Welcome to the first week of blogging for The Planet Humanity Project!! I will be taking part in a community project every single week, then blogging about my experience from beginning to end. So what is this week’s community project that I got involved with?
I will tell you from beginning to end! You see, one day I was scrolling down my Facebook page and I came across a page that we’re looking for donations of food, drinks, toiletries, etc. to add to the homeless packs that were made to give out to homeless people living rough on the streets of Auckland City New Zealand. I only saw the post three day’s before they were going to be handing the packs out so the next day I went into my local New World shopping center and while I was doing my regular weekly shopping I also placed a small plastic shopping basket at the end of my trolley and labeled it my “Shopping for the homeless basket”. Now I also had a budget of $10.00 NZ Dollars. That I could put aside to buy food for the homeless. As I went along doing the shopping I stopped in the tinned food section to see what I could find. I managed to find easy open cans of peaches in light syrup, pineapple slices, fruit salad in syrup, light coconut milk, spaghetti, soup and a packet of potato chips.The tinned fruit ranged between the prices of 79 cents each – 99 cents each this meant that I could buy around 10 tins of food and I even managed to fit in buying a pretty face cloth because I thought to myself you never know who might need a face cloth they could use it to wash their face in the morning at a public toilet. To at least feel fresh in the morning and they could wash it in the public toilet basins and reuse it if they need to. I really felt myself thinking about this face cloth and where it could end up – I then also found a box of 8 small apple juice boxes and instantly thought, I wonder if the homeless would like some juice it must be hard to find anything other than water to drink living on the streets Maybe they’ll like a bit of a treat and so I brought the apple juice, which was only $1 meaning I went $1 over my budget for the homeless but that $1 was absolutely worth it. And so I had all my own grocery shopping completed and my homeless food pack complete I was feeling very proud and happy.
I went home and borrowed one of my mum’s environmentally friendly supermarket, large shopping bags and placed all the tins of food in the bag. I than Facebook messaged the organization I was going to give to and they were going to pick the goods up the next morning. So I left the bag at the door and went off to my Zumba class thinking they would be around to pick them up afterwards. So I came home and waited, but no one picked the goods up – I thought wow they must have forgotten and actually I have not heard from them since, so maybe they had enough to give out already I thought. Now I had this homeless pack full of goodies just sitting in my kitchen pantry not moving or going anywhere it was on my mind for a few days. And so when I was again just looking at my Facebook page I decided to look up “homeless runs Auckland City” and to my surprise a Homeless Run August event page showed up. I quickly read through the event page to see if I had missed it and to my luck I had 3 days to spare. So I posted on the event page with the post below:
Hi, I was searching for a place that I could donate to – I have 1 recyclable shopping bag full of tins of easy open cans (non perishable items such as peaches, fruit salad, pineapple, soups, spaghetti etc), a 8 pack of apple juice, chips, lollies, a face cloth. Another service has not bothered to pick it up. I was wondering if you would like it for your run? However, I would need someone to pick up the pack, let me know if you would like it at all?
And to my surprise, I received a fast response as below:
That’s amazing! Thanks heaps! We would love to take that for our run! I can pick that up from you.
And so I went ahead and private messaged the organizer a very lovely young person. They were ready to come and pick up the pack the next day! And so I left my number with the organizer and she rang us up and she had gotten lost trying to find our house I had to get another family member to explain where to come. And 10 minutes later the organizer showed up at my door gave us a big hug and showed so much appreciation for what we had donated. And we showed appreciation right back for the amazing project they were doing.
But this was not an ordinary handing out of goods to the homeless run. This group of people out of the goodness of their hearts actually cooked food for the homeless, gave out special treats, drinks and done it all on a winter’s night in the middle of a busy bustling Auckland City Street.
The next day, the organizers sent me a Facebook message to thank me for the kind donation and to let me know that the Homeless loved the Apple Juice Boxes and drinks (My older brother decided to also donate cans of diet lemonade to the homeless pack) they received!.
The Image of people living rough with no homes over their head being able to feel happy after receiving a small box of apple juice was a feeling of great peace, sadness and a reminder to myself to appreciate the small things in life because you never know when those small things might disappear.
If you would like to get involved with the next homeless drop please let us know or head over to the organizers Facebook page to stay up to date:
The Planet Humanity Project.
All rights reserved, 2015.
Image: The food and drinks that were given as a donation to this cause.