Sep 18, 2012
I'm having a "day" and need to write this out.
So many of you know I work in the Social Services. My primary focus is poverty - that can mean homelessness or working poor, with everything in between. I can tell you that the situation in my city (and so many others) is pretty serious. The cost of everything is going up up up. Housing, food, clothing, all of the basic needs. So many hardworking families are suffering. And so many that want to be working but can't find sustainable employment are suffering.
Most of us in this world love to donate. Clothing, food, etc. and we typically do it around Christmas when the spirit of giving hits all of us. But there is so much we can do all year round. So, because I know so many kind hearted and decent souls on this forum, I thought I would list out what I see everyday.
I see women, children in tow, exiting violent households. I see people that go to work every single day sleeping with their children in church basements. I see overcrowded shelters. I see people who want to work lacking the job skills they need, and lacking the funds they need to get that education. I see people with very serious mental health conditions like schizophrenia and post traumatic stress disorder living under bridges.
Did you know that so much of the funding and help so many organizations like mine see come from the average person? There are things you can do all year round that make such a difference in peoples lives. Most of us are feeling the financial crunch, but it's the little things that can make a huge difference.
Most grocery stores have a food bank bin in their store. If yours doesn't, request they set one up. Buying one extra canned item to throw in there per person per shopping trip makes a huge difference. Consider cleaning out your closets and donating items that dont' fit or you dont' like, but are in decent condition to a local shelter or agency. Baby items are so lacking for so many. Baby clothing, baby furniture, even unopened formula can make a huge difference in a struggling mom's life. Gently used furniture that you can't utilize anymore. Feminine hygiene products are something so many women just cannot afford. Consider donating a box if you can. If you own rental properties consider renting one to a non profit housing program. Toothpaste, toothbrushes, deoderant...imagine going on a job interview without having access to these products. School supplies and backpacks - most shelters need them desperately.
So many things you can do - and it's the little things that can make such a difference. If you have the time, consider donating a little bit of that. Mentors and just plain old common kindness can change lives.
Anyway, just thoughts. Things all of us can do that are such little things to so many of us, but can truly make a difference in a fellow human beings life.