(#12) Feeding Homeless People On Skid Row (March 29, 2014) – Part 1 (The Oddest Event Yet)

Monday, April 14th, 2014

I know we’re only 12 activities in. So, this might not mean anything yet, but this was by far the oddest event yet.

Before I get to the weirdness, I do want to mention one takeaway of the day which is really just a question of how are we helping poor or homeless kids?

Of course I also genuinely care about homeless adults. But there was a middle-school-aged-child that came up to our group and started asking us questions about where we’re from. And he really didn’t have a grasp of the different states in America.

He seemed so outgoing and passionate about learning. He also seemed interested in sports; he dribbled a basketball the whole time he talked to us (and at points even tried to do some tricks).

So, where does someone with so much potential and so much passion go to fulfill those things? I’m sure there are (hopefully) organizations working on that. I think the school system is probably failing some people.

But seeing this kid right in front of my face who could be doing more with this potential, but doesn’t know basic things (such as the states in our country)… It was just slightly jarring and sad. But let’s get off the sad note and just talk about the total weirdness of the day.

I can’t even really tell you the name of the group, because it all seemed a bit convoluted to me. Apparently this guy (whom we’ll call Glen) – “Coach Glen – the one and only” (and yes, “the one and only” was actually part of his name each time he introduced himself to someone) kind of maybe runs a non-profit?

Is it a 501(c)(3)? Your guess is as good as mine. What is the name of the non-profit? Who knows, really? Anytime we asked for specifics, they didn’t seem to exist. He seems to basically just be a guy who runs various programs around skid row.

People asked if there was a website we could visit. Even when trying to give us a web address, he seemed non-committal, and a little unsure of the details – of his own organization’s web domain.

Eventually I did end up getting on in a message after the event. It does talk about some things (but not feeding people on Skid Row). It doesn’t seem to be a full-fledged organization. It doesn’t say anything about 501(c)(3) status or anything like that (as far as I can tell).

(It wasn’t a standalone domain either – one of those that’s .this, .that (using other website-building sites, but not paying the fee to have your own domain). There’s not necessarily anything wrong with that, but it just doesn’t yell legitimate organization to me.) (Though, I’ll admit, anyone can get a standalone domain. So, that in itself does not at all make you legit. So, it’s really a small point.))

Basically, I went on Volunteer Match, saw there was an event feeding the homeless within walking distance of my home, and decided to go over there.

In the listing, it did say we should bring something if we should – though it did not specify that if we didn’t bring anything, there’d be nothing to give!

I thought the listing was asking that we supplement what would already be there… Nope. We were supposed to supply the entire lunch.

And this is where I’ll pick up next time.

 

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