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Family has run out of money
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Family has run out of money

  #1 (permalink)
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Family has run out of money

A couple days ago when I was driving to/from the doctors office for round 42 of my upper respiratory infection, I drove passed what I thought was a family selling something on the side of the road.

On my way home I drove past them again and this time was better able to see. It was a family, presumably a husband, wife, and two daughters, holding a big sign that read:

"FAMILY HAS RUN OUT OF MONEY"

They were standing on the side of the highway and had been there at least 4 hours, because that is how long I was away that day.

I should also mention this was a nice part of town, nearby homes priced around 500k.

My first inclination was naturally to stop and give them money. But I didn't. As I drove by and was quickly deciding whether to stop and turn around, here is what was running through my mind... and has continued last night as I was thinking about this more, enough to post this thread.

- The car behind them was a nice late model SUV, best I could tell
- All were wearing nice clothes
- At least one daughter had an iPhone or iPod or something she was listening to
- If they lived in the immediate area, they probably had a very expensive home

So basically what this told me, right or wrong, was that money I would give them was going to largely be wasted on things they clearly could not afford.

Now there is no way to know for sure. The car could have been loaned to them by a family. The clothes purchased by family members. A phone for a kid is not by itself unreasonable.

But I couldn't shake the feeling that this family was "doing this to themselves", at least in some way or at least at some point, and that giving them money is just like sending good money after bad and isn't going to actually help anyone.

The sign did not read "HUNGRY". If it did, I would have stopped in an instant.

The wording of the sign was interesting "RUN OUT OF MONEY". I couldn't stop thinking about this. Interesting choice of words. Not "NEED HELP, LOST JOB". etc. But "run out of money". I guess it was ultimately this that just didn't sit right with me, and I kept driving.

Thoughts?

Mike

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  #2 (permalink)
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Big Mike View Post
A couple days ago when I was driving to/from the doctors office for round 42 of my upper respiratory infection, I drove passed what I thought was a family selling something on the side of the road.

On my way home I drove past them again and this time was better able to see. It was a family, presumably a husband, wife, and two daughters, holding a big sign that read:

"FAMILY HAS RUN OUT OF MONEY"

They were standing on the side of the highway and had been there at least 4 hours, because that is how long I was away that day.

I should also mention this was a nice part of town, nearby homes priced around 500k.

My first inclination was naturally to stop and give them money. But I didn't. As I drove by and was quickly deciding whether to stop and turn around, here is what was running through my mind... and has continued last night as I was thinking about this more, enough to post this thread.

- The car behind them was a nice late model SUV, best I could tell
- All were wearing nice clothes
- At least one daughter had an iPhone or iPod or something she was listening to
- If they lived in the immediate area, they probably had a very expensive home

So basically what this told me, right or wrong, was that money I would give them was going to largely be wasted on things they clearly could not afford.

Now there is no way to know for sure. The car could have been loaned to them by a family. The clothes purchased by family members. A phone for a kid is not by itself unreasonable.

But I couldn't shake the feeling that this family was "doing this to themselves", at least in some way or at least at some point, and that giving them money is just like sending good money after bad and isn't going to actually help anyone.

The sign did not read "HUNGRY". If it did, I would have stopped in an instant.

The wording of the sign was interesting "RUN OUT OF MONEY". I couldn't stop thinking about this. Interesting choice of words. Not "NEED HELP, LOST JOB". etc. But "run out of money". I guess it was ultimately this that just didn't sit right with me, and I kept driving.

Thoughts?

Mike

Great insight, I often feel the same way. Having grown-up with nothing and then achieving success (based upon my own goals, and not someone else), I see people trying to live a lifestyle they cannot afford. I have definitely reached out and helped families in need with food, clothing and in a few cases warmth. I felt comfortable with these "gifts" as I knew they were needed an why. Giving "MONEY" does not always equate to helping with what the person/family needs, as you have stated, would it simply go to pay for the cable bill? Although this seems cold and uncaring, I would rather help with the true need, not to simply supply Money. You don't need MONEY, you only need money to get what you need and want. Some people spend it on what they want and not what they need.

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  #3 (permalink)
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I had a guy approach me in a grocery store parking lot and give me a long drawn out story about how he was down on his luck and needed some money to get groceries for the kids, etc. So I gave him a few bucks for some food. Six weeks later he did the exact same thing, same story, same place in the parking lot. So really there was no hungry family, he was at "work".

