I was in downtown Atlanta yesterday for business purposes. During my 4-hour meeting inside I believe we lost around 15 degrees outside and when leaving to go home it was very windy and cold. While I was walking to my car I was thinking about how fortunate I am to have a warm car to drive to our warm home, simple things most of us take for granted.
Before entering the parking garage I met a homeless man who was wearing a very thin coat, he had a few other supplies but nothing that would keep him warm last night. He appeared to be new to the street life and while he didn’t ask me for a thing, he did follow me. When I asked him why he was following me he just said he was trying to get out of the wind for a while so he was going to find a spot behind a wall in the parking garage.
I asked him if he had anywhere to go for the night and of course he did not, or that was his answer at least. I gave him what little cash I had in my pocket and asked him to go and get himself some blankets or a sleeping bag. He thanked me and went and found his wall to hide behind.
On the way home I thought about an event a few years ago when my daughter insisted (during a family trip downtown) on helping some homeless folks under a bridge by buying a bunch of cheeseburgers and handing them out. I remembered the humbling while at the same time satisfying feeling we experienced meeting those folks and just passing out some cheeseburgers to a grateful bunch.
At this point I figured this may be a small answer to our prayers for guidance in helping others, so we are going to run with it with our own resources as well as any donations gathered by way of this GoFundMe thing.
We will be taking some of our own money and the GoFundMe proceeds (if any), purchasing warm sleeping bags, wind resistant tents and second hand coats. We as a family will be delivering them to the homeless in either downtown Newnan or more likely downtown Atlanta over the coming days, and who knows, maybe even coming months if this works out. Other families are welcomed and encouraged to go and participate if you'd like to.
Fortunately I've never used GoFundMe so I have no idea if this will even work, but if it does, thank you for the read and consideration. I will be supplying receipts to all donors so that they know their donations were spent in line with their intent. If this site allows I'll also be posting some photos of the folks we meet and hopefully help to stay warm.
Late entry - we realize it is the Christmas season and budgets may be tight. If you have gently used sleeping bags, tents and thick coats that you are no longer in need of we will gladly accept and distribute. Please make sure they are of high outdoor low temp rating products and let me know if this is something you want to do.
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