Friday, April 24, 2009

Care Packages for the Homeless

Do you have one of those things that you're always 'gonna do' but it seems to never get done?

Well, I finally checked one of those things off of my list.

You see, I live in San Antonio. We have homeless on almost every major intersection. I pass someone holding a sign at least 3 times a week...usually more. I am so glad that God has chosen to bless me and that I do not have to live like that. I do not know their stories. Some probably have legit stories, some do not. It is not my place to judge that.

I was taught as a young child not to give them money. My parents felt that giving them money would only keep them from looking for work...or would encourage them to buy alcohol...or keep them dependent on others. Now, we never discussed what we should do for them, just that we should not give them money.

Then, one day, my step-mom (I hate that term...Mom) told me about when she was young. Her daddy owned a machine shop near the railroad tracks in Odessa, Texas (you know, when West Texans actually made money from oil...back in the day...). Homeless would get off the train on which they hitched a ride and often come into the shop and ask for money. My Papaw would never give them money, but he always had care packages on hand. Bags that contained bread, lunchmeat and soda. He would hand those out to people that came in asking for help...or better yet, have his children hand them out. Ever since my mom first told this story, I thought that is exactly what we should do to help people who find themselves holding signs, trying to make their way.

So, fast forward about 25 years...I have a son who thinks we should give money to everyone holding a sign. He has a HUGE heart and just wants to help everyone that we come in contact with. When I drive past or tell him that we are not going to give them money, he just doesnt understand why.

So, I finally did what I always have said I was going to do. I went to the store and bought 5 pouches of tuna. I brought them home, got five bags and divided them up. I then sorted thru my kids snack know the one...the one with perfectly good snacks that they will never eat all of...and pulled out a bunch of great things to add to the bags. I added raisins, crackers, cookies and a capri-sun into the bags with the tuna. I tied them all up and put them in the back of my van. THEN, today, I had another brain-storm...they needed to have some God in them. So, I ran to the store and bought some tracts. They are titled, 'You Are Not Alone'. Slid those into the bags this morning.

Now, I am actually looking forward to seeing my next homeless person. Can't wait for my son to open the side door on the van and hand a care package to some unsuspecting person on the street!


~LL~ said...

WOW! That is a great idea.....what a wonderful lesson to teach your children.

Odessa, TX, huh? I grew up 3o miles south of there. I probably went there once a week for all 18 years before I left home. LOL

Elizabeth said...

That is a really great idea!

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