Look at that…a brand new record number of volunteers turned out for our April giveaway…45! On the other hand, we served a record low number of people in line…only 85. In addition to the toiletries and clothing available, those 85 people were treated to Just Because You Matter bags full of extra goodies, compliments of our Beyond the Basic Crafting Cohort. Their first project was a success! Join their FaceBook group if you’d like to be a part of the summer project (to be scheduled in the near future).
Even though our giveaways are only once a month, people under the bridge appreciate us being there. One person told a volunteer, “Last month, I asked for a small rolling suitcase because mine was stolen. I hope that lady brought one for me this time.” We couldn’t figure out who she spoke to last month but that didn’t matter; we had a rolling suitcase and she was grateful. A little while later, a gentleman walked up to a specific volunteer with several pens in his hands and said, “Last time I was looking for pens and you said you’d bring some this time. You remembered and you did! Thank you.”
It’s interactions like those that reaffirm our reason for being there. They offset the stranger moments we’ve encountered so far this year: the bullhorn of scripture aimed in our direction, the prayer walking/space cleansing performed in our corner of the parking lot after we packed up, the religious bulletins handed out to volunteers…our presence seems unsettling to some but appreciated by others. That appreciation, along with our supporters’ and volunteers’ dedication, keeps us focused on preparing for the next giveaway.
Speaking of our next giveaway, mark your calendars for Sunday, May 17th. If you attend next month, you might see some items purchased with a $250 grant recently awarded to ATXAHH by the Beyond Belief Network. We bought some bins for long term storage, too. Thanks, BBN!
*”Panhandling,“ a common term in the United States, is more often referred to as ”begging“ elsewhere, or occasionally, as ”cadging.“ ”Panhandlers“ are variously referred to as ”beggars,“ ”vagrants,“ ”vagabonds,“ ”mendicants,“ or ”cadgers.“ The term ”panhandling“ derives either from the impression created by someone holding out his or her hand (as a pan’s handle sticks out from the pan) or from the image of someone using a pan to collect money (as gold miners in the American West used pans to sift for gold). source