Friday, August 10, 2007

What to do with your $10

Here's a link to an interesting discussion on the Freakonomics Quorum Site about the dilemma we face when we get asked for money by panhandlers.
You are walking down the street in New York City with $10 of disposable income in your pocket. You come to a corner with a hot dog vendor on one side and a beggar on the other. The beggar looks like he’s been drinking; the hot dog vendor looks like an upstanding citizen. How, if at all, do you distribute the $10 in your pocket, and why?
Today at the Leadership Summit Michael Porter made the point that "Society depends on us to use our time, relationships and financial contributions to do the most possible good." (You can see the slides from his presentation at this link.) World Vision provides the opportunity for us to sponsor an impoverished child for just $30 a month. And of course, I would suggest the "Good Samaritan method". The Good Samaritan found the beat up man along the road, got personally involved by putting him on his own donkey (his own Honda Civic). He drove him to the nearest rehab center (the Inn) and paid for his entire rehabilitation. Breakthrough is one of those places that cares for the real needs of people. It seems to me that giving to ministries like Breakthrough or World Vision would do "the most possible good".

No comments: