While we may not be all that when it comes to helping others (tons of people doing so much more), my friend and I decided to kick it up a notch. Life is all about having gratitude, and we wanted to find a way to pay it forward to someone less fortunate than most.
The title says it all…our purpose is to help the homeless in any way we can…and we can use the support of others.
Our journey began with simply the two of us deciding that we want to make a difference in the world. We’ve donated many times before, but this felt different…it felt like it could be the beginning of something more…
We’ve given out twelve bags…filled with toiletries, canned food, snacks, towels, socks, and such. We made over twenty sandwiches, had bottled water and juices, gathered up all of our love-filled bags, and we set off to an area we knew had needs.
After a few stops; the IGA Express in Millville who donated mustard/ketchup packets (thank you), the local fire department and nearby church to make inquiries about the area, our senses took us to Serve City; a shelter in Hamilton, OH for homeless men and women who always could use more.
We were amazed when one of the ladies showed such gratitude…simply for the Q-tips we gave that day; not to mention, seeing the tears of one woman grateful for our gifts…and then seeing a blind woman and man in the shelter because family members stole their disability check or some other tragedy occurred. There was even one gentleman who we had to ask three times before he would finally accept one of our bags; as if he felt he didn’t deserve one.
We hope to share more stories as time goes by…and in case you were curious, since we returned to the shelter, both people who are blind have been placed in homes! Yeah!
The gratitude and humble nature of the people we have encountered so far is encouraging. The folks who run the shelters spoke to us direct and honestly; sharing the good and bad, the ignorant and sad. They really helped to change and guide our journey, and we will continue to learn as we go.
Our goal is simple. We want to give to others where receiving is due, and at the same time, we don’t want to focus on those who manipulate the system. It’s not that we don’t know there is good and bad intent, but God will choose our path, and if we listen to our gut, our instinct, He will lead us well. – Kim Mitchell and Gladys Gilbert #GutsandGod
THEN, WE WANTED TO DO MORE…
Prim (puppy) went along with us for a visit; while we shared baked cookies, drinks, and magazines (thank you, JJ’s A Hair Salon) with the folks. A puppy always brings out love and these folks sure could use more of it. We also met the folks serving in the pantry and learned how we can help there.
The best part of the day was the learning curve we were given. Talking with those who run the shelters gave us insight into what we wanted to do and what we were needed to do. That can be a big difference if you don’t know the facts.
Our plan was to do various projects with them, but we soon learned that others are serving many of those needs. Why would we redo what’s already done! 🙂 Although we left feeling a bit bummed about our plan, we didn’t want to give up. We knew God was directing our steps and that we just needed to change our thinking. So we headed over to Haven House in Hamilton, OH to see what service was needed there.
We see us spending time with folks in both places. Our main objectives are to fill bags for the homeless, give clothing and such (and time) to the pantry, and spend some quality time working with kids and others to incorporate household duties, awareness, gratitude, crafts, and other items we find they need.
PLUS, after posting pictures to social media, other people started offering their items for our next big adventure; bags, toiletries, snacks, drinks, and such. Our first donation pickup was April 20, 2016! We are calling our pickups an Evening Full of Hope and look forward to connecting with others who want to help those in need.
To keep our story alive, I will continue to add stories to the website…so stay tuned!
SO NOW….WE NEED YOUR HELP…
We want you to think about how you could pay it forward to someone in need in your area. Is there anything you could give (old or new) to help one woman, man, or child have a better day?
AS YOU THINK ABOUT THE HOMELESS…
….IN YOUR TOWN AND MINE
….IMAGINE WHAT WE COULD DO!
HERE’S WHAT THEY NEED
• Bags, purses, and suitcases
• Food & beverage – canned/unopened food >1 mo exp date
• Drinks – water, pop, juice, vitamin water
• Personal care items
• Household goods
• Household cleaning products
• Clothing – gently used and blankets and pillows
• Crafts & such – things to do with their time
• Books & magazines
• Television (Serve City is in need of one)
• Monetary donations will be used by us to purchase toiletries for the bags we prepare for individuals, or checks can be made to Haven House or Serve City.
Thursday, May 26, 2016 – Helping the Homeless Just Got A Little Bigger
If you have anything you would like to offer the homeless, please leave a comment and we will get back with you.
DONATIONS ARE SINCERELY APPRECIATED FROM….
- IGA Express in Millville
- Stephanie Truman
- JJ’s A Hair Salon
- Joan Bauman
- Betty Thompson
- Denise Hopkins
- Danielle Schmidt
- Cindy Schroeder
- Becky Cox
- Karen Roush
- Andrew Sloan – American Family Insurance
- Renee Glenn
- Lisa DeFevers
- Christine Rush Randall