141. Easing The Burden of Homeless:An Update

In September of 2007 Wanderingvet started a blog called “Homeless Veterans Survival Guide”. It was mainly read by friends who knew the turn of events that lead him to homelessness and as a way to keep up with his travels. The blog offered  tips to others who found themselves homeless & tales of various encounters as a homeless person throughout the US.  Over the months this blog evolved to include many other veterans and homeless issues & expanded to the site that is currently called Wanderingvets. As Wanderingvet has organized & expanded the mission of Wanderingvets, there has been progress in the real world in helping out those who are homeless. It’s truly amazing  how a simple blog has come to mean a real difference in the lives of folks who find themselves homeless. I think it is important to share with anyone who passes this way to know that that this is an organization that exsists not only in cyberspace but also in the real world.
 It only takes a collective sense of compassion to ease the burden of homelessness in a significant way. Over the past months Wanderingvet posted a list of “needs” for Wanderingvets and the population it serves. A loyal supporter and friend of Wanderingvet organized her church to adopt Wanderingvets as a charitable cause. This week a shipment of clothing and a digital camera arrived in Seattle supplied by the congregation of this church.
Thanks to the donations of this group, homeless folks in Seattle will have new pants, shirts and outerwear as they face their days on the street. Although the recipients of these goods will never have the chance to personally thank the folks who donated these items, I am sure they will give pause for gratitude for this act of compassion and kindness.
When Wanderingvet arrived in Seattle he commented on the large number of homeless people he was encountering daily. It is hard to witness those in need and not be able to do anything.  We came up with the idea of supplying Wanderingvets personal care packages for the homeless so he might have these to give to those in need. As I shopped for the items to include in these packages, I discovered something that was heartwarming…let me explain.  The personal care packs are filled with items that one might need daily for basic hygiene~toothbrushes,toothpaste, deodorants,etc~ all items easily found at any pharmacy. I stopped by a Walgreens pharmacy to shop for these packages and as I was shopping for hand soap discovered I had taken all that were stocked and needed a few more. A clerk asked if she might help me and then asked me why I had so many small containers when the larger bottles were cheaper. I explained to her my mission in supplying care packages for the homeless and she hesitated for a moment in thought, then asked if she might help…of course I took her up on her offer. We went up and down the aisles searching for items for the packages and she pointed out a bargain on some shower gel. I pointed out that this wasn’t a good choice since many of the homeless do not have running water and a way to shower.  She paused for a moment and  said she had never really thought about how hard it would be live on the streets. In some small way this act of buying items for these packs had lead to providing insight into homelessness to a person that had never considered the hardships of those who live without shelter. In the end, this woman bought $5 worth of Granola bars as she felt it would be nice for the recipients of these packages to have a snack if but for one day.
Wanderingvets is indeed taking some measures to ease the burden of homeless through the contributions of people who believe that small acts of compassion can make a real difference.  . Hopefully, we will be able to see evidence of this soon as Wanderingvet makes good use of that camera that was donated for use. I will use the words of another friend of Wanderingvets  in closing and remind us all that we each can each make a difference for those in need.
“there are no small gifts when they come from a heart filled with compassion.” slohomeless

















1 Response to “141. Easing The Burden of Homeless:An Update”

  1. April 24, 2008 at 9:13 am

    I think donating personal care products is a great idea, especially the “travel size” – carrying around the regular sizes would be kind of a burden. And granola bars are my personal favorite suggestion of what to give to those who ask for spare change. It’s not a lot to give, but it’s something that’s easy to carry all the time, too.

    One suggestion for your post – link to the Wanderingvet blog! I’m sure your post will spark interest.
    -Robin at the CRC

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