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They’re Just Like You And Me

February 3, 2010

For the past few weeks, I’ve been working on a consulting project in the day and going to class in the evening.  My schedule is very rigid and each day without fail I have come home griping about how tired, cold, and hungry I am… yet today I have no complaints.

I have to attribute that to my drive home from Cooper Square.  In the bitter cold, less than ten minutes from my home, I passed a woman and her son holding a sign that I couldn’t read due to the hastily falling snow.  However, I did notice that they appeared to be homeless and in need.  With no change on me, I mouthed “sorry”, looked in my rearview mirror, and felt helpless as I continued to ride.

But now that I’m indoors with warm Victoria Secret flannel pajamas on, I can’t help but to think about how it’s freezing outside and that there are homeless people right in my community who have no shelter.

Days like this, I have to pause and give special thanks for being blessed to have a home of my own, ample heat, a wide selection of food, and clothing.  It’s also a time to stand still long enough to figure out how I can be of service to someone else in need.  How can I do the right thing?

After some deep thought, I have decided to trade my topic for the day — social media tools — for something a bit more compelling.  With web research, I learned that there are over 1.3 million homeless and street kids in the United States.  That’s 27% of the homeless population in America; and with the rise of unemployment that number may good and well increase.  The heartwarming fact is that there are organizations focused on eradicating this issue.

Covenant House New Jersey is a local non-profit that has provided services to homeless youth for over 20 years.  3,490 New Jersey youth are served with help every year.

http://www.covenanthouse.org/houses/new-jersey

Another organization committed to improving the lives of homeless kids throughout America is Stand Up for Kids.

www.standupforkids.org

So, tomorrow my day will go a little differently.  I’m giving Covenant House a call in the morning to see how I can get involved.  If you live in the area, maybe you can, too.  Or if you don’t have the time to give, Stand Up for Kids utilizes social media to accept donations.  It’s easy to contribute $5 by texting “STANDUP” to 85944.

Let’s not only be thankful for what we have, but instead take it a step further and help make a difference.  Will you join me in taking a stand?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Burmeister Bob permalink
    February 3, 2010 7:42 am

    Sondra

    You will find yourself in a different place once you start to volunteer. It’s a tragedy that so many families are now living without shelter. The numbers are staggering. In our ministry we see it daily. Be careful as you start your journey volunteering you’ll become addicted as I have. God’s Blessing for your new found journey helping our homeless brothers and sisters.

    Mr. Bob
    “UNDER the BRIDGE”
    http://www.cope53.wordpress.com

    • February 5, 2010 1:36 am

      Mr. Bob, thank you for the encouragement. In the past, I’ve served dinner to the homeless but never worked with the children so I’m looking forward to it.

  2. February 3, 2010 12:53 pm

    I commend you for taking the initiative and looking into how you can give back. I, too, am often overwhelmed by the desire to give back, given the increasing number of homeless people in our city and this country. Perhaps we can organize some sort of PRCC community service event in the future?

    • February 5, 2010 1:37 am

      Mindy, a PRCC project sounds great — PR League may already do something — we’ll have to check.

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