You know I love to help people on the street and I encourage you to do so as well. But we all wonder if our help will be effective. Will a cash hand-out be used to purchase drugs? Is the person standing on the corner faking poverty just for free money? Will they turn their noses up at a small gift of food? I believe the solution is socks.
Sure, there are plenty of other things that people who've lost their homes may be doing without -- toothbrushes and soap and clean clothes and warm jackets. We don't get to know all the needs of all the people. But a universal need is socks. Especially in the damp weather in the Portland area, and especially for people whose shoes are worn out or inadequate, socks can be a real blessing.
It doesn't cost us much to carry a few pairs of new socks in the glove compartment, and when you happen by someone who appears destitute, you can share a pair without worrying about whether it'll be used well.
Imagine being outside in winter without any socks, or with wet ones, and having no resources. Would you be walking around finding food and shelter? Or would you be huddled in a doorway or under some shrubs, trying to keep warm? If you're uncomfortable handing something to a stranger, most churches will do it for you, or you can send socks or a donation for them to us and we'll be delighted to help.
I know that the people who read this blog are kind, generous, and aching for people in need. Thank you all for caring.