Have you ever given a homeless person on the street any money?
If the answer is yes: Is it something you frequently do or rarely ever do? If it's rarely can you remember what the circumstances were that caused you to make an "exception". If you have never given a homeless person a single dime in your life is there a particular reason why not? Are you more likely give money if the person has some of "act" as is plays an instrument, sings, has a dog or monkey that performs tricks, or approaches you with a hilarious sense of humor story as to why he/she wants the money? In other words is it (you) or (them) that determines if you're in a altruistic mood?
I have given both food and money to the homeless. I haven't walked a mile in their shoes, so who am I to judge? People would scold me all the time for giving to the homeless - saying things like I was enabling their bad habits by giving them money over food and that they would just "drink" that money etc.
Perhaps that's true, perhaps not. I wasn't there to see how they spent it. Perhaps it got them a cup of coffee, or some personal needs for a day.
Several years ago, I worked in a swanky downtown hotel and the staff always had to enter through the garage and we'd often see homeless people duck into this area out of the elements. They'd be promptly shooed away by most security guards there, and we were threatened if we fed them or gave to them. As I stood there in the shadow of this luxury hotel it made me very angry that people thought they were not only so much better than these people, but that we should ignore them and act as though they had some kind of contagious disease simply because they were homeless.
They weren't hurting anyone, and with all the food that place threw away daily? I'd take food out to them and if I couldn't get away with that I'd give them whatever bit of cash I could spare even if it was just change or a buck or two.
So much of society has lost their humanity it seems. These people are human beings and they deserve dignity and respect, so I have no problem giving money, water, food whatever I can. Where I am now we don't see any homeless people, but if we did - I'd help them.
I have given money from time to time but on rare occasions. The more aggressive the person is the more they turn me off. One guy got me good though. I went into the gas station to pay cash for a pump and upon my return he was filling my car!
I have done it, but rarely... I am always afraid some people are cheating and are not really poor... and unfortunately I also have seen people who is clearly not poor, asking for money... for that reason I prefer donate money to trusted associations.
@ ChristinS, +1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, there for the grace of God goes I.
Great job CS! You're giving according to Scripture! "...Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done unto me." (Matt 25:40)
Thank you for the wonderful topic
There are some on ramps in the area (Cedar Rapids) that are frequented by panhandlers or homeless individuals-- who can tell? Our main paper did some investigative reporting, following some of these people and discovered they had nice cars hidden away and, after further digging determined that it was fairly lucrative. I don't usually give them anything, but I have given under other circumstances-- usually when the person is not asking for a handout but is obviously in need. A few months ago I spotted an old man on his bicycle struggling up a hill with a huge plastic bag of empty pop cans on his rear fender. I pulled over, got out and approached him. I asked him if he'd be offended if I gave him $20 (I didn't know how else to leave him his dignity). He said "no" and I handed him the money, which he thanked me for. So, I guess I decide when I'm feeling altruistic.
$20! You were feeling altruistic!
I too have heard of people who panhandled for a living. One boasted of "earning" up to $300 per day. Like you I prefer not deal with the aggressive ones. I hate feeling hustled..
David & dashing.....Well, it takes time and energy to panhandle too! If a guy puts in 8 hrs a day...that's his job!! LOL
Paula, That's also tax free income too!
The guy's using his damned head!! Next thing you know he'll be holding Seminars in the Public Park!!
I am more apt to give $ to the homeless guy that has no talent....you know, the one who everyone is walking past to give to the performer.
Dav: Just "give" as Jesus said. If lying, God will deal w/him!
When I worked in the heart of our nearby major city, only there would I even observe what appeared to be ":homeless" people. I'm a real bleeding heart by nature and cannot ignore social ills staring me in the face.
I would often buy food for a couple of the old men who sat up against the buildings outside. I have given money, but my husband continually told me not to do that in public in broad daylight. He figured it would encourage any thugs to follow me or mug me. So that sort of scared me.....for a while.
The street entertainers always manage to get some money from me.....I'm your basic sap. I'm one of those people that if I were wealthy, I'd open a central shelter for the homeless where they could get food, shelter, clothing and some friendship.