My mom volunteers at a food bank and describes the people coming in as pretty much all in need of actual help, not people trying to game the system. Some are hard core on drugs or booze and spend all the money they get on their habit and have no money for food. There are young women coming in with two or three young children and the father is in prison, on drugs, or just gone. There are a lot of elderly people trying to live off small social security checks.

I give canned food to legit food banks now instead of handing out cash to people on the street. Any used goods I donate go to the DAV. Disabled American Veterans. Just about everything goes to the people who need it unlike some "charities" where the CEO's pay themselves huge salaries out of the donations.

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  #4 (permalink)
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NJAMC View Post
Great insight, I often feel the same way. Having grown-up with nothing and then achieving success (based upon my own goals, and not someone else), I see people trying to live a lifestyle they cannot afford. I have definitely reached out and helped families in need with food, clothing and in a few cases warmth. I felt comfortable with these "gifts" as I knew they were needed an why. Giving "MONEY" does not always equate to helping with what the person/family needs, as you have stated, would it simply go to pay for the cable bill? Although this seems cold and uncaring, I would rather help with the true need, not to simply supply Money. You don't need MONEY, you only need money to get what you need and want. Some people spend it on what they want and not what they need.

Yes paying the cable bill is a good way of putting it. Or the $200 cell phone bill would be another.

I give a lot to charity. It isn't about being a scrooge or something. But something just wasn't right about this.

Mike

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  #5 (permalink)
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Big Mike View Post
Yes paying the cable bill is a good way of putting it. Or the $200 cell phone bill would be another.

I give a lot to charity. It isn't about being a scrooge or something. But something just wasn't right about this.

Mike

I feel the same way. The wording of that sign was just "off". They should have needed something other than "MONEY".

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  #6 (permalink)
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AlexB View Post
I give canned food to legit food banks now instead of handing out cash to people on the street. Any used goods I donate go to the DAV. Disabled American Veterans. Just about everything goes to the people who need it unlike some "charities" where the CEO's pay themselves huge salaries out of the donations.

Good job. I try to do similar and was raised this way. It disgusts me what some 401(c)3 / 501(c)3 non-profit groups are allowed to do and little they actually give to those in need out of what they take in.

Mike

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  #7 (permalink)
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AlexB View Post
Just about everything goes to the people who need it unlike some "charities" where the CEO's pay themselves huge salaries out of the donations.

I don't want to start a flame war, but those CEO's are one of the reasons I will only donate directly or to well known local groups. Lets just say I had an experience or so with U.W. which didn't seem to pan out when a family asked for help, but the CEO had gold bath fixtures.... I felt I help buy those fixtures, and because of his expense for the fixtures, he didn't have money to help the family in need.

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  #8 (permalink)
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What if he borrowed the car from a friend to get there?
What if this guy and his wife work 3 jobs so their kids could have the
same things as the other kids whether iPhone, iPads, etc?
What if his wife or him are sick and cant afford medical bills? and yes...they ran out of money.

Personal stories don't go on signs.

Think of the psychology of a person who has to resort to put his kids and wife on the street to gather money

I hope G-d helps this family whatever their issue was.

Matt

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  #9 (permalink)
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mattz View Post
What if he borrowed the car from a friend to get there?
What if this guy and his wife work 3 jobs so their kids could have the
same things as the other kids whether iPhone, iPads, etc?
What if his wife or him are sick and cant afford medical bills? and yes...they ran out of money.

Personal stories don't go on signs.

Think of the psychology of a person who has to resort to put his kids and wife on the street to gather money

I hope G-d helps this family whatever their issue was.

Matt

I mentioned most of that in my post.

Something was still not right... I understand what you mean about resorting to the street, but it should have said "need work" or "need groceries", I think he would have had far better success and help.

Sent from my LG Optimus G Pro

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  #10 (permalink)
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Big Mike View Post
I mentioned most of that in my post.

Something was still not right... I understand what you mean about resorting to the street, but it should have said "need work" or "need groceries", I think he would have had far better success and help.

Sent from my LG Optimus G Pro

I don't know what goes through the head of a person who resorts to this.
One thing for sure, they don't think about optimizing a sales copy on their sign.

I am always approached by people in the parking lots who "ran out of gas", homeless who need food and would most likely waste it on booze, or others who drag a dollar or two out of my pocket because they have a pitch...and I still give it to them.

This is all out of sympathy, mercy and above a belief that it all comes back.
Not saying this is the right way...but this is me.

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