The homeless world is not always filled with hopelessness and despair. It's far from only people living on the street, dealing with addictions and mental or physical health problems. There are many people who have amazing stories of overcoming challenges. There are also many people who give a lot to help those people when they need it the most.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. It's a day to have gratitude for what we have. With the year coming to an end in about a month, it's a chance to show thanks to people who are helping others in the time of need. My three favorite stories feature a music celebrity, a sports organization and a friend.
Last August, music superstar Lady Gaga played a sold out Chicago concert at Wrigley Field. Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, have a charitable organization called the "Born This Way Foundation." Their organization's mission is "to create safe spaces, promote education and create a braver, kinder world."
While Lady Gaga was getting ready for her gig, mom threw a barbecue at The Crib, a place where homeless youth can stay. It's operated by The Night Ministry, an organization that focuses on the plight of homeless youth. Germanotta toured the facilities and then told DNAinfo, "I would encourage everyone to visit a place like this and see the the hope that it brings. It's one thing to hear about homelessness in communities, but when you actually see what's happening, you realize what people go through."
Story number two is a yearly tradition. For the fifteenth season, the Chicago Bulls basketball team served Thanksgiving dinner at Pacific Garden Mission homeless shelter. Players, management, broadcasters and their families served more than 1000 dinners at the cities largest homeless shelter. The Bulls aren't the only team to do this. The Oklahoma City Thunder also served a Thanksgiving dinner to their cities homeless population this year.
The third story is personal and my favorite. My friend Paula is a knitter. She told me it keeps her busy and out of trouble...the second part I don't believe but it does keep her busy. She knits scarfs and puts together packages of needed supplies such as socks, gloves and even chocolates. The photo at the top is one of her packages. She then heads out to the streets and gives them away to homeless people who can put them to go use.
About a month ago, she sent me a message saying she had 40 of these packages. FORTY!! Did I have a place where they could be put to good use? Oh yeah, did I!! I'm a pretty good middleman.
Last week we dropped off the packages at Lincoln Park Community Shelter where they currently house thirty-five men and woman. Hopefully it'll help keep their residents warm plus they can snack on some candy at the same time. Win/Win! And now Paula can start making some new scarfs while keeping out of trouble!
On to more great stories like these in 2018. I know they're out there and on this holiday, I'm thankful for that.
Related Post: Even at Thanksgiving, giving thanks isn't easy
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