This Christmas Eve – as with each Christmas Eve since it’s inception, my running group gathered once again to spread needed items (personal hygiene stuffs, warm clothes, new gloves and socks..) out to the homeless on the streets of downtown.
You can read the post from last year – that describes the whole event – Here.
Christmas Eve morning was cooler and wet – unlike that first year that was below freezing and full of snow and wind. It wasn’t ideal conditions to be out, but it wasn’t the worst.
We met in the darkness, at what once was our usual met-up location. New people, friends and family who came just to be a part of this thing, were introduced around while the running group hugged and greeted each other like we have gone missing from one another for years.
The mileage was low. The speed often was just a walk. We stopped constantly. Itwasn’t a run – it was a purpose. Training was put aside today in place of community.
We ended at the shower house – a homless assistance organization that offers soup, clothing, and showers to people who need them. Enough people are living in cars and have jobs, but remain homeless, that something like this is a nice thing to have available.
Maybe it doesn’t always occur to us, that theres a story to poverty, to homelessness… to need.
One man wanted to get back to Florida, where he had family. He and his girlfriend had struck bad luck here and she was in jail. The money ran out while he was trying to help pay off her fines. Now he was starving and freezing as he waited for her to be released so they could leave.
It really puts a holiday – one so renown for greed, for expensive gifts and stress and drama – into perspective. One that makes the rest of it more tolerable. More reasonable.