Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Feeding the Homeless, April, 2011

On April 13th, our intrepid youth group embarked on one of our favorite events; feeding the homeless downtown. This time, we were armed with dozens and dozens of sack lunches, made by the Junior Girl Scout Troop 52516 (Thank you Lori, Beth and girls!), Scott and Brenda Foster, and Cathy Brumbaugh and Pat McKiernan. Local businessman, Charlie McKissick, donated much of the fixin's for the lunches.

Denny Hancock, from Mama's Hands, picked us up at our Snoqualmie United Methodist church. We loaded over 75 sack lunches into the cargo holds underneath the seats and we rode to Seattle. On this particular trip, there was a film crew from the Mormon church who were filming our little mission, so we had to provide permission slips from our parents just in case we ended up on YouTube!

It wasn't raining in Seattle, but it was cold.  The girls from our group were shivering and standing in groups or huddled against their boyfriends.  Denny brought out a portable electronic piano, and Kaitlyn R. and I took turns playing funny songs for a while.  The film crew had cameras and sound booms pointed at everything.  The film crew and all their equipment scared the homeless people at first and they wouldn't come and get the food we'd brought for them.  But eventually, Dawn O., Ben and Jayna went out and invited them over to our little food station.

The Real Street Santa and his Sled

Also joining us, as an intern from the Union Gospel Mission (a nearby shelter), was none other than The Real Street Santa himself. Check out his cool Sled (atually a red truck) with the RSSANTA license plate!

For about 90 minutes we distributed sack after sack of lovingly prepared foods to all the homeless who came by. Some high points of the evening.
  • Our oldest youth, JD, talked for 45 minutes with one of the homeless who had just arrived from down south.
  • We talked with many of the homeless men and they shared their stories of hardship with us.
  • There are some homeless women as well, and to be honest, they seem more "touched in the head" than the men.
  • Kaitlyn boldly strode from person to person, inviting them to come and get some food or some hygiene kits.

At the end of the night, there we still people coming up to us asking for sack lunches, but we had to go. We gave the remaining sack lunches to the Real Street Santa and he took them over to the Union Mission Gospel to distribute there. He said they always need food at the Mission.

Feeding the homeless downtown is one of our favorite Youth Group Events. We'd like to thank Junior Girl Scout Troop 52516 and the people from our church for providing the food and support for this meaningful mission work.

-- david