On Christmas Day this year, with nowhere to travel and no family to gather with, I decided, like the last few times I’ve been in Winnipeg, to find a volunteer opportunity.
Because of Covid, the few missions and kitchens that were still offering spots were either sold out, or very restricted in terms of what activities they were allowing volunteers to take part in.
As an alternative, I decided to go straight to the source. While I was enjoying the heat of my apartment, delicious home cooked meals and a cozy bed, there were people right outside living on the streets.
Lynn and I took out $100 each in $10 increments and just started handing $10 to anyone who was out on their luck on the street.
The experience was awesome. We gave to 13 people on Christmas Day on the Upper West Side, 2 more on Boxing Day in Midtown, and will give the remaining $50 out this week in the East Village.
Everyone was incredibly grateful (not that it was a requirement) and regardless of what they spend the money on, Lynn and I both agreed that this felt more impactful and connected us to people in need more than just serving soup in a kitchen.
I‘ve written before about how annoyed I can become living in the finance capital of the world while people are in tents under a bridge less than a mile from Wall Street.
I’m going to keep giving as much as possible in my communities - otherwise I’d probably just spend it on booze or restaurants - and would encourage anyone who lives in close proximity to poverty (hint: almost everyone does) to try the same.
I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas!
Thanks for reading,