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Day 230: An Apple a Day… Keeps the Homeless and Hungry Happy

How many homeless people or people begging for money have you walked past in your life? Did you think that you might be able through a small act make the Homeless and Hungry Happy? How many times have you stopped with a coffee, sandwich, loose change or just a friendly hello? Sometimes a small give of an apple or some change keeps the Homeless and Hungry Happy for a few minutes. They discover that someone cares.

Day 230: Give 230

Vancouver Homeless & Hunger Facts (facts taken from The Richmond Food Bank & Street to Home)

867,948 people turned to food banks in 2010
38% of those helped were children
An increase of almost 10% in one year
Approximately 3700 people live on the streets

Being originally from Toronto and volunteering for years with the homeless and hungry I like to think I have a good understanding of what their world is about. Living in West Vancouver you rarely see the face of hunger or homelessness as it does not seem to be a destination spot for them to hang out. Vancouver is well known for a very centralized place that many of our homeless gather. (East Hastings) Today as I drove home from grocery shopping with my son I had the opportunity to give a helping hand to two young people that were obviously having a tough time. They were begging for money on a very busy intersection. I struggle at times when considering giving cash to people begging. I wonder if maybe the money is going to support their “habits” with drugs or alcohol rather than for food or a bed. This particular young lady did not look like she was using any substance or was a user. I decided to do two things to help. I am hoping my give makes the Homeless and Hungry Happy for a minute.

I handed her $5.00
I gave her two apples from my grocery bag.

Maybe the apples will help the hunger pains and maybe the $5.00 will help them (along with a few other donations) get a clean bed and a roof over their heads tonight. The face of hunger and homelessness looks so different every where you go. It’s not always the drunk old man we imagine that sleeps on a cardboard box on the street corner. There are times in our lives when all of us have needed a helping hand. Some of us were lucky enough to have had friends or family that supported those times and some of us have not.

I read some where once that every time I think about giving money to a person and start to hesitate, I was to remind myself that I always have another $5.00 in the bank and I have the ability to make another $5.00 Saving and holding on to all I have isn’t going to bring me a better life. my give might just make Homeless and Hungry Happy for a minute. It wont make their situation go away but they will feel cared for. Me saving 5.00 may bring me more “stuff” and luxuries but it won’t feed my heart and soul. For me, giving does just that – it fills me up from the inside.

Time Commitment: 15 seconds

Cost: $5.00 plus 2 apples

What people are saying about 365give

“I wanted to express my gratitude for the teaching you provided today. Your message was delivered eloquently, compassionately, and without judgment. The kids were engaged, and now have knowledge with which they can change the world. We all appreciated how you took the time to help us learn to build positive mindsets and practice happiness.”
Shelley Gardner, Grade 6 Ridgeview Elementary (West Vancouver)
“Actions really do speak louder than words, which is why I believe the 365give Challenge has resonated throughout my community. Every give we do is so important to us and leaves us happier and appreciating our lives a little bit more than before.”
Mahina Niyozova (Tajikistan)
“After watching the 365give TEDx Talk, I was inspired to join and begin a daily giving program in India. Today, along with 12 other volunteer women, we provide 100 meals to local underprivileged children in Bangalore for school every day.”
Deepika Ahuja, Mom (Bangalore, India)
“My life has greater meaning now.”
Renate Jorge, @BeKindBrazil and 365give Member, Family Program (Brazil)
“I just wanted to share that 365give really helped me. I am a better person now, thank you.”
MayLee, 365give Member, Individual Program
“This 365give Challenge has really injected excitement and extra enthusiasm in each work day as I think about what we can do. It has motivated me and the students.”
Cristina Peters, School Counselor (New York City, USA)
“I have seen a huge shift in energy throughout my classroom since doing the 365give Challenge. The Challenge has empowered my students to make a positive difference in the school’s community and beyond.”
Cella Adriana, Special Needs Educator /The Holliswood School (New York City, USA)
“The 365give Challenge helps students understand their impact on others. It opens avenues for introducing and discussing global and local issues in classrooms. It is powerful to watch students of all ages think about how they can make a change in another person’s life with one small act.”
Jessica Hall, Primary Teacher, French Immersion at École Pauline Johnson (West Vancouver, Canada)