Last Saturday morning I went with Ed and Meredith to serve donuts and coffee to the homeless people living in a small park in downtown Fort Collins. When we first arrived at the park we saw several small groups of young people, a young man sleeping on the ground, a woman sitting off by herself and a group of older people at the far end of the park. No one stood up or even looked at us so we took the boxes of donuts and went around to each group or person and offered them donuts. They were very grateful and thanked us with smiles on their faces. We told them that we would soon have a table set up so they could help themselves to coffee.
The grass on the park was still wet from the previous day's rain and as I walked from one end of the park to the other my sneakers started to get wet and muddy. I thought to myself, "Ugh, I hate wet, muddy sneakers". That was my honest, first thought as I served the homeless donuts!!!! I was immediately so ashamed of myself as I thought of the young man I had just walked by. He was sleeping directly on the wet ground without a blanket or any barrier to protect him from the dampness. I gave no further thought to my wet, muddy sneakers and dove into serving donuts, coffee and getting to know the people who were at the park that morning.
We set up the table to serve the coffee and the people began to wander over to make themselves a cup. I loved this time hanging out around the table. It was a small, square card table that we had brought with us and covered with a table cloth but I noticed that after the people made their coffee they did not wander off. So many of them lingered as they sipped their coffee and we were able to spend some time getting to know them. We met a man name who had lived in the Fort Collins area all of his life. We met a young couple who had just arrived in Fort Collins from Nebraska. We met a man who had served with the marines in Afghanistan and a single woman who was living in her car with her 3 year old. As the morning passed around the small, square card table, I realized that this was our kitchen table!!!! Our kitchen table is one of my favorite places as it has always been a place where we gather together as a family and spend time together. I have always looked forward to spending time with families around the kitchen table at Soaring Wings Ministries. We may not yet have the space at Soaring Wings Ministries for homeless families but I was so excited to have a kitchen table experience around a small, square card table!!!!
We were not the only ones who shared food with people in the park on Saturday morning. One of the most touching experiences I had was when one of the young men approached us with a case of water and a box of donuts. Someone had dropped off the water and donuts for the homeless earlier that morning. This young man brought the water and donuts over to our table. He told me that he wanted to make sure that the water and donuts were shared with everyone as it was not intended just for his small group. What an honest and caring young man he was!!!!!!
These experiences on Saturday morning encourage all of us at Soaring Wings Ministries to keep going in our attempt to raise funds for our building fund. We want to be able to make a difference in the lives of homeless young adults and families. As the saying goes, "You can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone!". How true that saying is!!!! I have to honestly say that fund raising IS NOT my favorite thing to do AT ALL but I do it because it is the only way that we can move Soaring Wings Ministries forward and helping people in need IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS!
Won't you help us move our kitchen table out of the park and to the Soaring Wings Property at 499 Trinity Lane? Your donations to Soaring Wings Ministries will help the single Mom living in her car with her three year old. Your donations will help the homeless young man so he won't have to sleep on ground. Your donations will help the homeless vet who served in Afghanistan. Your donations will go to help REAL PEOPLE with REAL NEEDS. We need your help to move our building fund forward. I can't wait until I can write about the experiences around our kitchen table here at Trinity Lane instead of a small, square card table in a park. Thank you so much for your help!!!! I will close this now as I need to get ready. Time for me to take off my slippers and put on my dry but still muddy sneakers!!!
Anita Rennells is the author of this blog. She and her husband have moved to Colorado when Ed retired and are in the process of opening a ranch to help homeless young adults.
Soaring Wings Ministries