It's been awhile, guys!
I want to share a story with you that means so much to me. It is hands-down one of my favorite memories in Los Angeles; it's heartwarming and heartbreaking all at the same time, and for me, put all my blessings into perspective.
Two years ago, my friend Kristen came over to my apartment and we exchanged Christmas gifts. Kristen is so generous, and I was overwhelmed with all the goodies she brought me — including One Direction notepads. (She knows me too well.) After she left (it was around 9:45 PM), she called me.
"Kirb. I have these kits I made for the homeless. They have a blanket, a gift card, food and water — do you want to come with me to deliver them?"
It warmed my heart that she thought to do this by herself, and that she was going to do this all alone, without anyone knowing about it. Of course I wanted to join.
We spent the next three hours driving around Los Angeles, looking for people who looked like they could use some help, some hope and some blessings. It was such an eye-opening experience; homeless men and women are everywhere in LA, but getting to talk to them and hear their stories are forever imprinted on my heart. And since it was just the two of us, we were able to bond together and deepen our friendship, talking about all kinds of things from Christianity to finding people to date. (Ha.)
The experience made me empathetic and grateful. I hate that people walk by the homeless and won't speak to them, or won't look them in the eye. Some of them have made bad decisions, sure. Some of them are deceitful, but I have to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. At the end of the day, no person deserves live on the streets.
One man told us about how he had lost his job. He went bankrupt; his wife divorced him, and he hasn't seen his children in a few years. He was smart, and seemed to have a great personality, too. He was sleeping under an awning with a sleeping bag and little else.
Most everyone was so gracious to get the kits; some passed, understandably. Some didn't know we left them — they were sleeping.
That's why we created Feed the Streets. We loved doing this so much that we want to make sure that everyone we come across is able to be provided for, and we are expanding our troop (aka myself and Kristen) to a little army of people! That's where we need your help: donations. We paid for all the supplies in past years; they amount to about $20-$30 per kit. We give each person a bag filled with a blanket, water, nonperishable food and a gift card to K-Mart for $10 to pick up water or anything else they desire. UPDATE: instead of a gift card, we're going to supply them with Kleenex, Chapstick, cough drops, Band Aids and a toothbrush/toothpaste.
Please help us spread God's love and help feed the streets! Every little amount helps. Any money not used for kits will be donated directly to the LA Mission, but I think we'll be able to use every penny we can get!