The 12 Days if Giving is not unlike, say, a photo challenge. There are 12 specific tasks to do in 12 days. You are to journal about them and your experiences and send it back to the originator of the list. The tasks are all about giving, random acts of kindness…spreading the Christmas spirit. With that being said, I would like to add that I am not blogging about my experiences to toot my own horn. I am just attempting to share my experience with you and since I need to send it all to the originator anyway, this is how it will happen.
So, Task 1: Buy a $5.00 lunch and give it to a homeless person.
Most of you know that I recently moved. I live in a little subdivision close to woods, a country club, and a Kroger. In my neck of the woods, we don’t know of homeless people. In order to go to a more economically deprived area, I must travel 15 minutes south, (yes, seriously, the distinction is so obvious its painful) to Pontiac, MI. This is one of those cities our dear new governor has just taken over. Emergency management they call it. From what I hear, it’s all good. Time will tell on this one. Bu, I digress. The problem with this scenario is this: In an economically deprived area, that was never a flourishing community, at least in the past 20 years, crime is prevalent and drug dealings as well. So, how do you distinguish between the homeless and the hoodlums? You can’t unless you live there. I would assume.
Using my high level of intelligence, I look up homeless shelters and find one in Pontiac. I call them and ask what they need. This particular shelter requires all those that stay to take a shower, and they wash their clothes. Being that it was the Holidays, their food supply was well stocked already, but detergent and bleach were necessary. Another need that all shelters are in need of are socks and underwear. I know this from working with the schools collecting socks for homeless kids. These items, if not brand new, cannot be re-sold at Salvation Army, Goodwill or any other clothing source. Doing so, would be a health code violation.
Okay, so this isn’t exactly buying a lunch for a homeless person, but if I grab some supplies for this place I am helping to feed these people’s souls, right? Ask for limitations and you shall receive them. I head to the local Target and grab some stuff and the next day grab my three youngest children to give them an experience of giving. I explained to them about people and their problems and what we are called to do and how Jesus expects this of us….we pull in and the place is closed. My lovely 10-year-old says, “I think Jesus would have known when they were open, don’t you?”