November 1, 2012

Helping the Ho Ho Homeless

For Day 31, the final day of my 31 Random Acts of Kindness, I put together a bag of stuff to deliver to a homeless man... Warm coat, warm socks, gum, snacks, meal replacement bars, candy, soap, cocoa, tea, etc.  I hit a few of the spots where there are some "regulars" but nobody was there.  We had dinner plans and trick-or-treating with friends, so we bagged the hunt for the homeless, and decided to try again on our way home.  We pretty much just drove through the worst parts of the city looking for a homeless person who might want tea.

This led to a totally ridiculous dialogue between Tom and I. Here are some highlights...

L: I don't know, everyone looks homeless.
T: No, he is walking too fast.  The homeless don't have to rush around like that.
L: Just because he is carrying so many plastic bags doesn't mean he is homeless.
T:  Have you ever seen anyone who isn't homeless carry that many bags?
L: Let's just see if that guys needs anything.
T: I'm not just going to assume that someone is homeless, I am not stopping until I am sure.  I need to see someone actually lying on cardboard before I approach them.
L: There are never any homeless people when you need one.
T: I don't know... maybe they cured homelessness.

We ended up bringing our care package to a local mission.  We are hoping that one of the extremely well-hidden homeless men in Rochester will come to the mission tonight, looking for a bed, and will discover a warm coat and some snack foods.  This felt a little like a fail, which is not how I wanted to go out... but, I also think that the idea here is that we are trying.  The intentionality of the kindnesses are the point.  It becoming a way of life is the point.  Glorifying God by seeing past ourselves, is the point.  I think that we accomplished those things this month.  

By the end of the night, spectacles were mangled, all the givers were "thank you ma'am"-ed, the candy was sorted and bartered, and we had a good time with friends and family.  There are only a few minutes left in the month of October, and while that is usually a good thing, I have to admit that I am feeling like I have to say goodbye to a dear friend I don't want to let go.  Partly because this is the most connected I have felt to Adam since he died.  And partly because this is the closest I have felt to the community of people who knew and loved him during his short life.  And also because of the amazing stories many of you have shared with me, of kindnesses that you passed on and ways that you creatively served others.

I believe that I will make this a yearly tradition for my family because I can't imagine a better way to celebrate the memory of Adam's life, instead of focusing just on his death.  

As promised, I took lots of pictures of my four little Santas.  I was Mrs. Clause and Tom was an elf.  You may have to look close on Tom's but he has pointy felt ears, and a curl on his shoes.  ***Important Advisory!!! If you have a heart condition, or are easily nauseated, do not look at the following pictures.  I made myself into a future version of myself.  I was saddened by how disturbed Tom was with Elderly Me.  It ain't pretty y'all, I'm not gonna lie.  (But, Tom probably should have.)


  1. OH MY GOSH!!! This post is hilarious! The dialogue about the missing homeless...and the pictures! I was really laughing so hard! Please make the family shot your Christmas card!!!

    1. Haha, that is a great idea for a Christmas card! :) Thanks for reading Mandi!

  2. Hilarious!! And you did well with dropping off the goodies at the local mission. I go to Open Door once a month and trust me, many are in need here in Rochester(even if they do not look like they live in a box)! lol God bless!

    1. Thanks Dee Cee... I was hoping that the items would fall into the right hands there. :)

  3. As a formerly (and, who knows? eventually) homeless person, I want to thank you on behalf of all of the ones who live on the outskirts of public consciousness, who survive, albeit guiltily, on the kindness of strangers.

    I am not, by any means, a Christian. However, it comforts me to know that there are real followers of Christ that have taken his compassion for my kind to heart. In a country torn and divided by destructive applications of religio-politics, I am thankful to ... Some One, for creatures like you.

    You are so full of exuberance, love, Trust, and Kindness. I wish you all the Beauty and Peace that could possibly befall you and your amazing Family.

    Love & Kindness,


    1. Thank you so much for reading and for you kind (and certainly undeserved) words!