Serious: Blog Action Day on Poverty

Jeff brought this to my attention the other day and Clare is participating too.

I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to say on the topic so I started looking at the resources which led me to Our Day to End Poverty which led me to an idea I have wanted to do for as long as I can remember.

They said, "Visit Second Harvest to find a local food bank or food rescue organization that can use your help."

And maybe 2008 is the year I finally do it.

I have always, always wanted to help at a food bank. I think this goal came into being during the early 1990s when I lived in San Francisco with my dad for about a year and a half. I was barely 21 and working my first full-time real job in a law office. I would get my paychecks cashed because a) I could and b) they were SO BIG in my eyes. I would go shopping on the way home at the Embarcadero. I would always run into homeless people. I got proposed to multiple times by kind, old men. Or so I thought.

Some days I didn't give any of my cash away. Some days I'd give $1 to one person or $1 to many people. Some days I gave $5. One day I had $30 or $40 left and a homeless man touched my heart somehow. I don't remember what he said but I felt so horrible having that money in my pocket while I was talking to him. So I gave it all to him. He was speechless. I'll never forget the look on his face.

I get conflicted from time to time about homeless people, especially any with addictions. Those close to me know it is a complicated topic for me personally and I struggle to find compassion for addicted people. I've grown up a lot too and had my own struggles (in life, not with addiction).

This exercise has made me stop and remember my youthful compassion. And I am fired up to look into volunteering at a food bank. I remember a friend in high school used to go with her parents during the holidays. She hated it as a teen. But I know I want Jaden to experience this with me when he is a little older. I think five is still a little too little, even if he is mostly 35.