This is a heartbreaking but mixed happy and sad story that has touched me. I was living in Las Vegas in 2009 at Christmas time. I decided one night late on about December 15th that I did not want anything for Christmas but to give back to folks who are less fortunate. I put out a notice in Sun City Aliante subdivision, where I lived, that I just wanted to see if anyone had old blankets, toiletries, clothing or basically anything that a homeless person could use. I told them in a very quick note about 10 pm at night, that if they had any of these things, to leave stuff at my front door. I planned on gathering things to take down to the homeless people that I was aware of (who stayed on Forester street near Main) for Christmas.
I woke the next morning and I couldn't even climb out of my front door!! People had brought so much stuff!! Friends and neighbors kept donating for days after that. I had to beg other people to come and help me sort everything into bags.
Before I was finished (I had 6 helpers working 16 hours a day) we loaded up 6 trucks with everything imaginable! People were buying tents, luggage, all new toiletries and dropping them off. I was exhausted, but so happy to help.
We gathered everything up and we fed and clothed over 250 homeless people on December 24th, the Eve of Christmas, in the rain. Some had animals, and there were pregnant girls and babies, etc. It was so sad, but also very heartwarming to offer some help.
I have a file of pictures I can share later, but I just watched a video tonight of the homeless crisis and just had to write this in the moment. I just wish I could take care of the entire world.
If you love animals or you love people you know how I feel. If enough people want to see my pics, I will manage to get them out as I am not a photographer.
The event I had was so overwhelming with people that they named it Sylvia's Friends. I haven't even checked at this moment to see if someone took it over as I don't live there anymore and moved before the next Christmas came around. My husband died September 2010, so I lost touch with people back in Aliante.
Just keep the homeless in mind as you think about the spirit of giving. Thanks from Sylvia and KOHZEE.