Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tis the season

Today I was sucked dry of Christmas spirit for a moment but read on, for it did return. My boss is an Alderman and we do holiday baskets for the needy each yearin his ward. This is my 2nd year. I order all of the food, book the location, organize volunteers and basically act as the all-around-info-gal. My day started off at 7am. I had to stop at the office for cards, envelopes and lists of needy people in the ward. By 5 til 8 I was sitting on a street corner in the city waiting for the pastor's wife to come open the church that we were using to put the baskets together. Pastor's wife calls to say she sent her son, he should be there already. I ring the bell, knock and then walk around the entire building at 8 am in the hood in cold-ass weather. I call her back to inform her that no one is there and she says she will leave her house now to meet me. She is only 10 minutes away and married to the pastor so I work on forgiveness while I wait. Brrr. She shows up and lets us into the church.

As we begin putting boxes together to put the food into people start knocking at the door. Now keep in mind, no food has arrived yet, we just have empty boxes. Here is some of what I heard when I opened the door: "I need me some free food". "I hear y'alls givin' away food and I want some". "I come down for my free holiday basket". "I'm really needy". "I ain't got nothin' to eat for Christmas". I don't want to sound harsh here and I know I probably do but we do these baskets for the needy. We deliver them to people who cannot get out to even come down to the church to beg for a basket. This part of town is over ridden with people who are in need and unfortunately the neediest people would never stand on the corner and ask for a handout. We hear about them through businesses, elected officials, members of our board and people in the community who are probably needy themselves but nominate a friend for a basket first because they are good people. One of the volunteers said today "It's no wonder with the way people act about free food that there is so much war in the world". Amen, sister. Amen!

I mean, if you want to turn a whole slew of liberals into Republicans; send them to work at a food bank. Let them see the knock-down drag out entitlement issues going on there and see if they still want to give for the holiday season. I know there are truly needy people out there. I am all about helping those people. What do we do when we have a country that has taught its children that if you stand on the corner long enough with your hand out, someone will fill it with money or food? I have friends who have been forced to accept food stamps against their will but in order to feed their children. They were hard working, single mom's that were shamed to accept help. Why is it then that so many people feel they are deserving? Who made them so entitled? It made me really angry and skewed my opinion of good deeds for a minute. Yeah, fala-fucking-la!

But, and this is a huge but, there were many thankful deserving people too. There were grandmothers who raise their grandchildren that now will have food to feed their family a nice holiday meal. There were lonely older men who promised to share with some fine ladies of the community who could cook it up right for him. Then there was that one single mom, so thankful and humble, who said to just give her enough for her and her 2 kids and leave the rest for someone else. She has a son in school and this adorable little 2 year old whose eyes say she is 22. She was so sweet and worried about others who might be in need. She didn't ask for anything but took all that was given because she didn't have a choice. She might have gotten some extra corn and green beans...and some cookies...and maybe a $20 spot as an added blessing to her holiday.

I helped people today; people who were in need. I lost my spirit and my way for a minute but a little girl and her mommy helped put it all back into perspective. And now as I look back over the day what stands out are the grandma’s, mothers and older men who appreciated what they got more than anything in this world. I almost can’t remember what that toothless crack head begging for food even looked like;-) Fa la la la la, la la la la…

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I would love to do this. B and I often talk about how part of the reason that he is so much more conservative and I am so much more liberal is due to our jobs. I think you hit the nail on the head about that in this post.