December 12, 2012

Feeding the Homeless

These three words conjure up all sorts of images. Volunteers at a soup kitchen who seem to disappear after the holidays are over. Maybe a Food Pantry, where you have sent some cans of food to help someone feed their children. Maybe workers at a shelter, handing out blankets on a cold night. All things that are exemplary. But I wanted to do more.

On Sunday afternoon, we went to see our friend Karen sing with the Mesilla Valley Chorale group. We went last year and had a wonderful time, and this Sunday was no different. It would be hard to imagine sitting and listening and NOT getting into the Christmas spirit. There were songs of love and friendship and family and giving to others. All time honored themes and a real important part of this season.

After the concert, we went to a new bistro downtown, that is quickly becoming a favorite of us all. We spent close to three hours talking, laughing and telling stories and when it was over, there seemed to be a real glow in the room, the power of friends and friendship.

We collected our styrofoam boxes and went outside in a very chilling wind that was cutting through the sweaters and jackets and capes. The group dispersed and we were standing there with Karen, and offered to stay with her while she waited for her husband to bring the car around.

Standing about 15 feet away, was a homeless man. I have been seeing him all the time in the center of town at all manners of time and weather. When hot, he sits in the shade. When cold, he sits in the sun, but he is always there. In his hand was an small, empty styrofoam box. At this moment Lou pulled up, we said our goodbyes and started to leave. It was then that I heard Karen say to the man in a quiet voice, “would you like something to eat?. I don’t know if he responded but she handed him her large box and quickly got into her car. My eyes welled up and I choked back a sob. Suddenly I realized that this was it.

Mrsfabp has been saying that she wants to give something back to the community because of how accepting and wonderful they have been to us since our move here. We have been blessed with many wonderful friends, who enjoy each others company and like doing things together. At this point it all became much more clear to me. We go out regularly to restaurants and there are often boxes of leftovers. We go to fast food places when on the way to somewhere else all the time. We drive through the center of town all the time too.

I am going to make it a goal to feed this poor man occasionally. What is a box of leftovers? Why not an extra hamburger or hot coffee. I think I can make a difference in his life and yearn to give something back.

One final note is that I am going to ask my friends both here in Las Cruces and all over the country to do something similar. It doesn’t have to be my guy. I’m sure you see lots of homeless, hungry people in your travels. Just a little something. Make a difference. And let me know what you did and how you felt.

Happy Holidays


clairz said...

Wonderful post, wonderful idea. Hugs to you, Pat.

Dylan said...

this is so awesome to hear from you. For the past few months I have gotten friendly with the only homeless person I know of in my neck of the woods. He has held the door to the subway open for me hundreds of times, and always has great things to say in the morning, and evening.

I am truly blessed to have such an incredible job, where there is consistently all the food and drink I could possibly consume right in front of me at all times. I have started saving my leftovers instead of throwing them out, and he is ALWAYS happy to see them.

Every day as I leave, I grab a soda or two from the machine on the way out - It's always fully stocked, and completely free - I always offer him a soda as I leave - and the smile on his face is enough to warm me on quick walk back to the apartment.

Thanks again for the post.

Judy Rose said...

I'm happy you have found this calling. My life has been enriched by helping others & volunteering whenever & wherever I can. You will receive as much as you give & your life will not be the same. Hugs!!!

Anonymous said...

It truly does take one small move from one person. The world is a better place for your generosity, and caring.

Good Penguin.

- MM