Panhandler anxiety? Miles To Go Charities offers alternative to help homeless

Miles To Go Charities provide everyday essentials in convenient bag

By Paul Giorgio - Producer

ORLANDO, Fla. - Miles Newbold, founder of Miles To Go Charities, is this week's Getting Results Award winner.

Most drivers have experienced getting approached by panhandlers while stopped at intersections. Many people are unsure where their money will go if they give it to a panhandler.

Similar situations started a conversation in the Newbold family and that conversation started a nonprofit that has already helped hundreds. 

Miles To Go Charities packs bags with 10 to 12 essential items and offers them up, so drivers will have something tangible to hand out to the needy.

At 9 years old, Miles Newbold was curious about the people he would see holding signs and approaching cars at intersections near his home.

"Sometimes, I would ask why she didn't give the poor people in the road money," Miles said regarding conversations he'd have about panhandlers with his mom.

After avoiding the topic for weeks, Miles' mom, Danielle Newbold, finally opened up about the struggles many face. 

"The thing is, it doesn't feel good to look away," Danielle Newbold said. "And even though I never thought it was a good idea to give money because I don't know where it's going and I don't want to enable anything that could hurt someone. It still didn't feel good to look away, and I didn't feel like I was setting a good example for my children, either."

After a heart-to-heart talk, the two settled on a compromise.

"I was honest and we had a great conversation," Danielle Newbold said. "He said, 'Alright mom, so we should give them something else.'"

With that, Miles To Go Charities began.

"Once that name came to us," Newbold said with a laugh, "it became bigger than we initially thought we could pull off." 

The entryway to her home has been transformed into a makeshift storage room. Boxes of donated socks, toothbrushes, deodorant, T-shirts and water are piled on the floor.

"Our community has been incredibly generous," Danielle Newbold said. "Everything we have in our bags is 100 percent donated."

The Newbolds pack the bags and hand them out to others, so that they will have something to offer people in need.

"The feedback we've been given so far is that the giver is touched probably more than those who are receiving it," Newbold said. "It's just a big, warm fuzzy."

Anyone who would like a Miles To Go Charities bag can pick one up at Collective Kindness in Oakland and Dora Mae Jewelers in Downtown Orlando for a $30 donation. For more information, visit  MilesToGoCharities.org.

 

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