“Cling, cling” cups sound when homeless people shake them, desperately asking for money. I remember sights of both men and women, young and old, sleeping or just sitting on cold, dirty sidewalks while wearing torn, worn-out clothes. As I strolled past old, vacant buildings, men and women sat on the hard, concrete sidewalk tightly holding their cups, jars or containers which possess change given from generous people. They shake, rattle or do anything to get the attention of others who quickly walk past them to donate the smallest portion of money. One quarter, one dime, or even one nickle; anything for the homeless.
Next, I sauntered to Cleveland Browns Stadium for a football game in the bitter, snowy weather when I saw a middle-aged man who had messy, brown hair and almost blue lips shaking in the cold air with chipped, yellow teeth. He wore a torn, dirty, brown jacket and pants under a thin, black blanket in front of an empty building.
The gentleman shook his cup vigorously, saying, “Sir, sir. You got any change? Please! Help the homeless!” I then tossed a shiny quarter into his cup.
After that, he replied in a raspy voice, “Thank you sir.”
I know I helped the less fortunate at that moment because what if I was in his position? Cold, hungry and desperate emotions swarmed through my body like bees
swarming around a hive filled with honey. I know I cannot be like that man. Instead, I must be grateful for what I have.
Another time, my parents and I worked in a soup kitchen in Cleveland. Many homeless men, women, and even children lined up at the counter to receive food as if they were a bunch of young children at an ice cream stand. But these people were not here to get ice cream. Hot, steaming soup attracted the homeless to this shelter. While the homeless sat down, they ate their soup so fast as if it were an eating contest, in addition to their facial expressions and body language which told it all. Some were serious and quiet, slowly sipping their soup and savoring every drop. Others devoured their food like animals, happy they finally not only had something to consume, but a shelter to be in as well. I recall an older man dressed in a pair of ripped, filthy blue jeans, and a worn-out red sweater with dust, dirt, and other debris covering it. He sat there on a wooden bench holding his bowl of soup as close and carefully towards himself as if he was protecting a pot of gold.
Whether it is donating money to a begger on a sidewalk or serving soup in a soup kitchen to the homeless, I feel thankful for what I have. That is why I believe in one being grateful for what one has and giving to the less fortunate.
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