Poor yet Generous


Not long ago I was in line at a downtown Wendy’s when a homeless guy cut in front of me. He literally acted as if he didn’t see me. He stepped up to the counter and ordered a .99 cent hamburger and a water. He handed the teenage girl behind the counter two wadded up dollar bills to cover the grand total of $1.07. As he stuck out his hand for the change, I noticed him reading the label of a donation box for kids with MS. In one quick move, he took the .93 cents he was given in change, jammed every penny into the box, spun around and bolted out the door.

It caught me off guard. And it was my lesson for the day (if not week).

Today I found an article that interested me and reminded me of this experience. It was written by Frank Greve and was surprisingly titled, “America’s Poor Are Its Most Generous Givers”. Here’s how it started:

When Jody Richards saw a homeless man begging outside a downtown McDonald’s recently, he bought the man a cheeseburger. There’s nothing unusual about that, except that Richards is homeless, too, and the 99-cent cheeseburger was an outsized chunk of the $9.50 he’d earned that day from panhandling.

The generosity of poor people isn’t so much rare as rarely noticed, however. In fact, America’s poor donate more, in percentage terms, than higher-income groups do, surveys of charitable giving show. What’s more, their generosity declines less in hard times than the generosity of richer givers does…

(to read the article in it’s entirety click HERE)

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About Brandon Hatmaker

Church Planter, Missional Strategist, Non-Profit Collaborator, and Author of "Barefoot Church: Serving the Least in a Consumer Culture". View all posts by Brandon Hatmaker

2 responses to “Poor yet Generous

  • Dennis

    Brandon,
    Thanks for keeping your spiritual eyes open to the Lord speaking via circumstance and writing about your experience. This is both motivating and convicting. May we be generous even when the Lord gives us abundance. God bless you.

  • Brian Fulmer

    Reblogged this on missiontomission and commented:
    I am working on this year’s “Person of the Year”. My leaning is towards a “poor” person who gave sacrificially. I came across this blog last night as a potential in running . . . Stay tuned.

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