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  1. #1
    Affiliate Network Rep ayakobing's Avatar
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    Giving back
    A few of my co-workers and I went to serve meal at women's homeless shelter last week. We got there around 10, prepared turkey burger, baked beans, carrots and cookies. At 11, we welcomed 72 homeless people and started serving lunch.
    Some of the comments I received from people I served:

    * Where is Lettuce and Tomato?
    * What kind of meat is this?
    * Do you have a real meat?
    * This ain't a burger
    * What's for dinner?

    Surprisingly, people did not like what we served (by the way, we did not pick the menu) and most of them did not eat Turkey burger. I was speechless because if I were homeless and someone is providing me free meal, I will eat anything with appreciation. This experience made me think about a lot of things............

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Yeah, that sort of thing can really open your eyes. "Homelessness" isn't as simple or as predictable as we want to believe, is it? Plain and simple -- the folks you were feeding had pretty fussy food expectations.

    As a sort of "counter balance" to your experience: My wife helps a group from our church go to a local homeless shelter to prepare and serve supper one Saturday evening per month. I have no idea what their menus are like, etc., but she's never had anyone complain, criticize, etc. They all seem to be glad for the food and she and the others preparing the meal have a great time visiting with those who show up.

    Who can predict human behavior, eh? But, yes indeed, it can be discouraging how downright selfish and ungrateful people can be sometimes when we are trying to help them.
    Generate more fake news.

  3. #3
    SEO: A Specialty - Web Design: Slow or outsourced andbeyond's Avatar
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    Often homeless people have mental illlness or antisocial behavior. Not that they don't need or shouldn't get food. Even more so.

    But don't expect great happy uplifting experiences all the time.

  4. #4
    Affiliate Network Rep ayakobing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andbeyond

    But don't expect great happy uplifting experiences all the time.
    So true. This is not going to stop me and I'll continue to do this once a month. I am learning how to appreciate things around me and I understand that these people probably went though a lot of tough issues. My goal is to be available and get involved

  5. #5
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    Sorry to hear your experience was discouraging. Glad to hear you are not going to give up.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ayakobing
    Surprisingly, people did not like what we served (by the way, we did not pick the menu) and most of them did not eat Turkey burger. I was speechless because if I were homeless and someone is providing me free meal, I will eat anything with appreciation.
    Yes, volunteering at a homeless shelter is a real eye opener. Although I prefer them, most people I know are turned off by them. But it's not about the turkey burgers.

    I once volunteered at a homeless shelter in the South Bronx and had to defuse several potential volatile situations, like why I was doing this (a white woman in a black homeless population). Believe me, if I said something stupid that implied pity, my life would have been worth 2 cents. I grew up in a poor neighborhood and understood the frustrations/anger at having to be on the receiving end of charity—the pious faces looking down on you with pity & smugness, not being seen as an individual, not being respected...people helping you but stuffed with their own sense of goodness at helping the less fortunate. Emotionally, this can be infuriating. I'm not saying you or others displayed this attitude, but people on the receiving end of charity can be very fragile, their self-esteem is very low and your helpfulness can be easily misinterpreted.

    Face any confrontations calmly and respectfully. Acknowledge that you understand their frustration and disappointment. They're not angry with you or necessarily the food, but at the futile situation they find themselves in. Having to eat food they don't enjoy is just one more reminder of how little control they have in their life.

    You would be very surprised—some of the most hostile people come around once they know that you truly "see" them. People also need "soul" food—might even be more important than real food.

    Good luck with this!
    Renée
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz

  7. #7
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoyUnltd
    They're not angry with you or necessarily the food, but at the futile situation they find themselves in. Having to eat food they don't enjoy is just one more reminder of how little control they have in their life.
    Very insightful. Something to keep in mind when interacting with those that are less fortunate or have fallen on hard times. In most cases they have very little control over their situation or how they got there.

    My hats off to all of you that have given your time to make someone else's life better.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  8. #8
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    My mom, a brilliant, educated woman went mising 5 years ago in Atlanta and to be found just this past christmas in a park homeless (1 day away from death the doctors say) in Alaska. I would of never thought. She has been in a hospital out there for 8 months trying to heal, but is coming home in a week or so. My mom has a lot of pride and would of never considered herself homeless, but she was for sometime obviously. There were people that obviously helped her aong the way- one more meal to get her to where she is today- still having a chance at life.

    Your doing the work of God, keep doing it if it leads you, those are blessings
    you are putting out there...and don't take it personally if someone doesn't react thankfully- a lot of them have so much pride and its hard for them to accept and acknowledge your giving, but they know they do need your help at the same time. Thanks for sharing...you're doing the right thing!

  9. #9
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    SocialGuy - glad to hear your Mom was found and is coming home soon.

  10. #10
    Affiliate Network Rep ayakobing's Avatar
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    SocialGuy,

    It is wonderful that your mom was found and thank you for sharing such a personal story. I am not doing this to get recognition from anyone and I do so because I learn so much from giving back. Listening to your story does help me keep on giving!

  11. #11
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    Thanks for sharing your story on helping out, nice to hear what people are doing for others outside of work....was a nice thought for a thread.

    Blessings,

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by socialguy
    My mom, a brilliant, educated woman went mising 5 years ago in Atlanta and to be found just this past christmas in a park homeless (1 day away from death the doctors say) in Alaska. I would of never thought. She has been in a hospital out there for 8 months trying to heal, but is coming home in a week or so. My mom has a lot of pride and would of never considered herself homeless, but she was for sometime obviously. There were people that obviously helped her aong the way- one more meal to get her to where she is today- still having a chance at life.

    Your doing the work of God, keep doing it if it leads you, those are blessings you are putting out there...and don't take it personally if someone doesn't react thankfully- a lot of them have so much pride and its hard for them to accept and acknowledge your giving, but they know they do need your help at the same time. Thanks for sharing...you're doing the right thing!
    Wow, what a story! Your family must have been heartbroken with worry. It's so wonderful that she was found.

    Ayakobing, I'm very sorry if you felt that I implied you were seeking some sort of recognition—I emphatically wasn't. Was only trying to convey that some on the receiving end can be in a very fragile state of mind and can misinterpret the best of intentions or use this situation to vent frustrations that they have nowhere else to vent.

    Many people wouldn't want to be around the homeless and as you said, you learn as you give. The kind of lessons you learn there can't be taught in a school and I'm happy you're not giving up. Best to you on this journey!
    Renée
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz

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