Giving a Helping Hand
As any city, Las Vegas has its share of homelessness problems. A few years ago, the mayor, Oscar Goodman, decided he didn’t want to help the homeless so he initiated an ordinance that forbids people to feed the homeless. However, many people have found ways to help people who are in need and homeless.
When I was a single parent struggling to make ends meet, I had help from my church and some compassionate people. I was so humbled by the generosity of the people. I vowed that when I got back on my feet, I would help in whatever way I could people who were less fortunate. I host events and at every event I choose a charity that I work with. I have done food drives, blanket drives, personal health care kits, etc. over the years.
Today, I dropped off a few shirts and a case of water to a place where the gentleman collects these for the homeless and everyday goes out with a shopping cart and gives bottled water, shirts, socks, etc to the needy people downtown. He informed me that when he steps over to the area, he is in a whole new status. Some people think he’s homeless, they look away, etc. He showed me the radius of where he goes. Even in the heat, he is diligent. He names his project Clean Shirt on a Hot Day.
Ruzo lives in a modest little apartment building that has a lot of history. It was a very nice place back in the 40’s when it was built. He has a little garden and is making a little area where people can come and sit. He said that people will bring blankets and hang on the concrete wall so that anyone can grab a blanket. He shared with me some stories of the people on the street. A homeless person may be someone who lost their job, a runaway child, or someone with a mental illness. One of the first steps in helping people is to see them as individuals and to find out what they need.
There are as many different stories but all of them have the same thing in common, that they are human beings who fell into some bad times and some of them have lost hope. Ruzo shows them compassion, encouragement and hope.
He shared with me some things that people can do to help. One is carrying some bottled water in your car and when you see someone in need, give them the bottle. Also, socks are appreciated. Packaged Peanut butter crackers are something that will help with hunger and restore the electrolytes as it has salt in them. Hanging blankets on walls so they can grab one. Instead of throwing away water bottles or aluminum cans, put them in a box or a clear plastic bag and put them near a dumpster. Putting them next to the dumpster is good so they don’t have to go digging in the dumpster. They will pick them up and take them to the recycle center. Some of them use that money to buy themselves a motel room for the night. Having a clean shirt and socks are always welcomed. When cleaning out your closet, think about giving it to the homeless people downtown instead of to goodwill. Give the homeless people the same courtesy and respect you would extend to your friends, your family, your employer. Treat them as you would wish to be treated if you needed assistance.
At the end of the day, we are all just trying to survive and live the best we can with whatever circumstances we are in. Everyone can or will need at least once in their life a helping hand.
Mitzi Reed is the founder of ASPIRE Conferences, llc, ™ and is dedicated to raising the awareness, promoting healthier lifestyles and to empowering people in all aspects of their personal and spiritual development. She is also the founder of SpiritDove, a ministry dedicated to being a messenger of Love, Peace, and Happiness. Mitzi’s passion and purpose is inspiring others to tap into the power and beauty of their soul. Event Coordinator/promoter. Life and Holistic Business Coach, Author and Speaker, Peace and Sacred Activist. Mitzi is a connector, a community organizer, a visionary and passion is empowering others to live their fullest lives. She was voted by the Las Vegas Community as Best Community Resource in the Inspiration Magazine. www.aspiringconferences.com