One of our community projects this year was to pass out care packages. After having one of our old house community members be homeless for three months, he shared our experience with us and what items a person might need in his previous situation.
In our care packages, we put in soap, socks, toothbrush with case, shampoo, mouth wash, detergent, notebook and pen, comb, wash cloth, antibacterial, granola bars, band aids and few other items.
The idea was to pass them around year round but also to have people in our own networks join us–this could be family members, coworkers, friends and have them have their friends join in. Haven would just continue to sponsor these packages. They have no notes in them, no literature. The idea is to give with no strings attached-a pure and genuine act of love and kindness.
One of our house community members shared this with a close friend who doesn’t usually have an opportunity to participate in a project like this took a few packages and shared with us his amazing experience in San Francisco as he handed out packages along his work route:
“I went to San Francisco today. I always knew there were a lot of homeless there, but I never really truly paid attention to how many there were until today since I was actually looking for them. I drove all over SF, and the streets were just riddled with homeless men. In my short time there, I saw well over a hundred of them. Some had shopping carts, others had backpacks. Many had nothing but a donation cup. My first stop was SOMA near ATT park. There were quite a bit of them roaming near the embarcadero, but I decided to give the first care package to a guy trying to write a HELP me sign on a cardboard box. I simply went up to him and said, “Sir, this is for you.” He looked at it, and said “Thank you thank you thank you.” As I walked away, I looked over my shoulder, and it was like watching a kid in a candy store looking through the bag to see what was in it.
My next stop was Union Square. A guy was walking up/down the red light asking for money. I simply opened my window at the red light and instead of giving him money, I gave him the second care package. He said, “God bless you, sir”. Some onlookers were watching and wondered what I had given him. The light turned green, and I drove away.
Through Chinatown I drove, I gave the 3rd care package to a guy sitting on the sidewalk picking at his barefoot while his torn-up tennis shoes were sitting by his side. It was a nasty nasty thing to see. haha, but I handed him the package and said, “There’s a pair of socks.” He just looked at me dumbfounded. Completely speechless. Not one word. I smiled and walked away.
My last stop was the other corner of SF. The she-she area of Fillmore district where all the fancy mom/pop stores are. I walked up to a guy with a loaded shopping cart. I stopped him when he was about to cross the street. Kinda made me feel bad since he struggled a little to get his heavy shopping cart back onto the sidewalk. He too gave me a wonderful God bless u.
I felt very good at the end of the day knowing I made 4 people’s days. My biggest regret was not taking more of the care packages. I could have given away all four at once as many people were in groups, but I didn’t have enough for everyone in that group, so I moved on. “
Here is one of the groups packing them during Christmas. Even the little ones enjoyed helping.