You see them on a sidewalk or standing by a busy intersection. People who have fallen on hard times looking for a meal or some money to feed their children or to save their home from foreclosure etc, etc. As you dig around in your purse or pocket for some change you can't help but wonder what the money is really for. Drugs maybe, or some booze you think. If you had doubts about panhandlers before, hang on. If you take people at their word, get ready to lose a bit of your innocence. This panhandler probably has a nicer lifestyle than you and me put together!



And the Academy Award goes to.......Gary Thompson. If you are like me your reaction to this story is a mixed bag. I am horrified and angry that a college graduate would so take advantage of the trust and kindness of others. On the other hand, Mr. Thompson is a very clever man. He sets his own 'work' schedule and manages to clear $100,000 tax-free for doing absolutely nothing more strenuous than getting around in a wheelchair.

What are your thoughts? Will this story change the ways that you give to charity? Do you think that this bum ruins the reputation of panhandlers who have a real need?