“Papa, please take my allowance money and give it to this homeless organization”
Picture credit: Ralf Weiser
That is what my son said to me during our recent stroll around Times Square NYC. At a loss for words, I gave what would have been his pocket money for the month to the nice man who was collecting for a local church led initiative helping the homeless in the area. “Dad, this will buy at least 20 warm meals for them!”, my son exclaimed with his face lit up like a Christmas tree looking at the services the church provided. What does one say to that? I was speechless.
Just 5 minutes before that he had contemplated getting a super hero Build-A-Bear for himself, but he wanted to think about it for a little while. So we went up and down Broadway before we ended up stopping at the homeless initiative’s street booth.
10 minutes prior to hitting the Build-A-Bear shop, we had come across 2 homeless people. They were covered in at least 3 blankets each and only their faces protruded from them. It was a nasty wet 27 degrees F (around -3C) outside and my son and I could only keep warm by dressing up warmly and having a set of warm mittens, scarves, and hats on. How did they manage to stay warm? It obviously had been on my son’s mind.
Isn’t it fascinating that we consider the fate of others so much better when their hardship stares us in the face? I cannot fathom being homeless with no one expecting you, no one there who really cares, or LOVES you? If this little story will help blessing or really helping one single homeless person my son and I have fulfilled our purpose.
Next time you pass by a homeless person (see picture above) try stopping and really looking at the person. Ponder the situation that brought them there. We may not be able to single handedly save them all, but saving one single soul at a time would sure make a difference if more of us did this. Check out Ron Hall’s and Denver Moore’s story “The same kind of different as me”. A real story about a modern-day slave, an international art dealer, and the unlikely woman who bound them together (Details here). It is an awe inspiring story of how a homeless man with seemingly nothing to share saving the soul of the art dealer who had everything – and nothing at the same time.
If you could think of how you could help someone or some cause, what would that be?