Homeless, destitute, poor, needy, hungry. However one wishes to name it; define it; term it; these words are indicative of crimes against humanity. I thought of this as my wife and I stepped through mud and squalor to get to a small gathering of tents pitched along the embankment of a small bridge. The food we handed to the residents of one tent was graciously accepted.This was not the only place we went…we spent that Sunday morning assisting a Buddhist humanitarian organization as they provided food, clothing, and other needed supplies to the needy in San Jose, California. It seems that food is a scarcity on the weekends. If it were not for this organization, many people would be hungry from Friday afternoon to Monday morning.
I’ve participated in activities like this in the past, but on this cold day, I experienced a new level of outrage with those who say people in need are just plain lazy. It does not matter the reason when someone is living on the edge. The food, clothes, blankets, and toiletries are the equivalent of emergency-room supplies. In the emergency-room, you don’t question a life-threatening situation-you immediately address it. No one was handing out used iPods or other luxury items. It was the basics. Yet a bureaucracy on basic human needs exists in the richest country in the world. Closed on weekends.
P.S. We will be going back and bringing more volunteers.