My sister thought I was an old softy. She always told me that the guy begging on the streets probably had his BMW parked in the alley way. LOL.....She had our Mom's cynical attitude.....I had my Dad's compassionate heart.....but I believe all people are generous in their own ways and give for different reasons. I just know that people need people.
I'm sometimes a sucker for street entertainers as well. At least they are trying to exchange their talent for money.
You never know; one of them may hit it big one day.
It's happened before.
Well, yes....but they ain't gonna remember we helped to feed them when they were broke!! LOL.....Fame & fortune has a way of wiping out the memory!
Cynicism is a safeguard, compassion its balancing act. Your parents' mix had good lessons for their children! On street entertainers, they offer a "service" for "their keep" and can't always be considered in the same context as needy/homeless.
Dashing Scorpio - Bob Dylan was a street musician. So was Brian Jones, founder of the Rolling Stones.
Yes, "people need people." Continue to do as Jesus said & you will be blessed!
yes I have given to the homeless. I was brought up that we are all made up of Gods image and we all need to help one another of whatever we can give. Why or what happened to them to have them be in that kind of circumstance only they know, but we all have no right to judge regardless of what they have done or anything of that nature. We have not walked in their shoes and theres nothing wrong with giving any and all of what you can because you never know what tomorrow will bring because you may be the next person that needs that help of what you give out whether it be a little help or it may be your last dime in your pocket.
I very rarely carry any cash with me and I tell people that when they ask for spare change. Every time I've had change I've given it to someone if they asked. I never really have more than $2 in change on me and usually I would just use it for a coffee, so I don't see it being a big deal to give it to someone else instead. It could buy them a snack when they haven't eaten all day which I think is more important than a cup of coffee for myself.
My husband is big on buying homeless people food if we're near a grocery store or have leftovers from a restaurant. He passed a guy and his dog once who had a sign saying he couldn't afford food for his dog. So my husband went and bought a package of food for his dog. The man lost it on him, saying he needed MONEY because he's hungry too. I think that kind of put him off a bit but he still does it quite often.
My brother once offered to buy a guy a "happy meal" with his remaining change at McDonalds and the homeless guy said:
"I don't want no damn HAPPY Meal! I want some money!"
I guess the "will work for food" sign was a lie. LOL!
maybe he wanted the chance to choose his own meal not be patronized with a "happy meal" - your brother had good intentions I'm sure, but offering an adult a happy meal like they are a child? come on. Id offer a burger or something instead.
According to his alcohol breath odor something tells me food was the last thing on his mind!
On another note one of my pet peeves is pan handlers who hang out near ATM machines. I think that should be illegal!
LOL....actually one more bottle of cheap booze can only serve to end their misery a bit sooner.....they've all got one foot in the grave anyway. Choices..it's all about choices. 90% don't need to wind up on the streets.
Of course he didn't want "no damned Happy Meal!!" He wanted a "Happy drink!" It was probably "Happy Hour!" What's wrong with your brother?? LOL
I dunno, if I were hungry I would probably be thankful for ANY kind of meal, be it happy or not. I think there's something to the "beggars can't be choosers" phrase here. That said, I prefer to give money so they can choose if they want.
Aime, I hear you! I once heard a radio talk show host state he was coming out of an Italian restaurant and gave a homeless man his left overs. The man looked inside the styrofoam container and said to the radio host; "What, no garlic bread?"
All very funny but "judging" which is not our job according to Scripture! Just "give" as Scripture says & let God handle the rest!
Yes I have, plenty of times. I used to do it more often whenever seeing someone on a freeway exit or wherever. Over the years I have met a few people who have been in that situation and it made me more hesitant to donate.
One man that I met was a panhandler from Los Angeles who drove a much nicer car than I do. The others said they'd make about the same amount as me per day ($100-$200) but I was working an honest construction job that I hated. So experiencing that made me assume that they are all like that even though that's far from reality. I would still want to help though!
Indeed I give whenever I have change in my pocket. It is too little and perhaps too late; however, it is something. I always mention to them that it is not from me it is from the "big Sky Guy" and "do with it what you must"...
I give money to homeless people and mothers, along with anyone in dire straights. I don't think about it. I just do it.
I thought about why because, as a shrink, you've looked at the research. People often give money, research says, to those who they momentarily identify with.
