Share a Meal (post from Nov 18)
Unfortunately, I was unable to physically participate in the service project on Friday; however, I was happy to be apart of choosing the service project topic as well as creating the pamphlets that were handed out to the homeless. Attending a catholic high school, service has always been a huge part of my life because each year we were required to serve a certain number of hours before we could graduate. Some service projects I have been apart of in the past involved beach clean ups after a major hurricane hit close to home, Field of Dreams which allows for volunteers to assist children of special needs play the game of baseball, Hoops for All which is a similar concept accept involving basketball, and donating to many other organizations such as Make A wish Foundation, Find a Cure, and Locks of Love. However, within over 240 hours of service I provided in my high school career alone, I have not done any service projects similar to Share a Meal.
Share a Meal is so unique compared to any soup kitchen or food provider for those in need. It is a food truck that arrives on a regular schedule at locations where homeless people tend to congregate. So, unlike soup kitchens, where the homeless have to go to in order to get their desired food, the food comes to them as volunteers go out on the streets and offer the burritos they made along with water. Due to the Thanksgiving holiday and my early flight, I was unable to enjoy this amazing and humbling experience; as well as helping the homeless to feel humanized.
At a young age my parents taught me always to take precaution around homeless people because they are very unpredictable. Growing up in a small town near Atlantic City New Jersey, I have experienced my fair share of homelessness. I still to this day am not aloud to enter the city by myself and was taught that “you are not supposed to look them in the eyes or acknowledge them because they will try to beg and can hurt you”. As I attend school in Los Angeles, I have experience homelessness on a much larger scale. My parents are now more worried for me and ask that I do not go anywhere by myself whether it be on campus, to the grocery store, or even around my apartment complex. Homelessness is a big problem in most places, especially large cities such as LA. One question that arises if we should really not acknowledge them as people? After all they are human beings.
As a women, I personally do not feel safe walking the streets of Los Angeles alone. In my short time here I have encountered many altercations with homeless people following me, begging for money, or in many cases, showing aggressive neurotic behavior. This can be extremely dangerous because of how unpredictable they may be. However, I want to acknowledge them and make them feel humanized therefore I think Share a Meal is a great way for me to do this. I will make it appoint to get involved with Share a Meal to help the homeless with hunger and make them feel more like a human and less like a pile of trash on the sidewalk.