How many homeless people or people begging for money have you walked past in your life? Or just the past week? How many times have you stopped with a coffee, sandwich, loose change or just a friendly hello?

Day 230: Give 230

Vancouver Homeless & Hunger Facts (facts taken from The Richmond Food Bank & Street to Home)

  • 867,948 people turned to food banks in 2010
  • 38% of those helped were children
  • An increase of almost 10% in one year
  • Approximately 3700 people live on the streets

Being originally from Toronto and volunteering for years with the homeless and hungry I like to think I have a good understanding of what their world is about. Living in West Vancouver you rarely see the face of hunger or homelessness as it does not seem to be a destination spot for them to hang out. Vancouver is well known for a very centralized place that many of our homeless gather. (East Hastings) Today as I drove home from grocery shopping with my son I had the opportunity to give a helping hand to two young people that were obviously having a tough time. They were begging for money on a very busy intersection. I struggle at times when considering giving cash to people begging. I wonder if maybe the money is going to support their “habits” with drugs or alcohol rather than for food or a bed. This particular young lady did not look like she was using any substance or was a user. I decided to do two things to help.

  • I handed her $5.00
  • I gave her two apples from my grocery bag.

Maybe the apples will help the hunger pains and maybe the $5.00 will help them (along with a few other donations) get a clean bed and a roof over their heads tonight. The face of hunger and homelessness looks so different every where you go. It’s not always the drunk old man we imagine that sleeps on a cardboard box on the street corner. There are times in our lives when all of us have needed a helping hand. Some of us were lucky enough to have had friends or family that supported those times and some of us have not.

I read some where once that every time I think about giving money to a person and start to hesitate, I was to remind myself that I always have another $5.00 in the bank and I have the ability to make another $5.00 Saving and holding on to all I have isn’t going to bring me a better life. It may bring me more “stuff” and luxuries but it won’t feed my heart and soul. For me, giving does just that – it fills me up from the inside.

Time Commitment: 15 seconds

Cost: $5.00 plus 2 apples

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