There are times when I find myself wishing we lived in a bigger house, that I used a better phone, or I that I could fly to Paris for dinner on a whim. If you are reading this, it means you have a computer or a phone and have heard of the internet. Which means some of you, also wish the same thing as I do. We want more than what we have; sometimes it is so easy to get caught up in this that we lose sight of everything else. Okay, I’m beginning to sound like my mom here, so I’ll stop.
- Homeless. What comes to mind when you this word? Most people immediately go to a negative place. Saying, “homeless people” are scary. Why the quotation marks? Because, the homeless are often confused as a different species or a pesky fly. But, they’re like us: they feel, love, get hungry, and most importantly make mistakes. Some more than others. There seems to be a stereotype for the persona of all homeless people. I going to tell you a story…
I guess what I am trying to say is …while hoping for and working towards a better life is great, I think it is also important that we look around and realize what we already have. I don’t know about you, but going home from school, or on a trip to the mall, I look around me and I see this people who are struggling to have even half of the things that I take for granted.
- A roof over my head
- Food on my plate
- A warm bed to sleep at night
- Clothes on my back.
Since, my mom will surely be reading this post, I guess I should take a moment of this post to tell her thank you for everything she’s done for me and all that she is to me and my dad, too. In a way, I guess I also have her to thank for me being able to see this need in my community.
For as long as I could remember, I have always seen homeless people around. I felt for them, as any natural person would. Maybe, I wished I had more, more money, more clothes, more this and more that. Then maybe I could spare a little for them.
It wasn’t until, recently, I realized that the condition I had set for my generosity was an unachievable one. Maybe, you also are doing the same thing. Passing by the needy in the street, and I’m quite sure you must have seen some of them, and you are telling yourself you don’t have the time or the resources to help. Waiting for a million dollar check or… I don’t know…to win the lottery before you can help them. Well, I am here to tell you to wake up as I did. Because, if you can’t give from the little you have now, then you definitely won’t give when you have a million dollars, or two or even ten.
Most of us live in communities where we are in a position to help the not so fortunate. From the homeless in the streets to old people who have no one to help them with the basic essentials and stuffs like that.
I realized that if I wanted to give back, I needed to start doing it now.
One day, I brought up the topic with my younger brothers, and was surprised by how excited they were about it. It seemed that as I had kept my desire to give a secret, they ,also, had been hiding the same secret. We talked forever about it, and maybe…we did get carried away a little, imagining ourselves as superheroes of sorts.
I remember talking to my mom about it and she spoke of the dangers of just randomly handing out money or food to strangers around, a more matured version of the stranger-danger conversation I guess. Then she told me that if I really wanted to help, I should try to join a volunteer group or an organization that put together a coordinated effort and know how to reach out to these people better. Her words not mine. Mom talks like that sometimes.
I and my brothers went on the internet and after searching online were able to get the phone numbers and address of some volunteer programs. We tried all of them one by one and that was when I learnt that you had to be sixteen to join. At least that is what most of them claim and I guess they have a good reason why. Anyways, I felt sad that I was not going to be able to help, as did my brothers. For a few days, we thought of what we could do, and then I remembered reading somewhere that the volunteer programs accepted donations and also something about putting together a homeless package. I went on the internet with my brothers to learn what a homeless care package is, thank you Google, and how we could make one.
For those of you who don’t know, well a homeless care package is like a collection of essential items that are useful to someone that is homeless. You place this items in a watertight gallon-size zipper lock plastic bag so they are not destroyed in case or rain or something like that and then hand it to a homeless person, or to be on the safe side, you give it to a volunteer organization that caters to the needy. Items that you can put in your package can include;
* Shower shoes
* Reusable shopping bags
* Food items like crackers, granola bars etc ( things that don’t go bad quickly).
* Hand wipes
* Mint, cough drops
* Comb or small brush
Mainly the items can be grouped into clothing of all type for both men and women, in any shape and size. But, make sure they are durable materials and would last long. If you can’t get new clothes, your hand me downs can do just fine. After they have been washed of course.
Then food items that don’t spoil easily. You can take special care and wrap the food items in a smaller bag before putting them in the plastic bag. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like my granola bars to smell of soap when I eat them. I doubt whoever is eating would complain about it, but still, anything worth doing, is worth doing well. Yes I know I am sounding like my mother again…
Then you can add sundry items that you know may be important in day to day living.
- Nail clippers
If you have prepared a home care package and you happen to stay in one of those very rare places where everyone around you has a home and hot meal at night, or can’t find a volunteer program near you, then look below for instructions on how you can go about getting your package to someone who really needs it.
In a way I guess I feel happy that I am able to help. And even though my mom compliments me for doing it, in the end I realize that the actual joy was in the giving and not in the recognition. By the way, mom if you were planning to cook *** for dinner for this, then I guess a little recognition wouldn’t hurt. I am happy I gave to someone else; happier … I have two adorable brothers (Shhhh! don’t tell them that) who also feel the need to make a difference in other people. I am really lucky to be their sister (again… shhhhhhhhh, I have a reputation to keep up).
I hope that if you’ve never thought about helping out someone in need, then something in this post has touched a part of you and encouraged you to do so. For those of you who do want to give and don’t know how, well now you do. It is easy to look at the world and see only the bad things that happen in it, the chaos and the pain that most, if not all of us have to go through.
Like my mother always say; TOGETHER WE WILL SURVIVE THIS BEAUTIFUL CHAOS!
We Need Help With Our 11/4/17 Project.
If you would like to help out you can send donations to:
Our Teens Give Back
C/O Amanda Norem
3337 West Florida Ave #201
Hemet, CA 92545
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