Wednesday, December 24, 2008

give a pencil

There was an evening when we stopped by a mini mart to get ice cream on the way home. After the quick purchase, we rode off in the car and stopped for red light at the nearby cross junction. Two children beggars around ages of 3 to 6 years came up to our car and looked into my window. Kaeden was on my lap and I looked down at him, feeling so heartbroken. my teeth biting my lips. Brian told me he bought extra ice-cream sticks and passed two over to the children. They happily received them and moved on. Not long after, some other children rushed up to Brian's side of window. At that point, the traffic light turned green and we had to go. We had to wave the children away. I didn't realize until then there were that many children beggars on the street.

What are those parents thinking? Young children on the streets, nope, roads. with big vehicles. begging. It wasn't my first encounter having beggars coming towards me whenever I'm in the car. I never give money. My reason is simple. Syndicates. The works of gangster syndicates. No way would I want to give money in order to encourage those children or them being used or manipulated, to continue begging. I remember reading Amanda's post about this issue. It has always been at the back of my mind.

Yet if I don't help these people on the streets, I don't feel good. I feel that I'm not making a difference.

Today, when I'm out again, I talked to Brian about this issue in the ride. I came up with an idea about giving each child beggar who comes up to us, a pencil or any other stationery. Initially,I thought about giving sweets but heck, who's going to bring them to the dentist? so nope, no sweets. Brian thought of attaching a card with a message that says something like "stay off the street" with each giveaway. Will that message get through?

Giving pencils will be it for now. Pencils will be fixtures in the car. Until there's a better plan.

How about adult beggars? The elderly and the disabled. How do I help them? Should I just give whatever amount I could afford? This is something else I have to think about altogether.


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