MUSCATINE, Iowa — An Iowa man who offered two panhandlers a job is shown in a viral photo holding a sign that reads “Don’t give money” after they apparently declined the offer.
Mike Pothoff told WQAD he sees the two boys panhandling in Muscatine several times a week. Because he felt bad for them, he offered them a job at his business.
“I said, ‘You’re hired,’ and they said, ‘We’re not from around here.’ I said, ‘Well, you’re here,’ and then they just smirked and turned around,” Pothoff said.
Pothoff again saw the boys panhandling again over the weekend, so he made a sign of his own.
A photo shared on Facebook shows Pothoff standing on the corner holding a sign that reads: “Offered these guys a job, they said no, don’t give them money.”
Pothoff says he doesn’t have a problem with panhandlers, but he wants to make sure those asking for help really need it.
“There’s a lot of women and kids that aren’t going to have a lot for Christmas – might not have anything – and it upsets me that we have younger kids, or people who can work, that are doing that,” said Pothoff.
It’s not the first time Pothoff says he has offered a job to panhandlers, only to have them turn the offer down. He says it won’t be the last time, either.
“If they’re going to stand out there and hold a sign and ask for money and say they’re homeless, I can hold a sign out there saying I offered these guys a job, don’t give them money.”
Mike says the job offer is still on the table for the boys.