There are so many people living on the streets these days; young, old, vets, people who have lost their homes. Each has a story, a family, hopes and dreams. The needs seem overwhelming, but we each can do something to brighten the lives of those around us.
Rick and I make Christmas boxes each year. We had no idea what to put in them when we started, and so we asked a few with first-hand experience of being homeless. Here are the suggestions offered:
n Fill a plastic shoe box instead of cardboard because it can be re-used as a waterproof container for food or supplies.
n Bottle of water – plastic bottle can be refilled
n Anti-bacterial wipes
n Lip balm
n Tooth brush and tooth paste
n Hand sanitizer
n Gold Bond body and foot powder
n Plastic poncho
n A pocket sized Bible
We add a few other things to our boxes. What is Christmas without chocolate and peppermints? We put in power bars and a Christmas card. We also put in this verse:
“The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The unfailing love of the LORD never ends! By HIS mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is HIS faithfulness; HIS mercies begin afresh each day. I say to myself, ‘This LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in HIM.’” Lamentations 3:19-20
Above all, the next time you see someone on the street, look them in the eye and smile. Too many of us walk by and pretend they don’t exist. That hurts beyond words for they are our sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters. They need to know they are not forgotten.