Who ever heard of a panhandler actually giving away money instead of asking for it? Rather than beg for money while standing at a busy intersection, North Carolina resident Bill Blackley actually gave his own money away to complete strangers last Thursday, which, incidentally, was also his birthday.
We pass panhandlers all the time on the street, and they’re all holding signs that tell sad stories. If you’re the type that passes them by, refusing to make eye contact, you probably would have missed Blackley’s sign, which read: “I have a job, I have a home, could you use an extra $5.00?”
Blackley is a retired special education teacher and did indeed give away $5 bills on a busy Winston-Salem, North Carolina street corner. He started around 10 am, reasoning, “I wanted to do something cool on my birthday.”
He started with $285, a birthday present from his wife. After he had given all of that away, he asked his wife to bring him more money based on an arrangement the two had made before. By the time Blackley was done on Thursday afternoon, he had given away $600 in $5 bills, reports NBC-2.
“A lot of people have asked that take the money, ‘What do I have to do?’ ” Blackley said. “I say, ‘you gotta take it out of my hand.’ “
A Winston-Salem police officer approached Blackley at some point, believing him to be panhandling without a permit. After he found that Blackley was actually giving away $5 bills, he allowed him to continue.
A video report of the story can be found below. What do you think of Bill Blackley, the birthday boy who gave away free $5 bills?