I'm still playing the found-money game, to inspire me to go for daily-exercise walks in this "too boring to walk in otherwise" neighborhood where I live, and have realized one reason I find as many coins as I do is not simply because there's a larger-than-usual number of people here who'll carry money in their pockets and accidentally drop a penny or nickel without realizing it; people here will literally throw money away.
There's a coin-operated car-vacuum thing nearby, and I'll almost always find at least a penny or two in its immediate vicinity. But one day a couple weeks ago, there were over thirty pennies on the ground next to that vacuum -- shiny new pennies, not old darkened ones that had been there for awhile. (Besides, I found those pennies less than 24 hours after my last visit to that spot; I know for a fact they hadn't been there long.) And I just-now got back from my daily slog through the neighborhood, and in addition to the usual individual coins I'd find here and there, I walked past the concrete steps leading to the back door of one of the strip-mall businesses, and saw a pile of coins scattered over maybe a square foot of asphalt: 43 pennies plus one nickel. Again, those coins were not there yesterday. And unless the person who dropped them was completely deaf, they couldn't have been dropped by accident either; they must've made quite a racket when they landed.
I do not get this attitude, especially in this neighborhood. (This is not remotely the "poorest" part of the Atlanta metro region -- the local apartment complexes do not accept section 8, but require proof of income at least 3X the rent. But that rent -- and the corresponding 3X income -- is considerably lower than the average and median for this region. Our 3BR costs less than the Atlanta-metro median rent for a 1BR.) Even if you personally are so prosperous -- or your pockets are so heavy and overstuffed -- that you just can't be bothered to hold on to 50 cents' worth of small change long enough to deposit it in the bank or a Coinstar machine, for fuck's sake don't throw that money away; toss it in one of the charity collection bins! There are charity-collection bins and cans all over the freaking place here, for various food banks and kitchens, homeless shelters, children's hospitals, all sorts of things. The website of one of the area food banks said that $1 is enough for them to buy four meals (no surprise, since food banks can buy in bulk and make arrangements with wholesalers, so of course they get a lot more food for a buck than you or I could if we spent that same dollar at a regular supermarket). By food-bank standards, I'm finding a minimum of 8 to 12+ meals' worth of money every week, just going for daily exercise walks over a couple of blocks in this poorer-than-average neighborhood.
I'm still keeping my "found money" separate from the regular loose-change bowl where Jeff and I toss coins after shopping trips, and I'm still keeping track of my findings just for curiosity's sake. For now, those found coins are rolled and deposited in my regular bank account, but if and when I finally find steady work again, as opposed to the occasional freelance pittances I bring in now, when I get my first paycheck I intend to make a food-bank donation equal to the total of my neighborhood found-money earnings. I like the balanced symbolism of the idea: helping the poorest people in the neighborhood, with unwanted money scrounged directly from said neighborhood.
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b