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If you visit Seattle, it won’t be long before you are flooded with requests for spare change.There are a lot of homeless people in Seattle, and they are more then ready to help you by taking all of your heavy change from you. If you spend time here you will also find that there is a giant population of homeless youth. If you pay attention you will notice that a lot of people struggling talking to themselves. I wonder how many of them actually struggle with mental health issues or is it a symptom of loneliness. If no one looked at me and there wasn’t anyone to talk to, I would 100% make up friends to hang out with.

For me, I try to look them in the face and sometimes I feel compelled to share my money or change, and other times I feel restraint. For my second experiment I took some advice from Jeff Lilley, President of Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission and made some bags with useful items to give away. Wave 1 of my bags are packed with a fruit roll-up, hand sanitizer, string cheese and some homemade cookies that my Mom baked in NC and mailed all the way here for me to enjoy (she did an amazing job so I know these fellow family members will love them)! Sometimes I don’t have change, sometimes I might have a use for the change I have, but it doesn’t mean I can’t share my resources with others who may have destructive tendencies through relational conversation. It’s important to stop, listen, make eye contact and chat like you would anyone else. That is what I see Jesus doing through the stories that have survived time.

On my next list of purchases: winter gloves, hats and hand warmers!

 

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