WATCH: “Make it rain!” Man helping the homeless — not with money, but with marketing!

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(CNN) — He won’t give them spare change, but he will help with the message. Anthony Bustos is helping the homeless and panhandlers — not with money, but with marketing.

Bustos’ philosophy is simple: Getting a little change starts with a smile.

“I thought, this is an easy way I can help these guys increase their income,” Bustos said.

Bustos hands out clever signs — intended to give the homeless a marketing makeover in the hopes a laugh translates into a donation.

Bustos says he keeps a spare sign in his car, so when he’s driving for Lyft (a smartphone ride-sharing service) or by himself and he sees someone in need — he has the sign ready immediately.

“I kind of just wait for the right person and if I feel like they’re standing out there with a sign that can be improved — I roll the window down and say hey you guys want a new sign?” Bustos said.

The social experiment started a few months ago — when Bustos was driving and saw a panhandler with a sign that said: “Poor, hungry.”

“I had no inclination to give him any money and I was wondering if something funny were written on the sign would I give him some money and I decided I probably would have,” Bustos said.

The signs are working for some.

One man told Bustos his sign was attracting a lot of tourists — some asking to take pictures with him.

“I am not really in a position to help someone find a job. I’m not an employer or a staffer. I’m just a regular guy — so I think we all kind of do what we are capable of,” Bustos said.

Bustos says his friends want to help too — by either making signs or inspiring catchy phrases.

“We don’t always have to change the world. We can do something small to make a small difference and that’s okay,” Bustos said.

1 Comment

  • Alex

    Sad commentary on our society that we’ll only give the needy some assistance if they degrade themselves first. Even still, kudos to this guy for “doing what he’s capable of” and making a real difference.

    (Note to all, though, you don’t have to be a business leader like he mentions in order to be a PART of something big + world-changing. Care enough to do the research, identify existing efforts, and contribute.)

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