Monday, February 13, 2012

Food delivery to the homeless with Kechara Soup Kitchen

Who would have thought that in such a vibrant town, in another dark side of the city, there will be so many homeless people roaming the street after most businesses are closed? Homeless? What? Not surprising actually. If you go down to the street and look for them, with eyes wide open and not oblivious to your usual surrounding ie keeping a straight eyes while driving, you will see them. A lot.

While Kechara Soup Kitchen is just feeding a weekly 650 packets on their rounds and catering to about 200 people on a daily basis at their soup kitchen center, there are other soup kitchens who are also doing the deliveries and feeding. There are many reasons why someone can become a homeless. We are not there to judge, however, it is best you come down to the street with us and experience it first hand. If your heart is not open at the first round, come for the 2nd, and the 3rd, and the 4th and the 5th. You will then start to understand.

Any kind of people can step as close to be a homeless in a split second. You will have to come for the briefing and do the delivery first hand and you will then know it's not just drug addicts or the mentally challenged that ended up on the street. There are indeed poverty, with people doing their works as usual, barely making it from their salary , and have to depend on free food given out from charity organisations that includes churches and mosques as well. Another example, a friend was following for a delivery round and after a tiring night, the friend squat down on the street and start to have a smoke. I look at her and .. hey...if I take off your shirt, you are just the same. So you see, we are all just the same. It's just the shirt that makes a difference. When I say that, I don't mean to embarrass the friend, for this friend knows pretty well what am trying to say. And we learned that we should be grateful to be able to be the giving hands, for tonight.

What keeps me going and coming back to this cause is not because of doing this for fun, although am still trying to do this in a fun way. What am saying is when we do stuffs like this, ie charity, beside team work, there must not be any ego. Not one hand is better than the other. It is the collective effort that makes it or break it. Towards a common goal and together doing it in any way we think we can to help the less fortunate.

Secondly, there was a round where after giving the food to the people, I went into a fast food outlet for the bathroom. I saw a client sitting at a corner in the fast food outlet. It was very comfortable with the air cond at full blast and it was actually drizzling outside, making it more colder. Seeing her just after her late night work, assuming this because of the attire she was wearing and the stuff she was carrying, she opened the pack of rice and it was a really slow gesture. She prayed on the food and was giving thanks. When I came out from the toilet, I saw another homeless, this time taking small bites on the biscuit that was in one of the delivery round, and each bite is savoured slowly and with eyes closed. I don't know what's in their mind, but that visual to me was so empowering and it touches me deep down that at that moment I feel like breaking up and cry because of all the sudden energies that came to me. All the things I ever learned and experienced was just summed up in that powerful visual. Gratitude, appreciation, kindness, compassionate, etc. EVERYTHING.

So with that empowering visual, it keeps me going. It keeps me want to do good, no matter alone or with others. Still thinking of ways to contribute more.

People, if you stumble upon this post, these are the things that I think is suitable for the homeless. You can also come up with your own initiatives as well.

1) Soap. You don't have to give a big bar, those small ones like from the hotel rooms are good enough. If you have connections or people in charge of hotels that you can talk to, maybe they can donate those used soap that hotel guests used but not all are used. They can cut off the layers to come out to the new layer and wrapped it up again and donate to the homeless. Or if you go to hotel, and have been collecting those soap/toiletries like toothbrush or shampoo that you haven't been using, give them up :)

2) Medicines for skin ailments or wounds

3) Used clothes ie shirt, t-shirts , etc that you don't need anymore but still in good condition

4) Biscuits, fruits, mineral water etc

5) Cash to KSK or any other organisation to continue their works

6) Towels/umbrellas/recycle  bags etc

7) Click or copy paste this url to your browser and join me and friends on this collective effort in contributing to charitable good deeds via facebook to KSK

All works in KSK are inspired by H.E Tsem Tulku Rinpoche and you can find him here 
You can also find him at his blog here
And last but not least,  you can also join KSK on facebook , here. 

Related blog post : Here

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