Saturday, May 30, 2015

Week 36: Homeless in the Heat

Southeastern Wisconsin is heating up.  The temperatures have been in the upper 80s the past few days served alongside generous portions of high humidity.  It is during our hot summers (we reach the 90s more often than I'd like along with an occasional day or two or 10 over 100 degrees) and bitterly cold winters (don't even get me started on the -40 windchill...) that I find myself thinking about the homeless population even more often than usual. 

This week, my children and I visited a homeless shelter I've volunteered at (making lunches and handing them out to those in need) this week to drop off bottles of water and toiletry items. 

A carton of milk is handed out with each meal, but I've made an effort to donate bottles of water regularly the past few summers so that the recipients have a bottle to take with them and refill throughout their days to stay hydrated.  This time we dropped off 80 bottles.

In addition, we donated 125 shampoos, conditioners, soaps, tubes of toothpaste, toothbrushes, sunscreen, and hand-wipes that we've been setting aside from hotel visits and purchasing at a discount.  

On our way out of the facility, we passed a father and his young son walking in to receive free lunches. Once we got outside I looked at my children and said, "That boy and his dad are here to eat lunch."

Without missing a beat, my kids huddled together and decided to give the boy a large bin of LEGO bricks they had just purchased at a rummage sale on our way into Milwaukee.  When the father and son came back out, I approached the dad and asked if my children could give his son a gift. 

They happily accepted and were cheerfully on their way. 

We got back into our car feeling richer haven just given possessions away.

It's pretty cool how that happens.

"It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving."  - Mother Teresa

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