Helping In Small Ways

In an article by Kristen Jacoway in the http://www.reachpersonalbranding.com/newsletter/current/ I was moved to not only share the article, but to in-fact pass it on in its entirety…

She writes – Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a job seeker learn about the latest and greatest tools to help you succeed.

No Job, No Home, No Food – Will You Help?
Perhaps this issue’s column should be entitled “Using the Web for Good!” Given the fact that we are approaching the holidays, I wanted to re-post from my website. The following article was and continues to be one of the most popular that I’ve written. I have been trying to perform random acts of kindness this season – giving a waitress a tip that amounted to the purchase price of the meal, paying for someone’s coffee behind me at a coffee shop, and more. As we approach the holidays, remember that for some people, this is a time of their darkest moments. Most of us are filled with hope, joy, and family. At the same time others are wondering how they will feed their family, much less buy gifts.

This past weekend, I saw a man holding a sign that said, “No Job, No Home, Please Help” kneeling on one knee at the entrance of where people turn to get on the interstate. We have all seen the signs, “Will Work for Food” and other signs like it amid the recession and high unemployment rates. What can we do to help? The image especially troubles me at this time of the year, but indeed, breaks my heart year-round. I want to help, like many of you, but have not been sure of a good way to help.

I identified some items you can easily have in your car to help those that are holding those signs.

Ideas for Hospitality Bags

Look up “Shelters” in your Yellow Pages and put the shelter (s) name on a card with their address and phone number. Have some calling cards available to give to people so that they know where to go and call for help.

From e-How, I found the things you’d want to include in a Hospitality Bag (written by Bob Waldrop). You can view the full article here, “How to Make a Hospitality Bag to Help the Homeless.” Below are some of Mr. Waldop’s suggestions:

•Paper lunch bags
•Small packaged foods like Vienna sausages, sardines, peanut butter and crackers, etc.
•Granola or “power” bars
•Clean socks
•Hand lotion
•Hard candies
•Small servings of canned fruit or pudding
•Plastic zip lock bag
•Dry washcloth
•Small soap
•Napkin and spoon
Some other ideas for your hospitality bag include potted meat, individual sizes of peanut butter, applesauce, juice boxes, individual packages of nuts or cheese crackers, bottled water, and / or individual packages of cereal.

You could also assemble hygiene bags to distribute that include such things as toilet paper, soap, shampoo, deodorant, feminine products, toothpaste, dental floss, and / or diapers. At this time of the year, having some extra gloves, hats, blankets, sweat-shirt, sweat pants, or anything warm is a very helpful . You never know if there might be an entire family affected and this person is the one who is going out looking for help.

You may decide to go and purchase a meal for them at a fast food restaurant so that they may have a warm meal.

A homeless man in Paris

Image via Wikipedia

I have seen many people in a public place (i.e. in the downtown area, by the interstate, etc.) and it would be very easy to have these kits available in my car to give to someone. I’ve read where one man assembles these types of kits (including the blankets) in a thrift store backpack to hand out to people. Of course, be careful and approach people with caution. Make sure you are in a busy area where other people are present.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: