My blog today comes from a close friend of Valley Girl Talk, Katie Wenthur or as she’s come to be known as, “Miss Angel”.
I live in the middle of the historic part of downtown in my little part of the world. And I would be the first to tell you that in my world it is all pretty much about me.
Ask ANY of my friends, family or co-workers and they would all emphatically say, “Katie? Miss ANGEL? Are you kidding? Miss Biotch is more like it!” ((No it’s NOT)) But for this man and dozens of others, I make it my business to drop off my recyclables in small bags so they don’t have to dig thru the trash. It is bad enough to be homeless and broke to add insult to injury to be grubbing around in dumpsters.
Right now, there is a real need for socks….any size and they do not have to match. I have a box on the corner of my building, which is right across from Huggy’s bar. It is private enough so that they can look for a hand up without being on display. So if you have mysterious socks in search of mates in a basket on your dryer, think about dropping them off. Sweatshirts? Jackets? It is not only grown men who are homeless.
I am by no means rich, but even I have about 90% of my closet filled with stuff I never wear. Why hang on to it for the mere pleasure of tossing it on the bed so I can say “Hate it! Doesn’t fit”, Never liked it”, “What was I thinking?” when there are people in town who do give every stitch of their pride to wear my castoffs. These are not people who can afford to go to a thrift shop. They are saving what cash they have for food.
So if you have small bags of items please give generously, The box is small, so it cannot handle ALL of your closet failures. Just a little at a time. The box is located in the parking lot right behind Deluxe cleaners, on a metal gridded box to keep it off the asphalt.
Keep in mind that it is not only men who are homeless. Some families are sleeping in cardboard boxes. There are mothers with small children who are sleeping in doorways wrapped in newspapers.
If you want to give in a larger way, ask ANY grade school teacher, they know which children are living right on the edge. When I taught school (and I always taught in at-risk schools, I kept a box of outgrown socks for anyone who happened to have soaking wet socks from recess or no socks at all. I kept box of clean underpants, too…because it is entirely possible to be playing outside in the wet and end up with wet underpants….or to have come to school with no underpants at all.
I also kept changes of clothing in boxes because it is entirely possible for an active child to end up totally soaked before the first bell rang. It was NO BIG DEAL. My son often outgrew his jackets and they would find themselves on the back of the chair of a little boy who had none, never mentioned it, never drew attention to it. It was enough for me to have been entrusted with this precious cargo. Did it make a difference? All I know is that it made ME different.
This is not a flag waving “look at me!” project. It is small and quiet and all but invisible. The people who benefit you may likely never ever see…but you might see one of your outgrown jackets waking down an alley, pushing a grocery cart, and that, my friend, is the moment you will feel wings sprouting on your back.
For more information on how to donate to Miss Angel’s Box In The Alley you can contact Katie Wenthur on Facebook or any of us Valley Girls.
How bad is the family homelessness problem in America? It’s bad enough that 1.6 million American children are now homeless, 38% of the entire homeless population, compared to 1% in 1988.
Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up.
~Reverend Jesse Jackson
Have a Great Wednesday!!!