Student Service Project Report Summer 2016
True happiness... is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose. - Helen Keller
This is a big world we live in, full of many different people from many different back grounds, some more fortunate than others, then there are those who have just absolutely lost it all. These people have lost friends, they’ve lost families and most importantly they’ve lost control, control of themselves. Some of these people suffer addictions and some of these people have just hit rock bottom. These people I speak of are the homeless, and they are people, with feeling and emotions. In 2015 The Florida Department of Children and Families (FDCF) did a census on the ever growing epidemic of Homelessness in Florida. They found that 18 percent of the homeless population are chronically homeless individuals, 10 percent of the homeless are veterans, 5 percent are children and teens and 28 percent are families with children. Hearing all this really impacted me. It moved me and motivated me, to the point where I felt as though we needed to act and to help these people. We live in the hottest year around states in the US, with summers reaching a scorching 95 to 105 degrees, not to mentions Florida infamous humidity, I always say “Florida has the air you wear.” So as the summer approached I started slowly building a coalition if that what it’s called of people from my church who wanted to help me in my bream of reassuring that every homeless person in Tallahassee was hydrated during the burning summer heat. Myself and 5 other members from my church all went to Costco and bought packs of water after packs of water (40 bottles for 6.47$ was not a bad deal). After purchasing all the bottles of water we could we started loading them up in coolers, and from there the back of the truck it went and we were off. We were all really looking forward to meet new people, handing out waters and speaking of the good gospel. We parked our truck right next to the homeless shelter and slowly started to hand out water to those who were standing around the shelter. Honestly we had a lot of homeless people ask if we had anything stronger in those coolers, which of course we did not. We had a lot of water and that was all. As the day went on we passed out quite a few bottles of water which was a good thing because the day just seemed to get hotter and hotter, and more humid as we started to hear thunder rolling in the distance. Not soon after that the sky went grey and the rain started pouring down. This was when a lightbulb came on in my head as I watched this homeless man walking down the street getting drenched, I shouted we need ponchos! So it was back to Costco we went, buying packs and packs of ponchos. On that day we handed out more ponchos than waters that was for sure and I heard one of the best lines from a homeless guy named Mark who said he would rather have poncho than the water, I asked why to which he replied “you can’t get drunk of off water but at least with the ponchos I’ll be dry when I get my alcohol. I laughed when he said he was joking simply because I knew he wasn’t. His breath told me he may have already been boozing. After all this was said and done for the day I got home, sat down in my so comfy lazy boy recliner and my mind went numb and my brain got flooded with everything that happened. I guess what I’m trying to say is that we stress and stress about money and we complain about what we have. We take advantage of all the blessing bestowed upon us that we lose sight of what’s important, Helping others! Being one being under god. Threating others as your neighbor. People seem to see homeless people on the streets and think “ look at this guy he either wants booze or drugs” but once you reach out to them you don’t why they’re in this place to begin with. One of the most memorable stories that I heard and will hold in my heart forever was from a guy who had to be in his 70’s. He was telling me that as far as he can remember he had always had a drinking problem until he meet his wife. He said he sobered up for her, after 40 marriage his wife passed away from cancer and to deal with all the sorrow he felt he started drinking again. He lost his house and he said most importantly he lost his heart. I almost lost it as I stood there with him. To everyone out there. You must know that we are all one blood and that our hearts all beat the same. Have compassion and love for one another. Most importantly don’t pass judgement and always help someone in need. I will end with this closing verse. Proverbs 19:17 Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the lord, and he will repay him for his deed.