A hard day’s work! Solicitors unite!


There’s no doubt, you see them. Those beggars solicitors huddled outside your supermarket. It’s like the 3-card monte set up. It’s the smallest possible collapsible chair, a tiny table, a collection box, and of course, the American flag. The boxes are always beat to hell, but there’s a shiny lock on there. “Please help the (insert your favorite cause here,)” they yell. Before you dig into your wallet or purse, you must just stop for a second and consider where this money is going. I know I do.

I go to the grocery store a few times a week. I’m always greeted with, “beautiful day, sir,” or “how are you, sir?” It’s always a man. And I might as well apologize now, because I am a skeptic. Not only do I doubt the person sitting there, but I also doubt the organization. Every single one of those solicitors seems like a criminal. They may not be, but I’m cynical enough to believe they are.

Well yesterday I got to witness one group at the end of their work day. A flashy well dressed guy, who drove a white van, picked up perhaps the last of the group at my store. I’m guessing these four or five guys under his wing had just loaded up at Target, Ralph’s, Albertson’s, or another major grocery store or retailer. It must have been a good day. They were jovial and seemed like maybe they made a great haul.

Solicitors

Cha-Ching!

The old news guy in me wanted to follow the van and see where these men went. But then, I came to my senses. I have a life. And I’m not an investigative reporter. I do love to dig out a story, but not there, not then. I just couldn’t I mean after all, I had more important stuff to conquer. There’s soccer practice, cooking dinner, and not really giving a shit. But I have pretty good instincts, and my hunches typically pan out.

So while I usually smirk as I say no to these solicitors, I also end up shaking my head at the people who believe those stories. Don’t get me wrong. I do believe in the Salvation Army bell ringers and Christmas. And who can say no to a Girl Scout? My oldest daughter is one. I have boxes upon boxes of their cookies in my pantry to prove it.

My question to you is, do you give? If so, how much? I know most people will say, “it’s only a little pocket change.” But that change can translate into a $50 an hour tax-free job. So if you have no problem handing over your hard-earned cash, there’s something I’d like you to see.

This is an investigative report KUTV did a few years back. It’s great reporting work from Mike Headrick. If you haven’t see this, you should. It’s right on the money, sotospeak.

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~ by sotospeaks on May 6, 2010.

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