SF Event Archive 

December, 2003

Love is work. It was appropriately etched on the sidewalk as our group walked back, just having shared some lunches with the homeless on the streets of San Francisco and Berkeley. And though over 60 volunteers met this Saturday and helped to make and share 350 lunches, it hardly felt like work! Within two hours, the people in the group -- ranging from a 5 year-old to a teacher who had brought three of his high school students -- had already made the sandwiches and were ready to hit the streets in teams of threes.

Many of us have ignored or walked right by the homeless, but this time it was exactly those people we were combing the streets for. Some were curled up in ragged blankets on the sidewalk or in the park; others were pushing their carts around; many were looking busily for any bottles or cans they could recycle. And when asked if they could use a lunch, they would look surprised and most of the time, thankfully accept, invariably saying ?God bless you? or ?Thank you and Happy Holidays.?

These people certainly had their own ways of giving, their own perspectives and life-stories, and their own unique expressions: some were even college graduates, one a film extra, and another, an extremely talented guitar player. And all in all, 350 of them had a meal that they might not have had otherwise. That is amazing, but as we shared our experiences afterwards, even more inspiring was the connection that people felt between hearts, expressing itself again and again: you could see it in the prayer circle that one homeless man initiated with one of the groups; in the plants that another homeless man gave an eight-year old volunteer; or in the songs that a woman on the streets sang for one group as her way of saying thanks for the lunch.

It's not easy to relate to a reality that is so far from our own. But in looking within ourselves and then reaching out together, we came a few hearts closer. Love IS work, and it is work that so many of you do.

In service,