Day 21 - Being On the Side That Gives
Today is Day 21 of my Gratitude Challenge – what a humbling journey, how has it been for you?
I could write about so many things, but I have chosen to pay tribute to my situation in life – the privilege of being on the side that gives.
For 9 years, I ran a sandwich making club for the homeless (Club Gratitude, previously Club Sandwich), with the help of wonderful friends and volunteers. It stemmed from the appreciation that my basic needs and more were taken care of every single day, without my blinking an acknowledgement. I wanted so much to pay this forward, and at the time, my beloved late Grandma, may her dear soul rest in peace, was making sandwiches for the homeless through her synagogue. I loved the idea of turning a good deed into a communal act with a social element – why shouldn’t we have fun while serving humanity?
The club ran on a monthly basis, purely on the spirit of the volunteers, who also brought with them loaves of bread and filling. The sundries were donated by family and friends of the club, and so it ran on goodwill alone. The provision at the day centre we served then changed, and we could no longer serve them with fresh food, so Club Gratitude became a Facebook page where we share wonderful projects with similar values. I am so grateful to those who shared the journey of this heart-warming entity and the atmosphere of gracious compassion and presence they brought. I am taking a step back to decide what to do next, as even though I have started working part-time in charity professionally (the universe saw my 9 years of voluntary service and raised me a job!), I feel that there is more to do.
I am extremely grateful to have met Andrew Faris, the inspiring Founder of homeless charity, Rhythms of Life. Like Club Gratitude, it is run purely by volunteers – an astounding achievement in this day and age. Andrew was a rough sleeper for 6 years, until he managed to pull himself out of the cycle and start a new life. He began a 10 year (and counting!) journey of paying forward his Gratitude for this by setting up Rhythms of Life. Every day of the year, they feed up to 100 people on the streets with donated surplus food, a double dose of goodness for the world! They are currently seeking new premises, and I have pledged to do everything in my power to help, because I am so grateful that there are people like Andrew and his volunteers who refuse to give up on our homeless friends. It reminds me of that classic scene in Superman, when our hero catches Lois Lane before she falls to the ground - he says, “Easy Miss, I’ve got you,” to which she replies, “You’ve got me? Who’s got you!?” – it’s time to think about those who are serving those in need and let them know we’ve got their back! If you can help us in our quest to find this homeless charity a home, please get in touch!
I hope that reading these posts has given you some ideas of where to dig for your own Gratitude Gold. I will still be posting regularly (just not daily as I write the blog for Light Up A Life charity too) so please keep an eye out and feel free to email me to share your own Gratitude Goldmine exploration experiences.