Sunday, October 20, 2013

Have a Snack for Humanity in Skid Row 19 October 2013


Yesterday Have a Snack for Humanity gathered up their volunteers in Lakewood, CA again to prepare sandwiches to take down to the Rescue Mission in Los Angeles and hand out to people on Skid Row.

This was my second time going and the first time for my kids. There had been kids the first time and having experienced the situation I knew it was a safe place for my kids to be. There are plenty of volunteers and we stay close to the vehicles while handing out the food.

The beauty of going down there is that while, yes, there are folk in the area that are NOT happy, not happy to see us, not happy with life, not grateful, not friendly, there are 20 times more people who ARE happy to see us, grateful and friendly. Those are the people I want my children to interact with. Not just SEE. These are not people on display. These are not people to observe for a lesson. I wanted my kids to understand a part of living life that is as real as our cozy little home, nice car and restaurant meals are. I want my kids to know that there are people on Skid Row who DO NOT fall into the stereotype category of "crazy drug addict" or "dangerous outcast" or just "crazy." There are people who, for whatever reasons, are JUST THERE and they are hungry.

No judgment.

No labels.

No lessons.

No partisanship.

Just human interaction.

I'm not there yet.

But I am learning.

I am amazed and humbled by the presence of men and women down there, both from Skid Row and from our group. I have been in a protective bubble for so long. Have been so angry myself, so entitled, so judgmental, so...silently inhuman to so many humans...that I am learning too.

My kids get to take this journey with me. A journey of gratitude, a journey of reality, a journey of opening your heart up....just opening it up, letting it be wide open to everyone with a presence of love that transcends anything ever felt before and just feeling that for everyone, no matter who they are, no matter where they are, no matter what they do or say.

Oh yes. I am learning. It is days like yesterday when I realize just how small and protected and walled away my poor heart has been. I pray it keeps opening.

I pray I can continue to reach out and help others and share with them the blessings I have been given. And to continue to say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU every single day all day long and never forget how incredibly well taken care of I have been all my life.

I would be remiss if I failed to share this: We came upon a woman with a daughter about my oldest daughter's age and two younger boys. She said she had clothes for her kids, but mostly shirts, no pants. I had just discovered that the bag of men's clothes I thought I had brought had been a bag of women's and girl's clothes. As my girls and I rummaged through the bags in the truck, we pulled out sweats for the girl, a couple things for the mom, and there was a beautiful grey sweater that I had bought Sami a couple years ago. I don't know how it made it into the bag but it wasn't intended as a giveaway. 

I started to put it back and Sami said, "no Mom, it's ok, give it to her." It was a beautiful cardigan sweater with lace...it had been her Christmas sweater two years ago. It still fit her. But the beauty of my daughter giving away a beloved sweater because she saw how much the girl needed it...THAT beauty is what I hold in my heart today with the rest of the experience. Because right there...bam...right there is why I brought them. And they GOT IT. 

I love my girls so much. They enjoyed the experience, they were exhausted after...and I am pretty positive their hearts opened up a bit more yesterday just like mine.

THANK YOU.

The crew for the 19 October run. My beautiful friends PJ and Joann are in the back along with Geoff and Frank.
All day my little heart melted when the cool cat with the liberty spikes passed by (front row, far right).
See? Punk Rock is not only NOT DEAD, but punkers have HEART. 

Joann (Jojo), my ham Hayley, Sami and I in front and other wonderful and smiling volunteers getting sandwiches prepped!

Sami (what the heck are you looking at?) me, working the food, Terri behind Sami, and GORGEOUS JOJO!!

Jojo and Hayley teaming up.

Volunteers ready to serve. Sami, Hayley and COOL LIBERTY SPIKE DUDE! I have to get his name next time. Damn.

Jojo and I loved this lady's shirt...Her name is Barbara and man, she was so pleased to get a bunch of photos taken.
We laughed about her paparazzi problem :) 
Amen sister!

My beautiful friend PJ hands a sandwich and water to a passerby as our buddy Frank looks on. This lady was so gracious and kind and thankful. She was one of many that made my day. More than made up for the lady who took a sandwich from my hand and proceeded to yell at me and the others around me that we'd better never come back there, and don't bring our food, they don't need it and I'm a bitch. That's the downside to it. And yet you keep smiling and giving away and understand and say thank you silently over and over.


Geoff (far right) and Frank handing out...
My daughter Hayley... 
This little girl was smiling so much. Her parents were very sweet.
Hayley gave them extra water because it was so hot out there...
A crew of good folk wanting to help...

My daughter Sami giving water and sandwich to a little girl. That girl and her mom and siblings were there last time. 

Geoff's beautiful, smiling daughters

Geoff getting friendly with one of the regulars. Geoff has a heart of gold. 

Jojo getting down and praying with a lady.

Geoff's daughters handing off...my daughter Sami doing something odd with her arm...that's my girl. :)

Right here is what it's all about.

These women and children were here last time. 

My daughter Sami, another beautiful young woman and our liberty spike friend...this lady had her boombox blaring. That's me in the back preparing for.....I have no idea. Can't help it. I'm a mom, that's my kid, this is Skid Row. There were a couple times when we gathered close because some fellas across the street started screaming and yelling and cussing and we weren't sure what was going to happen. But they settled down and we just kept on.
Frank, high-fiving folk...Frank is another one with a heart of gold. And a BEAUTIFUL motorcycle. :)

Sami giving a little bit away...



9 comments:

  1. This post was amazing and inspiring! I absolutely love the message your children are getting from participating in this. You are so right, it is not about the lesson, it is about the connection and realizing that we are all one family. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  2. I liked this so much that I had to send my readers over to check it out! Hope you are ok with the link-up!

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  3. Josie...thank you. THANK YOU THANK YOU! I appreciate your comments and passing the message along :)

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  4. Excellent work! We've helped at similar things in the area, and carry bags in the car to hand out when we see homeless people, bags with some food and supplies. This is the good work that makes a difference.

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    1. Thank you! It is wonderful to help...we need more of this now more than ever.

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  5. This is what we, as humans, are supposed to do. Beautiful post.

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    1. Thank you. Yes. Sometimes it is easy to forget it is how we should treat each other...

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  6. I'm here by way of Josie, and I think I'll stay! You've got yourself a new reader! Love love love this from the bottom of my heart!

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    1. Wow...thank you...you are so kind! I blog about whatever is going on, on my mind or what strikes me as interesting. I am grateful for your support! :)

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