Despite being sick and not living sick I do look around me and know what the hell is happening in our community.
About a week ago, I sat down for dinner. I had prepared a pretty big feast as in the last year I became a pretty decent cook. We had literally green grass up until that day and wham got hammered that afternoon with 30 cm of snow.
As I sat there looking out the window how pretty the snow looked on the trees. Starred at my plate full of food I remembered there is some people sleeping under a bridge somewhere here in my city hungry and cold. How the frig can this happen? We live in the best country in the world? Free health care, schools, paved roads, endless supply of clean drinking water, endless amount of activities to do. Areas of Canada where you can ski, and swim in the ocean the same day (where I was born), mountains to climb, rivers and lakes to fish. Parks, concerts, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, creed, sexual preference. We truly are so blessed to live in a democratic country. I love Canada. But something is wrong when we have people going to bed cold and hungry. This blog today is not about how they got there. Its that they are there. It could very well happen to me. As grateful as I am for my disability Pension. Its not a lot to live on. Our joined income and a place to live with help from my folks is why we are at where we are at and I am forever grateful. I sincerely know this.
Some who are homeless have lost their homes out of their control. Plant closures, no jobs, no skill set to apply for jobs that are out there. Addiction, mental issues, whatever the case maybe. They are there hungry and cold. And as I sit there starring at a full plate of food with the fireplace on it kills me inside to know some person, some child in my own city and yours is going to bed hungry and cold. I am reminded everyday of this because we rescued a homeless dog a year ago who was hungry, sick and cold and in another few days would have been dead.(see other blogs on Buster my rescue dog)
I thought to myself. Well since I do not have spare money to give. What can I do? I have some items online for sale. Some lower cost items in value of $50 or less. Rather than we sit on them to get market value, get low balled, stood up or give to a second hand store that re sells it for a profit. Id rather give to someone that has to buy a person a meal. I ask that people show up with today's date on the receipt of a meal for the Salvation Army. This way its not verbal yeah yeah yeah I will and they wont. Its proof to me someone will get a meal paid. I am not doing this for a pat on the back or a feel good story. I am doing this because its what I can afford to do to help a homeless person eat.
Last week my wife and I also decided to make and pack 3 care packages. Any local dollar store carries most of these items very inexpensively and some homeless might think about eating before spending money on this stuff. So we got a care package of gloves,toque,socks,underwear,toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitizer,soap,gum,granola type bars, band aids, and some other nick nacks. The next 2 homeless men and 1 homeless woman we see. We will give this to them. Naturally in the past if we see a homeless person we buy them a meal instead of giving money. Again, this blog is not about why some are homeless but to help them with a meal or care. This is why I recommend giving money to the local Salvation Army. I think its like under $4 to feed someone. My dad always said, Charity begins at home,and he is right. Where I am all for helping people globally and third world countries I believe helping a neighbour first.
I also can not fathom the homeless who are sick not getting medical care they need. Whether it be cluster headaches, migraines,tension headaches like I get or IBS like I have or anything for that matter. Being homeless and hungry is one thing. Add being sick is another.
Please give generously this year and if you can not donate. Perhaps some unused unwanted items giving them away free online in exchange for a receipt of a meal might feed someone today.
(here is the care package we made up) Very cheap to do.Somethings you may have as spares at home.