A few months ago we were given supplies to hand out to homeless people, but where we are located we generally don’t have but one or two who pass through our area. We reached out to a local nonprofit in a county over from us and they gave us a few possible locations. So we began packaging up all of the supplies and prepared to give them out. On Friday, July 3, members of The American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary and Junior Auxiliary went and delivered care packages to the homeless. The care packages had blankets, water, food and wash kits so they could clean up if they wanted to. At the first stop we only found one person, but when we stopped at our second location we found three separate encampments with a combined 20+ people. In talking with the person in charge we found out they were out of water and were drinking from a stream. In addition they told us about how people snuck into their camp last week while they were sleeping and set part of their camp on fire. Obviously hearing these stories pulls at every emotion you have, from anger to sadness and everything in between.
I am glad my daughter got to see this. She is a Junior Auxiliary member and helped us on other projects. For this project she helped pack up the supplies and helped deliver them. I was able to share with her some real-life lessons. It also gave her an appreciation for the things she has. Just having the ability to take a warm bath and having warm food are things these people don’t have. I think it also showed her that poverty has no discrimination. We saw people of all colors and genders in the camp, and that we are one lost job away from being in their shoes.
Our post probably put in about 25 total manhours into this project, and we are planning another delivery of supplies.