I can't stand the thought of people being forced to beg for money, even though a good number of them may be swindlers. That won't stop my kindness. One Sunday afternoon, I was on my way to a bus stop. When I walked on the sidewalk, someone blocked my way. It was a man. His face was dirty and his hair was not very neat. His clothes were rather grungy. I was terribly frightened by this man. In a low voice, he said to me, "I have run out of all my money, and now I can't go back home. Could you please give me some money?" I wondered if he was telling the truth. But despite my doubts, I just couldn't stop my heart from going out to him. From the looks of his face, I guessed that he had been refused by others many times. So I gave him some money ... Read Full Story >>
I was having a lovely dinner with my hubby on a cold Friday night when I noticed a man who looked like he might be homeless. He was sitting at the table next to us with a plate of fries.
I asked our waitress about him and she said he came in from time to time.
So, I gave her money to cover some future meals for him and I went home with a warm feeling in my heart!
When an engaged couple calls off the wedding, it is usually a time of sadness and anger. But one family in Atlanta found a way to turn a terrible situation into a beautiful one. Carol and Willie Fowler's daughter Tamara was set to get married at the Villa Christina catering hall, when the wedding was called off just 40 days before the event. Initially the Fowlers were upset to hear that the lavish gathering they had planned and paid for was not going to happen. Then they had a genius and generous idea: They invited 200 of the city's homeless to feast on the four-course meal that would have been part of Tamara's wedding reception. The Fowler family called Elizabeth Omilami from the Hosea Feed the Hungry organization for her help in getting the group together. At first Omilami thought she was being pranked! Carol Fowler said that even daughter Tamara ... Read Full Story >>
I saw a tired and dirty man struggling to walk in the heat of the day. I pulled over and offered him a ride.
He said he was trying to get to the bank to pay in a dollar someone had given him. It seemed he had a lot of medical expenses he was trying to pay. So I gave him a ride to the bank and waited outside for him.
He was surprised I was still there. I asked if he wanted to come to my house for a shower and a meal. He was delighted to accept.
He showered, put on some of my husband's clothes, and ate some of my leftovers. (He didn't finish them because he wasn't used to eating so much.) Then I offered him the chance to take a nap in my spare room while I washed and dried his clothes.
He crawled into the bed and let out a load moan. I asked what was wrong and he said he had never felt anything so soft. He said it felt like he was laying on a cloud.
He slept for about two hours. Then he got dressed again in his freshly laundered clothes.
He told me more of his story and I offered more help. He refused, thanked me, and went on his way.
A few years ago (when I was in college) and comically poor, I had just made up with my parents and was headed home for the first time in a few years. I'd dropped out and was working for t-mobile and made a decent life supporting myself but a few months prior to I had a meltdown and realized I had to go back to school. I caved, called my dad, and asked for help. Before I started driving the ~9hrs home, I decided to stop at the grocery store to grab some chips, red bull, etc. It was a few days before Christmas, and I was super down on myself about how poor I was, how my parents were paying for me to head up, how I felt like such a waste, and how I felt like I'd failed to support myself. !I went in, grabbed some stuff, then realized I was ... Read Full Story >>
Every Thanksgiving my family and I, along with others, prepare and serve Thanksgiving meals for the people in our small mountain community. My husband and I also bring meals to shut-ins, people that never leave their homes for various reasons. After we passed out boxed meals in a senior housing apartment building. After delivering to some individual apartments, we went to the central dining room and placed the boxes filled with turkey, ham, stuffing, yams, mashed potatoes, gravy and green bean casserole in front of each seat. People invited us to stay, and thanked us, but we had other deliveries and had to leave. As we started to exit, I turned around and saw them all watching us. Impulsively, I asked, "Would anybody like a hug?" They lined up. There was so much warmth in each hug. My eyes filled with tears and my heart with love. I now visit occasionally to chat ... Read Full Story >>
It is raining very heavily and roads are flooded. I know an elderly couple who stay in a tent made of plastic sheets. The old man begs and old lady cooks from whatever he gets home. I thought about their plight and went to their tent carrying some food with me. they both gratefully accepted it.
