Smart, Savvy Approach to Panhandlers

Many of us struggle with the personal aspect of poverty. We feel good about giving to homeless shelters, and supporting local food banks; but we don’t always know what to do when we come face-to-face with a stranger asking for a handout.

“Most people want to do something to help but aren’t sure how. Whenever I’ve given out money, I’ve wondered whether or not I’ve just enabled an addict. And that’s a valid concern,” says author Linda Kozar,  co-leader of Babes with a Beatitude, a Bible study and prayer group based at WoodsEdge Community Church in The Woodlands, Texas.

The women came up with a solution: meal bags. Each zipper-lock plastic bag contains a can of soup, chili or pasta with a pop-top lid, a spoon, napkin, bottle of water, cereal bar, cheese crackers, Slim Jim, and candy, along with a personal note of encouragement, a Bible verse, and the promise to pray.

Armed with meal bags, we can easily provide food and drink, even at a stop light. Being prepared also helps us budget our giving. Thanks, Babes, for this great idea!

For more smart and savvy ideas to live out your faith, check out the Babes With a Beatitude blog at

Babes With a Beatitude—Devotions for Smart, Savvy Women of Faith by Linda Kozar and Dannelle Woody (Howard/Simon & Schuster 2009)

Copyright 2011, Kathryn A. Frazier, all rights reserved.

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