Madelyn has taken over Joe's pop bottle route since Joe got a paper route. Sometimes she helps Joe deliver his route, then he goes with her to collect bottles. Joe had a robotics meeting today, so Madelyn went out to gather bottles by herself. When she arrived home, she mentioned that someone asked her if she was homeless.
Upon further questioning, she said that a woman approached her and asked if she was gathering bottles to buy food. Madelyn explained that she hasn't been able to get a paper route yet, so was gathering bottles for extra spending money. The woman said that she wanted to give someone in need a basket of food for Christmas and if Madelyn knew anyone who needed food to let her know.
Two dumpsters later, a man approached Madelyn and asked her about the "tall boy who collects bottles with her." Madelyn said that he was her brother and he had to be somewhere else today. The guy handed her two dollars and told her to get herself a treat from McDonald's. As Madelyn was telling me her stories about today's events, I asked if this had happened before. She mentioned that a couple of different times, people have offered my two little dumpster-divers winning game pieces and coupons for McDonald's food.
The kids wear older clothes to gather bottles, because they get dirty and I don't want their better clothes ruined or torn. Obviously, people in the community think that we are poor and that the kids aren't getting enough to eat. What a generous and giving community! Their generosity should go to people in genuine need. I'm embarrassed that this has happened, but I don't want to discourage the children's entrepreneurial spirit. Maybe I should make them t-shirts that say, "I dumpster dive for fun."