Saturday, July 13, 2002

Real Change

In Seattle, as in every other city in the United States, we have a lot of homeless people. I think everyone has been in the situation where one is walking down the street and asked for money, or sitting at a red light with a person at the intersection with their cardboard sign asking for help. It doesn't matter how long I live here, or how many times I'm asked; I still feel terrible for these people. I don't give money, though. I pay a lot of money in taxes, contribute to charitable institutions, and try to volunteer my time to organizations that help address health and human service issues. I firmly believe that we as a society have an obligation to help our fellow man (and woman and child), and that this is a role that the government should play. When there are gaps in government coverage, non-profits exist (although in today' economy, more and more of these government programs and non-profits primarily supported by government grants are going away - different issue).

Wheh, enough of my social-economic-polical views. Too much for this forum. The point of this entry is to point out a very cool thing that I've found in Seattle. At some street corners, and outside some stores, I see homeless people with their hands out. Their hands aren't out to ask for donations, however, they are out to sell a newspaper, Real Change. This is a newspaper that is written to give the homeless a voice. Those who sell the paper get a significant percentage of every $1 paper that they sell. So when I buy one of these, I get to learn more about current issues affecting the homeless, and I'm helping someone get back on his/her feet. If you find this as cool as I do, visit the site, read their mission statement, and donate if you like. It helps me feel a little less guilty when I sit in my car not looking at the guy on the street next to me with his sign...


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