I give for a different reason. Through the roll of the dice, my life circumstances let me have enough money to get by comfortably. And I realize I just as easily could be that homeless person, given different life circumstances.
"I realize I just as easily could be that homeless person, given different life circumstances." And so it is! But by the Grace of God, there go I!
"Love thy neighbor as thyself!" Great job & understanding!
I will always "praise" those who adhere to the Word of God & (unfortunately for me in this life) "correct" those who has wrong understanding Dr!
Keep "Going and Growing" in Jesus!
Billy....that's awesome. Interesting about the research as well.
i gave once, $5 but turned out that this kid always beg for money at bus stops everyday, guess what he bought? a packet of cigarette! He is just below 10 for his height and built
The person sitting in the picture provided could be anyone up to anything. He might simply be resting a moment as he moves through town on his way to a warmer climate, he might be quite dangerous. He might be waiting to walk away from that suitcase full of money, drugs, or explosives at a specific time, or he might be a detective on an undercover assignment. He might be hiding in plain sight, or he might be sick with any number of diseases or disorders. The person really could be anyone up to anything.
Though in the past I have given to individuals, I learned that the best thing to do is guide them to a sound organization where they can get the help that they need. So, though I do not say that I will never give to an individual on the street again, I have learned that the best thing to do is to have information in my phone on sound organizations that the person can connect with for help if they want real help. I have learned that the street people are usually well acquainted with the organizations and already know whether they want real help or not.
It is crucial to carefully examine the complicated issues that everyone faces with the homeless in order to have the most helpful responses to their situation. There are individuals to consider, as well as community populations. Also, getting a grip on the realities of the homeless and their circumstances is a matter of safety, sometimes life and death, for everyone involved.
Feeling compassionate towards anyone who appears to be needy is part of our humanity, but being in a selfish or unselfish mood does not have to have anything to do with our responses once we educate ourselves and are well prepared to respond to those who seem to need help. Lists of resources for the homeless are easily found in most cities and with today's technology, connecting with them is just as easy.
I have given both food and money, on occasion, if the person looked especially distressed. If the person looks like a threat, I won't give. There were a few occasions when the person has insulted me, or tried to coerce me; I won't give then, either. I understand in some business districts, merchants discourage giving to panhandlers; they have cards for customers to hand out instead. The cards list social services that can help the homeless and needy.
About street artists - I was one! We are not beggars; we are simply using a public street to ply our trade. I played guitar and sang in Berkeley, San Francisco, Palo Alto, and Venice Beach. One band named Duo Essence actually made more money on the street than in clubs. Some of us have albums out (though I don't). Some even earn a living that way. I didn't do that either, but I had many interesting adventures! Maybe someday, I'll write some on HubPages.
To be honest dashingscorpio I rarely do I am ashamed to say. However my son emptied his pockets one day in Dublin City and he was only 12 or so at the time-was so proud of him.This is a good question.
The tragedy of giving these days is that its so hard to tell who is and who isn't truly in need . I have given and have a pretty good eye for identifying the genuine needy . The lack of integrity and moral direction though allows some- not so needy- to openly ask for money .
It really bugs me to see a man under the influence of something , smoking cigarettes and holding up a sign !
Judge "righteous judgment" (Jn 7:24) which means according to His Word! "Love thy neighbor as thyself" is Written!
Responding wisely takes courage, discernment, and insight. Being knowledgeable re organizations that can offer real help (immediate and long term) is easy and useful. Also, they know how to work within the law, and often know cons from legitimate
RT: Not for us to "decide" (judge)! Let GOD be the judge! Jn 21:22 "Just follow me" or do as Jesus says! Yes, we know they know but it's btwn them & God! We must do as He says in His Word & not worry! Turn other cheek! Lk 6:29!
That would be great except that ALL need to do that ! Even those who portray homelessness as a living ! The scripture works Both ways , those who give and those who ask as well!
Horseback: Not for us to question! We do our part according to His Word! God will take care of him. Jer 16:17-18. Their curse!
We are instructed to be good stewards according to Scripture by exercising wisdom and discernment, in other words, careful judgement in all things, including our giving so that we do good and not harm when compassionately reaching out to others.
