Please not to give to panhandlers. Bakersfield people are so generous and kindhearted and, with this being the Christmas season, I am sure generosity will be at its height. I am sure that they are thinking that giving is the right thing to do. Not this time.

This is a personal plea from the mother of one of those young people panhandling at Walmart or Target, or on the street corner. My son has a warm bed and a warm dinner waiting for him at home. He has cable in his room and new clothes hanging in his closet. He is welcome to come home any time as long as he is not under the influence of drugs. But the drugs mean more to him than the warm meal and comfortable bed. Drugs mean more to him than an evening with his family laughing and watching television. He lives for his next fix. He gets the money by panhandling.

I often hear people say, "What they do with the money is their business. At least I gave." Really? Would you pull out that dollar bill and hand it to your son or daughter to buy their next fix of heroin or meth? All I am asking is that people not give it to mine. He has food, clothing and a place to live, but with your money he is buying heroin, and surely one day he will buy his last fix with your generous and kind-hearted gift.