“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” Mother Teresa, Roman Catholic Religious Sister
I honestly do not know what it would be like for one of my children or me to be hungry, thirsty, cold, and without a home. I can only imagine this as I did in the middle of the night last night. My sock-less feet felt cold and I pulled the covers tighter and closer to my chin as I reflected on the truth of homeless people in our community. I woke up thinking about these same, though nameless, people and knew I had to do something TODAY to make a difference in their life journey. We are called to serve others, especially those in need.
“Intense love does not measure, it just gives.” Mother Teresa
Fortunately, we have a very organized shelter close to us that gives aid not only to homeless citizens, but also to those who simply need a meal or a hand up. Founded in 1971 by the Rev. Wayne Williams, MUST Ministries has been helping those in need in the Marietta, Smyrna,Canton, and Cherokee areas for over 40 years. The Elizabeth Inn sleeps 40 men and 24 women and children. The Loaves & Fishes Community Kitchen serves a free noon meal to current residents, as well as anyone else who comes by hungry. In addition, those in need, can pick up a supply of groceries four times a year. When I checked their website, I found a list of the particular things that would come in handy as MUST continues to serve those in need who live and work in our community.
Here is the list that I found:
New Underclothes & Socks
Tarps and Tents
Flashlights and Batteries
Bath and Hand Towels
Jar/Pillar/Taper Candles (new or used)
Diapers sizes 4,5,& 6
(All non-perishable items)
Macaroni & Cheese
When I headed out to take care of some early Thanksgiving food shopping, I took this list with me and picked up things to deliver to MUST. The MUST Donation Site near me is located at 55 Chastain Road NW, Suite 110, Kennesaw and will receive your donations Tuesdays-Saturdays, 9 AM-5 PM. They welcome your gently used clothing/shoes, coats, blankets, towels, and luggage.
With the unusual amounts of wintry weather already coming in, I hope after reading this you will research a donation site near you that aids the folks in your community. I also hope we will mark our 2015 calendars to clear out unwanted household items quarterly instead of just during the holiday season. That is a personal goal of mine.
In addition, I like to I keep a few pairs of warm, new gloves in my car to give to those I might see on the corner holding a scribbled cardboard sign. Our children still talk about giving gloves out to folks on the street on frigid days.
On Thanksgiving morning, MUST will sponsor The 12th annual Gobble Jog. If you have never participated, you will want to consider making this an annual event with your kids and your out-of-town family.
If we each do one thing to help these folks who are down and out, think what a difference we could make. This reminds me of a story that I love…
The Starfish Story: one step towards changing the world
By, Loren Eiseley
Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions.
Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching. As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea. The boy came closer still and the man called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”
The boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”
The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”
The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!”
*adapted from The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley, American anthropologist, educator, philosopher, and natural science writer (1907 – 1977)
We might not be able to change the entire world,
but we can certainly make a difference in our immediate community.
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me…whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” The Gospel According to Matthew 25:35-36; 40