People living in poverty are as different as you and me and have different priorities. And like us, their priorities sometimes change. So we need to listen to them and not try to outguess them. Try talking to someone in need: “What do you need most in this moment?” Listen.
Some priorities are dictated by the season. To get a sense of what people living in poverty need, imagine yourself sitting naked on a bench downtown as chill night falls in late November. Workers are streaming home to hot dinners. No one looks at you. A drizzle is returning. What do you want. Clean underwear to begin with. A warm shirt that fits, trousers that are durable. A sweater, dry socks, waterproof shoes, a good coat, maybe a toque. Maybe an umbrella, a hot meal, a safe place to sleep, a sympathetic ear, a chance at your own room, a decent job, some hope for tomorrow. Think of the help agencies you know which provide a measure of these things, including the Social Responsibility Coalition of this congregation. “Not all of us can do great things,” Mother Theresa said, “But we can do small things with great love.” Engage.
If you would like one of our members to make a purchase and delivery on your behalf, we’d be glad to do that. If you have questions or ideas on how we might assist needy people in other ways, please email us.