My friend Gretchen and her family were recently on a family outing in nearby Boulder, Colorado. One of the kids peered over a wall of a courtyard they were in after just finishing lunch and found a homeless man that had died the night before. Gretchen has been in touch with the man’s family – his name was Jeffrey. He’d only been homeless since May (4 months).
You may have passed Jeffrey on a street corner the day before. Or maybe you passed the next Jeffrey on your way to work this morning.
Next time you see a person standing on the street corner with a cardboard sign – you too may be seeing a dead person. Maybe not dead right then, but perhaps that night, or the next. Winter is approaching, the weather is turning colder.
Homeless by the Numbers
From the National Coalition for the Homeless:
- 3.5 Million Americans experience homelessness each year
- 23% of homeless people in the Hud Support Network are children
- 770,000 homeless children are enrolled in public schools
Make a Difference
The wonderful thing about my friend Gretchen is that she’s doing something. She isn’t hoping for time to pass so Jeffrey’s memory will fade, instead she is honoring his memory by acting to make a change. Her first action for change is that she is collecting gift cards, donations, nonperishable food supplies and delivering them to the homeless in downtown Denver. I’m sure this is just the first step for her.
If you’d like to help her make a difference in a few families’ lives, please read this post about how you can help. If you don’t want to contribute to Gretchen’s drive, then please reach out in your community. If money’s tight, the gift of your time is even more valuable than donated items. If you don’t have time to volunteer, then use your coupons to buy things for free and donate them to charity.
Money is certainly tight around here, but this is a picture of what I gave Gretchen earlier today:
- 6 bottles body wash
- 12 bars soap
- 3 deodorant
- 1 shampoo
- 3 containers of floss
- 16 tubes of toothpaste
- 5 toothbrushes
- 1 dishwasher soap
- 1 Wisk laundry detergent
The only item in this entire list I paid for was the Wisk and that was $1.49. Everything else was free using coupons and matching them to store sales. Granted I did pay tax on each item, 50 items x $0.08 plus the Wisk and I still only spent $5.50 to be able to provide all of those items to people in need. If I can do it, you can do it too.
If homelessness isn’t a cause that speaks to you, then make a difference for the cause that you are passionate about. Just make a difference.