This year as I looked around at all that we have and hurt for the people who are suffering with this struggling economy or whatever else, I had the strongest urge to give back in some way. I wasn't sure what I would be able to do and as I was thinking about it, I stumbled on "Free Coffee Day" which was put together by Drew Horton, to serve Greenville's Homeless community as the cold weather kicked in. I wanted to be an example to my children of how to have compassion, understanding & the importance of serving others before yourself. I had lots of friends contribute blankets, coats & long johns...and we packed up soap. I know it's not a major life or death necessity, but I thought it might be nice to be able to wash up and feel clean & fresh.
It was amazing to me to see how much the people appreciated the gifts that were given to them. Their eyes lit up to a new pair of socks or a long john shirt. I think the ladies particularly enjoyed the soap, but there were a lot of men who were very happy to have it as well.
My kids warmed up to the people right away and would pick out the ones who they hadn't yet given soap to. The men & women loved the kids and you could see their faces warm up to the extended hand of a child. I felt like it was because children are innocent and nonjudgmental.
Those gifts were all specific requests of the homeless people of Greenville who had gone to the previous Free Coffee Day. It was very interesting to me so see what the people had asked for. It was everything from socks to a Bible to a basketball. Each individual had a different treasure.
Christian loves to be a part of everything we do and I loved that this was such a simple act with such a big lesson.
This is Cameron packing baggies of soap for the people who would be down at the shelter.
The biggest lesson I learned is that these people who received these items are the same as anyone else. Some of them had been homeless for many years and some for many months. Some of them looked homeless, and some of them didn't. Each person was once somebody's child and were loved greatly or not loved enough. Some were there because of a life of poor choices, but some were victims of circumstance. There were so many men who were dying for work, but couldn't find a job, therefore couldn't pay for housing. It made me realize that this is real. And for those of us who have so much, we need to give back to those of us who are having a hard time, without judgement.