One of the ways we give back to the community is to help feed the less fortunate. We find the most rewarding way is to give food directly to a hungry person. At times we will make up lunch bags containing sandwiches, a cookie and a piece of fruit along with a napkin and some condiments.
Today we had another opportunity to help. As we were out running an errand, Lollie noticed a poor soul alongside the road. He was old, very thin, unshaven and was leaning on a walker, wore a leg brace and holding a cane. Lollie said that he looked hungry and asked me to pull into a nearby restaurant to buy him some lunch. Lollie wanted to get him something that he could eat with a fork and not just a sandwich.
After receiving a freshly prepared “To Go” lunch from the server, Lollie added some plastic flatware and napkins. We added a large bottle of water and drove back to where we saw the fellow. He had, by this time, traveled a couple of blocks from where we had originally seen him. We pulled alongside him and offered him the lunch. He took the offered lunch with a smile of gratitude and said, “Thank you. I’m going to share this with my buddy.”
Think about that. Here was a poor soul with hardly a thing to his name and obviously very hungry, yet his first thought was of his friend. And this is not the first time we ran into this unselfishness among the needy. We have distributed lunch bags to the homeless in the park and had folks ask for an extra bag for their friend who was in the public restroom. We have offered food to others only to have them say that they had already eaten and to give the food to someone else.
There is a lesson to be learned here. Compassion is not dependent upon need or how much one has. The poorest seem to have great compassion while many rich are greedy. We both believe in the paradox, “In order to keep it, you have to give it away.” We are fortunate and by sharing what we have, we are the richer for it.