How we help the homeless

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It’s easy to criticize, it’s hard to change.

As much as we may like it to be different, the only actions we can control are our own. Therefore, I decided that if I want the world to be a different place, I need to make sure my actions represent what I want to see in others and I want more kindness in this world.

One step I decided to take is to change the way I engage with the homeless. Like many others, I often look passed the men and women standing on the street corner. I too often let my fear and selfishness eclipse my compassion for people in need.

At the beginning of the year I stocked up on basic snacks and put together lunch bags that both Danny and I keep in the car for the occasions when we see a homeless person seeking help on the side of the road.

When I was putting the bags together I was struck by how much I take for granted. For example, I use far more napkins than I should in a day but a homeless person – who would likely have far more reasons to need a napkin – probably does not have one. Consequently,  I’ve taken to including a few in each bag.

Breath mints and chocolate are not luxuries for me. I can brush my teeth whenever I want and have plenty of indulgences that are readily available whenever I have a craving. I toss a few of each in bags too; although with summer approaching I may switch to a hard candy.

This is a small act but I hope it makes a difference. If nothing else, I hope it instills in Lucas  a sense of duty to help others in need no matter what their circumstances.

Let me know if you partake in similar acts of kindness for friends or strangers.

And if you would like another avenue to help the homeless in Detroit, consider donating to Southwest Solutions’ CrowdRise page in the Art Van Charity Challenge. All donations will support programs that assist individuals (including homeless veterans) and families find safe and affordable housing. You can learn more about Southwest Solutions at www.swsol.org or click here to donate. 


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