**I made up the name, sorry if there is a real person with that name**
Panhandling Can be Fun
by Susan Donald
In a recent interview with Jesse Williams, the so called “Happy Pan Handler”, I learned what lies behind his happiness. His main mission is to have fun and spread merriment wherever he goes. He can usually be found at the corner of “Walk” and “Don’t Walk” in front of the “Coffee Place Café” during daylight hours, except on Sundays. “I take the Lord’s Day off”, he said, “To be thankful for all the blessings I have.” When questioned about his strategies for keeping begging from getting him down, he willingly shared some tips.
“Only ask folks who look like they might need something to brighten their day. Not the ones who look hostile, just maybe the ones who look a little down in the dumps. Usually they’re uplifted by helping someone less fortunate than them.”
“Sing some silly songs or make little rhymes to thank people when they give a little something. That way it doesn’t feel so much like a hand out, gives me some pride, makes them smile.”
“Sometimes I offer to carry their bags, or pick a flower and give it to them. That really opens up the wallet and makes them feel good about helping me.”
“Just telling a lame little joke brightens their day and they usually show their appreciation with a bit of money, or sometimes a sandwich and cup of coffee. Some folks just smile and nod and hand me a dollar.”
Jesse just has an appreciation of life stemming from a life changing event several years ago when he lost his job, his home, and his family. Even though he was really down for a while, he says one day he realized that he has only one life to live no matter where he resides or how much he has, he wants to make people glad to be alive. So the next time to you see The Happy Panhandler, give him a smile, and if you’re feeling generous, a dollar or two. It’ll make your day.