Anna Gregoline | August 2, 2004
When you are approached for a charitable contribution, do you generally contribute? Why or why not?

Melissa Erin | August 2, 2004
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Scott Hardie | August 2, 2004
I usually give on the street, but not much, just a buck or two. The police charities never get my money because it seems like they call me about it every other damn week.

This doesn't count as a charitable contribution, but where I freely give away the most money is in big, fat tips to waiters and waitresses who do a good job, and I'm not hard to impress when it comes to that. Just keep stopping by to see if I need a drink refilled, instead of treating me as invisible the moment you lay down the food.

Melissa Erin | August 3, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | August 3, 2004
Check out bitterwaitress.com - awesome site with great stories, and it makes you want to tip as much as humanly possible - or not go out to dinner. It also helps you see if your tips are big enough.

I don't give money out on the street anymore. I don't know why. I just feel like it's not helping anyone, and honestly, living in Chicago, you get asked for money at least once a day.

I feel bad for the guy right outside my building, on Wells and Adams, who is always sitting out there in his wheelchair, banging a cup for change. This morning he was emptying his catheder into a bucket. Right on the sidewalk. Every now and then he gets hassled by the cops for panhandling. I wish that someone could help people like that. I get so mad at the system and our society that there isn't more help available.

Melissa Erin | August 3, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | August 4, 2004
I hate when people on the street don't even ask for the money though - just rattle a cup. It makes me want to rattle a cup back at them.

I have given money to street performers though, if they are halfway decent. I like the buskers in the subway - some of them are good. Of course some of them are godawful, but at least they're trying.

Oh, and of course in Chicago, the fastest and best way to give to the homeless in my opinion is to buy a StreetWise, the newspaper run and sold by homeless people.


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