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freein05
9-27-12, 1:05am
ABC did an undercover video in a market of people using food stamps to pay for their purchases. The person purchasing the food does not have enough food stamps to complete the purchase. People around her step in to help here pay for the food. I fond that very uplifting, the generosity of the average American. In this political season it is nice to see Americans being Americans.

There is a commercial before the clip you have to put up with.



http://abcnews.go.com/WhatWouldYouDo/video/single-mother-afford-groceries-12641846?tab=9482931&section=4765066

Tussiemussies
9-27-12, 1:09am
This is great to hear, it does help to revive your faith in the goodness of people...:)

SteveinMN
9-27-12, 10:07am
Maybe it's just me, but I think most Americans (indeed, all people) are inclined to help when they see the need personally and know they can do something directly to help resolve it. It's when needs and assistance are depersonalized (or, worse, demonized) in the service of some ideology or another that we get weird about it.

JaneV2.0
9-27-12, 11:31am
I've said before that--contrary to Puritan dogma--decency is our default setting.

iris lily
9-27-12, 11:42am
A couple of weeks ago I was standing in line at a Subway sandwich place inside the student center at the local toney private University. I had less than $1 on me to buy a cookie. A nice young student there heard me inquire about the cost of the cookie and explain that I only had $.72 and immediately she said "I'll buy that cookie for you!" That was very sweet! As it turns out, I did have enough to buy the cookie. And while I'm sure I've got loads more money than that student, I'm not certain that I've got more than her parents. But you never know.

ToomuchStuff
9-27-12, 12:31pm
The video will not play for me, for some reason. So I don't know if it showed what she bought, but I do wonder about comparison. You certainly can't control all the variables (the past experiences of those filmed that influence them), but I would like to see this with both someone with, and without kids, as well as having alcohol and cigarettes both in and not, in their purchases. I would think you would see that people are willing to more help those who help themselves, then those still doing self destruction behaviors.

freein05
9-27-12, 1:18pm
You are probably wright. The mother in the clip indicated she was buying food for her kids. But it was still uplifting.

ApatheticNoMore
9-27-12, 1:28pm
Just a few days ago I bought a guy a hotdog, in 7-11 (oh that place is so shady KWIM), and a guy asked me "will you buy me a hotdog?", and it was disarming, I couldn't say no to a question like that, if he had asked for money I easily could have (he'll just use it to buy booze etc.), but he wanted to eat. He just wanted a fricken hotdog, you know, hard to refuse. Now he was obviously an addict, had no kids in tow (and while kids are a little more sad, they aren't some automatic tearjerker for the child-free, I'm of the opinion adult life can be *hard* too) and disappeared like a ghost as soon as he received his hotdog but ... even addicts need to eat.

redfox
9-27-12, 5:04pm
I've said before that--contrary to Puritan dogma--decency is our default setting.

And cooperation! In the non-profit world, it's well understood that the majority of individual donors are those of modest income. They give a higher percentage of their overall income, and are more consistent in their giving. Nonprofits are well advised to cultivate these donors!

Gardenarian
9-27-12, 5:13pm
It's great to see the news media reporting this kind of thing!

bunnys
9-27-12, 5:13pm
The video will not play for me, for some reason. So I don't know if it showed what she bought, but I do wonder about comparison. You certainly can't control all the variables (the past experiences of those filmed that influence them), but I would like to see this with both someone with, and without kids, as well as having alcohol and cigarettes both in and not, in their purchases. I would think you would see that people are willing to more help those who help themselves, then those still doing self destruction behaviors.

This is why I am of the camp that believes that public assistance should be distributed to the needy by the government, rather than individuals/private organizations. The process of asking for help is made undignified by having to prove to the giver that one is worthy of help. Just the fact that the person is human and suffering and needy meets the worthiness test as far as I'm concerned. The receiver is made undignified and the giver becomes a judge, compromising (and frequently negating) the act of altruism on behalf of the giver.

Tussiemussies
9-27-12, 6:09pm
Great point bunnys...

JaneV2.0
9-27-12, 6:12pm
This is why I am of the camp that believes that public assistance should be distributed to the needy by the government, rather than individuals/private organizations. The process of asking for help is made undignified by having to prove to the giver that one is worthy of help. Just the fact that the person is human and suffering and needy meets the worthiness test as far as I'm concerned. The receiver is made undignified and the giver becomes a judge, compromising (and frequently negating) the act of altruism on behalf of the giver.

But even governmental agencies are guilty of this. I recently read two memoirs by writers in wheelchairs: John Callahan and Nancy Mairs, both of whom recounted problems getting and keeping benefits. Callahan was particularly frustrated by a refusal of (state?) agencies in Oregon to replace his defunct chair. They preferred to "repair" it multiple times at a far higher cost than buying a new one. He also describes social workers basically tossing his small apartment in search of proof that he was hiding assets.

bunnys
9-27-12, 8:57pm
I know, Jane. Government is not perfect.

SteveinMN
9-27-12, 10:27pm
Callahan was particularly frustrated by a refusal of (state?) agencies in Oregon to replace his defunct chair. They preferred to "repair" it multiple times at a far higher cost than buying a new one. He also describes social workers basically tossing his small apartment in search of proof that he was hiding assets.
The wheelchair-bound member of my family went through the same thing -- repeated fixes for what obviously was a lemon design to start with. It was frustrating to endure so many attempts. But good wheelchairs cost thousands of dollars and there is no policy for how much is spent before the wheelchair is "totaled". And you know there's some self-appointed watchdog who would report the provider handling the situation differently as "Your state is wasting your tax dollars replacing expensive wheelchairs." :~)