I usually give food if I see a homeless person. I have given spare change on a couple of occasions,I just felt it was the right thing to do,on one occasion the homeless person grabbed my hand and kissed it,he said that I had been the first person who had stopped to talk to him.
In the late 80s, I lived on Capitol Hill in DC, where there were lots of homeless people sleeping on the Metro grates, being stepped over by folks on their way to work at the House and Senate buildings. I was disgusting to see this happening in our Nation's capitol. Even worse: a lot of those homeless were Vietnam vets.
I had to weave my way through all this to get from my apartment on the Hill, to the bagel shop where most of my coworkers at the theatre got their breakfast, and then back again to our offices, behind the Library of Congress. I often bought two of whatever I was having: bagels with cream cheese and coffee. I had them bagged separately, and handed one off to the first homeless guy I saw who was awake and sitting up. A lot of the folks who worked with me did the same.
It wasn't money, but it was breakfast and a hot cup of coffee, obtained without having to go into a restaurant, only to be thrown out because they were dirty.
When I lived in New York, I tended to keep change in my pocket, and drop it into the cup of any street hustler who made me laugh. A lot of people sit on the sidewalk and shake cups of change, but some of them had a patter going, to get people to notice them. There were often guys along my regular route who said things that made me laugh, and I was happy to part with some change for that.
As written in His Word~! "Love thy neighbor as thyself!"
Oh, what a surprise: an irrelevant, Bible-thumping comment. You are nothing if not predictable, Norine.
Thanks Lisa! Nothing but WORD is of relevance in things pertaining to life!
Yes, I give for it is according to the Word of God!
Everything, I mean EVERYTHING, pertaining to life is found in the Word of GOD!
If interested in His Word regarding "giving to the poor," check out the following Scriptures:
Proverbs 21:13 - "Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard."
Proverbs 22:9 - "He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor."
Proverbs 28:27 - "He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack, but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse."
If we are to "Love thy neighbor as thyself" (Matt 22:39; Mk 12:30-31) we should give! Therefore, I give!
Do ALL see how important it is to respond to questions according to the Word of God? If GOD said it, one's disagreement is not w/you but GOD! Matt 7:1;Lk6:37 tells "US" not to judge but let HIS WORD judge (Jn 7:24) "righteous" with ONLY HIS WORD!
Norine Williams, read Matthew 6:1-4! In fact you could continue to read the whole 6th chapter of Matthew.
I think you are making Scorpio's question into a religious one, and I think it was meant as humanitarian, & I rather see a Sermon than hea
Shyron: I didn't say "brag" about one's giving, rather "give" according to Scripture! What's wrong w/what the Word says?
I have followed this post since you posted it a few days ago. I was curious of the responses. As someone who has been homeless twice in my life, and written a good bit on the topic, I wondered if people would comment kindly or judgmental. I was also curious as to who determined their giving. I'm happy to see many kind answers.
I have given. I even gave when I was homeless, looking back maybe that was stupid of me, but I also saw people worse off than myself. I'm pretty street wise. I can spot someone geeked up on meth from a mile away and will not under any circumstances give them money. I will give them food if they want it or one of the homeless ziplock bags in my trunk filled with hygiene supplies and snacks.
While I am at it though I would like to set the record straight. Being homeless is hard work both mentally and physically. Only an estimated 8% of homeless people panhandle and nearly 35% of homeless are parents with children (families). Lastly an estimated nearly 27% of homeless people were institutionalized (foster care, group homes, mental hospitals, etc.) as a child. So while it may be easy to judge, people should inform themselves before they do. Not very many WANT to panhandle, be poor, and not know where they are sleeping that night.
So for those afraid to give money, make gallon ziplock bags and put them in your car. Include the things they may need along with a juice box or two and some small snacks. As for the performers, they ARE working. It might not be the type of work you do, but it is work. Throw them a couple dollars or some change. Everyone can afford to drop some change in. Personally I pick who I give based on my best perception of their need, and sometimes I give even if I think that money will go towards a beer or some smokes, because being homeless is hard, and if they can feel normal for a couple hours then that is wonderful!