The old lady asked me, "How did you come in such rains? Are you alright?" I was touched by her concern for me when she and her family are in such danger and facing hunger. Later my friends and I went with supplies to last them for sometime in case rain does not stop.
I was stopped at a red light when I noticed a homeless guy walking towards me. This man had a sign that read "not much needed just hungry".
I didn't have any cash, all I had was my own lunch I had packed for myself. I rolled my window and said I have a banana, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a bottled water- it's yours if you want it. He smiled and said Thank You.
I was scared at first that maybe he was looking for something different than what I had to offer, but he walked over to his crate, sat down and ate the food. I pass him every day and everyday he smiles and mimes "Thank You".
I was really broke. I had only $10 and didn't have time to eat breakfast or pack my own lunch that day. As I drove my son to school, I noticed a man walking up the road. I'd seen him before - elderly, worn, dressed in whatever rags he could find and leaning on a piece of a branch as a walking stick. Usually I'd always pack 2 sandwiches in case I saw him or anyone else in need. I also noticed a lady selling fresh fruit cups ($5) & fruit bowls ($7) on the roadside. I prayed I'd see him when I came back in that direction to go to work. I did, and he was sitting on the bus stop bench right next to the fruit vendor! I pulled over, purchased a bowl of fruit for $7, told her to keep the change and immediately turned to give the ... Read Full Story >>
We were one of the last couples among our friends and family to begin having children and were inundated with free baby gear and hand me downs. We are truly fortunate. We were blessed with 2 beautiful babes and for a time, I thought that we might have a third but time and life have moved forward and it became clear that it was not going to be. It took me awhile to be able to pass along our good fortune, partly because I was not ready to part with baby items and partly because we kept looking for someone who had a need. Finally, in the last week or so, I've managed to go through all of the kid's clothes and today, sent my husband to our local Crisis Nursery with SIX black garbage bags full of kid's clothes.When he arrived home, he told me that they were very happy for ... Read Full Story >>
In the parking lot yesterday, a man asked me for money to buy some food. Since I didn't have any cash on me, I made a spontaneous decision. I asked him to come into the supermarket with me so that I could buy him some food.
We walked through the store together and even though I offered him to buy whatever he wanted, he only took what he needed for an evening meal. As it was around lunch time, I also bought him a meal and something to drink.
It was a humbling experience and when we left the store, he was so grateful - warmed my heart as I myself had been having a very off weekend and this had made me feel better :)
Stopped at 7-11 on the way home from work and saw an obviously homeless guy stop at store. I was on my way out and felt bad for him because I was almost homeless once, so gave him $20.00 cash.
I had to follow him down the street in my car because he changed his mind (before I could get out the money) and left the parking lot. He was so grateful because it was unexpected - he was NOT begging - didn't have a sign, just all his worldly possessions which he was carrying.
When I was in middle school,I got mad at my parents because they would never give anything to the homeless that would pass us by. On a family vacation in Washington DC there was a homeless man down the street who would say the same thing "food, money, a smile?" My family always walked past with our eyes at our feet. On our final day in the city, when my parents went for an evening walk I snuck out of our hotel room and ran down the street to the homeless man. He looked at me with curiosity, surely not expecting anything from a middle school girl. I asked him what he would have for dinner if he could have anything in the world. He replied 'lunchables'. I ran into the grocery store down the block and bought 5 lunchables, 3 bags of chips, one chocolate bar, my favorite candy, 1 smoothie, 1 ... Read Full Story >>
A young woman with a toddler by her side was standing by her rusted-out old car, in the Safeway lot, with a sign saying that they were homeless and hungry.
Normally I don't do this, but I felt compelled to give her a 20. I rolled down my window, greeted her and handed her the bill. She burst into tears, and so did I. She was so incredibly grateful, but I think I felt even more rewarded than she did. It made my day.
