I live in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, not far from Akron. For the last week or so, we have experienced winter weather. For several of those days, the temperature was below zero – with a windchill as low as -29! I was thinking about how cold I am when I am outside – even though it is for 2 minutes at a time – walking to my car. Then it occurred to me that the people who are homeless – including children – are desperate for food, shelter and medical attention. I am so fortunate to have a good job, warm home, food and medical benefits. Not everyone has that and they need our help.
Do you ever stop to think about those in need and how – at least in the United States – it seems that we are eager to give at the holidays? At Thanksgiving and Christmas there are people raising money for charities and helping in soup kitchens and food banks. With our frigid temperatures, we need to remember that people are not just homeless at the holidays. They are dealing with this all year.
Covenant House – Help for homeless children is a resource in many places. They need help and if the wrong person is there – someone who wants to take advantage of them… it doesn’t end well. But if you or other good people are there to help – it can make all the difference.
A great way to keep positive is gratitude. To be grateful for what you have and to share it with others. Something as basic as a new pair of warm socks means so much to someone who is on the streets. A safe place to sit or sleep. Not being beaten or threatened. A warm meal. A hug or a handshake to let a person know that they matter in the world. None of these cost much in terms of money. It is your time that is needed.
So here is my challenge – whether you are in a freezing winter place like I am or you are in a hot area where people need something to stay cool: Be of service. Find something that you can do – for someone else. Many people in these situations are just like you and I – but through a turn of events are on the streets. Commit to doing at least 1 thing each week for someone in need. If you feel better or positive – that’s because it is a good thing to do. And if you are on the other end of this situation – accept the help. Know this is given in love.
If you can’t think of something you can do locally, there are many charities that you can join in volunteering. Do something for someone else. It will help them.. and you.