What do you do when you see someone with a cardboard sign at the street corner? What do you think as you sit at that red light? How do you feel towards the one reaching out...especially in this season when there's a lot more talk about giving and sharing and "spreading the joy of the season".
It's a good question: "What DO we do...?". What would be most beneficial and helpful? Though many questions need to be asked and addressed about larger societal and systemic circumstances that have led someone to the streets, in that moment, it seems to me that the better question is simply: "What is kind?"
Especially during the winter months, as the chill sets in, my husband and I, along with a group of friends, decide we'd like to be prepared to simply show kindness when such an unanticipated encounter at the street corner occurs. We would rather find a way to move out of a sense of shared human dignity instead of ignore, judge or make assumptions about that individual's story or motivations. So we gather together, everyone providing something different to contribute to what we call "Love in the Glovebox Bundles".
We pool together large ziplock bags, hats, socks, gloves, chewy granola bars, hand warmers and other small, useful items to assemble simple care packages. Our hope is that this small gift will be of significance to whoever receives it. Our hope is that it will at least contribute a ray of hope into their day and communicate: "You are not alone. Someone cares."
We want to do more this season than share songs about "comfort and joy". On Thursday, December 8th, Heatherlyn Music is teaming up with The Buzz Coffee Cafe, inviting all the communities we've connected to, through the music to bring collected care package items and create Love in the Glovebox bundles together.
All of us will take a couple bundles to have in our gloveboxes and we'll leave the rest at The Buzz for baristas to pass along to patrons and share the movement with the abundance of guests who come through the next day for their artisan fair!
Our time together will begin at 6:30pm with a couple songs from Heatherlyn and her brief reflection on why the heart beat of the music would naturally inspire us to lead our community in this simple movement of active compassion. Beyond being an audience and enjoying the music, we invite everyone to engage the music, engage kindness, engage humanity.
If you are not geographically near to us, but your heart is near to this conversation and you've been looking for a way to respond to that question: "What do we do...", feel free to share the idea - collect, create, and care with your group of friends and family. Share your story here.