Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Giving Hearts

Many places offer a bed or meal to the needy. Usually located in urban settings these organizations also provide meals, classes, and a listening ear.

I recently visited the Cherry Street Men's Mission in Toledo, Ohio. After hearing the need for bottled water on the news, my sisters and I went shopping, filled the car's trunk and set out for the mission.

Temperatures floated in the three digits that day. Three men stood outside the mission wiping sweat from their heads.

We toted cases of water and family sized bundles of toilet paper into the mission and set them in the entrance. The greeter smiled and called the head administrator who agreed to give us a tour.

Along the way, he showed rooms with beds. The entire facility was dedicated to providing a place to sleep for anyone who needed a bed. The first floor had a large room stuffed with bunk beds. The second floor had rooms in the process of conversion to sleeping quarters. On the third floor, men who took classes and had jobs could share a room with one other person.

The administrator, a thirty-something man, had worked at the mission for his entire career. His compassion for those needing a bed outstood Mt. Everest.

He took us to the room where the needy checked in for the night and said, "Some of our men
choose to sleep here, on the floor. Some are concerned for their safety among the other men and on the streets. They want to be out of the weather and have a camera focused on the area where they sleep. We don't make them come past the check in area. Our goal is to meet the men where they are, and help them the best we can."

He said, "Our greatest need is water and toilet paper, which you brought us today. Thank you. Many donors don't realize men need toilet paper. Those gifts are usually only given to the women shelters."

If you can, consider giving water bottles and toilet paper to your local mission.

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