This Xmas season

This Xmas season, it’s severely cold here, and snowy across the middle of the US. I will make my yearly plea that we all go out of our way to think of those in need. The homeless can make efficient use of just about anything. Don’t just collect those bags of stuff for your tax write-off; give where the need is heaviest. I know it’s a down economy, and we’re all challenged ? but I see more of Shakespeare?s homeless this year, than I can ever help:

Poor naked wretches, wheresoe’er you are,
That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm!
How shall your houseless heads, and unfed sides,
Your loop’d and window?d raggedness, defend you
From seasons such as these?

Conservatives can try to make Scrooge into a hero, insulting the legacy of Dickens. If you have a heart, you know better than that. Dig out that old stuff in your closet, make someone warm tomorrow, and for the Xmas holiday. You there ? I know you’ve got that can of black olives in the back of your pantry. And you … you?ve got a can of chili you didn?t especially like sitting there. Give it someone who might truly enjoy it, instead of tossing it out when you do your spring cleaning.

The homeless, in general, do not bite. Walk up and talk to them, look them in the eye. Let them know someone cares. You may be surprised, even delighted. If you see one as you’re leaving your favorite restaurant, offer your ‘doggie bag.’ Going to McDonalds? Spend a couple of bucks and buy them a “Happy Meal” or better. To paraphrase Bob Marley, mankind *is* our business. You can?t do much about Iraq, but you can feed and clothe that homeless vet, can?t you?

To give you a different and personal spin, try this on for size. I can never forget that my father and his siblings were once ragged orphans, abandoned by their father and grandparents upon their mother’s death. If you don’t give, you might not be able to read writings from someone like myself in the future. You read me, thanks to the charity of private individuals. Individuals who gave a damn, who wanted to make a difference.

And did.

The cold of winter *is* when want is most keenly felt. Do not forget the needy this season.

Thank you.

dangerousmeta: 12/23/04

I quoted the whole post, which is wrong copyright wise, but Garret probably won’t mind. This is too important and he’d understand.

I can relate to his message – in the future you just might not have people like myself either, who grew up with Salvation Army provided Christmases amd spent time sleeping on the Frankford El because I had no where to go.

I said this before in the context of the election, but I’ll say it again in the context of life – if you have the resources, you have the responsibility to do something.

In Philly, we have Project H.O.M.E.. A terrific service that will help homeless with temporary relief, and long term, to help them beat their personal struggle with poverty.

One thing I do is keep a phone number on me at all times, their Street Outeach number (215) 232-1984. Call it if you find someone who is homeless. They will drive to your location and attempt to help him or her out. Better yet (and I need to do this myself) volunteer to be a driver by calling the same number. They always need help.