“Herein lies the tragedy of the age: not that men are poor, — all men know something of poverty; not that men are wicked, — who is good? not that men are ignorant, — what is Truth? Nay, but that men know so little of men.”
- W.E.B. DuBois
Yesterday was a particularly quiet day in many respects, but that was primarily due to the fact that Friday was the first of the month, and many of our friends received what little assistance they do get, in the form of SSI checks or food stamps, etc. Many choose to get a room for a day or two, to not only get out of the elements for a bit, but to also shower and enjoy a nice warm bed. As wonderful as that is for many, it’s not true for them all. It really allows us to loosely gage the severity of some situations versus others, and merely on face value and admitted speculation, in some cases. Well yesterday was one for the books. Filled with both highs and lows. For instance, at our first stop we saw people using their new umbrellas, that we’ve been handing out for the last 3 Saturdays, to help keep our friends dry and shielded from the rain. And it was a heartwarming sight to see, to say the least! However, we also heard a lot of stories about how umbrellas were stolen, or lost, and even given away. Now this is where we found ourselves in a very precarious situation. We know it’s not our place to figure out if there is truth to every story of theft, but it was apparent that every story was certainly not true. When we handed out the umbrellas, we were very clear in letting our friends know that the umbrellas were theirs to do with what they pleased, so we knew that some would be sold or bartered, for money or whatever. Knowing that made us fully prepared to say, “No” (in most cases😉) when people said that they needed a new one for whatever reason. In one case, a gentleman told me that he needed another umbrella, because he gave his away to a friend. My response to his request was as follows, “That’s awesome brother, that you would do that for your friend, but as great as that was, it was a sacrifice you chose to make. You knew that you wouldn’t have an umbrella for yourself to deal with the rain, but you unselfishly gave it your friend, so I have to respectfully say “no”, because there are many people still in need of an umbrella, that we have yet to meet or who are program participants that have yet to receive theirs.” He flashed a wry grin, but he shook my hand and said “Thank you” anyway. Without being contentious, we both understood the what’s and the why’s, and that was that. A second man said that a man we know has been in rehab for the past 2 weeks, was watching his umbrella for him last Saturday, while he went to the store, and when he returned, the man and the umbrella were gone. But again, we were careful with our words, but ultimately it was the same result as the other gentleman. The first rule of positive change is accountability, and that’s a personal choice. As I like to say, “Grown folks are gonna be grown!” Anyway, we were able to help many people and share our message of hope, love, and mostly perseverance! I’d like to believe it resonating more and more each week!!
In closing, we have started collecting pertinent data, which we hope will help us to better serve and be better prepared for our weekly runs. So with that said, always to tell the ones you love that you love them before you can’t! Always remember to be kind to others! Be thankful for what you have, and not bitter for what you don’t. Peace, and May God continue to Bless Us All!! ✌🏾🙏🏾
P.S. To date the MLK Humanity Project has served 11,100 sack lunches, homemade meals, hot and cold cereal breakfasts, and family packages throughout the Vallejo area. It is our profound commitment to continue to help those who want to help themselves, and those who unfortunately no longer can!!
We also want to thank all of our donors, volunteers, and supporters. We can’t do this alone. As we always say, “LIKING US IS LOVELY, BUT SHARING IS CARING! SO HELP US SPREAD THE WORD!!”🤗🤞🏾
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”SOMETIMES GOD BLESSES OTHERS THROUGH US!!”🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾
The MLK Humanity Project is an inclusive community organization devoted to the well being and empowerment of our homeless and less fortunate residents.