Please say NO the next time a vagrant or car guard asks you for money or a tip

Brian's begging hand (spitalfields.com)Does giving money to vagrants or the ‘illegal’ car guards in Simon’s Town help to make their lives better?  Or do we also do it to assuage our own guilt?  And would it be better to give to a charity or NGO who helps the homeless, the vagrants.  And, donating money in this way, will we be making our community a more pleasant place to live?

I started thinking about the above and asked myself whether it is true?

Always a great believer that you can find answers to most things by doing a search on Google, I went on to the Internet and typed in:  giving money to street beggars.  I wanted to find out whether giving money straight to those who need it will help them or not.  My unscientific research reveals that, quite to the contrary, giving a tip or money, however big or small, actually exacerbates the problem for those we give to and for our community too!

What it says on the Internet:

Here are a few points to my research revealed:

  • Begging for money, and receiving it, makes it more lucrative to continue begging and less lucrative to learn a skill or find work;
  • Giving money does not guarantee that the money will be spent on what we give it for, (to buy food or something to drink)!  The money could well be spent on alcohol or drugs, even end up financing organized crime;
  • You will probably end up giving money to a vagrant or car guard who has already been given money by other people, therefore you end up giving to the wrong people;
  • Every rand we give to a vagrant can only be spent once by us, but could be used much better spent giving to a charity or organisation who can help with skills and social development. So, if you can’t handle the guilt, think about making a donation to a local NGO who will spend your money wisely.

Local Organisations to donate to

Below is a very incomplete list of organisations in our area which would be very grateful to receive your donation:

  • The Happy Valley Shelter in Simon’s Town provides accommodation and food for adults who have lost their homes due to financial pressure, personal tragedy or drug addiction.  Contact Cindy on 021 786-5087 or by e-mail at cynn@telkomsa.net
  • Living Hope in Capri seeks to reach people for Christ, bringing hope and breaking the despair of poverty and disease. Contact Living Hope on 021 784 2800 – or donate via their website: http://www.livinghope.co.za/donate/
  • Anchors Away Workshop is a protective workshop providing meaningful employment to Intellectually Disabled adults in the community.  Contact Anchors Away Workshop on 073-190-9654

Do you know of any other organisations that help adult homeless/vagrants in the Simon’s Town/Glencairn area?  Leave their contact details as a comment and I will add them to the above list.

On which side of the fence do you sit?

Before I leave you, I found this interesting discussion on http://www.debate.com about giving money to beggars: http://www.debate.org/opinions/should-people-give-money-to-beggars.  The poll shows that 40% said we should, while 60% said we should.

With the above in mind, I began thinking about how much money I would like to set aside each year to donate to others?  Is this something you would think of doing?

1 thought on “Please say NO the next time a vagrant or car guard asks you for money or a tip

  1. I believe it is a matter of choice. I certainly will not give money to beggars or charities a like. but I will give money to people who give me good reason to, if they have watched my car or in some way tried to provide a service to earn my loose change. charity does not start at home, it starts at the point where the system fails and is another form of taxation… do not give to a charity unless it is run by volunteers.

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