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The Villages
Sunday, November 27, 2022

Panhandlers make for awkward situations in season of thanksgiving

A woman panhandling Wednesday afternoon at Colony Plaza in The Villages made for an awkward situation.

There were hardly any parking spaces available at the super-busy Publix, as shoppers stocked up on Thanksgiving Eve. Many Villagers have children and grandchildren in town for the long holiday weekend and were loading extra snacks, soda and ice cream into their shopping carts in addition to the traditional Thanksgiving fare.

A woman was panhandling Wednesday afternoon at Colony Plaza
A woman was panhandling Wednesday afternoon at Colony Plaza.

So a woman with her baby panhandling outside the store set up an age-old dilemma. To give or not to give?

Many feel it is completely appropriate to hand over loose change or a few bills. Others opt to give coffee or sandwiches. And there are those who take the time to point the panhandler in the direction of charitable organizations equipped to provide assistance. And there is always the option to simply look the other way.

There are those who say that handing over money prolongs the problem, and in some cases provides the cash to pay for drugs or alcohol. Panhandlers tend to target individuals perceived to be sympathetic or generous.

How do you think panhandlers should be treated? Share your thoughts at [email protected]

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