Last night, my husband came back from a “milk” run and told me about the homeless man trying to sleep on a bench near a gas station close to our home. Despite living in California, winter nights are still cold, often 30-45 degrees Farenheit. I work in Oakland, California, where I see homeless people every day. However, in the suburbs where we live, we don’t see as many, although we know there are people in need in our small town. I know of a woman’s shelter in town, but I’m unaware of one for men.
This man was having difficulty sleeping, as he didn’t have a blanket to keep him warm. When my husband came home, he asked if we had a blanket to give. We had just donated two garbage bags full of blankets and towels, but even with a blanket, we realized that might not be enough to keep him warm. Fortunately, we still had a full size sleeping bag in the garage. My daughter had just used it last month at Science Camp.
My husband wiped down the sleeping bag clean, drove back to the bench and handed it to him. The man was extremely grateful, which is humbling for us as this sleeping bag was something we only used once, then stored in our garage. However, for him, this is something he can use daily. As my husband walked away, he noticed the man’s belongings in a grocery shopping cart. Imagine, all the things he owns are in one cart.
Last night’s incident justified another reason to let things go. There are other people who need them more than we do. The sooner we let go, the better.