Why I created the #5000BlessingBags2016 Challenge
The beginning of the summer months when the heat really embarks upon the Las Vegas desert, I decided early one Saturday morning that my husband, daughter and I would go hand out water to the homeless. It was spontaneous as is most of similar adventures. So as we traveled down to Las Vegas’ version of skid row, we began to hand out water and ice. Some recipients were very appreciative, while others simply took the water and continued with their day. I wasn’t bothered by the lack of appreciation. Over the years of working with the homeless, is not a requirement or an expectation but it does feel nice when it occurs.
Which brings me to tell the story of a young African American male presumably in his 20’s who emerged from a make shift tent on the side of the road. As others crowded around the car waiting to get their water and ice. He waited patiently for his turn while holding a small paper plate with a cherry danish on it. When I was finally able to give him his water and ice, he offered my his danish. I declined. There was a look of disappointment that immediately emerged on his face so I felt obligated to explain that I in no way wanted to insult his offer, in fact, I was honestly moved to tears by his gesture. I told him that it was incredibly generous of him to offer me his cherry danish but it was more important that he made sure he kept what food he had for himself. I wanted him to know that I was there for him. He explained that he simply wanted to thank me. The offer was thanks enough. He asked if he could hug me and I was more than obliged. It was the warmest sweetest embrace.
All the way home I kept thinking to myself how I was touched and humbled by this young man. He was willing to give me what little he had just to thank me. It sometimes seems that the ones who have nothing are always willing to give everything. While those who have everything find no remorse in doing nothing. This is not to preach, judge or cast stones at any one but there are a numerous amount of homeless men, women, children and teens in our community who could use the smallest acts of kindness. These members of our community are not always non-productive or lethargic people. There are members of the homeless community that suffer from mental illnesses, domestic abuse and violence and even those rejected because of their sexual preferences. I have had some of the most intelligent and informative conversations with members of the homeless community. I always feel like they have given me more than I could ever give them.
I am asking, in fact pleading with you. If you or any one you may know would like to participate in the 5000 Blessing Bag Challenge it is so very simple.
5000 Blessing Bag Challenge.
Simply create your own version of a Blessing Bag. I have decided to make some for both men and women. I know some that will make unisex bags. Blessing Bags usually consist of a few hygiene items, snacks and water. Depending on the area you live in, you may want to include a pair of socks, mittens, hats or gloves to accomodate the winter season approaching.
I have posted a pic of one of the ones I have created below. If you select not to created and distribute but would like to contribute, please donate to the GOFUNDME campaign 5000 Blessing Bags. Share your experience by using thehashtag #5000BlessingBags2016