Tag Archives: service

8 Meaningful Ways to Help a Homeless Person

24 Nov

I’ve always felt that it is MY responsibility to take care of the poor and downtrodden in my community.  Although I donate to charitable organizations, I find the most satisfaction when I can give to others directly. honeless man

Whenever I see a homeless person around town I want to help, but I never do because I want to do something more meaningful than money. When I get holiday gifts, I HATE the money presents because although they’re useful, they’re SO GENERIC. They require absolutely no forethought. Thus, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I consulted my favorite internet forums and put together a list of meaningful ways to help the homeless.

1) Carry around granola bars.  You’ve probably heard this one before, but it’s actually a great way to solve one of the most pressing problems that homeless people have.  What could be more meaningful than giving food to a hungry person?

2) Gift Cards and Coupons. Often times, homeless people have a small amount of money to use for their most basic needs.  Giving a coupon can ease some of their financial burdens.  Giving a gift card is even be better. homeless

3) Rent a locker to store their valuables. It’s hard for homeless people to keep their most valuable possessions safe so one blog I read suggested that you pre-purchase a few months rent on a locker at a shelter or community center.

4) Extra blankets and sleep pads. Rather than giving them to a thrift store, put them in your car and wait for the opportunity to give them away yourself.

5) Be on the lookout for easy job opportunities. It’s hard for homeless people to find job opportunities.  One of the greatest ways you can help them is through referrals and networking. Networking has been proven to be the best way to get a job and that applies to homeless people too!

6) Clean clothes.  Same as bedding.

7) Save old hotel shampoo and conditioner bottles.  Small sizes are easily transportable which makes them a better option than large cumbersome bottles. Take your own bottle of shampoo on vacations and save the travel size bottles for others.

8) Donate bus tokens. It can be hard for homeless people to get around town quickly, bus tokens can help quite a bit. You can either purchase tokens on your own or coordinate with the local homeless shelter for help.

Live on $1.50 for One Day

24 Apr

Action hero, heart throb, and Oscar winner Ben Affleck is going to live on one dollar and fifty cents a day for a whole week to support the poverty awareness campaign “Live Below the Line.”  This campaign is attempting to spread awareness about global poverty by inviting celebrities to live on $1.50 a day for a week like the 1.4 billion people around the world who don’t have the choice

I’m not really into celebrity gossip and gimmicky stuff but I actually think this is kind of cool!  Could I do it?  What would I eat?

Obviously most American food is super inflated so you wouldn’t be able to eat normal things like granola bars, meat, or ice cream.  I assume that IF I tried to do this I would eat a lot of rice, bread, top roman… I just price checked and bananas are about 33 cents a piece.  So Bananas and rice it is!

Honestly, I don’t think that I could do it.  I developed a mild case of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) on my mission and I’m not able to eat carbs without protein and fats BUT I think that if I could do it, I would.  Not for Ben but for me.

I suppose that this campaign appeals to me so much because I’m not a big fan of people going to foreign countries to do humanitarian work.  Why am I so cruel? Because FOR THE MOST PART the people that go aren’t very skilled at the specific type of work that they’re going to do.  I think that the money would be better spent if they would mail it to the third world country and hire a worker there to build or cook or do whatever else they want their money to do.  Its better to send the $2,000 rather then spend it on your plane ticket so that you can be a “part of the experience”.

I like Live Below the Line because it allows you to have a mini third-world experience without breaking the bank.  Anyone can make a difference in both their lives and in the lives of others.  Now that I’m thinking about it the Mormon church actually does something like this too.

Anyway what do you think of Ben’s big humanitarian move? Do you think that you could handle it?

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