Locals in Paris panhandle for good cause

PARIS, Tex. (KXII) People in Paris are taking a stance against pan-handling, after a recent scam made headlines.

Now people are getting out on the street to ask for money, with good intentions.

It started after a string of YouTube videos posted by the username 'Kevin Rogers,' showed a man ridiculing people for giving him money as he stood on the side of the road as a panhandler.

In response, a group of concerned citizens are standing at stop lights and asking for money, with different plans for what they get.

Chuck McMasters, a local business owner, stood out on the intersection of Lamar and Loop 286, holding signs along with military veterans Ashley Waggoner and James Ellis. The trio have been raising money, the same way pan handlers ask for it.

"We just started raising money for things that do matter, and that's how it got started," said Waggoner. "I'm going to continue to stand my ground for what I believe in."

Paris police said they can't legally ask anyone panhandling to leave, under state law.

The trio believes it's not right for hard working people to give out their money and not know where its going.

"People are trying to be good folks, and give them (panhandlers) money, and all these folks are doing is disrespecting them, and we can't have that in this community." said Ellis.

So far, they've raised about $10,000. They plan on donating the money to the Salvation Army, and other Veteran organizations.

The trio created a Facebook page, titled, "We Care Paris," for those who want to help.

"That stays 100 percent here, not a penny goes anywhere but here - that's what we earned it for, that's what everyone who supported us gave for." McMasters said. "They didn't give it to go to Dallas, they gave it to stay here, and by gosh that's where that money is going to stay, right here in Paris."

They said they hope the money they've earned will directly help local people in need, whether that be disabled veterans, the homeless population or even people that struggle with mental illness.