Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Crazy Idea #815: Panhandling on behalf of others

I've written before that I think people should give more credence to their crazy ideas. Jenny happily pointed out that I didn't mention any of the crazy ideas that I had personally.

She's right, I didn't. And the truth is, I have crazy ideas all the time. Big ones. Expensive ones. So in the hopes of continued marital bliss (read: get my wife off my back), I'm going to post them. Complete with randomly assigned numbers to make you think I have more ideas than I actually do.

Crazy Idea #815: Panhandling on behalf of others

This one's going to be pretty short and to the point: You get a group of people who are willing to stand at street corners, intersections, etc and beg for money. They'll have signs, cups, etc and be outside for a few hours.

No, it's not very glamorous.

The idea is that you'll have a decent amount of people in busy parts of a city, in busy parts of the day, and all the money they collect is donated to a homeless shelter, local food pantry, some other program, etc. You know, to people who actually need it and could have been in that situation...but you took their place for them.

In my head I'm seeing people at entrances to Walmart parking lots, along medians at busy intersections, corners of popular lunch spots, various places where A) Traffic is high and B) There aren't already people asking for money.

Now, this is not about deception. Granted, the people who are begging for money are not homeless themselves, nor do I think they should pretend to be. But if they money is actually being given away to people who are homeless, and those doing the asking are upfront about what they are doing and why they are doing it -- I'd imagine that people may respond well.

Maybe potential givers would be moved by people putting themselves into the humbling circumstance of having to beg for money...even though they don't need it.

Maybe they'd give more & be touched by this "fundraiser."

Who knows?

What would you do if you saw people begging for money on behalf of the homeless?