Everyone has probably seen this scenario at some point in his or her life: you’re driving down the road, and you come to a stop light. There’s a person on the side of the road holding a sign that says ‘homeless.’ Typically, they look down on their luck—maybe even a little disheveled and unclean.
So what do you do?
a) Lock your doors and pretend you don’t see them
b) Give them whatever food you happen to have in the car
c) Give them some spare change or even a couple of bucks
Now, I know what you thinking … “If I give them money, they’re just going to buy booze with it!” At least that’s what you tell yourself to make you feel better about the situation. But what if there was a simple solution to this problem? What if you didn’t have to ignore them, even if you don’t have spare change or food?
The next time you’re at your favorite fast-food restaurant, buy a few $5 gift cards. To make your money go farther, choose a restaurant that has a dollar menu. Stash the gift cards somewhere in your car where you won’t be tempted to use them for yourself!
Now you’re prepared for the awkward red light; instead of pretending like the person holding the ‘homeless’ sign doesn’t exist—and counting down the seconds until the light turns green—you have the perfect opportunity to help someone in need. Simply roll down your window, and give them one of the gift cards. It only cost you $5 and virtually no time (since you’re stopped at a red light anyway).
You can even write something inspirational on the gift card. That gift card might be the only meal they have all day, and that simple act of kindness might be just what they needed at just the right time.