New blog post on Maximus Octavian.
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New blog post on Maximus Octavian.
Click here to view.
We can all do our bit to help. Remember, no act of kindness is ever wasted, no matter how big or small.
While there are many different and worthy ways to help those who don’t have secure housing (and I encourage you to pursue as many as possible), here are a few ways to make a few dollars go far towards helping others in need and knowing you are providing value.
Pre-assemble care packages that include helpful items like beef jerky, dried fruits, new socks, baby wipes, hat and gloves, travel size toiletries (save them up from your hotel stays), and grocery or drug store gift cards. These packages can either be distributed by you, if you frequent an area where homeless seek help, or delivered to your local homeless shelters, church outreach programs, and other non-profit organizations. Note that you should avoid products with alcohol like mouthwash and hand sanitizer. Also, if you package food and toiletry items together seal them off in separate bags or containers.
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This morning, after taking Max to pre-school, I decided to run a couple of errands.
I spotted a homeless gentleman sat on the ground.
Anyway, I continued to go in and out of various shops, but could not get this gentleman out of my mind.
Once finished, I went back to the same spot in which I had seen him moments earlier. He was still there. As I approached him, I noticed he was doing a crossword puzzle.
Me: “Excuse me sir, are you hungry?”.
I was taken aback by how well spoken and polite he was. Stood very close to a McDonalds, the conversation continued –
Me: “What would you like sir?”.
Him: “An egg mcmuffin please”.
Me: “With cheese?”.
Me: “Would you like some tea or coffee?”.
Him: (with a look of surprise and nodding gratefully) “Yes, coffee please!”.
Me: “With or without milk sir?”.
Me: “OK, please wait a moment”.
I went into McDonalds and ordered what the gentleman asked for. When asked would if I would like the meal, I had no idea what to say, as the order was not for me. I opted for it anyway. Gathering some sugar, napkins and a stirrer, I received his order and returned to him. He was busy doing his crossword again, so didn’t notice I was back.
Me: (stooping down in front of him) “Excuse me, here you go. I didn’t know if you wanted sugar, so I picked some up for you anyway”.
Him: “Thank you. I don’t take sugar, but I will save them for later”.
Me: “Is there anything else I can get for you? Water perhaps?”
Him: (looking surprised again) “No thank you, I have some water here. God bless you”.
Me: “Take care of yourself”.
(After the words left my lips, I thought to myself that I was rather dumb to say such a thing to him, he’s homeless. However, I did not mean any harm by it).
One thing I definitely cannot sit by and watch, is someone going hungry. This is all too real for me. During and after my pregnancy, I was denied food by my abusive ex husband. I was losing weight (whilst he was gaining), and he would sit in front of me – whilst I was weak from hunger and heavily pregnant – eating full meals, laughing at me. All two-hundred and sixty plus disgusting pounds of him.
I was so upset for this man, I started heading in the wrong direction without realising, as I didn’t want him to see the tears running down my face.
I cried all the way home, heartbroken that mankind is in such a state.
And there is nothing I can do about it.
*Image from the web.
Yesterday, I went out to pick up fresh fruit and milk for my son Max, and a few items for myself. As I approached the supermarket/grocery store, a homeless man asked me if I could spare any change.
I had no cash on me, as I tend to purchase items with a credit or debit card. So, I said I was sorry that I did not have any money on me. He said “OK, thanks”. I paused for a moment, then moved towards the ATM, withdrawing what monies I had in my account.
As I passed him again to get a shopping trolley/cart, I asked the man if he was hungry; he said he wasn’t as he had just eaten a sandwich. I then asked him if he would like a drink; he said he would like a bottle of coca-cola. I said “OK”, and told him that if I had any money left over after my shop, I would give it to him.
Once in the store, the first thing I picked up was his bottle of coca-cola. As I pushed the cart around, I thought of this man more and more. He spoke good English, but I could hear a slight accent. Anyway, I picked up all the items I needed for Max, but left the items I needed for myself. It was the only way I would be able to give the guy any money.
After paying for my items, I left the store and handed the man his drink. However, I did not give him the money as I had planned to. What I did do, was talk to him. He may not have liked what I had to say, but at no point did either of us raise our voices, and to be honest, I think he was grateful that someone took time out to acknowledge him.
After he told me where he was from, it explained why there was a slight accent. I asked him why he would leave his country of origin to be homeless in another country? Not really explaining himself well, I went on to say that he is a country of opportunities, and that he should use that as a stepping stone to do better for himself. I asked him if he took drugs. He said he used to, but could no longer afford it, so now he doesn’t. I told him there are places he can go, hostels for example, where he will be helped to get back on track with his life. They will help him to find somewhere to live and will help him to get a job.
He told me he had been looking for work, but he has to do it online. I told him to go to the library, as he can look for work for free using their computers and internet. Even if he can only use the facilities for one hour a time, go away for half an hour, then go back. “I know, I have to make more of an effort” he said.
The conversation went on for quite a while. I reminded him that there are people worse off than he; those who are starving and truly suffering because there is nothing there for them. They cannot do anything about their siltation, but he can do something about his.
The conversation came to close with me telling him, “I come here every week to top up on groceries. When I come back in a few weeks time, if I see you here, I want you to be here because you are waiting for me, to tell me you are doing something to improve your situation. I don’t know what got you where you are right now, but you cannot remain like this. You need to let it go and pick yourself up. Make an effort with your life, because if you don’t, no one else will do it for you. Promise me, you’ll have good news for me in a few weeks”. He nodded, indicating that he would. I handed him the money I had needed for my own items in the store. I told him to get something to eat. He thanked me.
I could see the tears in his eyes. Tears were welling up in mine too. I could not let him see me cry for him. I grabbed my bags and walked away…
For some reason, this stranger touched my heart. I wish I could have done more for him, but I couldn’t.
The moral of this ‘story’?
I did not tell of this to make myself look good nor to get praise. I’m just trying to show that even with very little, you can still help a fellow human being.
The world can only become a better place if we are kind to each other.
Much love. ❤
Regular followers of my blog may have noticed that I haven’t really posted much, other than quotes for about a week, which have been scheduled in advance.
I’ve been really busy. Seriously, that’s putting it mildly!
But my little angel Max has been helping me. Well, his version of help anyway. His cuteness just keeps coming!
I’m on the fifth or sixth blanket for homeless cats and kittens in shelters, have been feeding the poor hungry cats whilst Max talks to them, job hunting (I have my eye on two possibilities), home hunting, as well most importantly – raising my son.
If I have the time, and I hope I do, I will be knitting scarves for the homeless, after I complete a few more blankets. Here’s hoping that I get it all done in time for winter. In addition, I plan to roam the streets and hand out tea/coffee to the less fortunate. I know what it is like to be hungry. I know what it is like to be homeless. I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone, but I will not be able to do this until later on.
Anyway, I will be resume with my blog properly tomorrow (I hope), because today is already booked up. I have so much running around to do, I don’t know if I’ll be able to complete all of my tasks.
Have a wonderful day all. ❤