One of the cool things about Nashville is the Homeless Newspaper. The Contributor is purchased by vendors for $.25 and then sold by the vendors for $1.00. It took me weeks of us living here to work up the courage to purchase our first one, and once we realized what it was, we’ve become regular contributors. Whenever we see a vendor we can purchase from safely, we do so. It’s a great little newspaper, and I love, love, love that it connects all of us in myriad ways. I also love that Monkey, my regular seat mate is the one paying the vendor and having that contact.
It felt like we could be doing more, though, and many months ago my friend, and former neighbor, Jill, had mentioned making “gift bags” to give to homeless people when you see them. Unless we went into D.C., we seldom saw homeless people in Reston, but in Nashville, thanks to The Contributor, they have become a semi-regular part of our lives here, which I am grateful for. So because some of the vendors we see often, we’ve now got gift bags to give them if they’d like one.
We’ve had the supplies for over a week, and finally made time this morning to put them together. Poor Monkey had been up approximately 2 minutes when we got started. She rose to the occasion gracefully. And in a near parenting-miss, The Buster didn’t want to help, and I almost MADE him, but then realized that would defeat some of the purpose. Well, no surprise, he just wanted to decide to help on his own schedule. He jumped in shortly after we got started, but he wanted his lego character to be the one doing the sorting. That lego guy was a great worker.
I looked at a couple different blogs for ideas on what to put in the bags. For this time around we put in:
A bottle of water
A pair of socks
$5.00 Target Gift Card
Pack of kleenex
Tin of mints
Hopefully some fun things, as well as some useful. And they are all items we would be glad to use, which felt important.
After we were done, and it only took about 10 minutes since we only made 6 bags for this first time, the children took some time to make up some stories together. Seeing the three of them laughing and creating together is one of my favorite things.
If someone had told me that frequent connection to homeless (or formerly homeless) people would be one of the things I would be grateful for in Nashville, I would have had no clue what they were talking about. Life certainly hands us unexpected gifts.