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People standing in front of Walmart ask for money

The most irritating part of shopping at Wal-Mart, Target, groceries stores, and similar places is people that accost you at the door and those people that beg as you leave. I support charities through Sunrise Church, my school, and people I know because there is accountability. Most people who donate do so through verifiable sources. Solicitors and petitioners should not be allowed to harass shoppers. Have you ever experienced any of these situations?

Kids sell candy to go to Knotts Berry Farm

It doesn’t make sense for a child to sell snickers outside the store for $1 which can be purchased inside the store for 69 cents. The candy inside the store probably has a later expiration date. The kids will explain that they are trying to make money to go to camp. I have seen several of my own students selling candy in shopping centers 10 to 15 miles from home. One teen explained to me that an adult drops students off at various locations and picks them up later. The camping trip is a one day bus trip to Knotts Berry Farm or Magic Mountain. It is a nuisance to customers entering and leaving the stores. I’m sure any sales students make is because people feel sorry for them. This is a potentially dangerous situation for children and teenagers. Where are the parents and guardians?

Person information on petitions


Do not sign that petition!

Several years ago I was approached to sign a petition about something. I can’t even remember what it was for. Suddenly, the petitioner lined up other petitions for me to sign. I said, “No1” The next time I was accosted, the petitioner said the petition was about “teachers not teaching anything.” I was highly offended and let the person know that I work hard for my check. These petitioners have no idea of what they are getting people to sign. They can’t answer any questions about the petitions. They get paid by the signature. They will never make money off of me.

There is also the vulnerability to identity theft. Do not let the petitioners engage you.

Where is your 501(c)3 permit?


Fake charities solicit donations!

The very worse annoyance is people sitting outside the store in lawn chairs. The name of some alleged neighborhood shelter is scrawled in ink on a white poster board. They try to shame you into giving a donation. I now suggest that the solicitors contact my church which is very involved in community outreach.

There should be a law that allows shoppers to shop in peace.

Know where your money goes

I advocate giving to charities. It is more blessed to give than receive. There are many opportunities to give and know that your money is being used for its intended purpose. Many employers have programs for tax deductible donations to be distributed among vetted charities. Make sure you agree with charities supported by your employer. Donations to churches are as good as the accountability of the churches themselves. The church should be properly licensed and providing full accountability of all monies received and paid out. There are opportunities to donate directly to charities online. Being online does not prove legitimacy. Check for complaints against the organization and look at financials to see what percentage of donations goes to salaries and staff morale. In this economy, we need to know where our money is going and know that we have legitimate tax deductions.

Should there be a solicitation law?

Beggars in front of Walmart

People standing in front of Walmart

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on April 03, 2020:

We should never go for these doubtful donations.

G. Diane Nelson Trotter (author) from Fontana on March 06, 2020:

Thank you for your comments. I know there are people that have legitimate needs. I don't like being accosted to buy Hershey bars that are sold in the store. They are fresher and half the price.

I've heard some of them make a lot of money. I've started keeping cookies, chips and other food in my car. If someone is hungry, at least I can give them food.

frogyfish from Central United States of America on March 06, 2020:

I agree with your irritation with the sellers, askers, sometimes acosters...at Walmart especially. Yes, there does need to be a law to stop that...but even more, to stop the beggers on the street corners. There was a study done a few years back checking to find out how much money some of them made....it was a whopping 800 to 1000 dollars a DAY! Tax free! Ugh!

G. Diane Nelson Trotter (author) from Fontana on January 22, 2020:

Nell, I completely understand. I give to an org once, then I get monthly solicitations. I stopped completely. I take clothes to Goodwill or give them to Disabled Vets or my church. My money goes to my church which ministers to needs in the community.

I'm helping my niece race money for a fieldtrip to Europe! She is a 4.2 gpa, captain of cheerleaders, taking college classes and learning coding for Internet fluency! We should definitely invest in our kids.

Nell Rose from England on January 22, 2020:

I am fine, thanks Diane, thank you. I always give to certain charities if I spot them when I am out and about. And I do tend to send to the ones by phone when they ask for clothes for kids in Syria, etc. I have done that quite a lot. Only trouble is, after a couple of weeks I keep getting bombarded with phone calls from the charity asking me to set up an account! lol! I would, but with lack of money I like doing it my way.

G. Diane Nelson Trotter (author) from Fontana on January 21, 2020:

Thank you Brenda. There is a group of people that wear white with some type of patches on it. I have no idea who they represent. I think Hare Krishna maybe? They camp in front of 99 cent stores. Store owners cannot tell them to leave. They suggest that you just not donate.

We need to make sure that we give where it counts an needs are meet.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on January 21, 2020:


I agree. I hate going into or coming out of store with people waiting to ambush me.

