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0 In Inspiration/ Service

Give a Man a Fish…

 

We were on a mission–for Heather’s birthday celebration she had planned a day full of random acts of kindness. Each lady shown above put together goodie bags for the homeless. Today we would hope to change lives, to make a difference, and to spread some joy.
A few of the sack lunches I made for the homeless.
Driving through Dallas on the raised 30 freeway I looked down and saw something startling. Hundreds of tents were strewn about, all in very close proximity to one another. “Look, down there, that is Tent City,” Heather exclaimed while pointing. My heart broke as it sunk into my stomach. I mean, I’ve heard of Tent City, but had never seen it before. Seeing it with my own eyes was like waking up to a slap across my face. Seriously, just twenty minutes from the comfort of my own home were hundreds of people struggling. Hundreds of people going without a warm bed on a cold night. Hundreds of people going hungry. Do you hear me? HUNDREDS.
As we pulled up underneath the freeway my heart started pounding. Suddenly the 21 sack lunches I had paid for and put together seemed like such a silly and ridiculous contribution. The reality of the situation which these people are in sank in and I knew that me being here today would only be a small bandage. Food alone was not going to fix this, and I– Mrs. A type personality, really WANTED TO FIX IT.
A small view of what I saw when I stepped out of the van. 
What looks like piles on the ground are actually PEOPLE.
 
Since the group efforts this day were somewhat small compared to the real need, we drove to the edge of Tent City. We would do what we could and at least affect several lives in a positive way. We piled out of the van with armfuls of care bags and lunches. When I grounded myself on the pavement I looked around. The noise of vehicles on the freeway above was quite fierce. It was cold in the shade and I was glad to have been wearing a jacket. It took a minute to process what was going on around me. What I saw brought tears to my eyes. There were a few tents, but several people were sleeping on the ground exposed or in little heaps of blankets. It looked like a little community of people lived here together. I found myself hoping that they protected and looked after one another. This was my wish, that maybe there was some happiness or goodness in the lives that they were living.
As I started to walk over to hand out the lunches which I had made that morning I felt gratitude in my heart for the life that I had. I do not understand why some people end up in circumstances like this but I certainly feel kindness and compassion towards them. I found myself thinking how ridiculous it is that I define my hardships as “struggles”. My problems are so insignificant and nothing in comparison to theirs. These thoughts were weighing heavily on my heart as I walked up to the fence where a homeless man was waiting. I lifted my hand and he lifted his, the two of our hands meeting together over the fence. As he took the lunch bag from me there was a connection that was undeniable. My heart filled with a joy so large that I felt my spirit leap with happiness. I knew then that I wanted to do this all of the time.
My friend handing out a sack lunch, just as I had done, over the fence.
 
The high of giving and feeling like I was even a small part to their survival that afternoon was undeniable. But I also knew that it is just a small bandage on an open wound, a huge problem, that would not be fixed with giving out mere lunches and goodie bags. This wound needs much more, this wound needs stitches. After it get’s stitches it needs time to heal and after it has been healed it needs to be set on a path not to be injured again.
There is a proverb that says, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” I’d love to someday be a part of a long-term solution, where I could help hundreds of homeless how to “fish” and facilitate a way for them them integrate effectively back into society. That kind of feeding would bring me the ultimate happiness.
I wrote special messages to the homeless on paper lunch bags.
To make the lunches more “fun” I added a football napkin and a Dr. Pepper.
My favorite part is when a lady was so excited for the peanut butter uncrustable {smile}.

To read more about Heather’s Random Acts of Kindness Birthday click here.

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