What began as a simple coffee run, would end up changing my life forever.
That 30-second interaction with the homeless woman could have been like all the others that preceded it, but lucky for me, it wasn’t. Instead, it was a turning point in my life – one that forced me to take a long, hard look in the mirror to ask myself what I was doing to help my fellow human beings in need. Shamefully, the answer was nothing. It was in that moment I promised myself that I’d stop turning away from someone’s mother, father, brother, sister, child, and someone’s friend. I vowed to stop treating these people like they were invisible, or less than me. No longer would I pretend they didn’t exist. Instead, I would help them, without any questions or judgement. I would lend them a buck, a bite, a handshake, a hug, or even just smile, and I would look them in the eyes to tell them that, despite how invisible they felt, I saw them.
I considered what it would be like to walk in their shoes (or lack thereof) and thought to myself: I hope that my fellow human beings would help me in my time of need, graciously, without an ounce of judgement or condemnation.
Because at the end of the day, why the hell else are we here?
Shortly after, I shared my plan with others. A plan of putting together a few bags of items we so often take for granted. The response was overwhelming and those few bags soon turned into fifty.
This incredible and moving generosity came from all over the country, in the form of new shirts, warm hats, ponchos, socks, toiletries, meal cards…and many things I never would have thought of on my own.
There are not enough words in the human language to describe how life-changing that evening was for me. Having the opportunity to personally place these bags into the hands of those who needed them was something I’ll never forget.
After talking, hugging, crying and laughing with these beautiful, down on their luck, people, I was hit with a realization so strong it was like a punch in the gut: Every single one of these people were just like me, with the only difference being the hand we were dealt in life.
It’s been a year since I gave out those bags and I’m ready to do it again, only this time, bigger and better.
But, I can’t do it alone. In order to make this goal a reality, I desperately need you.
I believe that, with your help, we can double the the number of bags. Even triple! Last year, it was so hard for me to see so many walk away empty-handed – I don’t want to feel that way again.
I think – no, I know – that if we each give a little we will show our fellow human beings that they matter a lot.
*Please join me in welcoming Shy Masters to the Houston team. I’m grateful to have her on board and so excited to see the team growing!