A few weeks ago, I wrote an article entitled Help The Homeless: 10 Ways That Don’t Cost Money. It is a topic that is very near and dear to my heart, and I’m so humbled that our readers liked that post.
Many times we write about people who really make an effort do their part to make the world a better place, and I’m so happy that today I get to write about another person doing just that. To make it even better, she is also a very dear Twitter friend of mine.
After reading that article about helping the homeless, Erin Margolin (@erinlynn76) decided to make some changes in her life. In just a few short weeks, she is not only inspiring others, but she is making a difference on the streets of Kansas City. In addition to now carrying snacks and gloves in her car to distribute as needed (see her video below from her trip to the Dollar Tree), she also shared a story with me, which touched my heart. I want to share it with you. Get a cup of tea, sit back, relax and get ready to be inspired…
Erin’s Story (in her own words)
“Today my daughters and I enjoyed lunch at Winstead’s, a popular burger joint. When we finished, we ordered a cheeseburger, fries and a Coke to go. We drove to the west end of Country Club Plaza on 47th Street and Madison Avenue where many homeless people are usually walking around. I parked my minivan and explained to my daughters what we were about to do. They, of course, had a lot of questions. I grabbed the Winstead’s meal and my daughters each insisted on choosing something else from the pile of goods I keep on my front seat. Abby picked a bag of peanuts and Izzy opted for a tuna salad kit. We crossed the street to the intersection where a homeless man was standing.
I introduced myself with a smile and asked if he was interested in some lunch. He grinned widely and thanked me, holding out his hand. I shook it and asked him what his name was. “I’m Kasey Jackson,” he said in a raspy but friendly voice, “and I’m a Native American.” I introduced my daughters to him and explained that I was educating my kids about homelessness in the hopes that they will become sensitive young women someday. Jackson explained that he stores his belongings in the Cancer Survivors Park, which is also where he sleeps sometimes. Other times, he sleeps underneath a bridge. I can’t fathom what that must be like. I know that could be me on that street corner.
I encourage you to be proactive. It doesn’t have to be a lot or cost a lot. It can mean handing out a peanut butter sandwich you made, or individual packets of snacks you’ve purchased. Smile. Talk. Showing you care doesn’t have to mean handing over a $20 bill to one person. Homelessness is a growing problem not only where I live in Kansas City, but everywhere else, especially with our tanking economy. I can’t be the solution on my own; but if each of us did one nice thing each day, imagine what we could be capable of together!”
Erin, you are so right! As we’ve said before, often during this time of year, people are eager to help because it’s the spirit of the season. However, come January, February, March… many times these people are forgotten and dismissed as a disease in our society. Just like you, I encourage people to remember them, even if it’s just with a smile. Just like you said, we don’t have to pass out cash to the person on the street corner in order to make a difference in someone’s life. Thank you for the inspiration Erin. You are such a wonderful mother, and you are truly an angel in Kansas City! Below is a short video that Erin made our readers, along with some other pictures that she shared with us!