Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Victim Or Con

I am sure everyone has heard about the NY City Policeman who bought a pair of socks and boots for a homeless man in Times Square, this act of kindness has been on the news and all over the internet, this man has been thrust into the limelight so to say, I applaud this policeman for making time to help someone in need.

This homeless man is said to have been seen on the street again barefoot, stating that he fears for his life and has hidden the boots due to safety concerns, his image has hit the web without his permission and the value of those boots could cost him his life.

It has also been reported that he is not actually homeless, he actually has an apartment in the Bronx paid for by the federal government. So with this said does this man really need help?

My problem with all of this is that the act of compassion from this Police Officer was made into a public spectacle; I feel that he did not do this for publicity; he did it because he felt this man needed help.

We always take a chance when we donate anything in this manner, a lot of people refuse to give handouts stating things like “all they want the money for is drugs or alcohol” we have a lot of people on the streets who are not necessarily drug addicts or alcoholics, so this excuse is unacceptable in my opinion.

I think donations and giving someone a hand should remain private in a sense, no ones act of compassion should go viral, simply because sometimes the person in need will be embarrassed enough without having their image splashed across the web.

And if by chance the person who gave the handout actually gets duped, and their image is displayed everywhere, everyone will have ammunition to stop giving while laughing at the person who was duped, “See I told you so, you should just ignore those people”

Now that wintertime is upon us there is a large number of people on the streets who would greatly benefit from the gift of boots, socks, gloves, blankets and food.

Help our people in need when you can, by giving what you feel is right, be it cash or clothes, food or footwear there is nothing wrong with reaching out to our homeless.

Don’t shy away from giving because you feel like you may get duped, I have a feeling we have all been duped at one time or another, I would feel better taking this chance than find out I ignored someone who actually needed a bite to eat.

Officer Lawrence DePrimo’s act of kindness should have been kept between he and Jeffrey Hillman, whether this man was duped or not is not for me to say, because as quick as his story hit the Internet so did the research to discredit the homeless man.

Can you look at a person and tell the difference between a con and an actual victim? Not if the con is good at what he does, and most of them are, so I’ll leave you with this.

If you feel a person needs help give them a hand, don’t question yourself and don’t question them because this is not helping.

Has someone on the street really gotten your attention, to where you either wanted to reach out to him or her, or run away?

22 comments:

  1. I agree with what you said, Jimmy, go out and help if you feel you want to do that and if you get duped, you get duped, but at least you went with your heart. I rarely give money to people at street corners holding a sign, but if you really look in the eyes of some of them, you can see despair; those I will give money to. And if they buy a beer with it, that maybe is what will help them get through the day, its between them and God.

    I like the guy who was honest with my husband a few years ago when he asked him for some spare change. He said he was going to go and buy a beer at the store and sure enough he did. My husband had given him a few coins.

    I reached out to a homeless person my son knew; allowing him to stay in our house at times, always feeding him, etc. Unfortunately, he stole a very small amount from son when son was gone one time and I allowed him in son's room to take a shower, use his computer, etc., thinking he was "cool" because he had been "cool" before. It is no doubt in my mind he stole what amounted to less than $10 and if he had asked me for money, I would have given him something.

    Unfortunately we had to not let him stay with us any more as he refused to confess he had taken the money, but I still would send food to him if I knew my son was seeing him.

    I still reach out, I'm just more careful in how I reach out to protect our safety.

    betty

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    1. Hi Betty, You are so right in that looking into their eyes tells you a lot sometimes, one girl we gave money to was standing at the end of an off ramp, the look in her eyes broke my heart and she was so thankful of the small amount of money we gave her, A relative who was following us asked why we would waste our money this way, in my opinion it was not a waste.

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  2. Well said. It's too easy being skeptical of someone and doing nothing in the way of help.

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    1. Yes Stephen, It seems we have gotten to the point to where it is easier to look away rather than help, skepticism will surely make us this way.

      Thank You Sir, I appreciate you.

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  3. I have a lot of admiration for the officer, who helped someone he thought needed help. Whether the man actually needed help, or not, doesn't negate that kindness.

    Yes, I've have offered help on more than one occasion and I've also been duped. Has it made me skeptical? Yes, it has. Would it keep me from helping someone I thought needed it? The only thing I can say for sure is... it wouldn't be the same ones that duped me before, that still pull their sad stories on me almost every month. Been there, done that, not doing it again.

