Sunday, January 5, 2020

Week 20: Street Corner Care Packages

Although my family lives in a quaint, historic town 30 minutes north of Milwaukee, we are in the city 1-3 times a week...and are fortunate to visit Chicago once a month. 

I love our simple, small town living, but tend to feel claustrophobic if I don't get a change of scenery often enough, so we regularly head south to run errands, meet up with family and friends, for client meetings, to catch a great bite to eat or see a play or concert.

I think it's incredibly important for my children to get out of the bubble of our daily lives, to see how others live, to talk with people from different walks of life, to smile with them, laugh with them, talk to them about music and art and sports learn compassion and empathy and how important it is to take a minute to think things through before judging someone's choices.

And they do. And because of this, they've asked some thoughtful questions about the homeless people they've met over the years. 

I'd be lying if I said answering those questions wasn't on the list of most difficult, meaningful, and thought-provoking conversations we've had. 

But we've had them, and we're better for it.

I am not saying it isn't hard.
I'm not saying it isn't confusing.
I definitely wouldn't say I have all the answers. 

I don't know why some people choose to live this way. I don't understand how some people see these human beings as less than. I cannot comprehend how each of them didn't have someone who loved them step in at some point earlier in the road and lend a hand. And I can't fathom what it would be like to love someone living a life on the streets. 

But I do know that there are some things I can do to help. And this week my children and I did one of them...we assembled care packages to keep on hand to give to the homeless friends we make going forward. 

I plan on making some changes for the packages in the summer, to include sunscreen, a larger water bottle, etc, but since it's winter in Wisconsin, the sets we put together this week include:
  • A winter hat
  • Fleece gloves
  • New socks
  • A comb
  • Water
  • Applesauce
  • Peanut butter crackers
  • Mints
  • Chicken Soup for the Soul book full of hopeful and loving messages
I pray these are a blessing to the recipients and that they encourage my family to think of other ways to help and love more deeply. 


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