(#12) Feeding Homeless People On Skid Row (March 29, 2014) – Part 2 (Coach Glen – The One And Only)

April 16, 2014

Picking up from yesterday

Thankfully, one woman brought a rice and meat dish. Thank goodness for her, or all we would’ve had to give would’ve been oranges and cookies. (It’s thanks to other volunteers that we even had that much.)

It was just an interesting day where no one really seemed to understand what organization we were volunteering with…

Also, someone needs to base a sketch character off “Coach Glen – the one and only immediately.

Coach Glen (T.O.A.O)  was always pounding the table saying “peoples! peoples, peoples!” anytime he wanted to drive a point home. He also sort of liked to repeat himself when it came to talking about things his organization(? – if it exists, I’m still a little skeptical) had done. (And he started and ended most things saying “amen.”

He enjoyed mentioning how world famous skid row was. I get that it’s a place mentioned in a lot of things. But it was weird to me, sort of selling the idea of feeding homeless people (which we were already there to do anyway) by talking about how famous the area was…

He was obsessed with the idea that they needed a power-washer. I can’t tell you how much he impressed upon us that his group needed a power-washer for the park. He kept talking to always of us, it felt in sort of a pressuring way to somehow find more money to give, or find a power washer.

I understand that once you have volunteers, you want to rev them up and get them to do more things for your organization, but the constant, impassioned pleas for money and supplies was a bit overwhelming (not just to me, but to people I talked to that day as well).

So, we’re hearing about this power washer multiple times, but none of us could make it appear out of thin air – though it seemed in his eyes like he wished we could.

Also, we were all supposed to donate $5 – which I did… But I did find it odd that we all ponied up $5 to a man in the middle of a park who really just had a folding table. Nothing else distinguished him from anybody else. Volunteers brought the food. We met in the park.

He could’ve been a random guy who just had a table and put a listing on Volunteer Match. (Legitimately, I’d say there’s at least a 40% chance that’s true…) If this is some enterprising sneaky scheme to make money, it’s probably not the easiest or fastest way to do it. But humongous kudos for thinking outside the box.

(I guess it’s not incredibly odd to have to give money as part of a volunteer activity… I did have to pay to ride the Do Good Bus. However, it cost the organization money to do the ride. So, I understood why they needed it. And that’s the only other volunteer event I can think of where it was a requirement to give money… So, it did feel weird that we’re already there to volunteer our time (and many people already brought food). And we’re still required to give $5?)

He does seem to legitimately run a reading club. So, he’s probably legitimate to some degree. And maybe it’s silly and awful to be so cynical and such. But I wondered as we all just handed over cash to this strange man, “What is this money going to be used for?”

So, an odd day with an odd man who left all the volunteers looking a little perplexed.

However, we did end up somehow rationing the food out perfectly so that everyone who wanted some got some with nothing leftover. So, some good got done – no matter how puzzled we all were. Yay to that.

2 thoughts on “(#12) Feeding Homeless People On Skid Row (March 29, 2014) – Part 2 (Coach Glen – The One And Only)”

  1. I don’t know how you could say such rude things about this man. Today I volunteered with Coach Glen and helped feed hundreds of people Thanksgiving dinner, all with his help and coordination. Glen has numerous legitimate programs, helping to feed the homeless, teaching young kids to read and write, helping fund and clean Gladys Park, helping homeless Veterans clean up getting their hair cut, and so much more. Before you write a blog post about this man being fake, maybe you should have had a conversation with him and listened to his story and what he does for people or at least googled him, for goodness sakes.

    1. Hi Lexi,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment.

      One thing your commented reminded me, is that I shouldn’t use people’s real names without their permission (especially if I am giving anything other than a wildly glowing review). I believe I am good about that most of the time, but in this case I made a bad oversight using his real name. I apologize for that, and appreciate you pointing out the error. I have changed his name both in my story and in your comment (but I left your comment untouched, other than that).

      Also, I see where you’re coming from. You make a good and valid point that if someone is really giving his all to help people, it’s not very nice or kind to write a post that could be seen as judgmental.

      It was a very interesting day, where honestly, a lot of things didn’t feel very legitimate (that doesn’t mean they aren’t, it was just… an interesting day is the best way I know how to put it). I was trying to keep the story light, as I wasn’t thinking of any of it as very serious. But I think in trying to keep it light, I may have come off in the wrong way. (I know it’s not always what we mean that matters, but it’s how people perceive it. So, I’m sorry if the story comes across as me trying to make a joke about someone who’s trying to help his community.)

      In the interest of trying to paint a more complete picture, I did go back and add a couple of details to the story, so hopefully it will give a slightly more complete picture. (But I kept the original post mainly in tact, still trying to keep it somewhat light – as again, I’m not accusing or attacking him of anything. I’m just talking about a day where some volunteers were kind of taken aback. So, I don’t think the day necessarily needs to be talked about in a heavier or serious manner.)

      There were some people that day who legitimately felt uncomfortable about certain things that happened. (I won’t mention any more of those things here, as I’m really not out to attack anyone. Plus, I understand some things can be misconstrued). This was just supposed to be a mildly funny story, not any sort of attack or accusation, and I’m sorry if it came across, or is coming across, as such.

      I’m sorry I upset you. I’m sorry if I sounded (or am sounding mean). I do applaud him for trying to do good in the world. I know many of us sometimes try to do something good, yet we don’t come across the right way. Or maybe we have good ideas, but stumble and fall on the way to actualizing them. I’m sure he’s on his journey (as the rest of us are on ours). Perhaps he has come across differently in different circumstances. I hope we all (including him and me) continue to grow and get better throughout life.

      I’m happy you were able to have such a great experience volunteering with him, and I’m happy you pointed out some of the other wonderful things he’s accomplished. I’m glad you’ve given me some extra pause when thinking about what I want to say or how I want to say it (though I’ll admit that definitely doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll always be great at communicating – as even still, I’m wondering if I’m communicating in an okay way even in this very comment!).

      So, thanks again so much for your comment. And I hope you have a very nice day.

I'd love to hear from you! So whaddya say?