Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Heart Warmers

I recently moved to the most amazing city of Austin. It is everything and more that I've heard about. It's quirky (or weird as they lovingly say), it is full of great music, yummy food, beautiful art, and welcoming of everyone! I have been looking for opportunities to plug into the community and find my niche.

Sunday December 18th, 2016 will be a day I won't soon forget. I heard a group of people from Central City Austin (a religious organization), were going to brave the cold, to go out and serve the homeless. I know what it's like to go hungry, to not have nice clothes, to be homeless, to feel alone. It doesn't feel good, to say the least. I am who I am today, because many people decided to be generous and kind towards me! These people from CCA where planning to take hot coffee, breakfast foods, and any other useful things they could gather to the needy. I have made some great friends at a local Starbucks in Kyle Texas, where I often go to work and relax. After hearing that I wanted to help CCA with their mission, they kindly offered to donate several gallons of coffee to this cause! Starbucks is a giving company with kind employees! I was thrilled and so blessed by their kindness.

With a huge coffee need met, I went on a hunt for hand warmers. You know, those little sacks of magic that you take out of a box, shake em' up and they get all warm and stay warm for many hours? Well, to my great dismay, every store in my area was SOLD OUT of hand warmers! I guess hunting season is a good time for those to fly off the shelves. I couldn't think of anything else but blankets and hoodies for the below freezing weather we where having. So, I gathered all I could find. I showed up and we headed out! I have never seen such hopelessness.

Sure, I have struggled. Sure, I had been homeless, but we at least had a car to sleep in! My Mom was single with 3 little girls, so we could, some times find shelters with room to take us in. These people had NO options. They not only braved the freezing temperatures for the coffee and food, they slept in those temps all night. Every night. No family, no friends, and no shelters. Among these, where pregnant women, with babies in strollers. To say that my mama heart broke is an understatement. I know I can't change people and surely don't have the resources alone to change someones whole life. But, I can make a difference. I can be a friend. I can bring a hot drink. I can be a listening ear. I can provide an immediate need. I can be patient with someone trying to find their way. I can lend a hand. I can keep looking for hand warmers or order some on Amazon! I can warm more than hands, I can warm hearts. It's time for us to stop watching videos of those that are struggling and be a tangible, living, breathing soul, that cares for another. It's time to change some old ways of thinking and become our "brothers keeper" even if for a moment.