Day #5: Give To The Hungry

After spending over 5 hours on-the-road, we pulled off Interstate 10 early this evening and stopped at a red light. We were in the far left turning lane. Just a couple of feet from my window was a man holding a piece of cardboard that read, “Broke and Hungry.”

The light turned green. I was about to let off the brakes and go when Stephanie handed me our nearly full bag of cashew clusters from Costco. “Should we give these to him?” she said.

I stuck the clusters out the window and asked, “Would you like these?” The man quickly took them. He looked at them and said, “All right!

It all happened quickly and then we were gone.

How do you respond to homelessness and hunger in your community?

Comments

  1. I follow Stephanie on MM and now this blog too! And this question is one of my favorite topics. Have you ever read the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan? We live in Nepal and that book challenged me to ask why I WASN’T giving to the poor around me. It was mostly because of fear. Not knowing if I was REALLY giving to the person begging or the slum lord (think slumdog millionaire). God showed me that It’s not always my responsibility to ask that question, I should just give. However, in some cases I KNOW where the money will go (i.e. street kids will go buy glue to sniff) so I try and always have some granola bars or some kind of snack on hand (easy to do with two toddlers in tow at all times!) so I open the package so it can’t be re-sold and give it.
    Over Christmas we had the chance to help a ministry that rescues traffiked women, street kids and slum children. They provided a Christmas lunch and a small gift for each person.
    I make it sound easy I guess, but it’s not. I still get nervous when I’m about to walk through an area where I know there are beggars and have decision crisis all over again. But Christ brings me back to the truth of Grace and that he gives to us even though we really, REALLY don’t deserve it and completely and totally misuse it.

  2. Janelle - The Opinionated Mama says

    I often scramble to look around the car for the nearest item (usually a food item) that the person could possibly benefit from. Sometimes a sweatshirt, sometimes a baggie of snacks. Whatever I feel lead to give. Sometimes I do not have anything so I feel that is not the right time for me to give. There have been times that I leave and come back with something. Just depends on if I feel lead to give to the person or not.

    Great choice Stephanie!!

  3. Way to give. We prefer to give food rather than $ too. And those cashew clusters are pure nutrition :)

  4. I’ve often wondered how to deal with the guy on the corner with a sign. i’ve never been comfortable giving money – especially not after the huge undercover operation and news stories a few years ago right before Christmas where dozens of the “homeless” in our area were discovered to actually be living quite handsomely in big houses and driving nice vehicles – their “homelessness” was what they did for a living.

    The sad thing about the whole undercover work and resulting news story was that I know there are some truly homeless people in our area who do need help and I’m sure they have suffered more. I like the idea of giving food – I often keep some snacks in my van, now I’ll think of those if prompted to give to the guy with the sign on the corner.

  5. I just look around me for loose changes, but never food. That was a smart idea Stephanie. You guys are awesome :)

  6. I just give money. What they do with it is between them and God. I just do what I’m commanded to do. (If I have food on hand I will sometimes give that)

  7. I rarely have cash on me so I don’t typically give out money to people we may see on the corner or even downtown. In the few conversations I have had with homeless people, one theme that seems to be constant is that they are made to feel that they are ‘less than’ others and that they aren’t ‘worth anyone’s time’ and that they are often treated more like animals than people. Once I heard that, I have made a conscious effort to look them in the eyes and give a smile, even if I am driving by. I can’t tell you how many faces have lit up and happy waves have been returned. I have also learned quite a bit from my children in ways to help the homeless. I blogged about that here: http://lettners.blogspot.com/2010/12/one-person-at-time.html

    Thanks for continuing to change the world – one person at a time!

  8. Val of the south says

    I’ve given both food and money on a couple occasions when I felt prompted to do so. We had so many on street corners when I lived in San Diego and they all had the same kind of sign…I found it hard to believe that all these homeless people had access to a sharpie and the same really nice printing! So I’m afraid I taught my children not to trust people that are begging are really needy. I need to teach them to listen to their hearts and find some way to serve every day. Thanks for the inspiration.

  9. Cashew clusters eh? Yummy and nutritious – I’ll have to keep that one in mind. I have always been hesitant to open my windows for safety reasons, but may just swallow my fear and hand out some clusters!

  10. Give them food or money.

  11. I just heard about your daily excursions of traveling the country side from Blessed and i just want to say good luck and hope everyday is a gift.

    Whitetail Woods Blog / Deer Hunting and Blackpowder Shooting at it’s best.

  12. We primarily respond with prayer and smiles. I rarely have cash or food in the car, and mostly where I see people asking for money is on a highway exit and I don’t feel safe stopping. But there is a man who sits outside our grocery store that we talk to a lot. I’ve never given him anything but someday I will figure out a way to do so without offending him. (He doesn’t have a sign or beg, he’s just … there)

  13. Keep $5-10 gift cards to fast food restaurants in your car ! :)

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