Of course there are people who take advantage, and it can really make one angry. But remember that a gift given is just that--if I give money to someone, I don't have the right to tell them what he can or can't do with it. And an act of generosity is no less generous if it is misused on the other end. Yes, I'd MUCH rather ensure my "gift" is going to someone deserving, but I can't always tell. I have given money & food to those who appear to be in need before, and I have NEVER had a rude reaction, so I don't know what that is like. I'd rather assume I'm doing a good thing than be afraid to offer assistance. That being said, I'm not really naive. In the case of an "emergency" I WOULD dial 911 & inform them of the situation. If it was a scam, it wouldn't be on my head. I would also inform the store if this was taking place in their parking lot, as they will deal with it as well. My mother once offered her services as a trained EMT (she was one) when she was approached in this way & the person took off at a dead run. Problem solved!
As the arc of history bends towards justice, it's a new, more progressive day. --Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, 11-07-12