About a month ago our water pipes were frozen from the brutal winter we have had in PA. My husband had to go to the laundromat to wash clothes since we had no water for about 3 weeks. While there, he met a young homeless man who was living from a laundromat to laundromat sleeping there and had literally nothing. Since my husband had a month of laundry with him-he was able to give this young man a warm coat, AND 7 bottles of water, 2 cans of fruit, a small cake, a bottle of juice, a small blanket and a duffel bag to carry everything since he had only a plastic bag. My husband had plenty but felt bad he couldn't do more as he has been unemployed 2 & 1/2 yrs. Although it was bad & we couldn't afford our pipes to be fixed- he would have never met the ... Read Full Story >>
This morning during my walk I had the good fortune of meeting someone I have been wanting to cross paths with for some time. I had seen this elderly gentleman before. A few months ago he was collecting cans and bottles from the recycle bins behind my house. I was shocked to see this and saddened by the fact that he had to do this to survive. I thought about putting bottles in a bag for him with a note attached saying that the bag was for him to take, but then thought it may not be the best idea from a safety standpoint. So I let it go. One rainy day in the spring I saw him again riding his bike with bags of bottles attached to his backpack and handle-bars. My heart sank. I felt powerless thinking I could never connect with him. So you can imagine my surprise when I ... Read Full Story >>
I was on my way to teach my yoga class at a shelter one day, when I saw a homeless youth on the street. I felt an impulse to give all my one dollar bills. Shortly thereafter, I noticed another youth, also homeless. At that time all I could give was a smile and a connection.
When I reached the shelter there none who wanted to partake
in the yoga class. However, I did bring with me some baked goods like donuts, cinnamon rolls etc, which I was able to give away. One the way back to my car from the shelter, I noticed I had time left on my parking ticket. I also felts inspired to give that away to a person I connected with a person on the street who needed it.
All that little giving made me more aware of the abundance and the opportunity to connect and give.
While driving, today I passed a man holding a sign, begging for donations. I had two dollars in my wallet. I decided I wasn't going to give because money is so tight right now. Then, it felt wrong of me not to give, so I decided to give him half of what I had. I rolled down my window and handed him one dollar. He said, "God Bless You!" and I said, "You too." It was not a full exchange. As I drove away, I wished I spoken more to him, and I wished I had given him all that I had, but instead I was too afraid to give more of myself. Driving home I wondered if I had neglected a powerful universal law, the law of giving from my heart instead of my head, a law that perhaps creates boomerangs of abundance?! By not giving it all from my heart, perhaps ... Read Full Story >>
I volunteer for an NGO called Robinhood army. We are a group that collects meals from restaurants to distribute to the homeless in the area. We get together every Sunday in our spare time and the mission is simple, to serve our community! So today, we went on a drive to create awareness about our cause and convince more numbers of hotels and eateries to donate food for the homeless.
The other day, as I walked to school, I continued toward a bus station, past a small construction area, and by an area that is currently empty. I noticed someone bringing a bunch of things: shoes, blankets, some canned food, clothing, perhaps donations that he has gathered from family and friends.
He started laying them down for people to take, and just left. By the time I was on my way home for the day, I saw that many of the items were taken by others. This was probably the sweetest act of kindness I've witnessed so far :)
With the winter weather kicking in the homeless are having a tough time. I see them every day sitting on cardboard with a sleeping bag and or dog to keep them warm. Usually, I buy them a hot drink or hot food, hoping that will help warm them.
This year I prepared some small packages as well. Each has a pair of gloves, because I see many with bare hands in such cold weather. I also included the small hand warmers you get in the 99 cent stores. Then I add snacks, hygiene products and for those with a dog, some dried dog food.
Today I was in a generous mood. I handed over a good sum of money to the some people who are in great need. Its very difficult for me to part with cash. I experience a lot of fear and insecure feeling. I believe I do not have enough for myself. I reached deep within myself to give out the amount.