I also want to know where my money is really going.

I do not understand why these stores allow this to happen.

I love the kids and their programs but there needs to be another safe way. I don't think they should be there alone.

Thanks for sharing.

G. Diane Nelson Trotter (author) from Fontana on January 21, 2020:

Nell, if they are legitimate charities, I don't have a problem with it. To solicit funds, these people's organizations should have evidence that that they are incorporated as a non-profit organization. Proof is a certificate of status. Most don't have it. The kids selling stale candy for more money than they can be purchased inside the store are being used by adults who are too lazy to work. I've talked to students who tell me it is considered "a job!"

I give liberally to my church and organizations that are well known for philanthropy. When I see a need, I give food, money or whatever might help based on knowing a real need exist.

I would rather give to a perceived homeless person than a person representing some questionable non-profit.

I hope all is well with you!

Nell Rose from England on January 21, 2020:

Hi Diane, I know just how you feel! Over here we tend to get a lot of charities and others standing outside shops and they step in front of you to stop you. Which really annoys me in the first place, but after listening to them they then ask for your bank details! Er no way! I cannot understand anyone who signs them up!

G. Diane Nelson Trotter (author) from Fontana on August 21, 2017:

My family is there. I go at least once a year. I pray for my niece, Lequanna Brown, who is a sergeant for LRPD. A sister said Quanna was on television last week as they mapped out a plan for the rise in the murder rate. She works out of the 12th Street Station.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on August 21, 2017:

Wow, Diane, that's great! I've lived here since 1975. I'm from Batesville, and we're having a combined reunion of the classes of 60-65 in October. I'm just a smidge older than you. (My late son attended Central High class of 83).

G. Diane Nelson Trotter (author) from Fontana on August 19, 2017:

I agree MizBeJabbers - Salvation Army and Girls Scouts! It's easy for me to get the Girl Scout Cookies because I can't resist them. I love donating to my church because I see the result in our community and missionaries we support. When they want you to sign those voting petitions, they have 5 or 6 at a time. One petition was against teachers. I went ballistic. I was a hard working teacher and I know many hard working teachers. BTW, I'm from Little Rock. I went to Central High. Our 50 year reunion is next year.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on August 18, 2017:

Very good synopsis, Diane, and I strongly agree. KMart was the biggest offender in my area, but they are closing down now. Perhaps they lost too much business because of their gauntlets.

One day a nice looking young black man in a nice suit approached me for a donation "to help them with disadvantaged youth", always a tear jerker. I gave him a small donation and he handed me paper, calling it his newsletter. When I got home and looked at it, its message was one of the most militant that I suspect perhaps had connections with the wrong kind of Muslims or even ISIS. I felt gullible, used and angry and now I only donate to the Salvation Army or buy Girl Scout cookies in front of stores.

G. Diane Nelson Trotter (author) from Fontana on May 23, 2016:

The legit ones are cool savvy! I love the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. I also donate at school by helping kids in my classes. I know the desperate need when I see them day to day. Some are homeless. Many need clothes and shoes. You can't help everyone so it is important to be judicious.

Thank you for stopping by!

Yves on May 23, 2016:

The lawn chair thing is annoying because they're not legitimate charities, but otherwise, the solicitors don't bother me all that much. I actually like seeing the boy scouts---I think they're adorable. I also appreciate seeing the Salvation Army during Christmas.

However, there are some homeless people hanging out near the parking lot areas at Wal-Mart. I suspect they're not allowed to be near the doors. Most of the time, I don't carry cash on me, but I've wondered if they would appreciate some of my food. So far, I haven't offered any. So, I guess I have mixed emotions because I don't know if they're really homeless...or what is really going on. Sometimes, it's not as obvious as at other times.

But, having been raised really poor, I try to help when I can. I know you do the same through your church. But as for solicitors, I guess I am not as bombarded as you have been. Interesting article though, and food for thought.

G. Diane Nelson Trotter (author) from Fontana on January 25, 2016:

Praise God Shae! I know there are people who have a real need because of unfortunate circumstances. Your husband showed integrity and a great work ethic by washing cars. I'm glad you have a beautiful home now.

shae on January 25, 2016:

i was homeless for a year.but thanks to the community i am in,they supported our family of five.people made fun sometimes while my husband stood out all day selling car washes. Now we have a beautiful condo and a business

G. Diane Nelson Trotter (author) from Fontana on May 30, 2015:

Thank you for your comment Falapio! The benefit of knowing multiple languages is the ability to beg in each language.

G. Diane Nelson Trotter (author) from Fontana on February 19, 2015:

Chen, we have 99 Cent Stores in California. The stores post signs,"Don't give money to solicitors and they will go away." So your approach is definitely the thing to do.

