There were seven of us who helped out last Friday - Jackie, Leland, Holly, Holly (yes, there were two Holly's), Katie, Jamie and me. Holly #2 brought a bag with some hats, scarves, gloves, and socks to pass out. It was going to be a cold night and she was mindful of that. I had thought about bringing some things from home that I never use, but wasn't sure if it was allowed. Now that I know it is, I can keep that in mind for another time when the weather is going to be cold.
While we were waiting for the stroke of 5:15 (the time the canteen truck pulls out), we heard a pop, pop that sounded like a gunshot. Jackie ran into the back of the canteen truck and I said, "I didn't know we needed a bullet proof vest for this job." We actually don't know what the sound was, but considering we we in a not so nice part of town, a gunshot wouldn't surprise me.
We finally headed out and Leland drove the canteen truck and I followed in my car. Jackie and Jamie rode with me and the others rode in the canteen truck. Only four people can ride in the canteen truck which is why I followed. I figured my car is so ghetto that no one would try to steal it and I was right.
The first stop was under the I-565 Overpasses where "tent city" is, or one of them anyway. This is where we distributed most of the clothing items. We handed out quite a few plates (bologna sandwiches and chips). The last person to arrive for a plate was a man who went by the name "Stick Man" because he makes walking sticks. He got a plate for his wife as well who, he told us, was passed out drunk. Stick Man himself was quite drunk and regaled us with story after story until Leland finally came out and motioned for us to start making our way to the car so that we could go to the next stop. I had some old sheets in the trunk of my car and gave Stick Man a flannel one. He said he also had two dogs so maybe that sheet would make a warm bed for those two canines.
The next stop was an apartment complex close to downtown. It's an equal opportunity housing place and I have no idea what it is named. There were a lot of people at this stop, but we got them all a plate in just a few minutes and then we were done. We were finished before 6:30 I would venture to say - I really don't know because I didn't look at the clock. We dropped Jamie off at the Salvation Army so he could pick up his car and head home and then we went and got some dinner for ourselves.
We are both glad we went and did this. It was a humbling experience and it did us both some good. It will truly help you appreciate the things you have in this life. Here are some pictures from our Salvation Army ventures.