Holiday’s are great for many who have money, a secure job, and good health. But for the majority of the world it means a completely different season. This is a time when depression is at an all time high, when many people are working jobs that they know will end after the Christmas shopping is over, and for others, the debt waiting for them to hit when they open their credit card bills in January, a time when the credit card companies are very happy.
We know there are lots in need during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season and we know how to get involved but many times we overlook the ones who will never make it onto our radar because their stories are so obscure. Right now there are thousands of people begging on street corners hoping someone will give them some change so they can get something to eat, that is what most people are hoping they will do with the money. The stigma behind beggars is that they just want the money to spend on alcohol and cigarettes. The beggars who are in need of real help get overlooked because of the ones just needing a fix mess it up for everyone else.
In this one video below there was an experiment done to find out what a homeless guy would do if he was given a hundred dollars. You can see that it has over a million hits and many people have voiced their opinion about the matter; those on the side that it is right to give back and those on the other side that people, where they live, just use the money for bad things and then there are those who complain that filming the homeless guy was wrong. I will show you that even homeless people, later on, have something to offer and what you can do to help if you are unsure about giving money out on the corners. Watch the video before continuing.
The Time for Giving
I wrote recently about how layaway angels are going into stores and paying off people’s bills so that people have more money for the holidays’. Many families live paycheck to paycheck and that can be very hard in the long run so when someone comes along and pays off your bills it can often feel like your wishes were heard.
Giving does not have to always mean giving away money, it can come in the form of helping someone who needs it. The man with the golden voice was once a homeless man begging on the streets. He had a drug and drinking problem but someone saw the gift he had and posted it online and now he lives well-off having gone through rehab, landing many jobs, and now lives in a nice house working as a voice-over actor. This season he helped to raise awareness for homeless people by getting people to donate socks, something homeless people need, including gloves, or the popular hand warmers.
In the video that made him famous you can see how people would be surprised to find a man like him begging for money.
When you watch videos like that it makes you wonder just how many talented people there really are that the world ignores. Luckily for Ted Williams, who got discovered, then fell into addiction again, then went to rehab and finally came around realized that his addiction will always be there he just has to be careful about it. So when you watch a video of a man who is so educated that he can’t find a job and is homeless you begin to wonder why he didn’t get the same success as Ted Williams if he is so smart.
Again the comments in the video show many different view points about what is wrong with this situation. Success is not based off of education as the books “Don’t Go Back to School,” “Hacking Your Education,” and “The Education of Millionaires.” have proven. Success in this world is about how driven and determined you are to get what you want.
There is a great YouTube channel called, “GiveBackFilms,” you see film makers giving away all kinds of stuff to people to see what kind reaction they will have but also to learn what somebody would do if they were given something. These are social experiments in altruism. In the video below you see how homeless people reaction if they were given a hundred dollars.
These are the kinds of YouTube channels that are making a difference. They aim to show people how a little helping hand and generosity can go a long way and with the amount of followers they have you can see they are probably using the money they earn from their channel to create the content we see. I applaud their efforts in showing people what kindness looks like and how a little help can go a long way for some people.
There is another video that has circulated because their YouTube channel, SoFloPranks, is all about pranks as social experiments. In one video they offer a hundred dollars to the winner of an arm wrestling competition between two homeless people. The reaction in the end of the video was something the filmmakers were not expecting. Check it out.
So if you are concerned about giving money to people on the streets this season then you can do something to make sure that your donation is for a worthy cause by going to GoFundme, Trevolta, Kiva, FundAnything, GiveForward, Payawaythelayaway, YouCaring, Rockethub, Crowdrise, Indiegogo, Rally, Fundly, DonorChoose, AdoptaClassroom, Gradible. The last few are to help teachers raise money for classroom supplies and students to go to school. To learn more about this crowdfunding movement for education read this article.
Successful Homeless People
There are many stories of people who were once homeless ending up in places like Harvard. The Liz Murray story is probably the most popular one. If you have never seen the movie or read her book, it is an amazing story of what perseverance looks like in the face of adversity. In the video below Liz talks about what it was like to go from being in a bad place to ending up at a place like Harvard.
You can also watch Liz talk about the love of possibility in her TED talk on her YouTube channel.
If you would like to watch her famous movie you can view it below thanks to it being on youtube.
Liz Murrary is not the only person to come out of being homeless and into Harvard, a girl by the name of Dawn Loggins worked hard to get to where she is at. Infact she even took a job at her high school as a janitor to help support herself, while also a student there.
When you want something bad enough and have to work for it, you begin to appreciate things more.
There are many ways to help others right now during this time of year. A simple act of holding the door open, saying Merry Christmas, or showing a smile to another person can do wonders for others. A popular action is dropping off a gift basket at a children’s hospital, orphanage, or homeless shelter.
Other than that a little giving is good for the heart in many ways. Merry Christmas!