Saturday, December 17, 2016

And They Thank Us

It was about 38 degrees out when we started. We ended when it was just over 40. We went out, cooked & served some food, handed out soap & toothbrushes, jackets & blankets, and they thanked us, some even said “God bless you.” Us. Us, who get to turn around and go home, put dry socks on, in our heated homes. Us, who get to cook whatever we want, whenever we want it. Us, who can use a regular bathroom and take a hot shower whenever we want. They stood in line, patiently waiting for food, and toiletries. Some of them sleep out in this cold, even rain, huddled under tarps & blankets. They all have a story to tell, some share of choices they made that brought them to the streets and others just seemed to always be there. One guy shared about the work he used to do, installing radios & speakers in cars, and how their shop had so much sound coming out, it shook things off the shelves of businesses near by. They all have a story.

Today I watched a gal who was so excited to see one of us. I don’t know the whole story, but seems she gave a gift to one of the families that helps out. I watched her smile ear to ear as they all hugged. I listened as he told her that the gift she gave is still up in their house and then watched their son react so excitedly when he realized who she was-he couldn’t wait to go over and say hi.  I watched children get excited about the stuffed animals we handed out.  I heard people excited to tell me that they already received dog food for their dogs. Some sang to the Christmas music playing. Some danced. Some were very quiet. But all of them smiled. All of them were grateful. But, for the most part, almost all of them go back to the street, and cold, and hard ground to sleep on. And us, we come home, warm up, and go to bed on an actual bed, with blankets...and they thank us.