street level,street level conference,panhandling,begging,flying a sign

Who gives more?

“Excuse me m’am…do you have any bus tickets?  I have to get to an appointment this afternoon.”  I was speaking with a couple of our friends at drop-in this week when a quiet and somewhat unsteady woman approached me and posed the question.  I answered that we only give out tickets from the office and that there was no one there right now.  I was just starting to tell her that I would double-check that when Corie, one of the friends in the group I was standing with, reached into his pocket and gave her 2 loonies.  He doesn’t have much himself.  Each week he gets a bag of groceries from our food-bank and I know that the ends don’t often meet in his budget.  To say that I was humbled would be an understatement, but we see examples of generosity in the street community all the time.  At the office the other day, one of our friends gave his gloves to another because he had a warm place to sleep and the other guy didn’t.  I think we’re often guilty of thinking that we have so much to teach our street friends…but maybe…it’s the other way around.

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