The Day after Christmas most of us have had time with family, good food and plenty of holiday cheer and we are waking up in the morning all warm and cozy. It may be hard to imagine but there are homeless people who live all around us that never experience this day the way that we do. Maybe you could make this day after Christmas different and open your hearts to help the people who are less fortunate than we are.
Today more than ever we may be able to relate to the despair of the homeless because some of us have lost our jobs, or have had to experience the death of a spouse or a child, or endure a physical disability. These are just some of the possible personal tragedies that can fall upon us.
Kinerk, Schmidt & Sethi PLLC, hopes that everyone can have and experience one moment that brings forth a smile this holiday season. Helping someone else does not always have to be monetary. You can give your understanding, give of your heart, or give of your time. Surprisingly, these are the gifts that can be the most appreciated.
Here are several things you could do to help:
1. Understand who the homeless are and help dismiss the stereotypes about them. Learn the many different reasons a person is homeless. Sometimes all they really want is not to be ignored. Treat them the way you would want to be treated if you needed help or assistance.
2. Take food or a few extra sandwiches when you go out. If you see someone asking for money, offer them something to eat. If you pack a lunch pack an extra one or when dining in a restaurant order something extra to go.
3. Give your recyclables to a homeless person. Save your bottles, cans, and newspapers for the homeless instead of taking them to a recycling center or leaving them for collection.
4. Join Habitat for Humanity. This is a Christian housing ministry that helps build houses for families in need.
5. Help a homeless person apply for Government aid. Many of them do not know where or how to apply. You could help direct them to homeless intermediaries and homeless organizations that help them to apply.
6. Write to corporations to join in the battle for low-income housing thru the use of tax credits or with outright grants.
7. If you have a job for a homeless person give them a chance by offering them a job or task or help. You can also direct them to a program that helps them learn to work and find a job.
8. Volunteer at a local shelter.
9. Tutor homeless children. Some children rarely have a positive role model to help spur them into doing their best. Some tutor programs exist in shelters, transitional housing and schools. Call to see if they need volunteers.
10. Donate toys. The children living in shelters have very few possessions if any.
11. Volunteer to help serve food in a soup kitchen. Food may be something we take for granted but having a nourishing meal may be all they can ever hope for. You can contact your local shelter, soup kitchen, mobile food program or religious center to see if you could donate food or your time.
12. Donate a bag of nonperishable food items to a food drive location or bring a bag of clothes that no longer fit. For some children this is the only way for them to have a different thing to wear.
13. Make a list of all the local shelters and carry it with you to hand out to the homeless. The shelters are listed on-line or in the phone book.
Making someone happy the day after Christmas is a way that you can make a difference, and usually all it takes is your time.