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    1. Hey Ms. A, Like you I think the officer did this from his heart and no matter the other mans story does not change the officers intent, we need more people just like him in this world.

      I remember one guy that was in the town we used to live, he always had a gas can and a story of how he was passing through town and he and his wife were stranded on the outskirts out of gas, he was still doing this when we moved and I know a lot of folks actually passing through gave him money.

      His house was actually on the outskirts and he was one I never had the feeling to help.

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  4. I am appalled. What the hell is the matter with our society? The press and the internet have a lot to answer for.... without them I am pretty damn sure people would have a more peaceful existence. I donate clothes to charities because I know they will be donated to the right areas and won't be hauled over the coals for doing so. Oooh, can you tell I am livid? God bless people like that policeman who obviously had his heart in the right place.

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    1. Hi Valerie, I know there is a need for reporting news but sometimes it does go overboard, like you we donate clothing or whatever else we see the need for but at the same time don't feel the need to advertize it.

      The media has twisted this act of kindness from the officer into a tell all story that I feel should have never been brought to light, I applaud this man and feel if given the chance to do it again he would do so just the same.

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  5. I had not heard the follow ups to that story. How sad. I have to say, I'm always surprised by the number of panhandlers I see because you know they wouldn't keep at it unless others are making it worth their while. I won't give money on the streets as I think it's dangerous for a woman to do that. Better to give in other ways, like food banks.

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    1. Hi Bijoux, Donating to a food bank is one of the best things to do, there are so many who are struggling for food and donating to these food banks help more than we realize.

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  6. "If you feel a person needs help give them a hand, don’t question yourself and don’t question them because this is not helping."

    Amen! I agree, Jimmy!

    Living in a city, I see a lot of this going on. Some legit, some scams. I've gotten to the point where I follow my heart. If my heart tells me to give, I give. If not, I don't. After you live in a city for awhile, you develop a sixth sense as when and when not to give. There is one particular man who I see quite often on the street who I feel drawn to give to, so I do.

    I applaud the policeman who gave of his heart.

    Great post, buddy!

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    1. Thank You Ron, That's it in a nutshell, we have to give when our heart tells us to do so, questioning ourselves or the person you are giving to is just wrong, I will talk to these people at times but never have I asked their intention for the gift I am giving them.

      I did a post in the past of the man who came into a restaurant to get out of the rain, we had the waitress give him a menu and paid for his meal, I have never seen this man before or since, and he does not know that it was us who paid for his meal, I was just happy to see him warm up and fed without embarrassing him, I would have hated for his picture to have been taken and a big deal made out of it, some things should be kept in your heart rather than published throughout the news sources.

      like you said the Policeman who gave the boots did so out of his heart, and his act of kindness should have been left alone in my opinion.

      I appreciate you Buddy!

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  7. I agree completely, Jimmy. I would much rather help someone who didn't need it than not help someone who was hurting. I have in the past and I will again in the future.

    S

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    1. Thank You Scott, I feel the same way my friend.

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  8. You've probably heard the cynical military quote: "Shoot 'em all, and let God sort them out." I say, "HELP them all, and let God sort 'em out." Not for me to judge if someone is truly in need or not. If I perceive someone as being in need of something, I respond to that need in good conscience. That's all that matters.

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    1. Hey Susan, I agree with you 100% it's not for me to judge, if I feel someone needs help and I can do it then that is in fact all that matters.

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    2. We helped a family once, the guy said they were living in their car, was he lying? Perhaps, but the smiles on the kids faces when they realize there was homemade chocolate chip cookies in the box of food we gave them, was enough for me.

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    3. Yes Rachael, The smiles on a kids face makes it all worthwhile.

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  9. Right on, Jimmy, in all that you said here. If I can help, I do. I don't care if the person will use the money for drugs or alcohol. For them, that's the need they have at the moment. And I definitely try not to make my giving something from my surplus go to my head as though I'm some magnificent beacon of charitable light.

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    1. Hey Jim, I don't like the fact of my gift to someone being questioned or put on a pedestal so to say, I feel a gift given to someone is theirs, whatever they do with it then is up to them.

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  10. Sometimes you just gotta go with your gut. If the person looks like he or she needs it, I may give. I do prefer to give to charities and not so much on the street.

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    1. That's it, you have to go with your gut and not question yourself, it is not wrong to help whether it be through a charity or on the street, whatever you feel is right is the way to do it.

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