What began as a simple coffee run, changed my life forever. That short, 30 second, interaction with a homeless woman could have been just like those that preceded it; lucky for me, it wasn't. A turning point in my life, it forced me to look in the mirror and ask myself what I was doing to help my fellow human beings in need. Shamefully, the answer was nothing. In that moment, I vowed to myself that I would stop turning away from someone's mother, father, brother, sister, child, and someone's friend. I would stop treating these people like they were invisible or less than. No longer would I pretend they didn't exist. Instead, I promised myself I would help them, without any questions or judgement. I would lend a buck, a bite, a handshake, a hug, or smile. I would look them in the eyes and tell them that, despite how invisible they felt, I saw them.
I put their shoes on my feet and thought to myself: I hope that my fellow human beings would help me in my time of need, graciously and without an ounce of judgement or condemnation. Because at the end of the day, why the hell else are we here?
Soon after, I shared with others my small plan of putting together a few bags of essential items. The response was overwhelming and what started as a few bags quickly turned into fifty. The generosity came in the form of new shirts, warm hats, rain coats, socks, toiletries, meal cards...and so many more things I never could never have thought of on my own.
I teamed up with the Houston Coalition for the Homeless to hand out the bags at their annual Homeless In Memoriam. That night was a life-changing experience for me. Having the opportunity to personally place these bags in the hands of those who needed them was something I'll never forget. I realized that every single one of these people were just like me, the only difference being the hand we were dealt in life.
It's been a year since I gave out those bags, and I'm ready to do it again; only this time, bigger and better. But, in order to make that happen, I need you.
I believe with your help we can double the the number of last year's bags. That's fifty more people that won't be walking out empty-handed.
My hope is that, if we each give a little, we can show our fellow human beings that they matter a lot.
Click here to get an idea of what we've done in the past -http://allisonzapata.com/project-we-see-you-full-circle-for-now/
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