Exiting the highway at Addison, I was thrilled to finally be away from traffic and mere blocks from home. As I waited at the stoplight listening to the Talking Heads I'm sure I subconciously noticed the man standing in traffic with a cardboard sign reading NO MONEY OR HOME. NEED HELP. Shamefully I might be desensitized to the people asking for money at many intersections I pass daily. I sang to along to "Psycho Killer" not giving much thought to the words on the sign.
My boy who had been sitting quietly in the seat behind me, out of nowhere screamed in my ear.
"Mom, we have to help that man he has no money or home and needs help!"
There was such concern in his voice, I immediately opened the console in my car and pulled out a handful of change. My boy rolled down his window and without hesitation called him over to our car. I looked in his pretty eyes and he seemed genuine as he said thank you.
For a minute I felt proud, but then I thought of stories I've heard of the money going to drugs and alcohol or even worse scams where they have a home and money, but found it easier to beg on the side of the road then get a job.
To my naive son, this was a no brainer. Of course we should give money to the person who doesn't have it.
I considered explaining the consequences of trusting those we don't know. After a short pause, I decided to keep my seven year old's innocence and interest at philanthropy right where it was for today.
Do you give money to homeless men and women? Do your children notice the less fortunate?
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