Want to help out those less fortunate this Christmas? Don’t make it all about you

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The rapper Blueface, best known for his Billboard Hot 100 hit “Thotiana,” drew condemnation and some praise after he posted a video of himself on Twitter TWTR, +0.25%  Monday throwing cash toward eager recipients on Los Angeles’ Skid Row. The neighborhood is considered the epicenter of the city’s homelessness crisis.

“The season of giving,” the 22-year-old captioned the video of himself tossing bills from atop a vehicle outside the Emmanuel Baptist Rescue Mission.

The stunt enraged many social-media spectators, some of whom argued that the rapper could have simply handed out the cash personally, donated money or resources, or volunteered his time. Others called the make-it-rain cash giveaway “degrading” and “dehumanizing.”

“This is so gross, degrading and humiliating. This isn’t giving back, it is treating human beings in need like animals,” tweeted user Nicholas Ferroni. “Give out gifts, turkeys, gift cards and clothing. Hand it out, talk to people, console them — don’t throw money like scraps as if they are savages.”

‘Give out gifts, turkeys, gift cards and clothing. Hand it out, talk to people, console them — don’t throw money like scraps as if they are savages.’

“Instead of handing out the money, Blueface turned it into a spectacle. He threw money and kicked it off his SUV,” added Kirk Moore, a producer. “This was FOR HIM not THEM.”

Some defended the rapper’s largesse, with one user calling it “amazing.” “I had an opinion about this and then I asked myself, self how much money did you give? The answer was none. Carry on Blueface,” wrote another Twitter user. Still others commended Blueface for the effort, but conceded he’d had less-than-optimal execution.

A representative for Blueface, whose real name is Johnathan Porter, did not immediately return a MarketWatch request for comment on the criticism.

There are plenty of low-key, high-impact ways to give back that don’t involve throwing cash at people from on top of a car:

• Get informed on the issue of homelessness; hold your lawmakers accountable; donate money, time or resources; and work to reduce stigma around homelessness.

• At a bare minimum, make eye contact and treat people experiencing homelessness like they’re humans, experts suggest.

• Figure out how much money you want to give to charity, then find a cause you’re passionate about and research relevant charities.

• If you’re a retiree, Amin Dabit wrote on MarketWatch how to give to charity at the end of the year even if you’re on a fixed budget.

• See if your employer will match your donations to charity.

• Download Momentum, a new app that automatically donates to your cause of choice whenever President Trump tweets.

• Read MarketWatch’s interview with Phil Buchanan, the author of “Giving Done Right,” on how to give wisely.

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