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Question 369

Hello Pater, should we always offer some money to the poor that beg on the streets or should we give the money to a charity instead?



Answer to Question 369


This is a hard one. There was a time when there were real beggars in need of our help, but today there are so many organized begging groups who do it on a business scale and play on our sentiments to relieve us of our money and make their bosses rich. I think we should look at it in the right perspective. If someone is handicapped he does not need to beg for money because he receives a decent pension from Social Services. If therefore you see someone handicapped and begging, you can be sure that he isn't handicapped and is part of the organized begging groups. If you see a mother with scruffy little children begging for your money again be sure that it is organized for no decent mother would use her children in this way.


A homeless person is a little different because certain circumstances in his life have led him to live rough. A little money for food and a cleanup would be of great help as long as it doesn't go on booze. A busker on the other hand is working for a donation, he is entertaining and some of them are excellent musicians. I would definitely give a busker something if I liked his music.


I think in general to beware of beggars, they are not what they appear to be. In Cyprus they come in swarms from Greece because they know that the Cypriots are warm hearted and compassionate which makes them easy targets. The truth is that we have a good Social Service system in Cyprus that no one needs to go begging except for a few drug addicts. No Cypriot would stoop to begging so if we are asked for money most of us know that it is organized begging and refuse to give them. When you ask them where they are from they will tell you stories of how difficult it is in Greece and they have no money to feed their children, yet they can afford the plane fare and accommodation.


As for charities, there are so many good ones in need of our money, but again be careful because many have administration costs which leaves little money for the actual charity. Before giving to a charity ask how much of your money actually goes to help the needy. If in doubt where to give your money I can send you my paypal details lol