I am staying with, the one and only, Melissa Waheibi. Sweet Melissa is host extraordinaire, a walking map, a born problem solver, and also maybe a spy. Basically, she is useful AND awesome.
So imagine her disappointment to discover that, while awesome, I do not share the aforementioned skill set. Long story short, her friend Geoff kindly drove us around Queens late at night to find a good, free parking spot for the week. He literally drove the car around for me. It took forever and it was late on Sunday night, freezing, and a total imposition. But he was gracious and willing to help.
Then I forgot my purse in the car. So the next day we had to trek all the way back to Queens so that my purse didn't get burgled. I had a minimum of four crumpled one dollar bills in there... So, it was pretty urgent.
But I couldn't remember where I was parked. And by couldn't remember, I mean that I didn't listen to any parking information Geoff gave me. It was like 8th Grade Earth Science all over again. I just couldn't listen to the instructions.
So, we can't find my car. Geoff has to save the day yet again. "Sweet" Melissa couldn't just ask for help, she had to insult me via text message. As pictured here:
Melissa is hilarious. Cruel. But hilarious.
Geoff didn't confirm nor deny our suspicion that "cleaning the bathroom" really meant he was mid-soak in a glorious bubble bath. So, we thought he and Lisa deserved a lovely bottle of vinegarette for their troubles.
Vinegarette is the new wine, in case you are not up on the times.
In addition to this small act of gratitude, Melissa helped put together these incredible #AdamsActs which I handed out to some homeless people tonight while with Jay and Pop (his birthfather.)
We handed out one of my all-time favorite books. It's hilarious and touching and poignant and irreverent and smart and all the things. The homeless have multiple challenges, but one that is frequently overlooked is having a significant number of idle hours during the day. Passing time, particularly when in a state of hopelessness or strife, can be daunting. I would imagine that reading an excellent, thought-provoking book about stumbling upon a messy, imperfect faith in the midst of challenging circumstances cannot be a bad way to pass that time.
Additionally, each book had one of these incredible resource cards inside the cover.
These cards are part of an initiative to help locate the more than 4,000 homeless people in Manhattan and help them find resources they may not know are available. As indicated on the card, essential services such as meals, medical care and shelter can be accessed through these resources, assisting them in finding an alternative to homelessness.
As I handed this book and card to one man in particular (who had a very large boil on his forehead), I felt a great sense of relief knowing that one little card provides access to information and resources that we take for granted.
I wrote yesterday about feeling overwhelmed by the issues surrounding poverty and homelessness. www.dontwalkby.org prompts people to not just walk by, but to do something in Manhattan. We all know, though, that the homeless are not confined to Manhattan and in every city there is an underprivileged community and a homeless population. As a follower of Christ I have a biblical obligation to care for the poor, but regardless of your beliefs, all of us can and should concern ourselves with the plight of our fellow citizens.
So, for Day 21, I challenge each of you to do what you can in your own community. Give someone a book to pass time, help people find access to resources, volunteer at a shelter, make a donation, bring people vinegarette for pete's sake... Just don't walk by.