SF Event Archive 

February, 2003

Dear Friends,

Cigarette butt. That isn't exactly what Katy expected in return for sharing time with the homeless. But that's what she got -- a prized possesion of a homeless man who smokes that leftover cigarette to keep warm during the cold winter nights. It was his way of saying thanks for the brown-bag lunch he got for his hungry heart.

Over fifty folks gathered in a volunteer's woodshop in SF (the only place in SF where parking isn't a problem!) this Sunday at 10AM and whipped out 400 veggie sandwiches, bagged with hand-baked cookies, a banana and bottled water! It is an incredible site to see in action ... self organizing group of pumped-up people, ready to serve, to do anything and everything.

Have you ever made 350 cookies? Kathy certainly hadn't. But she inspired ten of her friends to jump in and bake couple dozen cookies each, ahead of time! By noon, it was clear that we were delivering much more than food; we were delivering love. We split up into teams of 3's and 4's and took to the streets of SF and Berkeley.

Funny things happen when you generate compassion, though. You get it back, multi-fold, in many different ways. Charit was offered food in return for what he gave, Elita learned some GRE words, Netika got hugs and kisses, Shanti learned about "flipology", Shveta got a lecture on why voting is important, Kanika heard gripping stories from a former 'ganster', Rajeev heard some heartfelt poetry, Jonathan was moved by a simple "God bless you" ... we all reconvened by 3PM and shared stories, while eating some leftover fruits and sandwiches.

It touches you when get something from people who have nothing, when you realize that service inspires service, no matter who you are. Kinda sheds new light on what Martin Luther King Jr. once said: "Everybody can be great because anybody can serve."

One homeless man had a button on his old dirty hat which read: power of love, not love of power. Indeed. Thank you for being agents of that "power of love".

In service,

(on behalf of the CharityFocus-events team)

P.S. For such events to operate so smoothly, it takes a lot of background work and responsibility. All kudos for this event go to -- Mona, Robin, Karmesh and Valeri! Time and time again, they put in effort just to give others an experience in service ... you can send them a note of thanks at: homeless@charityfocus.org