This past weekend I saw the movie The Blind Side, which depicts the real-life story of one practically-homeless teenager and the family that takes him in. It's a great film in every way and one I expected to enjoy. But what I didn't expect was how much it would convict me.
While the movie only touched briefly on the teenager's homelessness, it had me thinking about the number of children (and adults) that will be living on the streets, or in a shelter, this Christmas season. I may not have an abundance of resources, but I knew there had to be something I could do to help.
In a quick online search, here's what I found:
- Respond with kindness - rather than ignore or dismiss them, try a kind word and a smile.
- Bring food - Taking a few extra sandwiches when you go out. If you pass someone who asks for change, offer him or her something to eat. If you take a lunch, pack a little extra.
- Give recyclables - Help by saving your recyclable bottles, cans, and newspapers and giving them to the homeless instead of taking them to a recycling center or leaving them out for collection.
- Donate blankets and coats - If these items are in good shape, gather them together and donate them to organizations that provide housing for the homeless.
- Donate a bag of groceries - Load up a bag full of nonperishable groceries, and donate it to a food bank in your area. Or contact local soup kitchens and shelters and ask what kind of food donations they would like.
- Donate toys - Children living in shelters have few possessions --if any -- including toys. You can donate toys, books, and games to family shelters to distribute to homeless children.
Maybe, like me, you'll feel God tugging at your heart to do something to reach out to the "least of these" in your own community. If so, I trust you'll find this list helpful too.
On "FamilyLife Today" in December, Michael and Hayley DiMarco talk with Dennis Rainey about their own journey across America into the homeless culture. It's a timely 2-day series that not only raises awareness about this growing community, but also helps to dispel any preconceived ideas we may have.
Be sure to check out the DiMarco's blog site to read their journal entries and learn more about the Evans family (pictured here) and the video series called "No Room at the Inn."
For details on other FamilyLife broadcasts airing this month, download the December promo pack.
Blessings to you and yours during this joyous season,
Michelle BloodDownload Promo Pack File »