I was very touched the first night we served dinner to watch the homeless men and women join hands with the pastor in prayer. It will always stay in my mind as a symbol of the fact that in the end we are all equal. I was also touched by their gratitude for the food they eat and the shelter they received.
Another incident that touched me was when one of the homeless, Levan, came in one morning excited that he had received an opportunity to work on a construction site. We gave him some clothes, a pair of work boots, and a bicycle. He was so grateful you would imagine he had won the lottery.
Recently I was very touched by a middle-aged woman who came in looking for clothing for her 85-year-old grandmother. The woman was very worn out and hungry looking. I offered to bring clothing and emergency food to their home. It was sad to see a group of people living in a termite infested and very neglected property. Yet they were able to express thanks, chat, and smile, even under theses terrible circumstances.
I was also very touched by a very nice gentle older man who came in one day looking for clothes and shoes. He was so crippled with arthritis that I had to help him put on his boots and I offered to drive him to his home. When we got there, I found out he was living in an old carport and was paying $15 a month rent. In spite of this, he was able to give a warm smile and ‘thank you’.
Just last week I was touched to see how happy some of the chronically homeless were after using the new showers and having a sandwich. It looked like they had momentarily retrieved their personal pride and dignity
Overall, I enjoy this opportunity to be part of The Sheltering Tree, because it gives us an opportunity to help people who come from many different circumstances that nobody should try to change or understand. It makes me realize how fortunate and privileged my life has been.