I could hear my heart beat and fear rising. But when I looked up to give and saw the joy on the peoples faces it wiped my insecure feeling. I FELT SO PROUD of myself. I patted myself on the back and called myself a brave girl.
[This post is dedicated to my mother, whose birthday it is today, Jan 15th. She has held a lifelong practice of feeding needy people on her parents & children’s birthdays. What’s more inspiring to me is that she did it with so much humility that I never even learned that she was doing this until I was in my early 30s. I love you Mummy, and honor you by practicing the values you have lived by-- which have become my values.] I heard fervent mumbling beneath the blankets when I approached. “Melvin, are you under there?” He pops his head out and let’s out a slightly hysterical laugh. “Yah- yeah… I was just praying. Praying that somebody would bring me dinner.” That alone was enough to bring a knot to my throat. “Well, I have your dinner,” I say quietly, “and its warm.” Melvin had reason to be praying. For most of the last 6 months, ... Read Full Story >>
I was out walking the dog in something of a hurry and no money in pockets, when I suddenly realized I was passing a homeless man covered in a sleeping bag and sitting up with a cup ready for any available money from anyone.
I looked at him and smiled widely and truly as he had surprised me with his kind-looking face, said- "sorry I have no money but hope the day is a good one!" And the smile he gave me was warm and true. I felt like we had a meeting of minds for a brief second and that it had mattered, that little exchange.
I went back later to the spot to give him some money and a snack but sadly he was gone. I gave it to another fellow who was also homeless, but not quite the same warmth occurred. That's okay. It all was real exchange between equal humans.
It was raining and chilly. I passed a homeless woman with wet socks and sandals. I asked her if she had any other shoes than that and she said she didn't. So I asked her if she would like a pair of shoes that would keep out the cold and damp. She was very eager, not surprisingly. Her feet were soggy though at least she had an umbrella and a hooded summer jacket on. It was my honour and pleasure to go with her to a shoe store there and then and do some shoe shopping. I don't have a lot of money so I told her the budget and she was like, "Oh, I can't spend that much any way. I just couldn't." In fact she chose a pair of rain repelling shoes which were on sale and the least expensive in that budget shoe store. She seemed grateful, and ... Read Full Story >>
Thank you, KindSpring, for opening my eyes! Today I went to Berkeley, near our old neighborhood - I was a bit surprised by the increased number of homeless (alternatively housed) people walking around. I remember there are more in certain areas. So the first man who asked me for money got all my single bills. So when the second man asked me two minutes later, I said I was out because I gave all I had to the previous person I was headed to the grocery store for a coffee and after I walked into the store I walked out to find him as he had asked me for something because he was hungry and I had just walked into a grocery store. When I asked him what he wanted to eat, he just asked for some vegetables and rice. He talked about how much better the vegetables were as we waited for our number to be called. While ... Read Full Story >>
It has been a very, very blessed week of giving simple, sometimes handmade sweets, beautifully wrapped gifts, and handmade cards to various helpers in the community. I want to thank them for how they go beyond the call of duty with their homespun friendliness. I have walked all over the place - can't drive due to medicine I have to take. It's been wonderful and I have stopped to have warm chats too. I really wasn't trying to meet my KindSpring Day 18 challenge to make time to listen to someone, but it happened anyway! In going hither and tither I came across a young man sleeping rough. I admit I was so busy I was going to go past his sign requesting help with just a smile, but as I walked on, I suddenly turned around with a little donation and a Smile Card as well as one of the You ... Read Full Story >>
Today as I was leaving church, I heard an old man saying he was cold. I was wearing an expensive scarf that had been a gift to me, and I gave it to him. That made me happier because the price on that scarf wasn't even close to the price of happiness I receive as I see someone else happy in their hearts.
I hope I made a bond with this old friend. He walked me home and we talked all the way to my house. For me, material things don't have a meaning until you give them to someone. Make it a good one, a true meaning of love for others.