and the whole situation will teach him a good lesson.

    Answer by hsmominky at 6:36 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

  • It didn't taint your son. It just showed him that some will try to take advantage. You taught him to help and not be taken advantage of while doing it. Good. :-)

    Answer by Kiwismommy19 at 6:39 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

  • We actually use to carry the McDonald's cash to give out to people in need. They get a meal of their choosing, and they can't spend it on alcohol and drugs. I think it is a good lesson that you taught your son.

    Answer by PhoenixFire at 6:43 PM on Aug. 28, 2010