Sunday, December 21, 2008

Off My Balcony

Good morning reader(s)!!

Just thought I'd slip out onto the balcony at 3:00 am this cold winter morning (am I nuts?!) to take a snapshot of what's on the other side of my nice warm condo. I thought how very lucky I was not to have to go out today for any reason.

My darling dog, Hayley, whom I adore more than anything peed on my balcony. Well, technically, she was outside. I managed to get it before it froze solid. SHE was already back in the condo having decided it much to cold outside for her. If I wanted to freeze out there, that was my decision; but, it was not for her. I came back in closing the slider firming locking winter on the other side of the glass.

Then my thoughts turned as they always do, especially at this time of year, to the homeless. Last year, I gave away several blankets - just got off the bus at a spot where I had previously noticed someone without enough blankets, covered them up and carried on. Easy. This year thick socks and mittens are my cause.

So many people are already homeless and thousands more are joining them every week. It is a time of hardship for all; but, especially the homeless. We cannot allow ourselves to be defeated and beaten down by the numbers of people who are out there needing help. If we allowed numbers to defeat us the homeless would suffer even more. I try to concentrate on the one or two I can help. Notice I said "help" not "save". I'm not in a position to save anyone; but, I can help with a warm, thick pair of socks; a pair of mittens stuffed with a granola bar and a smile that lets them know someone has noticed them and cares. You will find there is no shortage of cold homeless feet and hands out there that will appreciate these gifts more than you know.

A word of warning: Do NOT leave granola bars and small food items near a sleeping homeless person. I have witnessed passers-by steal (or attempt to steal) these items from the person while they were still asleep. Make sure your person is awake and able to receive your donatation personally. (And people talk about the homeless stealing!)

Please try to spread the word in your community. Vancouver has already had a senseless death. A homeless woman trying to keep warm in her cardboard box was using a candle. Her "home" caught fire, then her clothes. Despite rescue efforts from passers-by and 911, she passed away. They need us.

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