Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend the annual Good Friday Walk to End Hunger and Homelessness. Years ago (it’s been going on for 33 years) it started as a Roman Catholic thing, but it has expanded to become ecumenical. I write a bit more about the experience in the upcoming May issue of Street Sights (http://streetsights.org). But being there was like…a long cool drink of water on the hottest of days.
There were several different starting points for the walk but they all ended up at the state house for a rally. The walkers were sponsored and they raise between 25 and 40 thousand dollars a year. The organizers, with rightful pride, told me that not one penny of the money raised goes anywhere but directly to help programs like meal sites, food pantries, clothing closets etc and so forth.
Even more wonderful was to look around at the group of people and realize that it was a primarily youth driven initiative. Most of the adults, the parents, were in kind of a state of shock. One of them explained, “I am here in support of my 10 year old niece. Its my vacation but she explained why doing the walk was important and you know, she’s right.”
What made me even happier was talking to the organizers about how the finance committee selects the programs to receive the funds. The programs are local, national and international. The emphasis is on the local but they always have one international program, this year a high school in Haiti, that receives something. ‘We do this to show the children that poverty is everywhere, homelessness is everywhere and that there is always someone poorer than you. You have to take care of home, but you cannot do it at the expense of the world because you are a part of the world. You are more than your neighborhood.”
And you can’t separate it out because something will always get more emphasis than others.
Then, this morning, my balance arrived.
I put an ad out on craigslist (I know, but hope springs eternal) looking for volunteers for the newspaper and I got several replies. All from spammers wanting me to visit their “grant” site where you had to pay to view the material which is available for free elsewhere.
I trashed the messages but it bugged me. So I signed back in to the account and brought them back up and replied:
“Sit and think about what it means to reply to a call for volunteers with an ad.”
The message may not be read. They may not care. But you know what? It led to this blog. And here we all are, sitting and thinking.
c.2011. Cassandra Tribe. All Rights Reserved.