Falapio on February 19, 2015:

Engllish seems to be getting more and more iranmtpot these days because we live in a global integrated world and communication between foreign countries has become so frequent and necessary. Besides, people in general are attending English courses to get better marks at school, better jobs or just for fun.

ChenChenMungus on July 13, 2014:

Having tried many ways to keep my peace walking the gauntlet Walmart entrance, my only success is a big pair of dark sunglasses and obvious headphones. In their minds, I cannot be guilted. I don't notice them, don't hear them, don't have to not look at them because as far as they know, I am deep in trance lisstening to music and no eyes to contact. This is such a great feeling to render them helpless in accosting me.

Oh I hear them failing to get my attention and it is wonderful.

My goal is to keep my emotional happiness in situations that are set up for me to give in to their demands to keep emotional happiness. That is the scam they run. They know you are trading dollars for peace. I am not angry, I am not intimidated and I am not a loser that pays extortion bucks for an easy entrance and exit to buy milk.

G. Diane Nelson Trotter (author) from Fontana on December 14, 2013:

Lawn chairs do send a different message! It is better going through the garden exit for those reasons. I think my awareness of sources of help might prejudice me a little. Between my church, other churches, and community organizations, I feel sources of help already exist. One large amount can help more people that lots of people collecting $25 or $30 a day.

Yes on December 14, 2013:

yes, i hate going in from the main entrance of wal-mart having to pass the folks sitting on lawn chairs asking for handouts. I would have no issues giving to a needy person (do it all the time when they don't ask), but fat ppl sitting comfortably in front asking for handouts and giving you an attitude when you don't donate annoys the shit out of me. i just go in from the lawns and garden section. more parking spaces and less ppl at the checkout.

G. Diane Nelson Trotter (author) from Fontana on November 16, 2013:

Thank you Express10. Clearly it isn't a black and white issue.

H C Palting from East Coast on November 16, 2013:

The irritated mom has her view but I respectfully disagree. If they took offense to my specific comment, I stated exactly how I felt as did they however, I expressed myself without the equivalent of screaming and used some common knowledge, real world examples. I see no problem with that. I have been irritated when I've donated going in, I was again asked for another donation coming out...by the same people.

Perhaps getting turned down for donations is stressful or being an irritated mom is stressful but putting oneself into the shoes of the shoppers may provide insight to their specific irritations with this method of fundraising. After all, shoppers are going to a store for a reason and that reason isn't to donate or be asked for money for things they didn't intend to spend it on or donate to, also known as personal finance 101.

Before incorrect assumptions are made, I speak from experience having worked for local charities and as a shopper. I fully understand that this method of fundraising nets a minuscule amount, if anything for the annual budgets particularly for the local charities that help the homeless or hungry.

G. Diane Nelson Trotter (author) from Fontana on November 12, 2013:

Thank you for your comments Irritated Mom. For the past week, Girl Scouts having had tables set up outside the local grocery store. There were 2 or 3 parents at the table each time I went by. I have no problem with legitimate organizations. When people collect for homeless shelters and the like, I refer them to my church. My church does a lot for the homeless in the community and I contribute to my church.

Irritated Mom on November 12, 2013:

As the VP of a Little League in AZ some of these comments are rediculous! Parents aren't teaching their children to beg, it's to help teach their children how to COMMUNICATE, how to talk to people, how to promote their COMMUNITY sport or school event!!! Second, if you're shopping and don't want to donate, DON'T!! Simple as that.. Being rude and thinking your "cute comments" back to an association are funny is NOT needed!!! I hope one day NONE of you have children in sports who need to raise money! I hope NONE of you need to raise money for a funeral! Or will need a FREE meal from a homeless shelter because without donations these programs wouldn't be avail to the community!!

G. Diane Nelson Trotter (author) from Fontana on October 28, 2013:

Thank you enoughalready2! I'm surprised some of these kids haven't been kidnapped. There are more than 3500 homeless kids in our school district. My students are bringing canned goods so we can make Thanksgiving baskets.

enoughalready2 on October 28, 2013:

It's irritating. What I see here in Fl is:

Do you want to donate to my cheerleading team, or do you want to donate to our softball team? These people usually have an adult sitting in a chair by them, and they are usually of working age.

My comment to them is - do you want to donate to my medical bills, or do you want to donate to my grocery bill? This usually stop them from talking, then I can move on to take care of the business I came to Walmart to do.........not donate to those I don't even know if they are a cheerleader or play softball.

Parents - stop teaching your children how to beg and teach them how to work for what they want or need.

Hawaiian Odysseus from Southeast Washington state on July 25, 2013:

Diane, you present a very good case, and I'm simultaneously feeling an enthusiastic "Yeah! Right on!" and a sheepish "You know, I could have said something, but I just walked away from it..."

