Valerie Christopher urges: This holiday season who she is doesn’t matter— it is who they are does ...

Give Back

( — December 8, 2015) — At this time many people are getting ready for the holidays. They are looking forward to spending time with friends and family, or to simply relax.

For some, the holidays are a stressful time—a reminder of what they are unable to enjoy or share with others. For many they need only to look a short distance and they will find the homeless residents without food and shelter (which includes veterans—some wounded or disabled, and college students). Some people have mixed feelings about the homeless community.  Some will draw their own conclusions about how they ended up displaced, or question if they truly are.

I personally have knowledge about several people I have known well who ended up houseless. I also know how they fought through difficult challenges, and what appeared like impossible circumstances, to get to a healthier, safer, and thriving place in their lives. On any given day when we witness a homeless person or family—especially during a season when cheerful “togetherness time” is happening in greater numbers, let us take a moment to share. We can provide food, money, our time, or a warm smile.  Let us not look down on ‘humans who are without homes’. We do not know what situation or series of circumstances got them to that place.

Despite how they appear to us at this moment, we do not know how many jobs they might have pleaded for this month, how many meals they have been without this week, how many times they have been assaulted by someone passing by, or if they are suffering from a physical or mental illness.  Many try very hard to leap over the trail of hurdles as they are presented, and then they sadly begin to lose hope.  Your food offering, money shared, time devoted, or loving smile might be that “one something extra” that helps them to turn a critical corner in their lives.

Before I go, I want to let you know, I support my local homeless shelter every month, and have been doing so on a monthly basis since 2009. I also will not hesitate to help at least one shelter-less person I happen to notice on the street. Like many of us, I have experienced some very difficult times in my life.  I know in a finger snap, life can throw us a curve ball, and what was there yesterday is no longer around. It is because of what I can’t forget that inspires me to do what I can, when I am able. For your own reasons, I hope you are inspired too.

For more information:  Contact your local homeless shelter, or safely share what you can with someone who is without sufficient shelter and or nourishment.