Last Thursday was Thanksgiving and instead of feasting on turkey and cranberry sauce and passing out to football on the couch I joined up with Gobble Gobble Give and helped distribute meals to the homeless. It was inspiring to see how many people showed up to join in the cause, but even more so, it was internally rewarding to scour the city and bring food to people who were in such straights of despair they couldn’t even show up at the soup kitchens, who probably had no idea it was even thanksgiving.
This is us getting the food from the good folks preparing it inside the Echo. The place where normally you drink it up and listen to music, where I saw Dan Deacon do his thing about a year before.
Everyone brought food to donate and then volunteers assembled it inside the Echo and tossed it into waiting cars where we took it and hit the streets in search of hungry souls. I brought two salads and two pies from Whole Foods. Organic apple and pumpkin. Homeless deserve to eat healthy too.
I ran into a good friend and got in their car for our mission. We had no trouble finding needy folks. This guy was asleep in front of a Constitutional Rights Building. Somewhat apropos.
I was surprised at how many homeless people we found. There was one woman who was yelling at something that wasn’t there but the minute I handed her the box she immediately snapped back into reality and showered me with a thousand ‘gracias’. I gave her a ‘de nada’.
I think we normally block them out of our vision, drive by without seeing them, just go on with our day blind to the despair of others.
On a lighter note, we passed some kids under a tarp next to the palladium and when my friend took them a box they laughingly informed him they were just waiting out for Jonas Brothers tickets. We got a good laugh at that.
MY EYES HAVE BEEN OPENED.
You see, I haven’t been myself lately…
For the last month I’ve been someone else. A shell of a person.
I probably haven’t been myself for the last 13 years or so, actually… but that’s a blog for another day.
I feel like I’m waking up after a long, deep sleep but I’m back.
I’m on a new kick. It’s called helping people.
I realize I have it pretty easy in this world. Always have. Despite my latest torn-asunderness, I’ll probably have it pretty easy in the years to come. So I’m obsessed with doing good. I’m trying to nourish the white light inside my chest, the one that radiates positivity, that lifts my heart, I’m trying to make it shine brighter than the neon lights of Hollywood.
There’s only one way to do that: cultivate goodness. That’s what Thanksgiving was about for me. Doing something for someone else instead of just chasing down my own pleasure, instead of pursuing selfishness, or wallowing in my own loss of comfort, I thought I’d go out and do some goddamn good in this world.
Had I ever???
But it’s not like there’s only the hungry and downtrodden one day of the year. Ever since Thanksgiving I’ve been seeing tons of homeless people. Were they always there? Outside my work on Miracle Mile next to the Tar Pits? Near Canters on Fairfax? Under the 101 bridge on Coldwater Blvd., where there’s always a puddle even when it hasn’t rained in weeks?
In the spirit of zealous do-gooderism I’ve created the Saturday Afternoon Sandwich Club. Right now it consists of myself and my friend Gil. The idea is simple. We get together and make a bunch of sandwiches, every Saturday of course, thus the name. Peanut butter and jelly. Turkey and cheese. Tuna. Whatever. It doesn’t matter as long as it’s food and it’s healthy. Then we hit the streets and pass them out to the people that normally eat out of trashcans or from other people’s leftovers.
It doesn’t cost a lot of money at all. A loaf of bread. A package of deli meat. Fifteen bucks or so and you can feed ten eight to ten people. And the feeling you get is worth so much more. Believe me, I’ve spent thousands and thousands on trying to feel good and this beats it all.
If you’re interested in joining our club the membership is cheap. Like I said. A loaf of bread. A jar of peanut butter. A block of cheese. Whatever contribution you can make. And it only takes an hour or so. Like I said, you don’t have to travel far to come across these people.
If you’re interested in joining the cause, hit me up here or on Myspace or out in that weird, frightening place called the real world.
Remember: this is the season for giving.