Sometimes, all it takes is ONE. There is a children’s book with this theme. One color is being bullied by another color and all the other colors get smaller and smaller as the bullying gets worse and larger. Then, ONE comes along and forms a support network for 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. Finally, as the bully realizes the group is stronger together, he/s pops and becomes number 8- part of the support network.
This came to mind today as I arrived to help out with food distribution at a local affordable housing complex. A small group of woman banded together and formed a support network designed to provide for the growing needs of the lower income population- those living in affordable housing complexes. These are probably the most likely people to become homeless. These organizers are thorough. When I arrive for food distribution I just stand around and watch and take directions- they have left no stone unturned. Many who show up for the fresh food- donated before expiration from local grocers- are elderly and many do not speak English. Helping these people carry food to their apartments is often my job. But today- I found another one. Last Thanksgiving I sponsored a family for Thanksgiving. Many grocery stores offer premade holiday meals for people unable to cook. The commitment was just for a meal. However, today someone told me they were planning to drop off an item for a family they met through the program. I asked how they knew the person and they told me through the Thanksgiving sponsorship. Bingo! I found a job- I filled a bag full of the produce from overflowing boxes of fruit and vegetables- so abundant the leftovers will rot before it reaches a hungry person- and dropped it on her porch. She texted me back with praise and thanks- very helpful for her right now in her strapped financial situation. It would never have occurred to me to do this simple, inexpensive gesture of kindness without the idea from my friend. A single bag full of fresh fruit/vegetables is not what most of us consider “a treat” (from her text message).
I find many times it just takes one or two people to start a waterfall. In this case, alleviating hunger. And it is getting worse- the Union Tribune reported that homelessness has doubled in 2020. And now we are in 2021- that statistic was not quoted.
Maybe others will show up, fill a bag and drop it at the home of someone strapped for cash. Seriously, before it ends up rotten in a landfill. Sometimes even the smallest act of kindness can save someone. All it takes is ONE.