Lent 2011 Part VI
What a great way to start the day. For the past 3 weeks Seattle's Union Gospel Mission has had a new program called Morning Watch. They have a van that they drive around the downtown area to pick up homeless people, give them some hot chocolate and offer to take them to the UGM for some breakfast. Local businesses can call a number to request the van to swing by if they have someone sleeping on their business' threshold. It's a great program that solves several problems with a simple, straightforward system that will hopefully grow with time.
What better way to spend a Good Friday morning than making it my first time volunteering for this great service from 7-9am. It was fun to offer a hand and some company to the guy who's been running it solo for the last few weeks -- a job that would be daunting at best and downright frightening at worst to have to start building relationships with complete strangers in environments that are...not conducive to chit chat. I met several very nice people, most of whom already knew of the service and have come to expect at least the hot drink if not a ride to breakfast. We gave 3 people rides to different places including taking one person to breakfast. The hot chocolate was a big hit, though a couple of the people were much more interested in whether we had socks to give them...it seems with Seattle's general dampness the feet of the homeless suffer more than the rest of them. I think they are going to look into carrying some of those supplies along with us in the van sometime in the future.
Walking back to work I didn't run into anybody needing breakfast so I actually didn't get to buy anybody a meal this week - though I still have to go to work tomorrow so we'll see - but I figure the Morning Watch is a satisfactory filler. I definitely plan on continuing this project since, well, I don't think I could stop now that I feel my eyes have been opened to a problem that I can actually help. I'll try to keep up a blog once a week or so. Thanks for reading and have a happy Easter!
P.S. I'd get more in depth and artsy with the writing but Zakuani just had his leg broken by a jerk in Colorado and I'm in a bad mood now...