1Panhandling for New Boobs
You've probably never seen this sign on the side of the road before: “Not homeless! Need boobs!”
Well, one woman is giving it a try. Chrissy Lance is hoping that generous drivers in Akron, Ohio will give her enough money to get breast implants. Her sign is honest; she's not homeless. She even has a job at a bar.
The single mom tells drivers that breast implants would really boost her self-esteem. She plans to keep going out in her bikini until she raises enough money. It might take a while, though. When WKYC caught up with her, she only had $90. Of course, that was before her efforts made national headlines.
2Police Officers Dress as Homeless People to Spot Distracted Drivers
A scruffy looking man with his hoodie up, clutching a tattered sign scrawled on a scrap of cardboard, shuffled up to a car at a busy intersection in a city west of Toronto. Drivers instinctively looked away.
However, this sign's wording was different from the usual begging appeal; “My name is Constable Mike Cairns. If you are reading this sign you are about to get a cell phone ticket.” Witness the latest police tactic in the crackdown on distracted drivers.
Across Canada, police officers have been dressing as panhandlers and clutching cardboard signs to mimic the curbside come-ons in order to get close enough to see drivers using handheld phones while driving. In a growing list of cities, the unusual undercover tactic is snagging motorists who are texting, dialing, emailing, or holding cell phones.
3Mom Tries to Raise Money for Her Son's Art School Tuition
A Bellevue mom has been receiving a lot of attention lately for trying to raise money to pay her son's tuition at a prestigious performing arts school, Idyllwild Arts Academy in California. Shelley Curley has been doing what she can to meet the difference between the $45,000 scholarship offered to her son, DJ, and the roughly $4,000 she needs to come up with on her own to compensate for the remainder of the tuition. Her approach is, most likely, not one that many parents would take. You see, Curley has been panhandling in Redmond at a freeway off-ramp.
Curley estimates that she hauls in about $45 per hour - and that's tax-free, mind you. She has to fight for her location, which is a highly profitable place to be.
4New Yorker Panhandles for a Rich Wife
Robert Darling wears his heart on his sleeve — or, more accurately, on his chest.
He commutes once a week from his two-bedroom apartment in Bradley Beach, N.J. to seek love in Manhattan, panhandling for affection beneath a sandwich board. ”I'm looking for a wealthy lady to be my wife,” reads his entreaty, written in multi-colored marker.
The cardboard and duct tape sign folds into a neat square when Darling takes it to and from his home using New Jersey Transit. For nearly a decade, he has donned the portable personal advertisement at his three preferred love-seeking locations: the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Columbus Circle, and Wall Street.
5Homeless Man with a Golden Voice Finds a Job After Panhandling
A US homeless man with a "golden voice" has been given a second chance after being discovered by a reporter in Ohio. Williams became a YouTube sensation after a reporter filmed him along a roadside waving a handwritten sign advertising his vocal gifts in the hopes of scoring a job in radio or TV broadcasting. Within days, Williams had been ferried to New York for the morning talk show circuit, recorded a commercial for Kraft Foods, and appeared as a guest on the therapy talk show Dr. Phil.
Before being discovered, he was a beggar during the day, holding up a cardboard sign, and he slept in a makeshift tent behind an abandoned petrol station at night.
A year after his overnight success, he has been in rehab twice, worked with Entertainment Tonight (whose producers also helped him achieve sobriety), and landed a voice-over spot in a Kraft Homestyle Macaroni and Cheese commercial. He is set to release a book chronicling his story.
6Astrologer Doing Reverse Panhandling
Rob Brezsny is an aspiring master of curiosity, perpetrator of sacred uproar, and founder of the Beauty and Truth Lab. He writes "Free Will Astrology," a syndicated weekly column that appears in over a hundred other publications and on the Web.
Among Brezsny's performance art extravaganzas is his "Reverse Panhandling" show. At least once a year, he enjoys standing at the exit ramp of a major highway holding a handful of five-dollar bills and a cardboard sign that reads, "I need to give; I love to help; please take my money." To date, he has distributed $935 to both rich and poor motorists alike.
7Homeless Man Runs a Religious Poll Via Panhandling
A homeless man named James likes to turn his panhandling forays in Austin, Texas into street theater. He staged a little experiment by laying out nine bowls labeled by faith (or lack thereof) and holding a sign asking, "Which religion cares the most about the homeless?" The early returns, as posted to Reddit, indicate that the atheists are winning, just as they did in a more scientific poll. There are dollar bills in the atheist, agnostic, and Buddhist bowls; the Jewish and Hindu bowls are nearly empty. According to James' analysis, "The atheists seem very competitive. For them, it's all about the competition." Maybe it's time to redefine the notion of Christian giving.
8Justice-Seeking Producer Poses with a Sign Reading "LIAR" Next to a Phony Beggar
A bogus homeless veteran has been run off of his moneymaking corner thanks to a justice-seeking producer. Since panhandling was declared a “constitutional right,” a number of Michigan suburbs have become overrun with people begging for money, so one local news station was determined to find out who was truly struggling in life.
Therefore, WZZM13 reporters hit the streets and uncovered a number of phonies who have been telling flat-out lies in order to persuade generous passersby to give them donations. One such faker is Rudy, a middle-aged man who holds a sign that reads “homeless vet,” but he never actually served.
When WGRD caught wind of the scandal, the radio producers decided to take matters into their own hands and force the con artist off of his corner. Producer Joe joined Rudy at his busy intersection with a cardboard sign that read “LIAR” in big, blocky, red and yellow letters with an arrow pointing in the vet's direction.
Rudy bolted from his corner once he spotted Joe (and even tried momentarily to get the police on his side), but soon he just rode off. However, Joe didn't stop there.
He set up his own fundraising mission at Rudy's former stomping grounds the following day and collected $1,085 for the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, a residence for vets that sits on 90 acres of land.
9American Idol Failure Begs for Money
Who says that American Idol rejects are a bunch of hopeless losers? We found one who actually managed to turn his flash of fame into a lucrative profession ... by begging for money on the side of the road.
His name's Magic Cyclops, and you may remember him as the air guitar-playing, bandana-wearing weirdo who fired confetti out of his pants during his audition in Aspen in 2012.
The judges unanimously rejected him -- no surprise -- but now he's found success outside of the music biz by panhandling on the side of a freeway in Fort Collins, CO.
Magic tells us that since his massively public American Idol rejection, no one has wanted to hire his one-man band because "now people know I don't have the talent I thought I had.” But after reading an article about homeless people making up to $30k a year just from begging, Magic was inspired, so he decided to hit the road with a cardboard sign.
10Panhandling Against Justin Bieber
This panhandler offers a "good" reason to give him money in downtown Boston.