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.