Total Pageviews

Friday, March 23, 2012

Care packages for the homeless

The other day, my friend Johanna was telling me about care packages that her grandmother used to make for the homeless..

I thought it was a beautiful idea.

During the Christmas season, my mom and I delivered blankets, socks, hats, candy, and Christmas cards to the local men's homeless shelter.

Two men came up and helped us unload the car. They called us "angels" and repeatedly thanked us for thinking of them.

I'm sad because it seems that not many people have a heart for the homeless.
I think a lot of people associate "homeless people" with drugs and alcohol.. A lot of homeless are ridiculed, ignored, and forgotten..

I can't help but wonder about thier stories. Maybe some are on drugs or alcohol..
But who are we to judge?
I think about how so many of us have had the privaledge of growing up in loving, semi functional homes. How many of us can say that we have been severely abused?
How many homeless people have ever really known love?

What's even sadder is that America's homeless is taking on a whole new meaning.
Women and children are filling up homeless shelters. Children are becoming the new face of homelessness.

Recently, I went to the Potter's house, a local shelter for women. The first person I saw when I walked in the door was a little two year old boy with the most daring blue eyes... He was homeless.

I recently read a book entiteld Under the Overpass. Two men from suburbia decide that they want to live thier faith. So they leave all of thier comforts behind and decide to experience what it would be like to live on the streets. They lived in six different cities and wrote about thier experiences.

they braved cold weather and hungry nights. they made homelessness real with their stories. they told stories of real people whose lives had been marred by unfortunate circumstances.

They spoke of how dozens, hundreds of people passed them by day after day, never to even acknowledge thier existence.

 Even self proclaiming Christians and churches shunned them because of thier physical appearance.

The book told some beautiful stories of a man that would come to one of the parks and deliver pizza to them..He got to know them..and told them about a man called Jesus. 

Being homeless truly helped these men appreciate the very smallest things in life. Things that we take for granted every single day.

One of the things on my bucket list is to make everyone around me feel first class in a world that treats you like coach.
I want to make care packages that say..that shout.."you are not defined by the way that others have treated you." You mean something. Your life has meaning. You are no less than any one of us... You are no less..

I think people need to feel that they matter. that is why in my care package for the homeless i am including:

1. Godiva chocolate...because nothing says regal like Godiva. We all deserve to have Godiva at least once in our lives.

2. Bubbles..because everyone deserves to feel like a child again. Perhaps some homeless people never even really had a childhood. Bubbles sometimes say, "everything is going to be ok."

3. A book. A book to inspire. Books to remind people that people can rise above....even though you may be face down in the dirt..there is a way out. I'll have to research  lives that exceled despite circumstance and then find a book about it...

4. of course, practical soap, bottled water, non perishable food items like crackers, cereal bars..blankets, socks, hand warmers, gloves, sleeping bags,  toothbrushes, toothpaste, ...think hygene items..first aid items..think lightweight and easy to carry. What about a gift card to a local food joint, Mcdonalds, anyone? inkpens, stationary, bus tokens, ...

5. a letter from     to remind them how unique and beautiful they are and to give them the hope of Jesus.

Well, this is a brief list..I encourage you to create your own..make it unique. make is say something..
the overall message should be.. "hey, you are important. God loves you. I was thinking of you today."

below is a link to some more great ideas for a carepackage..

1 comment:

  1. I totally love this idea and the items of bubbles, chocolate and book along with the basics...Annette