Case in point, my friend Anna Bélanger recently posted pictures of her and her kids getting ready to deliver care packages to homeless folks for Christmas. And I though, hey, what a great idea and why am I not doing that, too?
So today we prepared a bunch of care packages, stuffed our backpacks with them, dressed up warmly, and headed out. At first the kids were too shy to approach anyone so I had to do the talking, but by the end Eldest was keen to do everything herself. They were involved in the entire process; from picking items to give away to preparing the packages to carrying them in pretty miserable weather. And in the end they commented on how good it made them feel to have done something for people who don't have a lot of attractive options right at the moment.
Homelessness is a complicated issue. You don't always know or understand how or why someone winds up sitting on the very cold sidewalk with nowhere to go and nothing to do. It's easy to judge, but it doesn't help anyone (including the person doing the judging). And one of the worst things you can do to someone in that situation is treat them like they are less than human. Having a sweet 10-year-old girl hand you a sandwich she made herself and a few other chocolate-covered goodies will not solve anything either. But it has the power to warm a heart, and sometimes that's all you can do.
So yes, thanks Anna, for the inspiration. We shall do it again.