|This is the view from a friend's apt. Isn't it great?|
Me: "Of course."
Man on street: "Great! One of the biggest ways you can help is money, so if you would kindly give me your bank account information, we'll deduct a small donation each month."
Me: "Dream on, buddy."
It's amazing to me how many people on the streets of Chicago have absolutely no problem asking for money. Of course, there are plenty of bums with signs saying they are war veterans and deserve some change. One bum on the corner of Rush and Delaware touts he's a Vietnam, Korea and World War II vet, in between singing one verse over and over again of Sam Cooke's "Cupid" song. (Three wars? Really buddy? You were busy. And really, only one verse? That must get old.) We also have plenty of other bums who will either shout obscenities at you or kindly tell you to have a good day as you walk by. (I'm much more likely to give money to the latter.)
But then, there are also very ordinary looking people asking for money. Last week when it was dipping around zero, there was a man standing near my apartment without any gloves or a hat on. I felt bad for him, so I stopped and chatted for a moment. He told me his mom is a cancer survivor, and he was raising money for a cancer walk last weekend. He just needed one more donation and then he could get in from the cold.
I'm thinking, are there really any cancer walks in the dead of winter in Chicago? A quick google search confirms that is a no.
I asked the man for the website info so I could research it first, and he didn't know what it was. Really? Does anyone give these people money? The answer must be yes, or else they wouldn't be doing it.
At least put some effort into it, like the guy on Michigan Ave. who dresses in all silver (including a painted silver face), stands on a milk crate and does Michael Jackson break dancing moves for tourists. He's at least trying to earn your dollar.