WTVM Editorial: 6/16/17: Hand up vs. hand-out

(WTVM) - There's a story we want to share that you might have missed.

It's about a long-time panhandler who was offered a job by a caring car dealer.

The man became a fixture outside the Brighton Honda dealership in Michigan, between Lansing and Detroit, begging passing motorists for cash donations.

So, the owner of the dealership decided to offer the man a job, paying $10 an hour.

It was a sincere gesture, trying to help the panhandler get on his feet by working a job in the same location he came to beg for cash every day for two years.

But no, the panhandler refused the job.

And then he insulted the dealership by saying he made more than what the job would pay from handouts on the street.

So, the dealership's owner posted a sign suggesting motorists donate to a more worthy cause.

Good for him.

A video of the job offer and refusal went viral and we think that's a good thing.

We applaud the dealership for offering the needy man a job. We think they did the right thing.

It's another example of how often local businesses all over the country, including here at home, step up to help their communities.

So, what happened to the panhandler?

Well, he was eventually arrested for vagrancy so he's no longer bothering the dealership and its customers in Michigan.

Truly needy people always deserve help and every community offers food, housing and even cash assistance to those who need it.

We should always support the organizations that provide that help.

But we think there is no excuse for being a full-time beggar when another, better opportunity is offered.

A hand up is always better than a hand-out.

General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to hsteuart@wtvm.com or write to:

WTVM Editorial Committee

1909 Wynnton Road

Columbus, GA 31906

Copyright 2017 WTVM. All rights reserved.