Sunday, August 24, 2008

Observations and Opinions

Cincinnati's downtown scene is lacking on Sunday afternoon.

That's my swift assessment (perhaps I'm quick to judge, though) while sitting on Fountain Square facing the Westin.

I came downtown because I needed to get out of my apartment and head out someplace where I could be around people - living alone does have its downfalls.


As part of my Weekend of Debauchery, I grabbed a scoop of Buckeye Blitz and Toffee Chip and headed for a cafe table. I thought the Square would be a great place for me to use some free Wi-Fi and people watch.

I am enjoying the people watching but I could do with a little less cackling and fewer pigeon dives.
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On the way to the Square, I was asked for some money by a gentleman who said he was selling newspapers on behalf of the homeless. I gave him my pat, "Sorry I don't have any cash," and then went on my way.

But I didn't necessarily feel good about it.

I am torn with the solicitation for money on the street. I'd love to help all those folks who are down on their luck and needing some help, but working in non-profit I've discovered there's a huge network of human service assistance available for people trying to get ahead.

That's why I proudly contribute to United Way of Greater Cincinnati.

Yes, I do work for UWGC, so it makes sense that I'd contribute. But the fact of the matter is, I really believe in all the work United Way is doing. UWGC is an organization that distributes contributions to hundreds of programs around the Tri-State that support a few key priorities:
  • Preparing young children for kindergarten
  • Helping youth succeed in school and life
  • Supporting families in the pursuit of financial stability
  • Ensuring people have access to quality health care

These strategic investments are part of a plan that aims to get to the root of some of the most significant problems affecting our community. Your contributions are one way you can help make some lasting changes in the Tri-State.

United Way of Greater Cincinnati is launching its annual campaign Wednesday at a big event on Fountain Square. At noon, we'll unveil this year's campaign goal and we'll offer people the chance to learn more about the programs supported by UWGC. I highly recommend you all come out to Fountain Square Wednesday at noon to enjoy some live entertainment, free food and also discover how you can LIVE UNITED.


TD said...

I am torn on giving money on the street too. I am tempted; I would love to give them something if I thought it would make a difference, but I'm afraid that most of the time it doesn't. I would much rather give to a good organization that will make sure it is spent in a good way!

5chw4r7z said...

If it wasn't for the closing ceremonies, we're usually on the Sqaure Sunday evenings as Ms 5chw4r7z likes the music. The panhandlers are pretty much wallpaper for me now, a quick smile a no and I forget about them in 10 seconds. Ms 5chw4r7z can stay upset about it for an hour or more, but no one is going to dictate how I feel.

WestEnder said...

Was the guy selling "Streetvibes?" If he was, that is a legit thing and different from panhandlers. Streetvibes is staffed and written mostly by homeless people. The people selling it are indeed homeless and keep half of what they sell (i.e. fifty cents a paper).

I can't say it's the greatest journalism in the world, but I buy a copy every now and then. The sellers aren't bums and they're making an effort to work.