Here are the top five reasons to give at least one personal gift to a homeless person this holiday season:
#5) No one’s easier to buy for. It’s the opposite of the person-who-has-everything dilemma. Imagine it - a pair of mitts from the Dollar Store can transform someone’s life. A 99cent emergency poncho can make someone’s day. A heat-retaining foil blanket ($2.49!) can actually save someone’s life on a cold winter night! There’s so much good you can do for so little, and so easily!
#4) You won’t play Santa - you actually are Santa. Give a gift to a homeless person and I can promise you, you’ll be it. No one else is likely to give a street person a gift. You are the Santa of their holiday season. Wear the red trousers with pride!
#3) You don’t have to wrap anything. Giving a bright, shiny present to a homeless person makes them a target for assault/robbery. There’s a real reason why homeless people quickly whisk away valuable donations of all kinds - the streets are not safe. You can buy a wee present, drop in an old plastic bag with a simple gift card inside (”from Me, to You”) and ta-da! all done. No wrapping, no tangles of sticky tape, no flattened bows to deal with - what could be easier?
#2) You can drop and go. Drawing attention to yourself of your gifting is not safe when giving a homeless person a gift. To give, all you have to do is take your usual brisk walk to work, briefly pause next to the cardboard/blanket/cup on the sidewalk, give a short “howdy” nod and drop your present in mid-stride as you continue to power-walk along. Isn’t that MUCH easier than those interminable white elephant gift games? Keep in mind, though, that when you drop and go, it’s important to make eye-contact to let your giftee know your present is intentional. Otherwise you might get chased by a homeless person who’s trying to return your “dropped” present.
And, [drum-roll] the NUMBER ONE reason to give a personal gift to a street person this year?