Good for you, Diane! Thanks for sharing!


G. Diane Nelson Trotter (author) from Fontana on April 16, 2013:

It just happened over the weekend. we will see.

H C Palting from East Coast on April 16, 2013:

Oh my goodness! I hope the murderer rots in jail. That is so sad.

G. Diane Nelson Trotter (author) from Fontana on April 16, 2013:

Express10 did you hear about the shopper who refused to give a beggar money as he entered the store. When the shopper returned to his car, the beggar poored gasoline inside the car and lit a match. The shopper was severely burned and died after two days in the hospital. The beggar, known by everyone in the neighborhood, was arrested for attempted murder. He was re-charged with murder after the shopper died.

H C Palting from East Coast on April 16, 2013:

When I go to a store, large or small, it is because I need something from that store. I don't want or need to have my patience tested just outside the doors, in the parking lot, or inside. I don't care if it is for a non profit, a children's sports team, girl scouts, Red Cross, etc. I go to the store only for that purpose and don't want to be solicited. I make donations to the organizations and groups that I support that do not hang out and pester people in front of stores.

jep101 on March 03, 2013:

I would like everyone to know that Walmart is very strict on who they allow to solicit out front of their stores. If they do not have a verifiable 501c3 non profit status from the government they are not allowed to solicit and it is actually very hard to get your organization out there! I know, because i am involved with a bonafide charity that asks for donations in front of walmart. The money goes towards funding our food pantry in which we feed 700 ppl on a weekly basis! We really need the help from the public. With the state of our economy we may all soon need help from charities like mine. Please give and help charities. If you question them, ask to see their non profit status, and ask where their office is located! If they can't present, don't donate.

The Toxic Avenger on February 27, 2013:

Encountered the same scenario you described, yesterday in front of the Walmart in the Stone Crest shopping center. An old, black dude sitting at a table with an official looking sign attached. The sign claimed he was soliciting for the non profit, "Building a Solid Foundation." My "bullshit" detector alerted, so I decided to ask this piece of human garbage some pertinent questions (e.g. Where is your office/recovery house located? Do you have a phone number for them?) I carefully watched this miscreant as he responded, noticing his hostility increasing with each probing question. Upon my exiting the Walmart, I observed this malodorous scam artist had moved to a different location.

With the Obama depression of 2014 closing in on us, please support the ANPRP.

G. Diane Nelson Trotter (author) from Fontana on August 07, 2012:

A lady and man told me they ran out of gas a couple of blocks away. I offered to get gas and take it to their car. They backed away. I know this was a lie.

Uniforms - I wish schools would use uniforms. It would take a lot of pressure off families and students.

Jean I heard that some of those people saying they are vets are lying; however, when in doubt, give if you can.

PinkPoodle, people have used this as an opportunity to rob someone. A lady asked me for a dime. When I looked up, she was exposing a butcher knife in her bosom. I hurriedly found a dime. Thank God that was all she needed.

Jean Bakula from New Jersey on August 07, 2012:

It's a tough choice. I give to Veterans even though I take an anti war stance, because they served the country, and it's pitiful that the American Gov't., which claims to be so patriotic, does not cover their own military people's health and other issues. Most elementary schools sell junk nobody wants to get uniforms and items for sports teams, but those come home so the parents can see them, and are normally brought to work with the adults. It would seem local businesses could chip in for stuff like that. If you are alone and outside in the dark, hold on to your purse or wallet.

PnkPoodleBohannon on August 07, 2012:

If I have money in my pocket, sometimes I will donate a dollar or two to those with tables outside of Wal-mart or the grocery store. However, if I have to open my purse to count out monies, I will not donate. I feel very uncomfortable standing outside looking for money in my purse.

Last Christmas as I was walking out of Wal-mart to my car, a man approached me for money. The man stated that his daughter had been in an accident and had been admitted to a local hospital. He needed money for gas so he could return home. The story sounded plausible but I wasn’t about to dig in my purse because there were plenty of people going out and coming to Wal-Mart. However, I think he targeted me because I was alone, a good target for a scam!

G. Diane Nelson Trotter (author) from Fontana on August 06, 2012:

The ones hiding behind bogus charities...yes! Last Monday a lady walked up to me with her 4 or 5 year old son. She spoke Spanish only. I looked at her son and knew she was legit. I had nothing smaller so I gave $5 to her son - no problem.

Thursday a homeless man asked for a dollar. Nothing smaller again so I gave him $5. There was visible evidence in both cases that the money was needed.

Someone sitting out in a lawn chair with a handwritten sign about a rehab center ... uh uh!

Josak from variable on August 06, 2012:

Ah those darned poor people begging what a nuisance! Why don't they jut eat cake right?

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