Over the past few months and especially in the last couple of weeks I have come to know many of the patrons at the soup kitchen. I feel I am no longer just an anonymous volunteer to them, but they actually recognise me and greet me when they see me, and we get in to conversations. I am so happy about this.
This is not one singular act that has happened, more of an on-going thing… basically I have started keeping my eye open for free clothes, gloves, shoes, blankets, etc, that I can pass on to other people. There is a place called the Koha Shed (Koha is a Maori custom of gifting) where people can donate and/or take items as they please, with no money involved. It is specifically aimed at helping people in need and I am so moved by the kindness of the people who have converted their garage in to this community service.
It is a bit out of the centre of town where many of the homeless people stay, so I have started going there and picking up suitable items, and distributing them through the soup kitchen. Last week, I was able to give a lady some gloves and today we got coats and shoes for two young men who were in t-shirts and bare feet. I am so glad, as it really upset me that the system is failing these youths so much that in mid-winter they are unable to clothe themselves.