To Give or Not To Give

{Disclosure: some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn commission if you click through and make a purchase. Not a lot of money but maybe enough to get myself a coffee or donut.}

So we live in Albuquerque and sadly we are one of those cities with people on almost every corner with cardboard signs. As a Christian family we are definitely always having to answer our children when it comes to whether or not we are to give to them. One one side we know that they are trying to make a living. On the other hand we know that what they are doing may be against the law. I knew a police officer who was frustrated with dealing with people out and about all over the city, begging for money, and some up to no good. In frustration he remarked that something needed to be done to stop people from giving to them on the corners because they would keep coming back. There needed to be a better system.

We learned in our ethics class that we must choose the lesser of two evils, but this is such a hard dilemma. Sometimes we pass a corner and my son yells at me, “Mom, Mom! Do you have any money that we can give that poor guy?” Truthfully, I don’t have any on me so I can honestly say no.

I remember sitting in a donut shop hearing a guy on the verge of tears tell me that he had no diapers for his daughter. It was a moving story. So much so that I told him to meet me back at this store in an hour and I would get him a package of diapers. My husband went to the store and when we returned the man never came.

Another time a man asked for food. We told him we would bring him a meal as we entered a restaurant. When we came out he was gone.

It’s quite unnerving to try to give to someone and realize they were just wanting money. Sadly, I have seen people come in to the church and don’t attend church and/or let a pastor guide them spiritually, however they are upset when they have a need someone can’t fill immediately (gas, food, etc.)? Church family is just that, a family.

Attend church regularly, be a part of it, get involved. It’s a lot easier to meet the need of someone you know, than a complete stranger. Not to say we wouldn’t help a stranger, because God does lead us in that direction at times, but most people who come asking for money tend to be scammers or panhandlers, using the same story from church to church.

I love my church and God has used people in the church to meet random needs that I didn’t even ask for help with. Sometimes it’s a hug, sometimes a gift, or a word of encouragement, sometimes even correction or sound biblical advice. I  my church. Find a church and commit. Chances are better you can get help when you need it when you know someone a little more personally.

But how can we still help people and help them see the love of Christ outside of the church? The dilemma still stands when my kids ask if we can help the beggar on the street.

My husband told me that when he was younger he remembers giving the homeless “care-packages.” He suggested that we keep some in our van for moments like these. Giving cash isn’t always the right thing, but it’s ok to help someone out with items that may be daily necessities.

The Dollar Tree is a great place, our family loves going there! This would definitely be the perfect place to put together such package.

Affiliate link: Click below to see dollar tree care package ideas and themes

Care Package Supplies At Dollar Tree


Let me know in the comments below what you think about giving to those on street corners? Do you feel guilty if you don’t? What alternatives would you suggest for your children in these circumstances.



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