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In the Name of God بسم الله
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2Timeless

How charitable should we be?

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Walking in the street we always see homeless people, and I like to give them any change I have, but nowadays no one carries any change. We all use cards contactlessly through our phones etc, since it's more convenient than notes or coins. So the question is, whether we should go out of our way to continuously carry change and give it to any needy people we see, or just give charity as and when we have any change on us (which could be hardly ever)? 

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I tend to avoid giving change even if I have it as most of the people asking are suffering from various addictions, so I always offer to buy them a meal instead of change and the genuine ones usually accept the offer. 

That way they're not hungry and I know my contribution didn't feed the vicious cycle of addiction.  

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Even street buskers are now taking contactless payments!! 

 

IMG_7611.JPG

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Thank you for the excellent post/question. When it comes to giving to the homeless, I am sorry to say I don't anymore. I don't trust that they would actually buy food, clothing for job interviews, transport to family, etc... I would be lying if I said it didn't break my heart walking past them and giving them nothing. Especially if they have kids or a pet.

Instead of giving to the homeless I donate to charities I know will use the money wisely.

 

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31 minutes ago, Moalfas said:

Even street buskers are now taking contactless payments!! 

 

IMG_7611.JPG

Wow that's crazy lol, but to be honest if I saw a homeless person with a card reader I'd end up wondering where they even got the money to invest in it. Alot of times I see people ask for money in the exact same manner - they hand out slips that ask for money for the operation of a son on the train. They put the slip on the seat next to each person in the train carriage and then come back to collect any money. It makes me think their begging is more of a career than a necessity. Ruins it for the genuinely needy people out there.

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You can get dollar coins from the bank.

 

And I remember a narration where people were gossiping about Imam Ali because he gave charity to a rich man, a prostitute, and (I think) a thief. They were all so touched they decided to be better people. They thought "despite all my sinning, God still gives me blessings." I'm not sure if that can be applied here, but let's think more about this before we don't give beggars money because they'll likely spend it on drugs.

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14 hours ago, Moalfas said:

Even street buskers are now taking contactless payments!! 

 

IMG_7611.JPG

Playing an instrument for donations is not the same as begging. It is work. 

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@notme Yes, I pointed out that they're buskers with reference to contactless payments not begging. 

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I usually keep a few dollars and coins in my car for tollbooths, vending machines, and the shopping carts at Aldi. I hold pretty tightly to that last quarter, but most of it goes to street beggars. I can easily imagine myself in their position, if not for fortunate birth. 

I don't know that we should specifically get cash to donate, but if we aren't giving cash, we should make a point of giving to local charities that help our local communities. 

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Just now, Moalfas said:

@notme Yes, I pointed out that they're buskers with reference to contactless payments not begging. 

I've had friends who worked "regular" jobs, and also played music on the street, just because they loved to play for an audience. Buskers may not even be poor. Maybe they are. If you enjoy the art that they provide and you can spare some coins, pay them. If not, don't. 

I talked with a violinist who had set up at my local Walmart parking lot. He and his wife were both employed, but they both were looking for second jobs and odd jobs to pay for some dental work that their daughter needed that wasn't covered by insurance. 

Whenever it's feasible, just ask people their stories. Even if you can't give money, it helps you to develop empathy and makes them feel good to talk like a real human, not be treated as background. 

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