Shadowproof

Late Night: Hope for the Holidays

Taking direct action to feed the homeless. (photo: Ryan Cook)

I moved down to the Washington, DC metro area in early September. Jobless, with my fingers crossed, I was fortunate to get an offer to join the FireDogLake team. Joyous with my new employment and the mitigation of my financial anxiety, I started to look for places that I could give back to the community. A friend recommended doing some work at Martha’s Table. Their mission is to provide nutritional, educational, and community support for the homeless. Their main focus is “at risk” children and their families. When I contacted Martha’s Table three weeks before Christmas and asked what I could do to help, they put me on a waiting list. Although discouraging, it was heartwarming to hear that we live in a country where even in times of hardship for the average household there are lots of charitable souls trying to help out during the holiday season.

I waited a week to hear back from them and decided it was time to take action. My roommate and fellow alum of Roger Williams University, Sebastian Herrick and I decided to help out in the most direct way we knew how. We went to Dupont Circle, entered Krispy Kreme in Santa hats and exited with 36 glazed donuts and enough coffee for the New York Giants. We then proceeded to walk around town handing out a donut and coffee to the homeless in DC. At Union Station we were greeted by a large group of individuals who were all incredibly thankful for our warm treats, although some people were not interested.

A couple approached us outside the train station shaking cold, strapped with backpacks, and chapped lips. They had traveled from California by foot and bus in the pursuit of happiness and new beginnings. Stranded in DC with nothing but the clothes on their back and the pins that held their bags shut, they asked if we could give them some coffee. At this point I realized that two months ago I was doing the same thing, wandering around DC hoping to find my way. I am fortunate to have the support of family and friends to assist me, and although some coffee and a donut is hardly going to change their lives, it’s a small gesture that I hope these people can continue to find wherever their travels take them.

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