"Personally I pick who I give based on my best perception of their need, .." Just "give" as commanded & let GOD "judge!" Rd Jer 16:17-18 "...their sin double..." if lying! Their curse!
peeples, Thanks for your answer! Are you aware of people who (choose) to be homeless rather than move in with family or friends? I never lived on the streets but I was in a run down hotel in Hollywood. I could have moved back to the Midwest.
Norine, I'm not well off enough to give to all, I have to pick and choose. Yes Dashing, I also know the amounts of those are low % of the people who are homeless. Often family are too far away, ask for more than can be given, etc.
Peep: Of course no one has enough to give ALL! God knows your pocketbook as well! He "looks @ ur heart" too!
Since u've been there, u can relate & I admire one that has been there yet endured!
U're a strong woman!
Norine..Are your incessant Bible Quips & preachy comments FREE? Or has dashing hired you to jump in on every comment w/ UR Sunday morning spiel ad nauseum. Shouldn't you be in church?
Paula: Why r u so mean? What's wrong? I am @ church! Scripture says "For where there r 2 or 3 gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst" (Matt 18:20) & I am w/2 r 3 "believers" this morning! So I'm "@ church" everyday! How about u?
I do not belong to a "church." Obviously it's not necessary for any of us. We have YOU! ..Oh, I'm just a mean old witch, Norine who is 100% adverse to unsolicited preaching & arbitrary Bible banging. Feel better now that U know?
Paula: Yes, ur blessed to have someone remind u (me)! Giving is according to the Word of God whether u blv or not! Doing what Scripture requires "Lifting my brothers/sisters up!"
Paula: You "follow" me around "insulting" trying to "stop" God's Word, but get your Bible & remember Is 5:20-23 (n part) "Woe unto them who "take away the righteousness of the righteous fm him."
Be very careful! You don't know who's who!
i do, i'm living in a homeless hostel at the moment (uk) not through prison, drug abuse etc. my marriage ended and i got referred here. i'm one of the lucky few. giving some coins or a sandwich to someone on the streets is just a basic display of compassion towards a fellow human. people who see a stray dog or cat would put out a plate of water or food but cross the street to avoid a homeless person. so what if they spend the few coins they have on a substance to help take their minds off their situation for an hour or two, who doesn't have a beer or a glass of wine after a hard day at work? imagine walking the streets 18-20 hours a day, carrying your possessions with you, not knowing where your next piece of food comes from (mainly from bins, discarded by other humans) sleeping when and where you have to, knowing if you get seen you will get moved on, assaulted, urinated on. homelessness doesn't put you at the front of the line for job interviews, housing etc either, so being told to 'get a damn job' actually doesn't help. yes, some homeless have followed a path (drugs, crime etc) where some might say that homelessness is a 'just reward' but aren't we all members of the same race? rant over
"..but cross the street to avoid a homeless person." Reminds me of Lk 10:31!
ALL should remember "But by the Grace of God, there go "I!"
All should do as commanded "give" & God knows who has!
I'm praying for u! Blessings!
Love your post. So true, people will run to rescue an animal, but ignore or even hate their fellow human. Good luck and I hope everything works out for you.
Altruism cannot be defined by an external factor. Sometimes people can be altruistic, sometimes not.
I've given money to homeless, but it's not the lack of money that's the problem. It's the system.
Yes I do, but when I'm driven to do so. Too many beggars and not all are in need of money for the basic necessities of life. Some beg to purchase drugs.
It is hard to see some homeless people and not give to them.
For me as long as I can I will give. My wealth or blessings aren't for myself only but to be shared amongst the needy.
God bless. Thanks for the question.
I Once Was Homeless And Given Money To Myself With The Money That I Found On The Street And Sidewalk. True Story But Funny And God Provided For Me In Creative Ways And Kept Me Safe Throughout That Ordeal I Went Through In My Life At One Time In The Past. God Is Good And Blessed Me Richly Through It And When I Came Out Of That Homelessness In Victory Then And Forever By The Grace Of God. Glory To God. Thank You Jesus. Amen.
I do, all the time. Can't say in an altruisic mood, but can't ignore it when pass or saw a homelessness, sometimes with a hungry dog. However, many times feel confused if it is all correct. Some people tell, or even some media teach, that not all homelessness are real, and often are fake.
I done it a few times and I will no longer do it because I saw him buy alcohol right after giving him the money. I still offer to buy them food if a store is near but no more giving of money.
