I’ve been stuck.
Before I started this blog (a week ago heh), I researched the crap out of “blogging” and why to do it/how to do it. A lot of people warned that the first few months would be the most difficult, in terms of starting out, figuring out your “niche,” and just coming up with things to say and blog about.
And well, yeah. They’re totally right.
I’ve been stuck since my last blog post. Call it “writer’s block” or whatnot, but I have tried to write a new post every single day…. and clearly, failed! As of right now, I have 5 completely different blog posts on various topics that have been started and subsequently….buried. (although I did save them, so hopefully I’ll be able to resuscitate them at some point.)
So then, what am I going to write about today? Well, I’m going to follow up with the end of my last post, since all of my other ideas have sunk down into the gutter.
It’s actually kind of funny, because after the “lost in a parking lot incident,” I felt such a sincere desire to converse and help any homeless people that I saw. And on a normal basis, I do see a fair amount of homeless people on the road outside of my car, hanging out by grocery stores, etc. However, I can honestly say that within the past week, I have seen NONE. Nada, zip, they’re nowhere to be found when you’re actively looking for them! Well….there was one guy asking for money outside of a Ralph’s the other day, but he turned out to be a high school kid raising funds for his football team. Womp womp.
And yet, determined to follow through on doing 5 of the items from JustGive.org’s homeless page, I set about going down the list of suggested actions. The idea was to find things I could actively do to help.
One simple and obvious suggestion on the list was to donate clothing. I happened to have a bag of clothes hanging out in the closet, which I was intending to sort through for some decent duds (alliteration, woo!) that I’d be able to sell at a consignment shop. But rather than making a few measly bucks from my old clothes, I decided to donate the clothes. Checked ONE item off the list!
Next, there was the suggestion of bringing food to give people, rather than money. Sometimes, and I’m sure I’m not the only one, I feel concerned that if I just hand some cash or change to the people standing on the side of the street, they might use it towards buying themselves some coffee and then whatever their fix is, be it alcohol, cocaine, meth, etc. Rather than just giving people food, I set my mind on google, researched, and decided to put together a few little “homeless care kits.”
What goes in a “homeless care kit,” you ask? Well, I’ll gladly tell you!
- travel toothbrush and toothpaste
- pack of kleenex
- a snack or two (or even a few!)
- Gift certificates for fast food
- band aids
- washcloths or hand towels
- a comb
- hand sanitizers
- information card
(these are merely suggestions, you can always supply less or more)
All of these items fit into a gallon-size Ziploc bag, and are fairly inexpensive, found at grocery stores, or even at your local 99 cent store! The last item, an information card, was a suggestion I noticed on multiple websites, where you just make small cards with the name, address, and phone number of various local shelters in the area.
Next time you see a homeless person asking for money or food, you’ll be able to look them in the eye, smile, and hand them a care package that you took your own time and resources to make just for them. OR, you can stop by your local homeless shelter and drop off care packages for them!
Now I’ve checked TWO items off the list! Woo-hoo!
… Unfortunately, now I’m also stuck in a different way. After I had researched and put together these “homeless care kits,” I looked into volunteering and helping in soup kitchens, homeless shelters, battered women shelters, etc. and what did I find? That it’s a process. You have to make contact, then put in an application, go through a background check (for some), orientation, and sometimes training (depending on what and where you’re helping). So far, I have contacted a local homeless shelter about volunteering, and I have applied for Schools on Wheels, a tutoring program for less-fortunate kids. Once I finish the process, I’ll come back to write about what I had to do and what the experience was like, it just might be a while before I do :].
I do want to clarify, however, that this blog isn’t just about what I want to do to help homeless people, but about a journey towards the betterment of… well, me! The things that motivate me to be a better version of myself, what I do to be happy and stay positive, and basically how to find balance. But honestly, in researching how to help those less fortunate and taking some action, however small it may be, I already feel like a better, more aware version of myself, and I definitely feel more positive and grateful for the things I have.
Do you think these small tasks help, even a little bit? What do you do to volunteer time or donate for causes you care about? I’m interested, even though I have no idea who will ever read this, haha!
– Christine :].