Sunday, May 20, 2012

Love in action!

You have probably seen "them".

 
Or, maybe you knew about one of "them" personally.

 
Could be someone close to you.

 
Could be you.

 
Homeless.

 


You want to do something. But what?

Well, here is a simple little something that you can easily do.  Get brave. 
  • You can collect items that will help those who are homeless. 
  • Put these items in little bags. 
  • Then get the bags to the homeless people.
Okay.  One at a time.  Collect small or sample sizes of some of these items:
  • water
  • snack size food - applesauce, fruit, crackers and peanut butter, granola bars, trail mix - basically anything that doesn't have to be refrigerated or require a can opener.
  • toothbrush and tooth paste
  • small first aid kit
  • soap
  • baby wipes
  • wash cloth
  • tissues
  • comb
  • nail clippers
  • lotion, sun block
  • chapstick
  • package of gum
  • small candies
  • pens, pencil and paper
  • fast food gift cards (make sure it would be possible to walk to the food place)
  • a pair of new or clean socks
  • for those with a dog, an extra water and a small bag of dog food
Assemble your items in a bag.  I have seen everything from paper bags with or without handles to gallon zip lock bags.  One lovely person I know hand makes fabric bags for the items she and her husband distribute.  Imagine being homeless and randomly receiving a hand made fabric bag filled with some of the items on that list.  Love in action!

Whatever bag you use, whatever contents you select, they still need to get to those in need.  Here are some ways to deliver these bags:
  • Take them to a local homeless shelter.
  • Take them to a place where meals are served to homeless people.
  • Take them to a church which has a outreach to homeless people.
  • Keep one in your vehicle and the next time you stop at a light and see "that" sign, you can pull over and give your gift to them.
Yes.  Be cautious and be safe.  Yes, not everyone out there is nice so do be careful.  But remember, hard working people loose their jobs and their homes.  Elderly people with no relatives sometimes have nowhere to go.  If you plan to deliver your bags in person, join a group and go in pairs.  You can find groups who reach out to homeless people in the same places (like those listed above) where you might want to take your bags. 

Some people decorate their bags with colorful pictures.  Some people include notes of encouragement or pictures drawn by their children.  Some people include change or a few dollar bills.  Some people slip in a Bible verse.  Some people give cash support the organizations who reach out the their local homeless people.

It's all love in action.  It's all putting hands and feet to helping someone.  And it's easier to do than you think.  Care to give it a try?  The smile you see will melt your heart!

Blessings,
Kathy

'For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘I tell you the truth,  just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did it for me.’
Matthew 25:35-40 NET

10 comments:

  1. love in action. definitely! You've given very practical suggestions here.
    I know someone who bought socks and distributed them.
    I know an organization that serves some homeless people. They get plenty of donations for female clothes, but not male. I asked my neighbors, they brought male clothing to my house, and my husband and I took them to the organization.
    Toiletries is a huge thing to give!

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  2. Great message for today, Kathy!

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  3. Great idea. My quilt guild makes Santa sacks at Christmas, but it would be nice to have bags to distribute all year round.

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  4. I asked my husband last week why there were so many homeless in this town (I did not grow up here). When you listen to politicians it can be easy to believe that it is all about laziness and trying to live off some system (because apparently living in the streets is a great thing). As you have pointed out it does not have to take much to make a difference to one person.

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  5. Splendid - very true! What a great idea to collect men's clothing and, yes, toiletries are always needed.

    Thanks, Jane!

    Thanks, Rose!

    pasqueflower - My art guild makes goodie sacks for a local nursing home here. I agree, doing something like that year round would be nice.

    Erika - In Arizona homeless people 'migrate'. In the colder months many will move to Phoenix and in the warmer months many will move north. Some people do choose to live on the streets, but many do not. There isn't a simple answer to 'why?'. The nice thing about these little bags is that they show that people care regardless of the circumstances.

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  6. great suggestions. When I see the homeless on the streets I always feel so much compassion but am never sure of the right way to help.

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  7. Me too, Jenny! This is such a simple idea and can be modified to help in so many different ways - just had to share it! This idea makes helping the homeless possible for all of us.

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  8. Love this! When we lived in Anchorage, we bought extra boxes of cliff bars/calorie bars from Costco and kept them in our car for the "sign guys" at the stop lights. You've put together a great list of practical items!

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  9. Great idea, Shannon! Good to have something on hand to help out. There are lots of 'sign guys' everywhere these days...

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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