New initiative underway in Wilmington to end panhandling, offers new way to donate
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Panhandling has been a hot topic throughout Wilmington, and city leaders say they’re looking for a way to both help the homeless and put money donations to good use.
New signs have been placed around Wilmington, which is a project that has been in the works for about a year now. It gives people the opportunity to scan a QR code and donate to the United Way, a nonprofit that helps provide resources to the homeless.
These signs provide those looking to donate an alternative method, rather than giving money on the streets directly to others.
All of the proceeds will go to United Way, which will then go directly to human and social service organizations within the city. I’m told that this is a more efficient way of knowing where your money is going.
Money donated through this QR code will help those struggling with hunger and food insecurity, unemployment, substance abuse, and homelessness.
Luke Waddell, a city council member who is involved with trying to help the homeless population, said there’s still significant progress to be made but he’s confident this is a step in the right direction.
“The issue of panhandling is certainly not apathy or an action, but it’s also not a handout. We’re blessed locally to have a myriad of really talented nonprofits in our community who are well equipped, and well funded by both the city and the county to assist the folks who are in need. So, this initiative by the city is simply suggesting that the members of our community can better leverage how far their dollar goes by donating to that constellation of nonprofits,” said Waddell.
Leland-resident David Johnson said he would rather hand out food than money, but if it had to come down to it, he knows supporting a non-profit is the best place for his money.
“I know that addiction is a disease and it’s challenging for people to break away from that. I think it probably is good to encourage nonprofits to help serve the needs of others. By donating to them, it’s a safer way, I would think to help people that are in crisis,” said Johnson.
Now how does the sign work? It’s simple. Pull out your smartphone, open your camera app or QR reader and scan the QR code. It will then bring you to this link that will inform you about the program and how to easily donate money.
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