I've given money, food and cloth to homeless many times, and it feels so satisfying every time i do that.
I give homeless people only food, because here in my country there are a lot of people forcing their children to beg for money
yes, I have given. But I can not remember when and how.
Somewhere between rarely and often.
of course....money is nothing....just paper and ink govt regulate to themselves.
May I twist the question slightly please? It is not that I have given or not but it is the duty or dharma of every resourceful person to help the other person who is needy. Secondly, the act of giving should be so secret that if you are giving with the right hand then the left hand should not know about it.
In this context, I am reminded of a story where a saint cum fakir used to give money and with his eyes always looking down. When asked, he said I do not want to know that to who I am giving lest I become polluted with the ego that "I am the giver." - whereas it is the GOD who is the giver - I am merely a channel.
This is how you create a good karma.
How heart-warming to know that there are so many people who are willing to help out those who need it.
I have often been given all sorts of reasons why I should not give to a homeless person but I feel that I have to give him/her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe that person is able-bodies, maybe they should be working, but being a beggar on the streets is no picnic either, so there has to be a strong reason for someone to live that life.
I have never had to go hungry because I gave to a homeless person, so what's the big deal about sharing?
I give homeless people money when I have cash on me. It's almost completely dependent on whether or not I'm carrying physical money or not. If I'm going downtown for any reason, I try to carry some small bills, but I'm not great at remembering to do so. It's easier if I'm going somewhere in my partner's car because I always keep small bills and change in it.
The only occasions when I've had physical money on hand but didn't give someone I saw begging any of it, it had to do with my uneasiness regarding their approach. I'll admit I'm a somewhat skittish woman with PTSD and can find myself unable to approach people who provoke an irrational fear response by yelling or screaming. It has resulted in me not giving money to severely mentally ill homeless guys on occasion.
Sometimes I give money to people in the street, but I don't do that pretty often - not because I don't wish to do that, but because I try to observe the person's behavior. Let me explain that. If I see a drunken man sitting on the side of the street asking for money, why would I give it to him/her? It is obvious that he/she will go to the nearest store to get another portion of alcohol. However, if I see that the person is really in need, I always try to help financially- even if it is a couple of dollars or cents. I can also go to the shop to buy some bread or other products for this person, but, again, I don’t do that often just because I’m always too busy.
Yes, I have given and still do. In my hometown homeless people are all over the city. I give because I feel blessed to have a nice home although it wasn't given to me. Giving to them whether homeless or not may keep them from mugging or robbing someone. God knows who needs it. It won't hurt to give a little. Think of the money that's given away on booze, cigarettes and other senseless habits/activities.
Once in a while, I give money to those who ask.....but in most cases, I give to those who do not ask. For example, at the end of one work day, I was at a street crossing, on the way to my parking structure. I saw an old man looking through garbage bins. Clearly, he was hungry. I crossed the street and I asked him, "Are you hungry? He nodded. I had $20 in my purse and gave it to him. He was shocked and grateful. That's a nice story---but usually, I stop and assess before I give, and often, I choose not to give. Is that a good or a bad thing? I don't know. All I know is that I think of the homeless often. I believe they are like me and many of us. I just got a little bit luckier than they did. Always, I think of my mother, who through no fault of her own....was always a stone's throw away from homelessness, God rest her soul. That being said, we must all find a way to give in some way. Most of all, we must have compassion for the poor....
Yes, but doesn't mean do it everytime. I often give food and water rather than money because that's more important than money
yeah i did once or twice.The person was not only homeless he was crippled too.so i felt bad.More over he was not like others although he was crippled and blind but he had good taste in music .He used to play small music instrument.Cripple means here not whole body but his legs .
I always give them $$.
If I have it -- which isn't that often, really. I am on a fixed income. But, I almost always have some change, at least. I try to give it to them.
I am homeless myself, but I do not have to sleep in the street. I am very thankful for that. I have places to sleep inside. Most of my homeless friends do not have his blessing, sad to say.
I had a long history in one place before I became homeless. That history is a great blessing.
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With the recession going on, I have noticed several new cardboard signs asking for food, money or gas. How do you distinguish the real from the fake, and what should you do to help them?
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