As a general rule, I am the type of person that does NOT hand out money to the person who asks for spare change. I want to know where my money is going if I am going to donate even a dime. I don't want my money going to drugs or alcohol. I want it to go to your next meal or place to stay, and because you can't convince me that will be the case, my change stays in my pocket when I pass you by in the street.
Stopped at a red light after leaving a drive-thru, the usual guy was standing on the boulevard with his sign... but I want to know I am actually helping, not hurting, with my donation of a few lint-covered coins. I avoid eye contact with him. I turn the other cheek, and I hate it. It's inhumane. So this time, I roll down my window and ask him if he wants my fries. His eyes light up - he does want my fries! "God bless you." he says, and I think "No, God bless you."
A week or so later, I am stopped at a different red light. There's another guy with another sign and I am glad that I thought of a way to help last time, that didn't compromise my values so I scan my car. I honestly don't have any cash this time, but I just left the grocery store, I pay with gift cards, so there's one of those on the seat beside me... I roll down my window and tell him I have no money, but would he like a grocery card. He would, thank you so much. That card was worth $40!! And I gave it away.
I'm not telling you any of this to receive any kind of kudos. In fact, I don't at all like the idea of philanthropy for recognition. (I am apparently very opinionated when it comes to charity!) I am telling you this to inspire you. I think it's time we ALL do more to make the world a better place, and I wanted to share with you that it doesn't take celebrity, riches, or pre-planning. We can all make a difference in the world, every single day. No matter where you look, someone could use a hand, a smile, or your french fries!